Jordan Melo M10

The Jordan Melo M10

Introduction

It has been a harsh year for the New York Knicks and Carmelo Anthony.  The improvement shown for the past two season has fallen to the wayside as the team is in a downward spiral.  All signs point to a change of scenery to Carmelo in the Summer as he pursues an exlusive NBA Championship.  On the bright side, the Melo M line has taken leaps forward.  The M9 was one of the top performers last season, bringing both Melo and Jordan Brand back to the top.  The designers this season look to top the M9 with the new Melo based around the XX8 platform.  The Melo line makes it a decade with the subject of the Performance Review – the M10.

A decade in the making, the Jordan Brand and Carmelo Anthony pairing brings the Melo M10 for the 2013-2014 season.  The features include the following:

  • Leather based upper with molded quarter panels and Dynamic Fit Technology
  • Cushioning provided by a Phylon midsole with Zoom units
  • Shiny TPU heel counter and Flight Plate technology for stability
  • Raised rubber outsole with spiral traction pattern
  • Perforated side overlays for ventilation

Aesthetics and Styling

There are no surprises with the design of the M10.  A big departure from the M9 (as fas as the upper is concerned), the M10 takes inspiration from the XX8/XX8 SE.  The segmented side panels give the shoe an efficient, simple look.  It is less eccentric compared to previous Melo models which is fine in this case because of the performance it packs.  Most of the technological features stay inline with the XX8 from the Zoom based raised sole to the Dynamic Fit system.  An initial Christmas release saw a special silver color scheme, but for this Performance Review, we take the Blue/Black/Orange wide release to the test.

Jordan Melo M10

Based around the Air Jordan XX8 platform, the M10 is all about performance

Segmented lace hoops characterize the Dynamic Fit based technology that has been seen with Jordan Brand shoes for the past year.  The shoe has a compact and efficient look, especially with the two part sole.  A shiny heel counter gives the shoe some pop at the rear.  We start with the underside where the Air Jordan XX8 outsole is used.  It has the rubber split into heel and forefoot sections with the spiral traction pattern.  The forefoot area has the raised sections.  Bridging the gap is the Flight Plate, marked with first Jordan jumpman logo.  The one factor separating this shoe from the XX8/XX8 SE is the “M10” text molded into the rubber on the medial toe cap.

A signature with the Melo M series is the leather construction.  The M10 uses an efficient set up with two main layers – the side cage and the inner bootie portion.  This is evident at the toe box where the main black area connects to the toe, while the cap is stitched on top leading to the sides.  A W/M design is created with the stitched layer at the toe cap.  Keeping the design simple are the sides, which are symmetrical.  The leather has a smooth nubuck feel.  Perforations holes line each triangle shaped segment that are connected to the lace hoops.  Along the base, a smooth layer runs from the heel counter to the forefoot.

The rear has the most interesting aesthetic aspect of the shoe with the shiny heel counter.  It has a wavy design with the “Melo” logo prominently displayed.  Another Melo logo is found on the stitched orange hang tab.  For support, the Achilles rises high before curving up for the collar.  The collar is separated from the leather base with textile material for better flexibility.  Padding is light, but there are lobes along the base of the heel.

Standard oval laces run through 5 orange lace hoops and two eyelets.  The tongue has a light weight feel and forms an expansive inner bootie to work with the Dynamic Fit technology.  An orange jumpman logo sits at the top of the otherwise clean tongue.  Last but not least is the high quality, contoured PU insole.  Just like the tongue it has an orange jumpman logo printed on the heel.

Comfort and Fit

It is easy for the foot to slide through the leather and Dynamic Fit construction comfortably into the inner bootie.  The shoe has a true to size fit with most of the lace pressure felt at the top.  Because of the construction, it does have a somewhat stiff feel, but would be considered comfortable.  Up front, the toe box has ample room all around.  The leather feels supportive without being too hard.  Towards the rear, the cut of the shoe brings a good wrap around the ankles.  The tongue is thin and the padding is light, but the wrap is not suffocating.  Instead is feels very supportive with slight flexibility.  The shiny TPU heel counter does an excellent job of cupping the heels, while the padded lobes add comfort and limit movement.  Like the collar, it does not have a totally restrictive feel, making it accommodating for all foot shapes and sizes.  Moving to the foundation, the XX8 based set up has the contoured and raised feel.  The leather sides and Dynamic Fit design grip the sides from moving, while the minimal cushioning set up has a thick feel.  Each Zoom unit feels thick with that signature bounce.  Supportive and comfortable, the Melo M10 is the most aggressive out of all the XX8 based releases.

