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.