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Super Duper Fly – Jordan Brand Super.Fly 3 PO Performance Review – Duke4005

I have been singing praises for Jordan Brand’s Team/Sig line for the last five years and it still rings true – Jordan is making some serious performance sneaks for the masses. If you don’t believe it, where you been?

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Ever since Jordan retired, there has been a perception that Jordan Brand has dropped off on court. Not even CLOSE. Once again, JB had an incredibly innovative year and again put out some serious kicks for players. The Super.Fly 3 PO follows the first half season shoe with an updated upper (NEEDED) and the same traction and cushioning (also needed). Buckle up and take flight…

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MATERIALS – Since I already mentioned it, let’s just get to it – I thought the stiff uppers of the original SF3 completely messed that shoe up. The cushioning was top, traction good, but the fact I never felt locked in made transition slappy and fit sloppy. So the good design folks at JB changed the game for me (maybe not me). Switching up to a mesh upper immediately makes the shoe flex and form better. There are still stiff areas over the toebox and around the ankle where the Fuse is overlayed, but nothing like the plastic upper of the 3. Not saying these are anywhere close to the woven XX9, but they feel much better on foot than the SF3. These do already show more wear on them than my SF3 (which I got in October), so if you need an indestructible tank, go OG. If you have a rotation, go for the PO.

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TRACTION – Since the Jordan 2012, the one thing consistent for me has been traction, almost across the board (the CP3.VIII was a little iffy on dusty courts but gets the job done). The SF3 and PO use the same pattern as the XX9 and Melo M11, and although I look for herringbone first, the wavebone pattern used by JB this year is sticky like Fingaz. I got more no-slip grip from this sole than the SF3 – probably due to rubber composition since the pattern is REALLY the exact same. The translucent rubber had me gripping on turns and cuts like an F1 racer (I smelled burning rubber one time. Swear). I put these on four different courts of varying  decay and they held their own every time – no worries and no moonwalks. Just grab and dash every time.

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CUSHION – Unlocked Zoom in the forefoot. Best Zoom ever and best Nike/JB cushioning on the market. This is what Zoom was intended to be, and in the first generation what it was, and I miss it. No reason for ANY shoe with forefoot Zoom not to feel like this from now on. Springy, stable, responsive, durable with the new horizontal split (so far), and flat out monster performance. The heel is still just EVA, but unless you jump like Blake and land like Frankenstein you will be good. The heel is cored out for a trampoline effect on compression so it gives a feel of bounce. They are softer than the XX9 and even the Melo, and to be honest, I never noticed the lack of Zoom while playing.

Jordan Super.Fly 3 PO - Another Look 6

FIT – I guess it depends on materials after all. The mesh upper of the PO brings the shoe wrapping around and tightening up like James Harden in Game 5. I shouldn’t say that – they aren’t THAT tight, but they are definitely improved. Where the SF3 was hard and had almost NO flex, the PO is soft and pliable. They are true to size in length and width, with a little bit of extra volume in the forefoot/toes, but not enough to go down a half size. The heel is locked in with the dog bone padding around the Achilles that we first was in the Fly Wade years ago, and it still works – no heel movement AT ALL. Even though there was a little extra room in the forefoot, I never felt my foot slide off or start rolling – the fuse held me in there. One thing weird to me – the medial (inner) side of the shoe was significantly stiffer than the lateral side on the mesh upper. To me, reverse that – it makes more sense for lateral stability to be stiffer on the outside. I guess you take the stiffness when you can get it.

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STABILITY – No joke – better than my parents marriage. Flight plate again is solid and smooths out the transition from heel to toe. Most of the time, a dual density cushion system, like heel EVA and forefoot unlocked Zoom, can feel slappy or off balance. Flight Plate takes the slap out by acting like a ramp between the areas, and also compressing the Zoom unit for ultimate response. It also acts as a stabilizer, keeping the midfoot from dropping. And in the form seen here, the sides are flared into the upper for extra lateral support. It can also change lightbulbs and wash windows on the weekends. It does EVERYTHING!!!! Seriously, similar to adidas SprintFrame, it guides, stabilizes, and springs back, putting the energy back into your steps and allowing the cushioning to soften the blow. The upper uses the Fuse areas to hold your foot into the shoe, and the FitStraps work with the midsole to pull your foot as low as possible, making the shoe work with the foot.

