Wear Test: Jordan Melo M10 Review

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The Jordan Melo M10 is essentially the Air Jordan XX8 SE. Or is it?

The multi-directional traction pattern is indistinguishable, the Jordan Flight Plate is integrated into both, and the lacing structure appears to be the same. Aesthetically (and performance-wise in some aspects), the M10 and the XX8 SE are comparable, but there are a few qualities incorporated into the Jordan Melo M10 that make it more of a ‘power position’ shoe than the Air Jordan XX8 SE. Find out the minor tweaks – and in some ways major tweaks – that give Carmelo Anthony’s 10th signature shoe its own distinct fit and function.

**Note** Tune in to Kicks On Court Weekly Recap later today for an on-court review of the Jordan Melo M10 by way of our Review Report segment.

RELATED: Wear Test: Air Jordan XX8 SE Review

Traction: This department remaines parallel through all three recent Jordan Brand designs. Once again, a multidirectional traction spiral pattern is used on heel and the forefoot. Both the Air Jordan XX8 and the Air Jordan XX8 SE were ready out of the box when it comes to this category, and the Melo M10 can be characterized simlarly. It’s a very resistant and bendable rubber that holds to the court surface well, especially when planting your feet.

Cushioning/Responsiveness: The Jordan Flight Plate is at work here again, making the Melo M10 also one of the most responsive shoes on the market. Yet, one attribute that is noticeably different is the Zoom unit in the heel, and you’ll see it referenced throughout this entire review. It’s a bit more responsive and provides much more impact protection in the heel than the other two models. The padding in the heel is simply amazing and serves as the most noticeable difference between this shoe and the XX8/XX8 SE.

Durability:  The Jordan Melo M10 is undeniably more durable than the XX8 and XX8 SE simply because of the selection of premium materials used. The XX8 SE was basically stripped of a lot of material for a slim, narrow feel, which works great. However, the Melo M10 is constructed with more armor, if you will, and provides the wearer with a more reinforced structure thanks to its increased level of padding. I tested the Dark Powder Blue version, which is predominately comprised of nubuck, and it remained solid and robust throughout my wears of the shoe (some colorways are composed of leather, but that should not effect the shoes durability either way).

 

Lockdown:  I mentioned that the Air Jordan XX8 and Air Jordan XX8 SE were some of the best fitting shoes in my performance reviews of them, mainly because of the locked-in feel of the Dynamic Fit System. The Dynamic Fit System is also a part of the Melo M10, but for some reason, the M10 doesn’t contain and secure your foot as much as the other two, at least initially. I found the Melo M10 to be better after I broke the shoe in properly, but it remained somewhat of a tight fit in the forefoot area. One plus that needs to be mentioned is the lacing structure – when laced tightly, it really draws your foot into the TPU heel counter.

Breathability: While the Melo M10 is slightly more breathable than the XX8 and its successor, you won’t find a highly-ventilated construction here either. Sure, perforations are noticeable throughout the side panels, but the internal boot is so thick that the air holes really don’t get a chance to serve a purpose. Nonetheless, I’d rather have additional cushion and padding from the inner sleeve than a super breathable shoe.

Support: The main reason the Jordan Melo M10 feels different than its predecessors in the heel is because of the aforementioned TPU heel counter. While carbon fiber is the focal point in the heel of the XX8 and XX8 SE, the Melo M10 makes use of an extremely stabilized TPU heel, which supports much better. It also features heel notches, which help keep the heel in place, and a decoupled heel in the forefoot that allows for free range of motion. The Jordan Melo M10 is easily the most supportive shoe of the three JB models I’ve recently reviewed, and its Support factor is by far the biggest takeaway from wear testing it.

Overview: I prefer the Air Jordan XX8 and the Air Jordan XX8 SE over the Jordan Melo M10 simply because they are more slender, stripped-down compositions, but you can’t take anything away from the Jordan Melo M10. It’s extremely durable, supportive and is equipped with premium materials. View the Melo M10 as a reinforced, padded Air Jordan XX8 SE, which is ideal for a bigger, more forceful player who warrants an extreme amount of support for the feet.

The Jordan Melo M10 is available at Jordan Brand retailers now for $165.

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