Nike Air Jordan 13 Retro Review

9.3 score
[Editors rating (9.3) + Users rating (7.6)] / 2 = (WalkJogRun) score (9.3)/10

Editor rating: 9.3 / 10
User's rating: based on 8 user ratings
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Nike is a behemoth in the shoe industry thanks to its celebrity endorsements and quality performance gear. One of the hands-down most famous styles to ever come from Nike is the Air Jordan. Jordans have not only become a staple in the collections of sneakerheads, but they have created a community between the people who love them. This Air Jordan 13 Retro has a slightly different look and fans of the shoes love it. Retro sneakers are a trend that won’t be going anywhere for quite some time and when they look like this, it is clear why.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Fantastic Support
  • Nike Air Zoom
  • Retro Aesthetics
  • All-Day Comfort
  • Panther-Inspired Features
  • Expensive
  • Limited Colors


The Nike Air Jordan 13 Retro has an interesting look to it, one that you may not expect from an athletic brand. The body is a high-top and has a boot like covering over the main upper. Instead of there being a full section broken up by overlays, there is a cohesive appearance to the whole sneaker. The appearance of this particular Jordan was inspired by the panther, an animal Michael was often likened to on the court. A bauble that represents a cat eye is on the ankle, which has a holographic sheen that catches the eye with a bit of shimmer. Dimples in the overlay on top of the upper are very similar to a cushion, this gives the shoe a regal flair, as they call to the cushions on a throne. Wearing this shoe, you will definitely feel like the king of the court. Its two-tone color scheme and unique design elements create an aesthetic that is so rarely seen in modern sneakers. Retro looks are in, and while this isn’t the classic chunky retro sneaker, there is still great appeal when it comes to this edition of a courtside favorite.


Plush leather is used to build the regal upper of this Panther-inspired sneaker. Leather is always great for breathability and because this sneaker was designed to mimic the agility of Michael Jordan, the overall shoe has high-performance capabilities despite being frequently worn as a fashion statement. Though the materials are breathable, the upper itself is so inclosed it may cause a bit of perspiration if you tend to sweat on your feet. Wearing a light cotton sock may be enough to combat this, but if high-tops often cause you to struggle with feeling overheated or constricted, this particular Jordan could be a bit too constricting for you. There isn’t any implementation of eyelets or ventilation holes, except for on the tongue, which allows for some air to flow through. You are relying solely on the fabric, perforation on the tongue, and eyelets to get air circulating through the shoe. This might not be enough for everybody.


The original vision for this sneaker was black and red, and the first version when it was released again was those same colors. Inspired by Michael Jordan, who they called the Black Panther at the time of his return to basketball, this basic color combination was a stunning way to keep this option simple but gorgeous. Multiple versions were made after that initial release, ranging from white and blue to all black combined with slight colored accents. Needless to say, every color was a hit. When the style was renewed, there were much fewer colorways. This shoe is mostly available in white and grayscale options now. Though they are still good-looking, the lack of variety may disappoint those who knew the 13 as a shoe that really stood out. Unique features like the colorful cat eye and interesting sole still make this option pop, but it may not be the same in a lot of people’s opinions.


Reviewers could not get over the comfort of this sneaker. Of course, any shoe endorsed and designed for an athletic legend is going to have to have some serious comfort built into it for it to be a contender. Many reviewers had said that this was a sneaker that could easily be worn all day without any discomfort or strain. The light midsole offers great support and the feel of the shoe is like a pillow inside. The outside may look like its cushioned, but the inside actually is cushioned. Air Jordans have become so popular for good reason. Not only is the style coveted and on-trend, as well as iconic in many circles, but the shoes are made to feel lovely when wearing them, whether that be for just a moment or all day. Air cushioning in Nike's such as this one is one of the most popular features the shoe has. Your foot will feel enveloped in soft material without getting overloaded or smothered.


Air Jordans don’t only have a reputation for cool style, they also have a reputation for lasting the long haul. Reviewers found these shoes to be incredibly well made and reliably durable. Looking at the shoe, you can see it has very few weak spots that threaten their integrity. The whole upper seems to be connected, and the way the fabric wraps around the body of the shoe leaves very little room for seams to split or fray. Rubber soles go above and beyond when it comes to grip and durability. A rubber sole will ensure you can wear your favorite footwear for years to come, regardless of whether you keep them in pristine condition or are more of a rough and tumble type of person. The leather is better able to stand up to scuffs and scratches than synthetic material, and there won’t be any snags due to its quality.


