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Jordan Super.Fly 4 PO Performance Review

I have been a REALLY huge fan of the Super.Fly line from Jordan. To me, when the first model released, it signified a return to performance for the Jordan line. Jordan Brand was seen as a retro brand, even more than now. Jordan was not even considered a performance brand for the most part – even the signature model was clowned for design and advancement.

Four years later, Blake Griffin has taken over the Super.Fly line as his de facto signature shoe. From the Lunar/Zoom combo in the original to the Flight Plate evolution in the 2, 3, and now the Flight Speed in the 4, the Super.Fly has been the little brother, performing right along with the signature shoes but with a lesser name and following. So after our review of last fall’s Super.Fly 4, and how well it performed, what could possibly be upgraded in the PO version? Thought you would never ask…


Superfly 4.PO - Traction

Same as the SF4, but if you don’t want to follow the link, here is what I said: squeaky and tight, even just walking around. I even got squeaks on my concrete driveway. More due to the materials than just pattern, this shoe was on when it counted. Those lovely 24 Hour Fitness courts are nasty by Wednesday (Monday and Tuesday ain’t great either) but the Super.Fly 4 put in work.

I really liked the wavy forefoot pattern under the toes. Not often do I notice a difference in a pattern, but on toe off I could tell it wasn’t herringbone but a smoother transition. The segregation channels in the heel and forefoot also let the shoe dig into the court and hold on takeoffs, something I noticed when making cuts and coming through the lane. The lower I got, the better the shoe felt on those moves. I do not think the outdoor courts will love this shoe — the rubber is soft and pliable and the pattern is shallow. Look elsewhere for an outdoor shoe — which is a shame, because the Super.Fly 2 and 3 were great outdoors. I could be wrong, but with bottom-loaded Zoom the last thing you want is the outsole wearing through.


Superfly 4.PO - Cushion 1
Superfly 4.PO - Cushion 2

Again, same as the SF4, with one change: the J Zoom feels WAY better from the start with no break in time. Here goes: the Super.Fly 4 is more Jordan XX9 than XX8. Again, not bad; the XX9 got the job done, it just didn’t bounce like the XX8. The XX9 also didn’t explode like the XX8, so there is your trade-off. The unit sits almost even with the rest of the outsole instead of protruding so the unstable feel found in first generation Unlocked is gone.


Superfly 4.PO - Materials

Okay, materials are improved, for the most part. As I have said, many times, I love leather shoes. Something about the creasing and break in to form to the foot. Where the original SF4 had a padded mesh upper, or the Jacquard version (REALLY underrated), the PO goes for leather heel collar and medial panel. The Chinese New Year (CNY) reviewed here is a patent to allow for the design overlay, but the regular PO is leather. The rest of the shoe is the same mesh as the SF4 but with the back padding removed, making for a little sleeker fit and better break in, but losing some comfort. Outsole and midsole are the exact same as the SF4.

Once broken in, the SF4 rides low and tight and I felt extremely quick on my toes and when running. The response time is great with no lagging feel delay in reaction. It just isn’t special, which is more on me than Jordan. I have been so impressed with JB innovation and performance the last three years that I fully expect EVERY shoe to have a “wow” factor, so when they don’t I am like a kid with a broken toy. The J Zoom is great for guards and wings and once broken in is lovely.

The heel is foam again (Phylon) and again, does the job of absorbing impact and bouncing back. I never felt lessened by a lack of Air, but there was just protection, no performance, in the heel.


Superfly 5.PO - Fit

Finally, we have a difference. Length and width-wise we are looking at the same — fairly narrow but normal width will be okay. It can be little tight round the midfoot, but nothing a simple lace-loosening and some break in time won’t take care of. The midfoot is the new; it’s structured with a wrap-style tongue, from medial to lateral, the Flight Web system draws the foot completely into the shoe, like an Air Snuggie. The tongue and ankle have a denser padding, like the memory foam of years back, and the more heat build-up the better those areas feel and form. When laced playing tight, there is NO MOVEMENT from any area. Couple the tongue structure with the lack of foam backing the mesh and we get a highly flexible, form-fitting performer. I will say, no-show socks beware: the ankle padding is a little harsher than the SF4.


