Jordan Melo M9 Performance Review

I used up my good line for the last Performance Teaser… hit the jump for the full Performance Review…


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.



Jordan Melo M9 First Impression
Jordan Melo M9 Performance Teaser Pt 1
Jordan Melo M9 Performance Teaser Pt 2



  1. Exactly what I wanted to hear. Thanks for all the work. I will wait to see what other colorways come out but these will be purchased soon enough.

          1. I’m not sure what’s with the sarcastic attitude. first you sure have a big mouth on saying profanities or insulting someone. second, you seem mad that someone actually handled and saw the 3.5’s much earlier and know about it much more than you do. stop hating if you looked like an idiot now, JOHN.

      1. Both cushioning and fit on the KD5 needs break-in time and get’s better every game. M9 has great cushion and fit from first use to last. If you like your shoes feeling like socks go for the KD5 but if you want covered lockdown on areas that are only needed go for the M9.

  2. Yo NW, stop buying Shoes with Clear soles we need the best review with the best set up when available. I got the 8’s based on your review last year and i pu the 9’s (nick cw)a few weeks ago and i’m with you on the forefoot action. My tread on the 8’s has started to wear down because the pebbled bottom just wont last as long as the HB set up. BIg up.

      1. Not relevant, as he has stated many times, the Top 10 is a list based on overall scores in the different categories. The Melo M9 scored lower than the Kobe in ventilation and in traction, I guess because of the clear outsole. So while the list may have that order, his personal preference sometimes varies. Look at the KD V on last year’s list!

  3. The Melo, CP3 , and team series (along with the Wade line of a couple years past) constantly prove that Jordan Brand can still make top notch performance products. They just didn’t sell too well.

  4. Minus ventilation would you rate these higher than the kobes i owned the m8s and enjoyed them a lot and i need basketball shoes so i can get basically anything

  5. The JB claims/states that the Zoom pod will provide a ‘mechanical piston effect. It’s a bit strange if that idea does not really pan out the way they thought it would do. Could it possibly be that any upward forces the Zoom pod might provide, are just cancelled out/ neutralized by the softness of the midsole?

    Anyway, I still want this shoe. I am totallly beyond my initial dislike of its questionable looks. I agree that this M9 looks more conform its pricetag. Recently I bought the M 8 advance, but its materials and built do not reflect its (initial) price tag at all.

    1. zoom piston effect? i think that is supposed to be in the upcomming air jordan 28. just cuz these have a pod where the zoom unit is doesnt mean it had the same tech.

      1. I was curious of this topic as well. from the images that I saw, the J XX8’s zoom units goes through from under the insole directly to the outsole. I would suspect the Melo 9’s forefoot zoom is under the midsole cushion since I can’t feel the zoom bag under my feet but can feel the shoe rebound. I think the Melo 9’s are J XX8 lite version, which makes me a bit more interested towards the XX8’s despite how ugly they are. although the price is some sort of a dealbreaker.

        1. I have the M8 Advance. I just got them and played in them yesterday for the first time. They are worth it. If you really don’t wanna go with the M9, the M8 advance is a good way to go too. I have the regular M8 too and the advance is definitely an upgrade.

  6. Tried these on for a fit on my usual size 9, and it feels perfect. I agree 100% that these feel like 90’s shoe’s and I’m loving it. I’m just waiting on the black/red to release here.

    Another great review! Looking forward to all the reviews for this year.

  7. To be a little honest, I’m a bit disappointed on the M9’s. It did have great traction but I usually play outdoor though it did last long the M8’s had better traction durability than the M9. Cushion wasn’t as responsive in the M8 on the forefoot cause I personally want the zoom air directly under foot and not to mention that the M8 looks better than the M9. THE MELO M9’S WERE GREAT no denying that but I just had to pick the KD5 with XDR version since the zoom was directly under my foot on the forefoot.

