I originally purchased the Air Jordan Spizike Stealth thinking it would be an on-court shoe. That was completely off the mark. I’ve played in these things a dozen or so times. The aches I got from those experiences has left me convinced that the Air Jordan Spizike Stealth are nothing more than fashion accessories–and great ones, too.
Comfort – 1/5
As a basketball shoe, the comfort of the Air Jordan Spizike Stealth are horrible. Their tightness is vice-like, not allowing for much movement, which is a problem for me since I have very high arches which makes for an extremely inverted landing. My instep sometimes never hits the floor, and so proper landing requires a fair amount of give so that my foot can find some balance. these shoes do not provide that at all, and I always feel at risk of rolling my ankle.
Even after playing with them enough it seemed as though I was still trying to wear them in. My only conclusion is that they simply were not made for the type of quick movements required on the court; I was attempting to turn a casual shoe into a basketball shoe.
If I had to say one good thing about their comfort it is that the ankle support is nice and high, but you’ll see below how even that wasn’t necessarily constructed for on-the-court ankle support.
Performance – 1/5
Lateral stability test: Average
Rigidity test: Very rigid
Typically, I appreciate a nice, rigid shoe that feels relatively tight around my foot, and the lateral stability of the Stealths are nothing to complain about (until you wrap the shoe around your foot, see my issue with the difficulty in landing in these shoes). The problem with the Stealth is that not only are they too tight (see Comfort), but also that their tightness is focused around areas of the foot that make wearing the shoe slightly debilitating.
There are two points on the foot where the shoe hugs really tight: the front end of the metatarsus bones extending out to the toes and the talus bone just below the lower ankle.The first tight spot simply doesn’t make sense; I would much rather the middle part of my foot feel the support instead of my toes. The second tight spot has me thinking that the high ankle support is simply for show since the actual support is found a bit below the ankle. It’s worth mentioning again that this support is much more of an uncomfortable squeeze than a typical support.
Design – 5/5
Although the Spizike Stealth have a definite retro look to them, they are actually a new shoe–just a mashup of retro Jordans. From wikipedia,
Michael Jordan and Spike Lee released the Jordan Spiz’ike shoes on October 21, 2006, as a tribute to their historic relationship. The relationship began when Mars Blackmon (a character from Spike Lee’s film, She’s Gotta Have It) became the primary pitchman in Nike commercials for Air Jordans. The Spiz’ike is a mash-up of the Jordan III, IV, V, VI, Air Jordan IX and XX shoes.
As the final member of the Spizike series, the Stealths are a combination of the best aesthetic aspects of the Jordan III, IV, V and VI. They have that elephant print heel and toe cup which were championed beautifully by the Jordan IIIs. Although when you compare the two, the etching resembles the Jordan XXs much more than the IIIs, as the newer versions were laser etched. Apart from Spike Lee’s hideous face on the back of the left sneaker, the Jordan Spizike Stealth really are a beautiful shoe.
Value – 1/5
I’ve seen the Air Jordan Spizike Stealth retail anywhere from $175 to $90.
I rated these as a poor value for a basketball shoe simply because they should not be considered a basketball shoe. That said, they are a nice pair of kicks to own.
As a casual, stylish shoe they are well made and have now lasted my (casual) wear and tear for a few years. In some circumstances they can also pass as a more formal–albeit hip–shoe if you’re only exposing the black, shiny leather and the elephant heel trim.