Jordan Super.Fly Road to the Gold (RTTG) - Las Vegas

The Jordan Super.Fly Road to the Gold (RTTG) - Las Vegas

Introduction

This past Friday saw the start of the Summer Olympic games, a special time for basketball & sports fans around the world.  Nike recently held the World Basketball Festival, following the international teams on their way to London, England.  And with the avalanche of Olympic related merchandise comes the debut of the summer line up for performers, which included a few from Jordan Brand.  Earlier this Spring, the Air Jordan 2012 set the stage for what was to come for the rest of the year.  The shape and design of the flagship model has lead to a Hyperfuse and Lunarlon equipped performer.  Continuing the light weight trend, Jordan Brand comes through with their latest model, which is the subject of this Performance Review – the Super.Fly.

In time for the summer, the Jordan Super.Fly brings another new performer to the 2011-2012 catalog.  The features include the following:

  • Hyperfuse upper for light weight performance and breathability
  • Cushioning provided by Nike Zoom and Lunarlon technologies
  • Internal bootie for a better fit
  • Rubber outsole with flex grooves and grid traction pattern
  • Mid foot shank plate for added stability

Aesthetics and Styling

Jordan Brand has recently incorporated the light weight patents Nike has developed over the past 5 years.  Almost all the shoes in their catalog this year, including their athlete signature models, are equipped with a a light weight upper (Hyperfuse or Flywire).  For the Super.Fly, multiple layers of Hyperfuse material is the choice.  The Hyeprfuse upper joins a cushioning set up which combines Zoom and Lunarlon.  Aesthetically, the shoe gives away the use of Lunarlon technology with a customary thick, ridged midsole, while the upper compliments the look with ventilation slits.  Styling is on the subdued side from shape to holding color.  Because of the single piece upper, accent colors are relegated to the laces, tongue, and lining.  For this Performance Review, the Road to the Gold (RTTG) Olympic theme pack was the choice, representing the main practice city for the USA – Las Vegas.

Jordan Super.Fly Road to the Gold (RTTG) - Las Vegas

Las Vegas is represented with this version of the RTTG Super.Fly

A side profile reveals a standard mid cut look, accented with a large gold jumpman by the heel.  The Hyperfuse layers have a rough look & feel, with long thin slits added for design & ventilation, while a long plastic strips stems from the heel.  To start our look, we begin below with the contoured rubber outsole.  Laying flat, the forefoot area of the outsole is cut into sectors by two horizontal and one curving vertical flex groove.  The grooves create semi-segments which are visible on the sides where small slits run up to the midsole.  For traction, a grid pattern is the choice, with three small isolated areas (two on the medial and one on the lateral mid foot) having a herringbone traction for sectionalized grip.   A toe cap is formed up front with the ridged look molded in, extending down to through the entire lateral side.  Conversely, the medial side wall has the grid traction pattern.  Residing at the mid foot is a shiny sculpted plate.  This plate is surrounded by the rubber and a large red jumpman logo leading to the heel.  At the heel, crossing flex grooves run around the grid pattern and a square cut out where the “LUNARLON” technology is present.  The last part of the foundation is the foam midsole, molded with the customary Lunarlon ridges.  Running thick at the middle of the shoe, the midsole is contoured at the medial side for superior arch support.

Maximum layers of Hyperfuse material form the upper, which has a rough, textured feel.  The toe box area is seamlessly integrated, with added support coming through from a smooth layer lining the front.  A small gold jumpman logo serves as the first lace holder at the throat line and a stitched triangle attaches the inner bootie.  Each side is done simply with diagonal slits, varying in size.  Theses slits reveal a nylon opening for style and ventilation.  Topping off the upper is a large gold jumpman logo on the lateral heel, appropriately branding the shoe.

Creeping up the center of the heel is the foam midsole.  The construction of the heel is solid, with  a ridged plastic cage extending all the way from the back end to the mid foot.  A gold hang tab is stitched above the foam support.  For the collar, a perforated leather outline is used to give the Hyperfuse material some body.  The lining is a smooth and comfortable synthetic, with slight padding.  For this special RTTG color scheme, a special all over design is printed on the lining.

Seven eyelets are punctured straight up through the shoe.  The first five eyelets rest on a reinforced Hyperfuse eyestay, with the final two on the collar.  Red oval laces weave above the mesh tongue, going through a lace holder in the center.  The mesh tongue is made with a large strip through the center.  This strip contains an opening where the laces pass through and ends at a stitched red patch on the top carrying a gold jumpman logo.  The tongue forms a bootie which runs all the way through to the heels and is lined with the special print design from the collar.  An “RTTG” patch is found on the back of the tongue, signifying the shoe as a special edition.  Rounding out the Super.Fly is a smooth, thick insole, which has the final jumpman logo on the heel.