    1. the forefoot response is really different. the shoe rebounds from under the shoe rather than feel it under your foot. I think the ugly betties Jordan XX8 would have a different response considering the zoom unit is directly under the foot and goes through under the outsole, so I would think it would give a certain bouncy feel for the foot and shoe altogether.

  8. Another excellent review!!
    In your personal opinion, which one of these shoes will you pick? M9, Kobe8, Rose3, CP3.6

  9. I need to your help plz, i’m point guard and I want to buy this dope shoes what do you think about it ? Is it a good choice for me ?
    3 months ago I bought the CP VI and I hurt my ankle twice so I want high shoes with nice support and nice forefoot so tell me your opinion please ?

    1. don’t you think you pretty much answered your question? just read or watch the video. that should give you enough hints.

  10. Don’t really get what kinda problems people have with the forefoot cushioning… in my opinion it’s far better than what they put in the M8 Advance (which I also have). Also, the Ventilation ain’t 6 out of 10. It might not be as great as the flywade 2 e.g., but still 6 outta 10? The M8 Adv.’s ventilation is not better at all. I wear the standard Nike Elite socks and I don’t get that a sweaty foot playing up to 2 hours! Just my opinion though

    1. Agree to disagree then. I’m not biased within my reviews. If you feel its better then great, but the fact is that it isn’t. I never compared them to the M8 Advance either so that pretty much it out of the equation here. An overall score of 9/10 is practically perfect so I really dont see what you even have to complain about…

  11. Tried them on in Foot Locker…What a hideously ugly shoe. (I’m not all about looks…but I can’t walk on the court in these). What was he thinking (besides his love of expensive watches) with designing these? Great tech but…you will look like a troll with them on. (Present company)

    1. LOL! Yeah. Nothing wrong with not wanting to look like shit but these are not shit and impressing dudes with your shoes should be the least of ur worries when ballin. Ive played against too many dudes matching head to toe that played AWFUL.

  12. These shoes r the bombdog, so much better then those shit ass shoes called CP3’s whatev. Man the best part is banging my girlfriend with these boys, she starts screaming like police siren “Uhh””Uhh”:Uhh”..oh yea

  13. I do hope you’re joking. Personally like wearing fuzzy pink kitty slippers. Oh and for all you insecure people out there sneakers don’t get you girls it your personality and money heps too lol.

    Great review Nightwing! I agree with these being a great option for any position. Just bought of pair of lebron x, since I’m a big fan of full length zoom and I have a very aggressive game style. In regards to impact protection, how does the air max section of the lebron x differ from the zoom air the the forefoot, does it do a good job of absorbing impact from heel strikes?

  14. Another great review Nightwing. I’ve been playing in my aways for 2 weeks and really like the shoe. Comfort, fit, cushioning, and traction are all great. Such a nicely balanced shoe. It does seem the forefoot cushioning is getting a little mushy after 2 weeks of hard play. Anyone else had similar experience? I really like these shoes and would hate the cushioning getting too mushy too fast.

  15. You plan on reviewing the new hyperdunks low? Just curious since i was thinking about picking them up but wanna hear what you got to say. BTW love the site man really good shit, helped me pick out last few bball shoes.

  16. Nightwing, do you know if the leather on the upper from the other colorways of M9 can easily break or deform in any way that usually comes with leather over time?

  17. Nightwing,

    Nice write-up on the M9’s. In terms of cushioning and overall feel, would you take the M9’s over the Lebron X’s? Or are they basically on on par with one another, with the X’s weighing a little more?

    1. Go with the lebrons the cushioning is better but if guard keep in mind that you lose some response time because of the cushioning. But the Melos probably have better ankle stability which the lebron x lacks.

  18. Hey nightwing based off your experience which shoe traction surface is more aggresive the nike zoom soldier 6 or the jordan melo m9. I really need an answer to this question. Please answer when you can. Thanks!

  19. What would you say about wearing these with needed orthotics for plantar, as well as a solid ankle brace?? Size wise and durability?

