Since its introduction into the sports sneakers market, the Jordan brand has almost become independent of its parent brand Nike. It has sponsored several NBA stars, including 2006 Rookie of the Year and 9-time NBA All-Star member Chris Paul. He is also considered one of the world’s top point guards today.
Jordan Brand has recently released Chris Paul’s eleventh signature sneaker this month. The name is usually stylized as “CP3.11” or “CP3.XI” and it was inspired by Paul’s dominant playing style as well as his team, the Houston Rockets. Retro shoes seem to make a big comeback and this CP3.11 is no exception, as it has that old school late 80s-to-early-90s look and feel.
The sneaker features molded textiles and synthetics for additional lockdown and support. It also comes combined with a strap and outrigger for lateral support and increased mid-foot lockdown for stability, which is the first of any CP3 edition. The strap, by the way, was inspired by Paul’s and his brother’s favorite shoe – the Nike Air Adjust Force – while they were growing up (so that explains the shoes’ “retro” look). The strap can be loosened or tightened according to the wearer’s preference, and as implied before, it provides lateral support plus stability and control.
The CP3.XI features a modified herringbone traction pattern that reaches up to the medial forefoot. While the pattern is obviously wide, the grooves are otherwise somewhat shallow, so it tends to collect dust following a few treads on the hardcourt. But that’s not a big issue, as a quick wipe can solve that.
The shoe’s heel area, on the other hand, has a feather-like pattern which tends to attract more dust especially when the shoes are worn for dirt surfaces.
The CP3.XI’s body is fairly soft since it is made from translucent rubber. As far as durability goes, it could wear down pretty quickly (and we also point out the shallow pattern on the tread area) so it is not usually recommended for heavy outdoor use.
Apart from these features, the CP3.XI uses heel and forefront Zoom Air which is covered in a soft Phylon-cushioned midsole. The midsole appears softer compared to the previous CP editions and is somewhat more akin to the cushion found on the Nike Kyrie 4. The cushion’s foam sinks and then springs back up, and when it sinks under weight or pressure, the Zoom units come to provide extra bounce. On first impression, the cushioning is very depressed but it still can be felt. The whole cushioning stuff almost feels like the Why Not Zer0.1, but definitely less stiff.
The sneaker’s upper area feels like genuine suede or nubuck. But actually, it is made of a synthetic material which feels like felt with a stiff backing, so if you’re looking for a “breathable” shoe, the CP3.XI won’t be the best choice.
The opening of the shoe is fairly narrow compared to other athletic kicks, but it doesn’t mean that your foot will have much difficulty entering it – it’s still manageable.
As for the CP3.XI’s fit, it is “true to size” so widefooters in particular might be interested to try these shoes on before purchasing them. But if you’re extremely wide-footed, it’s preferable that you should go down half a size.
The shoe’s colorway is called “Rocket Fuel” which looks certainly vintage and old-school. The CP3.XI is a stylish yet budget-friendly option as each pair costs $115.