words and images_Zac Dubasik
A Sole Collector Performance Review
Jordan Brand One6One7 – The 16.5 Plus
When I played in the Jordan Brand 16.5 this past season, it quickly became a standout. Although there were no truly spectacular aspects of that shoe, there were so many good ones, that the 16.5 as a whole was easy to recommend as one of the most well-rounded performers of the season. The One6One7 shares the same tooling as the 16.5, so it should be no surprise that is the starting point for its comparisons.
While the early perception was that the One6One7 was simply a low-cut version of the 16.5, that’s not really accurate. For one thing, it really isn’t a low-top. In a side-by-side comparison, the height of the two collars is very similar. In my opinion though, the One6One7’s cut and collar is even better. While not at the level of the Kobe IV/V, the collar padding of the One6One7 is very well shaped, and provides for excellent stability. Similar to the 16.5, the One6One7’s upper is made up of thick, high-quality tumbled leather, with patent overlays. My biggest complaint of the 16.5 was that its large plastic eyelets, while doing a great job of visually paying tribute to the Air Jordan XVII, made for a poor lacing system design. There simply wasn’t enough friction in the eyelets to allow you to pull the laces tight enough. This problem was taken care of completely in the One6One7, with hidden ghillies doing the job, and providing a snug fit. My biggest complaint with the upper this time is that while there are large perforations, that does little(as in zero) for breathability where there is a second layer of thick leather directly behind them. The perfs are really just a visual.
Getting back to the positives, the cushioning is still excellent. Heel blow-molded Air and forefoot Zoom Air provide what the protection and responsiveness that I want, exactly where I want it (protection in the heel, responsiveness in the forefoot). Because the shoe fits better, thanks to the improved lacing system, the whole package just feels a little quicker, with a slightly smoother transition. It’s a great example of why fit is so important – same cushioning, same court feel, same traction(herringbone insets), yet, the One6One7 feels noticeably quicker when cutting.
Overall, the One6One7 is an excellent example of the high-quality, well-made performance hoops shoes that Jordan Brand is putting out right now. It takes two steps forward from the 16.5, with its improved fit – which directly ties to the improved transition – while only taking one step back, with worse breathability. The 16.5’s breathability was nothing to write home about in the first place, and is my only major criticism of the One6One7. The only other improvement I’d like to see would be wrapping the traction to the medial side of the midsole. The traction that is there is good, I just would like to see more of it. I’ve grown to really appreciate the wrapping that has become popular as of late on performance hoops shoes. Even with those small issues, the One6One7 is a great choice for just about any player. The thick leather upper means it will take a few wearings to reach it’s full potential, but it should also mean a much longer lifespan. If you were a fan of the 16.5, this is an easy choice – think of it as the 16.5 Plus.
Available now: Jordan One 6 One 7