  20. Hi
    Such a detailed review!
    I bought the m9 today, the interior feels toghter than usual, so tight wrapped comparing with my previous huarache of the same size. Should this be worn 1 size up you think?

  21. I bought the black/silver and the black/red. OMG! Comfortable doesn’t even begin to describe these shoes. I don’t have a particularly wide foot so usually Nike shoes fit ok but I’m finding that Jordan brand shoes are way more comfortable for me than Nike signatures but these…these…there are no words.

  22. Review of all-star version after three games. Awesome. Cushion, stability, lockdown, transition, traction, fit and comfort all A++. Courtfeel and weight get As (I don’t notice any particular heaviness or lack of court feel while playing, which is pretty good considering I usually play in Kobes). Indoor hardwood court, cleanliness 7 out of 10, meaning that its not bad at all but not just any shoe will have great traction. There are lower and lighter shoes out there, but these are still relatively light and, more importantly, they PLAY light if you know what I mean. True to size for me, I have a slightly wider than medium foot. Might actually consider stocking up on extra pairs, haven’t done that since the Zoom Lebron II. These should would be great for guards as well as forwards, they have a lot of huge strengths and literally no weaknesses. Except the lack of good colorways so far, imo.

  23. One more point re traction. The glow in the dark sole on the all star version is actually slightly translucent if you look at it closely, but based on casual comparison and feeling the soles with my thumb at the store, the rubber on the all stars seems to be more similar to the regular rubber than the translucent rubber. Meaning it is the softer, stickier rubber. Traction rocks bigtime.

    1. Hi,
      do you know if the black/neo-turquoise’s outsole is the same as the regular ruber and not the translucent ??
      I’d like to know if this colorway offers “just” good traction or Very good traction.
      Thanks !!

  24. Hey does anyone know if the shoe is durable.
    I had the fly wade 2s, which were really well ventilated, but the tongue and vents started tearing up after a few months.
    Is the mesh tongue on the m9 more durable (i want it to last)

  25. I have these but I would choose the kd v over these because I feel like the heel zoom air is not really needed for me personally, I would have definitly retured these if that a$$hole at finishline let me return these shoes, and although they’re the lightest melos, but they’re still heavier than most nike sneakers today.

    1. True to size fits snug in the sense that your foot isn’t going anywhere. It doesn’t hurt. If you go bigger, you will have a little more room but maybe even dead space. I bought my right size and they feel perfect. Hope that helps.

  26. I’m getting kinda curious to know why Melo’s shoes are still kinda expensive and yet, he’s not even wearing them? I rotate my shoes so my feet never get to abuse just one shoe and I’m sure he wears new ones almost every night so why choose the M8 Advance over the M9?

  27. why is melo wearing the m8 advance? It isn’t performance, imo, as I have worn both and the M9 is equal (cushion, overall comfort) or better (traction, weight, fit) in all important categories. Maybe he just likes the colorblocking on the M8 advance, or maybe there is a superstition behind it, or maybe Nike is trying to clear out massive overstock of M8 advance, who knows. We all know that there are plenty of shoes we just get attached to for one reason or another and keep playing in, even if there are better performance options available. For example, I keep lacing up those old fab5-era air force max once in a while, just can’t help it. I see guys wearing Questions sometimes even though I know for a fact they also have Kobe 8s in the closet.

  28. melo wears m8 advance maybe because he feels more comfortable in them for now then his m9. m8 is more comfortable in some senses and different then m9 setup.probably likes more responsivness to his step.

  29. Would the scores for material and traction be 10/10 if I got a version with leather and solid rubber? With only ventilation being an issue?cuz that would be the most perfect shoe ever!everything 10/10 except ventilation

  30. How does the the cushioning, response and overall playability of these compare to the Lebron X? The Lebron’s look insane as far as cushion and response especially from your review but these seem like they may be almost as good. Love the reviews on this site nightwing keep up the great work!