Comfort and Fit

An expansive bootie system opens wide for the foot to enter.  The shoe runs true to size, with the upper having a very rigid feel out of the box.  Those with wide feet will be accommodated from the middle of the foot down to the toe box, where there is plenty of width.  Laced tightly, pressure comes through down the middle of the foot and up around the collar.  The inner bootie holds the foot well and is thankfully not too cumbersome.  At the rear, heel lock down is very good, and ankle support is tight.  The cut of the collar is high enough to cover the ankles, giving a good sense of security and the padding is just right.  Below, cushioning is very thick and solid.  The foot pushes through the Lunarlon, which is very dense but comfortable.  Around the foot, the Hyperfuse layers have some conformity to the foot, and because of the deep contours of the midsole there is ample arch support to keep the foot from sitting too flat.  For fit and comfort the Super.Fly feels snug, wide, and light for the upper, while the base is thick & solid.

Jordan Super.Fly Road to the Gold (RTTG) - Las Vegas

A Hyperfuse upper and Lunarlon cushioning are the technological features included for this Jordan Brand performer

Performance

In a static position, the Lunarlon footbed is very comfortable.  The lower half of the shoe has a thick feel, and the upper feels tight (from the inner bootie) but not restrictive.  Getting up to speed, heel to toe transitions are cushioned from the toes down.  At the forefoot, the foot pushes through the Zoom unit, while the rest of the foot has the Lunarlon to thank for a comfortable ride moving forward.  The upper does flex well and has a light feel, but an imbalance in weight and density is very apparent.  Because the upper is thin & light and the lower have is thick & bulky, the shoe does not play as light as it should.  This said, performance is fit for a swing player/shooting guard, or any combo guard valuing good comfort.  On the perimeter, the forefoot player will find the Zoom unit very comfortable to push off of.  Playing face up and taking a defender is just comfortable, and rising to a shot is what the Zoom does best in this context.  On the other side of the ball, the benefit is observed again with the comfort.  The Lunarlon can be felt throughout the foot, and moving laterally is responsive due to the density of the midsole.  Lateral response time is very good, considering the bulk of the midsole.  For the more aggressive player, the responsiveness of the shoe is great.  Once the player is comfortable with the weight disparity between the upper and foundation, responsiveness is best playing below the rim.  Shifty, stop and start players, as well as spot up shooters can move along consistently.  The responsiveness of the midsole can handle heavy or light footed players, whether breaking for the hole or trying to get quickly around a screen.  And once the player raises up for a shot, the comfort felt upon landing is just great.  The foundation is just dense and comfortable.  At the end of the day, the Super.Fly is a comfortable performer with very good responsiveness.

Aided an expansive inner bootie, stability for the Super.Fly is excellent.  With a Hyperfuse upper, stability would normally favor a smaller player, but when an inner bootie is used, stability performance is improved.  For the Super.Fly, the bootie extends from the forefoot all the way back to the heel, providing a tighter fit and barrier underneath the thin upper.  This allows another layer to conform to the foot, helping to lessen the amount of force that the Hyperfuse upper must take.  In the post, the first notable aspect found is at the heel.  The bootie does lock the heel down very well, and with the thick Lunarlon here, pushing off and spinning aggressively is both comfortable and natural.  Also, the Lunarlon is simply just great, in terms of stability and comfort, when either holding down the fort or backing a defender down.  Abrupt stops and forceful movements show both the stability of the upper, as it rarely comes to a point of failure, and the inner bootie, which limits slipping.  Because the shoe is on the wide side, arch support is paramount, and in this case helps the foot stay in place.  All in all stability is surprisingly solid.

The Super.Fly performs fluidly in the area of traction.  With herringbone areas sectionalized, grip is based on movement and transitions.  The forefoot has three squares where the shoe provides that grip for abrupt stops.  Jab & first steps, as well as pushing up against an offensive player on defense, grip can be felt on these areas.  For general movement around the court, the grid traction pattern is smooth, based on the amount of pressure the player puts on the cushioning bed.  That established, the shoe does make the player press down harder, and this is where traction is best observed.  The player can not only get a better feel of the court, but overall responsiveness and traction do improve.  Traction, overall, is smooth, with sticky grip in different game situations.  Ventilation performance is exceptional.  Nylon cut outs on the upper help ease air in and out.  And the most important factor in keeping moisture control for the inner bootie is the lining, which is smooth and silky, lessening the amount of sweat that may build up.

Conclusion

The Jordan Super.Fly is a great follow up to the Air Jordan 2012 and signature models released at the start of the season.  Taking inspiration from the 2012 with the shape and inner bootie, the use of the Lunarlon and Zoom cushioning set up does bring out a comfortable performer that surprisingly can be played with aggression.  As the years go by, Jordan Brand continues to add new models to their catalog.  The peculiar aspect is that most of these models rarely see follow ups.  Jordan Brand no doubt has created a legacy, but it seems as though their non-retro efforts are poured into their signature player models and the Air Jordan itself, leaving shoes like the Super.Fly being a once a done model.  That is not to say that there is anything wrong with this process, but it does leave much to be desired.  Although the Super.Fly is a valiant effort, the performance does not really warrant any special attention as it is solid, but not outstanding.  Nonetheless, the Jordan Super.Fly is available at the Official Nike Online Store in various color schemes including the Road to the Gold Summer Olympic specials.

This shoe is comparable to:

Air Jordan 2012
Jordan Play In These F TXT