Jordan Brand have been on fire in recent years when it comes to leading the way in performance evolution – once again, they’re at the forefront of revolutionary technologies such as FlightPlate and unlocked Zoom Air. The success of those on the Air Jordan flagship model, and Carmelo Anthony’s signature line as well, led the brand to dabble with it on Blake Griffin’s on-court shoe: the Super.Fly 3.
“For the Jordan Super.Fly 3, I really wanted a shoe that allowed me to gain an explosive edge on court – with speed and my lift,” said Griffin. “I really like that FlightPlate not only makes me feel more powerful throughout the game, but also gives me confidence when I’m taking flight.”
The shoe released on Oct. 1 so let’s get into the review and see how they played.
The upper is constructed of a synthetic textile mesh material which is also reinforced with a hard fuse shell and fuse overlays. That means that it will take some time to break in and mold to your foot, upon initially playing in them you will feel the like the stiff material is pinching across your forefoot which can border on absolute discomfort, but that does go away to some extent once the shoe has been worn in (my pair took a couple of weeks of playing twice weekly in them). When compared to a shoe like the Air Jordan XX9 – or even the M10 – shoes that require no break-in time, then you certainly feel the difference immediately on your feet.
The positive side of a hard exterior is that the shoe is completely durable – my pair still looks brand new, even after a month playing it.
The Super.Fly 3 runs true-to-size.
If you have any concerns about the support a woven upper like the XX9 may be able to offer, then this may be an option for you to look at. The heel is supported more than adequately, both internally with a padded collar at the back of the foot, and with a welded overlay. I didn’t encounter an slippage in my heel while playing which is always great.
The lacing system incorporates Flight Web which gives you that feeling of being locked down while playing. When compared to the Melo M10 – I feel like that shoe gave me a sense of being locked down from heel-to-forefoot – the Super.Fly 3 certainly replicates that comfort level, although, I did feel like I had to lace these a little tighter to get that same lockdown.
As far as traction, the Super.Fly 3 employs the exact same multidirectional outsole that drew it’s inspiration from the XX9. I played with these on pristine indoor courts and had no trouble at all with sticking to the floor.
The outsole is made of a thick durable rubber, so I would assume it plays well outside as well. Again, I only played on pristine indoor courts with these.
The cushioning on these is another feature brought over from the Air Jordan XX9 – the forefoot features unlocked Zoom Air, and Flight Plate tech, while a traditional foam set-up is placed in the heel. The unlocked Zoom in the forefoot is a lot less pronounced than the XX9, but I felt like this shoe was a lot more responsive than that model.*
I immediately felt a real bounce upon initially trying the shoe on. I’d be curious to know what Blake Griffin thinks of the cushioning as a big man, but for a guard like myself who makes a ton of cuts while playing, this was a great set-up.
The only negative in regards to this is, I did get bad blisters after the first time playing in it. I’ve never experienced that with any other shoe, but it was only after the first couple of wears. Subsequent wears proved fine.
If ventilation is a defining factor in whether you purchase a basketball shoe, then the Super.Fly 3 is probably not your cup of tea. The hard fuse upper provides no air flow, and the padded inner is no help, either.
My socks were drenched with perspiration following games or workouts. As I’ve said in previous sneaker reviews, that is a non-factor with me, but others may find it a little off-putting.
The Super.Fly 3 is a shoe designed for a guy like Blake Griffin, so I feel like a bigger guy would reap the most from wearing it. If you’re on a budget and can’t afford the ‘premium’ XX9’s or the Melo series, but still want a comparable shoe, then this shoe will service very nicely. The comfort level isn’t there like other recent Jordan Brand models, but it is durable and I feel like you will get value for your dollar.
The Super.Fly 3 is available now at retailers for $140.
*I’ve only worn the XX9 briefly – I have yet to performance test it thoroughly.