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Performance Review Sneakers

Jordan Melo M10 Performance Review

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Despite criticism from sneaker enthusiasts about the aesthetics of Carmelo Anthony’s signature line, one consistent fact has remained throughout all ten iterations of the sneaker: it’s performance qualities.

Whatever you think about the shoe’s looks is usually quickly forgotten once you play in them. And, at the end of the day, isn’t that what basketball sneakers are all about?

Upon first glance of the Melo M10 it would be easy to confuse it with the popular Air Jordan XX8 SE and, to a lesser extent, the Air Jordan XX8 itself; everything from the mid-sole down is identical. Aesthetically it places closer to the SE simply because of it’s stripped down look – there is no shroud – but, there are some slight differences in the M10 that cannot be found on the XX8 SE.


The M10 runs true-to-size so definitely don’t increase by half-a-size. I have a narrow foot so there was no complaint in the toe-box area, but given the premium materials used you will need some break-in time to truly feel comfortable if you have a wider foot. The collar – slightly higher-cut than the XX8 –  is flush with extra padding (thinner material socks were worn during the performance testing) which undoubtedly adds extra support.

The premium material used is also one of the differences this shoe has with the XX8 SE Instead of synthetic fuse the M10 features a predominantly nubuck upper which provides greater durability, but that is countered by the amount of time it takes to break these bad boys in to allow them to adapt to your foot.

The M10 is slightly heavier but, at 13.9 ounces, that shouldn’t slow down players who liked the minimalistic feel of the XX8 SE.



There’s been some folks who feel that the lockdown on these isn’t up-to-par with the XX8 SE but I didn’t feel like there was any issue. As you can see in the image above, I like to tie my shoes almost to the top. Once I did that with the M10 I immediately felt secure within the shoe. Much like it’s counterparts (XX8 and SE) the shoe features the Dynamic Fit System which, when coupled with the TPU heel counter, gives you that feeling of being locked in tightly.

I’ve found that there is no difference between the one-piece TPU ‘Melo’ signature heel cup and the dual carbon fiber one found on the XX8 and SE. Technically the shoe would be defined as a mid-cut, but given all the support it definitely feels like you are wearing a high-top sneaker.

Lockdown is certainly not an issue.



The cushioning in the M10 is exactly the same as the XX8 series, in other words: second-to-none. Just in case you are not familiar with how it works I’ll give you a brief rundown. Zoom Air is found in the forefoot and heel, but then Jordan Brand have added Flight Plate technology. Flight Plate tech deflects force, but also enhances the Zoom Air cushioning.

Some people mentioned to me prior to my testing the M10 that it was not as responsive as the other two (note: I have not worn the Air Jordan XX8, only the SE), but honestly, there is absolutely no difference to me in the shoe’s cushioning. Strictly first-class all the way.
As far as the traction goes, well, it’s more of the same. Without wanting to stray in hyperbole territory, the traction on the M10 (therefore also the XX8 and SE), is the best I’ve ever encountered.
Bear in mind, I was playing indoors on an NCAA Div III school’s court which is kept clean and free of dust, allowing the shoe to just stick to the hardwood – it’s amazing when you want to set and plant your feet for a shot – but this shoe’s traction will be more than adequate on any indoor surface.
For all the shoe’s pros, it’s one con is breathability. This is the only feature where the Melo is not top-notch. Perforations are visible on the side of the shoe, but the inside is so heavily cushioned that air does not escape.
For me personally, this is a minor issue that would not affect me buying the shoe.
Overall Recommendation
Overall, this is the best hoops shoe I’ve played in (along with the XX8 SE) over the past 12 months. It is slightly more expensive than the XX8, that’s attributed to the premium materials – and possibly it being a signature shoe – but it’s a shoe that can be worn by all types of players, whether you are a guard, or a center, this shoe has it all.
The Melo M10 is as close to a perfect shoe as it gets on the market right now.
The Jordan Melo M10 is available at Jordan Brand retailers now for $165.
All photo credit: Tim Gallagher
*Thanks to Manhattanville College for allowing us use of their court
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