Superfly 4.PO - Support

Same as the SF4, but here goes: Jordan tried and true — the FlightSpeed plate is the new FlightPlate from the last two years, and that is a good thing. Along with distributing the responsive bounce from Unlocked Zoom across the foot, the Plate/Speed also gives the shoe its torsional support. For those new to this, torsional support keeps the shoe from bending in the wrong places but does allow the shoe to bend in the right ones. In the middle, you don’t want the shoe to bend down. With the segregated outsoles (forefoot and heel are two different pieces) you get some opposite-bending possibilities. Plate/Speed prevents that by being stiff and holding tight. It is not as stiff as a carbon fiber plate, but CF tended to be too stiff and caused foot fatigue from working harder to create good bend. The TPU plate in the Super.Fly 4 makes transition smooth and not slappy at all — another feature of a softer plate.

There is no outrigger to be found in the forefoot, so you have to depend on the fit and low ride to keep you stable up front. Again, not a bad thing; some outriggers leave the forefoot feeling wide and slow. If the shoe is lower in profile, not a problem.

Jordan Super.Fly 4 PO Overall

Superfly 4.PO overall

The Jordan Super.Fly 4 PO is comprised of as many minor improvements as a company can make while keeping the performance aspects that worked. I really, REALLY like the new materials because they add to the fit and comfort. The cushioning is typical Jordan Flight system, and it works — just enough rebound without feeling unstable, but still low enough to get good court feel.

If you are looking for a form-fitting, well cushioned, all-around shoe, look no further. The materials should last a season indoors and Unlocked Zoom is still the best cushioning system Jordan Brand (or Nike) has. Sometimes minor changes do work.

Superfly 4 PO Score card
  1. That font and layout are really difficult to read, especially with the color changes, tell your designer to dial it back.

      1. It may be a pain, but if you will go to page 2 on our reviews, it will be plain text and pics going forward. Just click the link under the “overall” slide.

        1. Duke, was that second page always there? I didn’t even notice it before you said something. Interesting and great to see that you guys are being creative and catering to everyone with the plain text. Great work as always bro.

    1. We’ve done research and testing on the new layout and the results came back positive. Layouts like this have been used for decades in textbooks, magazines and PDF files. We did put a second plain text page for those who need it, but the new layout is a throwback to the old SLAM articles that we all grew up with.

      Most of the negative feedback came from those who we’re reading on low quality screens and those who didn’t use their as a pointer.

      We appreciate your feedback and the plain text is there as an alternative so there is really something for everyone.

  2. I like how the Playoff updates for Jordan(these, the CP3 AE, Ultra Fly, and even the XXX) all use progressive-materials, but in a more traditional-construction, it kind of ‘calms’ the feel of the shoes, like you said, makes little changes work, and reduces the ‘make/break risk’.

  3. Duke, strictly from a readers point of view, that was a very disappointing review. You put so much time into wear testing the shoe, and you ended up copy and pasting 3 of the 5 sections from the previous review right back in. I get that the traction is identical. But the zoom feeling different right from the get go? Tell us readers more about it. Support on this model is the same? How do you feel about the new materials that they used and how it affects the overall shoe’s fit (and therefore the overall support)? For sneakerheads and reviewers alike, we love to read about these kinds of things. The fact that you simply transferred a significant chunk of text from one review to another is just… lazy, in my opinion.

    Sorry for my mini rant, but I just feel that the quality of shoe reviews recently (with the exception of Nightwing’s) are far, far below where they could potentially be. I love reading performance reviews just as much as the next person, but when I read a piece of work that seems rushed and unfinished, it saddens me a little. This new layout of Weartesters is professional and all, but if the content isn’t there, then neither is the awesomeness.

    Sincerely, A devoted reader

    1. Sorry, I don’t see this as lazy at all. I see it merely as a reflection of what the shoe company did in this model – the Recycled cushioning, traction, and support, so I recycle my reviews in those sections. I did note the before you begin reading that these sections were identical to the Superfly 4 review so if you did not feel like reading the same thing you could skip. I understand where you feel I was lazy, but really if nothing changed, why should my words?

    2. Trust me, this is not a common thing. On shoes that are different or have never been reviewed you will still get your in-depth details and performance notes. I just didn’t feel there was any other way to say the same thing I said four months ago.

  4. Not sure if this helps but for Google chrome users, you can try the “Reader View”. It isolates the review section and removes other parts of the website for easier reading.

    Personally, I think it is the website’s font that kinda makes it wide but I just dial down the magnification and I’m good.

    To each their own. Oh, great review as always.

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