Quirky outsoles are few and far between these days. Some brands go all out with intricate design details on their outsoles, which add a fun and unique twist to a more conservative style. On the Jordan 13 Retro, the bottom of the outsole mimics the paw of a panther. With six individual pads like the pads of a paw, you can fiercely cross the court with speed and agility. The shoe may not look flexible or quick due to its predominantly covered upper, but the way the outsole is designed intends to make movement easy as well as increasing the contact between the wearer and the ground. This helps running, walking, and even pivoting. Rubber grip on the bottom of this Retro design is just another way to increase the grip and traction. Shoe lovers who want footwear that actually performs in the way it is styled too, this Nike is a real contender. The panther paw design will pleasantly surprise anyone unfamiliar with the 13’s quirky details. This is definitely one of those styles that has a rich history and a bright future.


It gets a bit tricky when you start to talk about the price of the Nike Air Jordan 13 Retro. Due to its coveted status, the price isn’t really stable. It can range greatly from the low triple digits all the way up to quite high prices. Sneakerheads don’t usually mind investing in a shoe they love by a brand they trust. While that may be true for sneakerheads, this probably isn’t a practical choice for those not really committed to the style they are purchasing. While the shoe is made very well and the construction is fabulous, the price is still too high for many to justify the cost. On the other hand, collectors may really value getting a chance to add this Retro style to their collection, as the original was designed by Tinker Hatfield, a visionary designer. This is a very cool style to add to the collection, but cool doesn’t necessarily help the expense at all. This is the kind of shoe that is worth what you are willing to pay for it, as not everyone would be able to get their hands on a pair.

Shock Absorption

Shock absorption is a big part of the comfort of the shoe. This sneaker from Nike has Zoom Air cushions to cut the shock and impact on the wearer’s feet and joints. When walking or even playing basketball, our bodies bare the brunt of the impact whenever our feet touch the ground. When a shoe has amazing shock absorption, walking feels effortless. Your knees and ankles are supported and protected from the impact of normal activities. Though this shoe makes a big fashion statement, it doesn’t have to come at a cost in terms of comfort. Options like these Air Jordan 13 Retros should treat you and your body as well as you treat them. When you are attempting to keep your favorite pair from creasing at the toe or looking muddy and tattered, it should be offering the same kind of commitment to you wearing it back.

Release Date

This shoe first debuted in 1987, only a few short years after the original Nike Air Jordan. The shoe was inspired by Michael Jordan, believed to be one of the greatest basketball players of all time. The Retro remodel of the Nike Air Jordan was released in late 2017 and has remained a favorite due to its spot on mimicry of the original release. This style may have first debuted over 20 years ago, but it hasn’t lost any of its charms. Reviewers love this version of the Jordan and found it to be a unique pair that few have. The cushioned look of the leather covering the upper changes the normal appearance of the Nike Air Jordan into a much more regal option. Anyone who wants to standout was waiting for them to rerelease this early version. This shoe coincided with Michael Jordan coming back to basketball and ruling as a champion of the game yet again. People who buy this sneaker will feel similarly accomplished with much less effort, thanks to the renewed design of Tinker Hatfield.


Air Jordan has really top of the line support, even if a lot of people mistake them as a pure trend shoe. Their midsole is soft and responsive foam. It has great energy return and performance no matter what activity you decide to wear it during. The midfoot gets additional support from a shank. Synthetic materials that are unseen due to them being hidden by the cushioned leather help to hold the foot where it needs to be while also stabilizing you to feel great the whole time you have them on. Nike Zoom Air cushioning is in so many elements within the shoe. The midsole and well-cushioned sock liner help to elevate these from cool to necessary. Thanks to their high rise and tongue that comes up well past the sides of the shoe, you also gain ankle support when wearing this. Your legs will get much less fatigued and sore with this much in your shoe to stabilize them.

Bottom Line

Sneakerheads love having unique options that few others can rock in the same way. This Nike Air Jordan 13 Retro was a historical ode to the Black Panther better known as Michael Jordan, and that flair lives on in the re-release. Though the shoe is expensive and limited in colorway variety, the performance makes it worth it. Even if it didn’t look as cool as it did, the comfort alone is something to write home about. Pay attention Jordan fans all over the globe, the 13 Retro re-releases will turn heads.