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OVERALL – Another performer. Materials are improved but could be better, but overall a good, almost great shoe. All-around performance using unlocked Zoom and killer traction makes this a shoe most would be happy with. On a side note, I think it just looks sleek. Killer. The lack of gaudy branding and subdued lines gives it a hidden, secret appearance. Like they are sneaking up on you. Jordan has been giving basketball players shoes for performance, which is what we SHOULD want. Regardless of your opinions on “hot or not” – they work. Just like the Man himself.  

superfly 3 PO scorecard (435x580)

  1. Good review Duke. Would these outsoles last outdoors like the SF3 Riverwalk? And has anyone ever try a pair of SF2 PO X(XDR)?

    1. Think the Riverwalks will last longer than this pair with the translucent but the solid is the same on each model. And no, no XDR for me – I don’t play enough outdoor to pay for a specific pair.

  2. Hey duke i want to ask you a question. Do you think that the extra volume you talked about in the forefoot can allow me to go true to size?( i have a wide foot) coudnt wear the regular 3’s because it was too narrow.

    1. It is a little more room so I THINK you should be good, but if you can try them first. I really don’t like answering because I am not exactly sure how wide your feet go.

    1. Pretty close. Materials and fit are about even, cushioning is a little less bounce but more durable on the 3. Traction on the 2 is forsaking awesome – the 3 is only awesome.

  3. I read your review of the OG SF3 on your old site and you said you were disappointed witn the cushioning. So do you think the unlocked Zoom in this PO model is up to par with what was originally introduced in the XX8?

    1. Not XX8 level but it sticks out a little more than the regular 3 so it has a little more compression.

  4. Great review Duke. For those of us not wanting to pay for the XX9s but want the flightplate tech, would you recommend the SF3 POs or the M11s? Both sound good. Just curious which you like better and why. Thanks!

    1. Hey bro im not duke and i havent tried either the m11 or the 3 po but based on reviews you can go either way. From my understanding of the reviews the 3 po is more durable than the m11 and you can tell just by looking at them. Both seem to have better bounce than the 29 and both of them are more supportive than the 29. It all comes down to price some cw’s of the 3 po and the m11 have gone on sale. But basically go to the nearest store and try a pair on each foot and find which one is more comfy for you. I think me personally im going to get the 3 po.

  5. If you like raw materials – synthetics and leathers. The uppers of the 11 break in better but the SF3 is a tank durability wise – the 11 is good too. Only thing is the 11 is a narrower shoe in fit and sole. I like the 11 better.

  6. Bob – correct. Completely forgot about that – they really made a big deal when the Wase came out about the heel fit so that is the shoe that sticks in my mind most.

  7. Great review. Dukes been fighting Nike forums for years on performance beasts like the Melo line. Good to see people actually hoop appreciate it.

  8. Well I just got my SF3(riverwalk) the traction on concrete was great. You can hear the squeaking. The heel cushioning was ok(I’m a light weight). The forefoot zoom was good but, it wasn’t SF2 level for sure. The shoe is diffenitly durable. I wondering if anyone had any experience with the SF2 XDR edition.

  9. thank you for the review, i appreciate the comic relieve as well as the creative photos. very cool!

  10. Anyone have any input on the arch support in this shoe? For comparison, my last J’s were Melo M9 and I found the arch support to be a real weak point of the shoe. Great review Duke. Cheers!

  11. Hey Duke, I got these after reading this review the other day. I played with them the other day and woke up the next morning with achy knees (pain in joints). Could it be the shoes? I’ve never had this kinda pain before after playing ball.

  12. I have these. They are honestly the best basketball shoes i’ve ever worn. Nice and springy, light, good support, and great traction. The first game I wore these I felt like I was going to jump out of the arena. They make you feel SO explosive. Great shoes.

  13. I just want to experience this kind of zoom, this Flight plate system. So I decided to jump on these when the prices dropped all the way to 70 euro’s.
    Hoping my knees can handle this drop off (currently playing in D Rose 6’s) in cushioning regarding the heel.
    (Worst case scenario is that it will be just a shoot around shoe, for outdoor use.)

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