Jordan Melo M10

The raised sole and Zoom units bring a good sense of responsive cushioning comfort

Performance

Most prominent on the hardwood is the two sectioned, contoured foundation with the raised forefoot.   It may feel a bit high off the court initially (especially for those who are new to the XX8 line).  The M10 has an efficient, secure feel from top to bottom.  Up top, the leather based upper and stiff heel counter keep the foot secure while the cushioning set up has a dense feel out of the box.  With all this, the shoe does feel more comfortable than stiff.  After a small break in period to ease in both the upper and Zoom units, heel to toe transitions are great.  It has a sense of cushioning, court feel, and responsiveness.  The weight of the shoe is not light, but the Dynamic Fit technology helps to make the shoe feel more efficient than sluggish.  Performance wise, the M10 is fit for the guard or swingman looking for versatility.  The first aspect that makes the shoe versatile is the responsiveness.  In this instance, the Zoom set up brings the signature bounce but without the mushy feel.  Forefoot charges feel tight with a sense of quickness.  With the two section outsole set up, there are no hindrances to movement.  This is evident with changes of directions and lateral movements.  Players who like to change on the fly will feel very comfortable whether from high speeds or in the context of a half court set.  More versatility is shown with the ability of the shoe to translate into the post.  A combination of the leather upper and responsive base make it ideal for those who have power moves in their game.  It feels fit for playing down low or in the high post.  The ability of the shoe to handle the subtle, abrupt movements while still having an agile sense is very evident.  For jumps, the raised forefoot and Zoom set up is great.  In this case, a combination of comfort and responsiveness is felt.  Jump shots or planting finishes feel consistent, mainly due to the raised set up.  The Zoom simply adds an element of comfort when rising and landing.  Perhaps the most well rounded out of the XX8 line, the Melo M10 is a comfortable, responsive, and versatile performer.

The Dynamic Fit Technology and leather based construction bring tight and very supportive stability.  First off, the collar brings light weight support.  However, the cut of the back end and the fact that the collar brings a comprehensive wrap almost negates the light weight feel.  The wrap feels more high than low and because of this, the player has ample support and protection to be a bit more aggressive.  Also, the fact that the heel counter is large and lock down is very good, the back end always has a sense of stability for almost all situations.  What makes the M10 well rounded compared to the rest of the XX8 models is the leather construction.  Although it still has a sense of soft comfort, it is definitely more rigid than the plastic based synthetics.  As mentioned in performance, it gives the shoe a sense efficient support.  Playing aggressive feels inline with the performance.  Deep bends and harsh lateral movements do not seem to jar the foot out of place.  The Flight Plate and shiny TPU counter only solidify the foundation – the icing on the cake.  In all, the Dynamic Fit, leather construction, and the supporting foundation elements give the Melo M10 a versatile and efficient feel as far as stability is concerned.

Equipped with the Air Jordan XX8 foundation, traction performance is based on pressure and movement over stick.  The spiral based traction pattern does give more of a gripping than smooth feel so the player can be rest assured that he is covered in all areas.  However, traction is not based on stoping on a dime from high speeds.  More so, the raised set up allows the player, just like the previous versions of the XX8, to use them as pods.  This increases not only the responsiveness of the shoe, but the overall balance.  Whether the player is heavy footed or light and quick, the outsole grip seems to be very consistent across the board.  So in the end, traction performance fits the versatility of the shoe.  Moving to ventilation, the shoe fares well.  The tongue/inner sleeve is very comprehensive around the foot.  Luckily it is not too suffocation and the perforations on the leather wings helps to keep the foot from feeling totally enclosed.

Conclusion

Over the past two seasons, Jordan Brand has worked the Melo M line to the top in terms of performance.  The M8 saw a drop all around – from aesthetics, to inspiration, and most importantly the satisfactory performance.  A shoe with the jumpman logo should always be one to impress and that is what the M line has done recently.  In the M10, the performance is more refined from the M9.   It plays closer to the XX8/XX8 SE (naturally), but in a more stable context.  Responsive with excellent court feel and stability, the M10 is a versatile performer that will be among the top shoes of the year.  With Jordan Brand pushing the release date of the next Air Jordan to 2014-2015, they know how much performance the M10 and XX8 SE bring to the table.  Both shoes are just outstanding, well rounded performers making it ok for the brand to take some time before the next big release comes.  Released earlier this year, the Jordan Melo M10 is available now at the Official Nike Online Store.

This shoe is comparable to:

Air Jordan XX8 SE
Air Jordan XX8
Jordan Melo M9