Traction – If you had checked out the First Impression on the Melo M8 you would have known that I had my doubts about the traction. Thankfully the setup not only proved me wrong but blew me away. The heel featured the most traction which is perfect for post players but Carmelo does have a front facing game which is where these end up working out for just about any type of player. Whether you face up or back down your defender, the M8 will provide you with a solid source of reliable traction.
Cushion – Very surprised that I loved the cushion so much as I tend to dislike the inconsistent feeling that combo cushion setups bring. However, the heel was wonderful and provided plenty of cushion while the forefoot did the exact same thing. The foam used was nice and soft as well. Since the shoe is fairly rigid the softer foam helped out quite a bit with the fluidity of the heel to toe strikes while in transition.
Material & Fit – The fit for me was a bit lackluster at first but with the right adjustment to the lacing system, everything turned out pretty well. I did go down ½ a size for better lockdown in the heel so you may want to try these on in store before purchasing just to figure that part out.
Materials overall were nice and did what you’d expect. One thing to keep in mind is the materials along the upper do not retain their shape very well with all of the heat and moisture buildup due to the lack of ventilation.
Ventilation – As stated above… it’s pretty poor and could have been much better. There is more than enough room along the upper to have implemented some sort of perforations yet there are none to be found. If it weren’t for the lack of ventilation, this shoe would have been very close to perfect.
Support – The TPU cage is great at supporting you under foot and on your lateral movements. The shoe itself is very rigid but it plays so smooth you would have never known unless you tried it out for yourself.
Overall – If ventilation was better the materials along the upper may have been able to retain their shape throughout the night. Had this been the case, this shoe would be one of the most complete as far as performance is concerned. Traction was fantastic, cushion was awesome and the support was made for a larger player but suitable for smaller guys. A few small tweaks and you have yourself one heck of a shoe. These actually remind me of the older Air Jordan models… they almost all missed the ventilation mark yet every other category was usually pretty solid.
I fully recommend this sneaker and loved every minute I spent on court with them.
Traction – 9.5/10
Cushion – 10/10
Material – 8.5/10
Fit – 7.5/10
Ventilation – 3/10
Support – 9.5/10
Overall – 8/10