The Air Jordan Melo M10 Performance Review

We shouted in our huddle, “Energy and Jordan.” For the next two-and-a-half hours, it was our goal to keep our energy at a high level, while holding the Jordan Brand as an icon for success. Last night, a group of about 20 guys took in the motivation by our coach at the Melo M10 experience, held at Café Rouge’s Terminal 23 in Mid-Town. We wore the on-court collection of apparel: black T-shirt (with Carmelo Anthony’s script logo), black shorts, blue and orange DRI-FIT socks, and the brand new M10 sneakers. We punched our card for an evening of pushing ourselves through a series of workout drills and five-minute full court games.

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We ran sprints from both ends of the court, breaking the seal on our M10s. The plastic M-shaped wrap covering the metallic-looking plate on the back of the shoe peeled off naturally onto the floor. When I held it up, it vaguely resembled the Batman logo from the Dark Knight series, except it had a twist by Nike’s veteran designer, Tinker Hatfield. The irony of Melo as the Dark Knight of the NY Knicks, in Gotham City, he is equipped with his most hi-tech shoe to date. During the workout, I thought about the early introduction to the technical specifications of the M10. The event’s hosts emphasized the importance of the Flight Plate technology—a carbon fiber layer built into the sole, able to absorb energy and recycle it to make the wearer more explosive. The laps we ran started at a jogging rate of 30% and then we increased our speed to 100%, which helped demonstrate the M10′s responsive feature. The pronounced cushioning in the front of the sole creates a better point of elevation, and softens the landing. My knees were thanking me at the end for wearing these.

Since I missed out on owning a pair of the Jordan Melo M9 last year, I can only compare the differences in style to the M10, not performance. They’re both made out of different technology. The M10′s support is strongest in the sole of the shoe, whereas in the M9, the Flywire technology secures the foot on the upper. The M9 drew its greatest inspiration from Anthony’s interest in the mechanics of luxury watches. The Flywire—looped through the more exposed upper—was inspired by the see-through design of a watch’s inner workings. Breathability was essential to the M8 Advance’s design that felt like you’re playing in your socks—minus the slippage of course. Unlike the M7, M8 Advance, and M9, the M10 takes a dramatic left turn with the Flight Plate instead of a Zoom Air bag. I think for long term play, the Flight Plate gives the M10 more endurance, and of course the player. A few drills where we jabbed forward, then drove to the hoop put the Flight Plate to the test.

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Melo’s script logo on the back is simply the icing on the cake. I was on the fence about it at first because I was never  used to it being so pronounced on any of his previous shoes. Anthony’s handful of logos have been interesting in their evolution. Carmelo, with the “C” in cursive on his first Jordan Brand sneaker, the 1.5. The very linear MELO design seen on the M6, M7 Future Sole, and even his Air Jordan XIII PE. When it merged with the intersecting arches that make the letter “M”, it created a very sleek icon that could stand on its own like the Jumpman. The Melo script logo is my favorite though. It originates from the B. More campaign for the Melo 5.5. The logo bookended the TV commercial appearing at the beginning with flashes of it on Melo’s hoody, then in the end credits with the Jumpman logo. We learned that when Tinker Hatfield resurrected this logo, he found inspiration in the University of Oregon’s chrome helmets from last year’s Rose Bowl. Melo’s attendance at Syracuse University, and as a proud advocate of collegiate sports, the script logo reunites him with his roots. Happy 10th anniversary.