The Jordan Super.Fly 2 – Black Lotus Performance Reviews
The defection of Dwyane Wade to Li-Ning left a void in the Jordan Brand signature line up. This was quickly filled last season with the addition of two young superstars -Blake Griffin and Russell Westbrook (both making the lateral move from Nike Basketball to Jordan Brand). Blake Griffin represented the brand last season mainly in the Aero Flight before switching to the follow up to last seasons Super.Fly during the second half of of the season. Up until now, the Super.Fly 2 was only seen on the NBA court. The signature Jordan Brand release for the Summer is the subject of this Performance Review – the Super.Fly 2.
Made with the technology used from the Air Jordan XX8, the Super.Fly 2 was introduced by Blake Griffin last season. The features include the following:
- Hyperfuse constructed upper for light weight performance and comfort
- Cushioning provided by a Phylon midsole and a Nike Zoom unit in the forefoot
- Rubber outsole with herringbone traction pattern and raised forefoot
- Mid foot Flight Plate using a Pebax® moderator for stability
- Dynamic Fit technology for a better fit
Aesthetics and Styling
Jordan Brand used the World Basketball Festival to introduce the first Super.Fly last season. Equipped with both the Zoom and Lunarlon cushioning technologies, the shoe was one of the most comfortable light weight performers of the season. Aesthetically and with performance elements, the Super.Fly 2 looks to be an overhaul to fit inline with what the Air Jordan XX8 introduced (in terms of technological features). The shoe maintains the Hyperfuse construction but has sleeker lines. New to the shoe are the inclusion of the Flight Plate & Dynamit Fit technologies as well as a raised outsole. As a bridge shoe from the Summer to the Fall, the Super.Fly 2 was released in a number of color schemes, formally introduced by Clippers star Blake Griffin. The cool Green Glow color scheme is the choice for this Performance Review.
The Super.Fly 2 looks very aerodynamic from the side. All the lines look sleek & sharp with the collar giving the look some bulk. Layers of fuse material all around give the shoe an even lighter presences. A very dynamic contoured rubber outsole greets the player when the shoe is flipped over. The herringbone traction pattern is molded very deep and creates a star design with a point of origin at the middle of the forefoot. Up front, the rubber forms a toe cap, which has slits running across. The rubber slopes to the sides for form a lateral outrigger. For the main portion of the forefoot, flex grooves run through a raised square segment, much like the Air Jordan XX8 and the Melo M9. Next, the sole slims down at the mid foot where the matte finished Flight Plate, with a small jumpman logo, sits in a diamond shaped cavity. Small horizontal flex grooves cut through the rubber around the cavity. The last part of the forefoot is the heel, split down the middle with more flex grooves on the sides. A thick Phylon midsole runs contoured around the base. A shiny stacked black layer of foam adds style on the lateral side, right under two stiff triangular “FLIGHTPLATE” support pieces.
Hyperfuse construction is the basis for the light weight performance of the Super.Fly 2. The toe box has a matte finished layer which runs to the mid foot on each side. Each side has a textured skin layer over the plastic Fuse base. This layer is glued on, creating a design as they correspond to the lace hoops. A jumpman logo on the lateral heel is the only brand marking on the body of the shoe.
Simple and bulky, the rear of the Super.Fly 2 has a stitched leather portion running from the top down to the heel sides. A hang tab extends from the base all the way to the padded Achilles notch. With the height of the back end, the collar makes a slight rise. Padding on the sides is thin, but tight, while the Achilles notch is heavily padded. Last but not least is the smooth, synthetic lining which has a special diamond shard pattern.
Stock oval laces run through the four Dynamic Fit lace hoops before the final two eyelets are reached on the collar. As the fit of the shoe is one of the highlights of performance, the sandwich mesh tongue forms an expansive sleeve from forefoot to heel. This tongue has a very thick and padded patch on the top, much like the Achilles notch. The patch has the diamond shard print, a lace holder, and a white jumpman logo for style. Finally, a thick and plush insole sits glued on to the footbed. The last jumpman logo is printed on the heel.
Comfort and Fit
Sliding into the Super.Fly 2 is comfortable and easy. The Dynamic Fit technology brings the Fuse upper close to the foot for a comfortable true to size fit. Although the shoe fits close to the foot, it is not cumbersome at all – mainly due to the minimal upper materials. Comfortably close is the best way to describe the upper around the foot. Up front, the toe box fits flat. Wiggle room is ample, and most importantly, there is very good room width wise. Moving to the rear, the collar and tongue provide very good coverage. Support and protection is very comfortable. Adding to the comfort is the padded Achilles lobe. The thick lobe does a good job of hugging the Achilles and holding it in place. Down below, heel lock down is also good. The heels fit right on the counter which is not too stiff. Moving to the base, cushioning is thick and soft. The Phylon and Zoom set up has that soft feel, and with the outsole raised, the foundation feels very thick off the court surface. Cushioning is felt from the toes to the heels. Since the upper is thin, arch support is not tight & restrictive. The contours of the sole help to keep the foot from laying flat, but overall, the side support fits the theme of comfort for the shoe. Comfortable from top to bottom, the Super.Fly 2 looks to cater to a variety of players.
