Traction – Herringbone… you can’t really go wrong when this is the setup… unless you use translucent rubber. As stated in their performance teaser, even with the use of translucent rubber the Melo M9 was well above average. I strongly suggest you choose a solid rubber version so you can really receive everything these offer in terms of traction.
Cushion – The forefoot Zoom Air unit wasn’t as responsive as I had assumed it would have been but that is mostly because it’s bottom loaded versus being directly under foot. Basically, it still is absorbent and responsive cushion but because it hits the floor and it’s not placed directly under foot, it’s not something you tend to feel. At the heel you have a large volume Zoom unit and that is great… I wish they would have used the larger unit is the heel and forefoot – the Melo M8 had this sized unit in the forefoot – as you would get the best of everything. Their cushion is still phenomenal no matter how you look at and at their price… you can’t really beat it.
Material – The materials on this pair happen to be 3M but the other models have patent leather/ smooth grain leather toe caps and nubuck uppers. They are very pliable yet supportive with the overall lockdown – I’ll get into that later – while their best feature is the minimal break-in time. Depspite how they look, only a few hours are required in order to make them feel as if you’ve been wearing them all year.
Fit – The Jordan Melo M9 fits like a glove. It’s one of the plushest fitting shoes we’ve had in a while. With most shoes getting slimmed down for weight and whatnot – these do reduce weight a bit but it’s not their main focus – the fit ends up feeling thin and sometimes cheap. For example, Hyperfuse based models tend to feel as if you are wearing plastic wrapped around your foot – which you are – while these feel like a 90’s styled sneaker… plush and comfortable fresh out the box.
Its one thing to have a nice feeling fit but it’s another to have the nice feeling the interior brings also provide you with some of the best lockdown found in any shoe available right now. Don’t get me wrong, there are shoes that offer great lockdown but there are none that offer you great lockdown with a plush feel to them. If you don’t understand what I mean then go to the store & try on the Hyperdunk 2012 on one foot & the Melo M9 on the other… then come back and leave me a comment letting me know I was spot on… you don’t actually have to come back and leave a comment… I already know I’m right.
Ventilation – The ventilation is much better here than in the Melo M8 but it’s still nothing to get excited about. While the inner sleeve provides you with a plush feel… it also retains a lot of moisture. If you feel like your feet can’t handle being a little damp while you play then look elsewhere… for those of you that can hoop no matter what… look no further.
Support – TPU shank for torsional support, TPU lateral support cage, Flywire lockdown straps and an incredible minimal upper that happens to keep your foot in place… yeah… support isn’t an issue at all.
Overall – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… the Jordan Melo M9 is one of the most well rounded shoes available. You can wear these at any position and feel comfortable, supportive and protected from impact.
Would I call them perfect? Probably not… but it sure as hell is close.