The Jordan Melo M7 Jade

Introduction

Leading the Syracuse Orange to their only NCAA National Basketball Championship,  freshman Carmelo Anthony entered the 2003 NBA Draft.  Before he was drafted by the Denver Nuggets, Anthony signed a lucrative shoe contract with Nike, becoming a member of the Jordan Brand team.  Anthony was given the Melo M series, becoming one of the few Jordan brand members with his own shoe (Chris Paul also has a signature Jordan shoe).  This year, Jordan has released the 7th iteration of the Carmelo Anthony signature shoe – the Jordan M7.  For this special review, we look at the quickstrike Melo M7 “Jade.”

The Jordan Melo M7 is a well made, high quality basketball shoe. The features include the following:

  • Full Leather upper with perforated panels
  • Nike Air in the heel and Zoom in the forefoot
  • Full-length Phylon midsole
  • Flex grooves on the outsole and outrigger
  • External midfoot shank plate

Aesthetics and Styling

In the fashion of all special Jordan brand releases, the Melo M7 “Jade” comes elegantly packed.  A specially designed snow flake logo, with Chinese characters and a jade colored jumpman logo, is imprinted on top of the box lid.  Removing the lid off the smooth black box reveals the all white and jade colored shoes, neatly placed inside a white dust bag.  The shoes themselves have a high quality and sturdy feel, with a fitting color scheme.  Attached to each shoe is a set of extra black laces and the white snow flake design insert with a Carmelo Anthony chronicle.  To overall presentation of the shoe is impressive.

The Jade colored outsole is one of the highlights of this special release

A side profile of the Melo M7 gives the viewer a look at the elegance of the materials and colors.  Done in all white full grain leather, the clear jade sole, bright red laces, and gray accents fit the design of the shoe perfectly.  The beautiful clear jade colored rubber makes up the outsole.  To start, a long curved vertical groove runs down to the heel air area where we see the inset Air Max unit.  From the toe area to the midfoot, six Chinese characters are laid out underneath the clear sole.  Sitting towards the medial side is the stiff midfoot shank plate, which bears the jumpman logo in the middle.  A signature feature of the outsole, the segmented flex grooves run along the outside of the sole.  These five small grooves segement the clear sole, which also forms an outrigger.  Also, the outsole forms one half of the toe cap, and runs 1/2 inch up the heel.  The beautiful outsole is complete with the customary herringbone pattern running throughout.  Not to be out done, a thick speckled Phylon midsole complements the clear outsole.  Speckled in jade and black, the midsole runs around the whole shoe.  The midsole forms half of the toe cap (as the clear jade forms the other half), with the see through Air Max unit on the heel.  On the whole, the soles of the shoe are definitely a highlight.

The overhead view of the M7 reveals a wide arrow head shape.  Done in white leather, the upper is characterized by the perforated panels placed from the eyestay down to the midsole.  On the base side, the five panels are separately stitched on, each with small vertical ventilation slits.  To give contrast, the panels are broken up by gray synthetic strips.  A Jordan jumpman is embedded near the heel counter, to give the shoe the proper branding.  The medial side differs from the base as we see one piece of leather cut into six panels again separated by the gray synthetic material.  On the toe box, a white leather strip runs both sides from the toe area all the way to the heel counter.  A small jumpman logo sits near the throat line, with the gray synthetic line providing a break in the white leather.

As we move to the back side of the shoe, the jade theme continues.  The heel counter is done in the jade color, and can be mistaken for jade itself.  Inspecting the counter up close, an embossed swirl patter circles the inset Melo logo.  Taking up 3/4 of the heel, the elegant counter provides a simple yet very intriguing touch to the shoe.  Another small nuance is the asymmetrical collar.  Angling sharply from the medial side, the asymmetry can only be observed when looking straight on with the heel.  The collar is lined with a smooth soft synthetic material.  Done in the jade color, the inside of the collar also contains a padding strip on the top of the heel.