Just like the Melo M9 and Air Jordan XX8 the raised forefoot and thick cushioning base brings a high court profile for the shoe. For those who have not been exposed to this (from either the Melo M9 or Air Jordan XX8), it may feel a bit awkward at first. The shoe does push for the player to play on the forefoot, and once up to speed, the shoe feels very comfortable. Heel to toe transitions are cushioned well, especially off the forefoot where the springy Zoom is prominent. Flexibility is great out of the box. The Fuse upper flexes and bends with ease, also giving the shoe a light weight feel. In a few words, running is swift from the light weight and soft due to the Zoom unit. Performance is fit for the Swingman looking for a light weight performer on the court. The Super.Fly 2 definitely fits the name as it plays swift on the court. Cushioning and the light weight feel are the best aspects of the shoe. Movement around the court is comfortable and easy. Because the upper is thin, it flexes with the foot. Moving laterally and performing quick cuts has an almost free feel. The raised forefoot area also adds to the free feel as it plays just like a pod. This brings balance for runners on the fly and blazing first steps. Jumps have the signature Zoom spring. Again the raised forefoot pod comes into play which provides the comfortable base and gives the player some balance. Jumps are not explosive and dynamic, but the comfort the Zoom brings is outstanding. Landings are also well cushioned, aided by the very thick Phylon midsole. Light weight performance, a comfortable upper, and Zoom cushioning highlight the exceptional performance of the Super.Fly 2.
Stability performance for the Super.Fly 2 leans more towards flexibility & comfort over rigid protection. Although the ankles and Achilles have good coverage from the collar and Achilles lobe, the focus seems more on comfort than solid protection. There are a couple of aspects that lead to this which include the flexibility of the collar and the light feel of the heel counter. Power players will benefit with smooth spins and pushing off the forefoot in the post, but this shoe is not meant for constant pushing off the upper. Where stability is best observed is with the Dynamic Fit and Fuse skeleton. First, the Dynamic Fit does a good job of gripping the foot comfortably. Even if there is some slight movement when pushing hard laterally, the Dynamic Fit helps to easily push the foot back in place without any manipulation from the player. Underneath the synthetic upper, the skeleton that is the basis of stability is very comfortable on the foot. It does not dig in and pierce the foot, serving the purpose of adding stability while at the same time not sacrificing flexibility. The last aspect of stability is the Pebax® moderator plate. This just keeps the foundation very stable and can be felt working when bending the shoe hard. Overall, stability stays true to the overall comfortable theme that the Super.FLy 2 is all about.
The multifaceted design of the outsole yields excellent traction on the whole. All the elements of the sole work well from the raised forefoot, flex grooves, mid foot cavity, all wrapped up with the deep herringbone traction pattern. First, the herringbone traction pattern works as herringbone does. It provides the sticky court grip that most players expect. The pattern is molded thick and deep which helps make grip solid for quick & abrupt stops. What brings versatility to traction performance are all the other elements. The raised forefoot and flex grooves gives the sole a segmented feel. This allows the player to find balance with traction for pushing in whatever direction desired. For heavy footed players this design is great for stop & start, aggressive play. And towards the heel, the mid foot cavity adds separation for the player to pivot and push off the heel. All in all, the combination of good cushioning and balanced traction performance makes the Super.Fly a great option for the Swingman. Finishing off the performance aspect of the shoe is good ventilation. The Hyperfuse based upper is thin with enough cut outs in the material for proper ventilation. Thin mesh sides from the inner sleeve only add to the performance and comfort of the shoe.
Behind the Air Jordan 2012 and the Air Jordan 2012 Lite, the Super.Fly marked a trio of exceptional non-signature performers for Jordan Brand. The Super.Fly 2 looks to follow suit as the Fall Season approaches (the Air Jordan XX8 Lite will be released for the new season). Performance for the Super.Fly 2 is a step above the original in many aspects including fit, court feel, and comfort. Exceptional comfort, good court feel & traction combined with the Zoom cushioning makes for what should be a very popular shoe among Swingmen and bigger guards. Jordan Brand continues their exceptional run through the Summer and on to the start of the new season. In a couple of months the CP3.VII and Melo M10 will make their debuts along with the Air Jordan XX8 Lite. Jordan Brand fans looking for performance this season will no doubt have plenty of high quality options. Released late last month, the Jordan Super.Fly 2 is available now at the Official Nike Online Store.
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