    1. being somebody who has worn the lebron x on and off for the last 5 or so months, i can say that they are probably not worth the money that they are going for right now, despite all the hype about the the tech that has been incorporated into the design. true, they are one of the best looking shoes on shelves right now, but unless you are very heavy and need massive amounts of support (i am a 6’0″ 180 pound combo guard), you probably won’t appreciate how stiff they are. i have no substantial complaints about the shoe whatsoever besides this, and they are a damned sight better than the lebron 9 if you have worn those, but it says something when i reach for my adidas top ten 2000s or the KDV (for someone with my needs it is a superior shoe in every respect) over the lebron X every time when it’s time to play.

      as for the m9, i have yet to buy a pair, but when i tried them in the store a few weeks ago just to see what they felt like the step-in comfort was unlike anything i’ve worn in a very long time. the collar feels amazing, the cushioning is responsive off the shelf…it’s a REALLY luxurious shoe. they’re on sale here in hong kong, and i’m giving them serious consideration, only thing holding me back is the patent leather toe, have never been a fan of those, considering how easily they scuff and crumple.

      1. ps the novelty of the lebron 360 zoom cushioning kind of wears out after a while, it’s fun shifting your body weight back and forth while remaining stationary to see how it feels, but you kind of have to ask whether it’s a cushioning setup that you really need, rather than purchasing the shoe simply because it’s a gimmicky new technology that you need to try (unfortunately that was one of the lures for me, considering i had a bunch of cash to spend at the time). not that i regret buying a pair of Xs, i still wear them at least once a week on less intense pickup days, but hell, i hate lebron as a player and with a bit more money i could’ve bought two pairs of sneakers that i would’ve probably enjoyed more.

  31. I have these shoes but in black and white and the tounge hurts my foot. I wear a size 6.5 so I don’t know if its different with littler sizes or if I’m tying it wrong. The top of the tong pushes into the top of my ankle and it pulls down my socks.

    1. i’ve been using the M9 the last 2 or 3 times i’ve played outdoors, mostly because i can’t get over how incredibly comfortable they feel, but i would imagine that they are far from being the ideal option, seeing as how the rubber is quite pliable as well as the fact that there is very little air flow going in and out of the shoe, if you’re somebody who sweats a lot you really should look at something else…
      not to mention the fact that people are going to be stepping all over the synthetic suede upper and patent leather toe…

  32. These released ages ago but I found them for $60 in a colour I really wanted & couldn’t resist giving them a try. They can still b found clearance online cheap & were a bargain 4 me. Mine are solid rubber & traction sticks like crazy. I like the heel zoom bag, forefoot pod, sole stability & lateral tpu cage. feel well cushioned & not mushy, decent court feel not too high off ground, not too stiff, not too heavy & not too sweaty like unventilated shoes. Fit me like a glove. Upper felt unusual at first but when I got used to it its amazing how open, flexible, contained & locked down you r. Maybe too much support for a smaller player but perfect for me one of my favourite shoes.

  33. Hey Nightwing2303, I’ve got a question. I have a chance to buy a pair of Melo M9 for a good price. Few days ago i had to return a pair of ‘Jordan 2012 lite’ couse they were too narrow for me. I read that Melo M8 are great for people with wide feet, and what about Melo M9? (I dont have a chance to try them before buying)

  34. I have a set of Melo M9s that I absolutely love but they’re near the end of their life ~500 dodgeball games later. Are there any modern shoes that are as well rounded as these? I love them so much. The support, the feel, the cushioning… The m11 just doesn’t feel as nice when I tried on a pair.

    Input welcome!

    1. Why not get another pair? There are enough offers on ebay, some as low as 30 (!) bucks.
      It’s just that I have 2 pairs of these (black-blue and black-pink), and I never tried anything that beats them yet. They feel like they were tailored to my foot. Ventilation could be better, yes, but the rest is just perfect.

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