To signify the country represented by the shoe, the bright red colors of China take life in the oval laces.  The all leather eyestay begins at the tip of the toe box, flaring out to form an arrow head.  Appropriately, there are seven eyelets, with the last eyelet placed on the collar.  The Melo M7 bucks the trend of the all mesh tongue, as this tongue is done in the same white leather that dominates the upper.  Running down the middle of the tongue is a combination gray and jade stripe.  The stripe is made of soft fabric, with the jade mirroring the material used for the inside lining.  Interestingly the top of the tongue has a U-shaped cut, providing an opening for ventilation.  Running across this cut is a black leather piece with the jade colored “Melo” logo placed in the middle.  On the inside, the tongue is connected to the shoe with a soft green lining forming a foot sleeve.  Finally, the all black insoles are given life with a jade snow flake logo placed on the heel.

Comfort and Fit

As the Jordan brand strives to maintain premium quality in all aspects, the Melo M7 delivers.  Noticeable is the quality of the materials that makes up the shoe.  The shoe does not have a flimsy or light feel, as support and protection are provided throughout the foot, including the ankle and heel area.  Fitting true to size, the soft lining provides a comforting feel.   Making up the cushioning of the shoe are two Nike trademarks – the Zoom in the forefoot and Air Max in the heel.  With a very thick feel, the cushioning can described as a stiff sponge.  Neither plush or soft, the cushioning has enough give to provide comfort.  The Zoom and Air Max feel as though there are working with every step taken.  Housing of the foot is roomy, as the shoe seems made for those with a larger sized (not length) foot.  The upper does not completely press down on the foot, leaving room in the toes and midfoot area.  Thats said, when laced tightly, the upper does conform to the contours of the foot.  On the back end, the wide tongue and collar form a nice ankle support.  Although the heel counter is not large, there is very little movement on the back end.  Overall, the M7 has a sturdy but very comfortable feel.

Performance

Stepping on to the court, the Melo M7 has a heavy build.  Nibble and light would not be the words to describe the feel of the shoe as a whole.  When running, the cushioning provided lets the foot press down while pushing and holding back.  The comfort is felt throughout the foot and is consistent with most movements, including cutting, running, and jumping.  Landing from jumps, the balance of the cushioning is felt, as it feels as though the shoe works as a whole to absorb the impact.  For transitions, the weight and flexibility of the shoe may be an issue for those who like to get out quickly.  To offset this, the flex grooves on the outsole do provide some flex when getting low or when making quick burst jumps.  Obviously, the trade off was made with the leather material used, which would affect the weight and speed.  Moving on, the shoe provides an abundance of comfort and support.  The collar area, with the extra padded cushion, gives great comfort and support.  Ankles are held in place, with no issues or a feeling of bulkiness.

The Melo M7 is equipped with the Nike Air unit in the heel

Stability is a plus for this Jordan signature shoe.  With the construction on the sturdy side, the foot is protected and supported in all areas.  The full grain leather upper is made for any type of movement and is durable enough to take a pounding.  On the back end, the protection and comfortable fit make it easier for players to play with their back to the basket.  With the collar and heel counter holding the heels & ankles in place, and the Air Max providing a comfort bed, spin moves and turn around jump shots are done in stride.    While smaller players may look for a more agile shoe, the stability and support felt with the M7 can not be overlooked.

Like the cushioning set up, the herringbone patterned outsole provides consistent traction.  The traction is not extremely sticky, but does work in conjunction with the cushioning set up.  There is very little hang up on movements, as sliding is a rarity with this shoe.  Moving on, as you would expect with a full leather upper, ventilation is not one of the strong points of this shoe.  With leather hugging the foot, including the tongue area, the shoe takes a bit of time to cool down.

Conclusion

Every Jordan brand release comes with great expectations of quality and performance.  With the Melo M7, we have not only a Jordan brand shoe, but also an athlete signature model.  What can be commended is the design and craftsmanship that Nike has put into the shoe itself.  The shoe has premium quality, comfort, and design, but not an outrageous premium price.  One would see the Melo line of signature shoes overshadowed by the Lebron and Kobe lines, but in the M7, we have a very well made performance shoe.  The shoe has all the features and attributes you would expect from a signature model, without the extreme styling.  An excellent choice for players who need stability and comfort, the Jordan Melo M7 is available in various colors now.  The special “Jade” edition was released in limited numbers last month, to select retailers.