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Performance Review

Jordan Super.Fly 4 Performance Review

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The Super.Fly 4 hit with an earth shattering kaboom when it was released in August. The shoe, which has gotten better with each iteration released, featured a Looney Tunes inspired story-line as it’s motif with it’s color-scheme clearly influenced by Marvin the Martian – the character who is hell-bent on wreaking havoc on mere earthlings.

The backstory from Jordan Brand explained the story as such:

After learning about the Super.Fly 4’s FlightSpeed technology for explosive liftoff, Marvin believes it has enough power to obliterate other worlds. His quest for the Super.Fly 4 won’t be easy though, as he must get past Blake Griffin to get the power to destroy Planet Earth.

First, he plans to find Blake Griffin and challenge him to the ultimate dunk contest – winner takes Earth. Once he has the shoe, Marvin intends to use its FlightSpeed to disintegrate the planet.

But how does the shoe play for us mere earthlings? Well, starting5online was given an opportunity to test the shoe out. See how it performed in our review below.

Fit/Durability

When reviewing last year’s iteration of the Super.Fly series I wrote about how the upper, which was reinforced with fuse overlays, took some time to break in, and at times pinched your feet to the point of being completely uncomfortable. That’s been rectified with the Super.Fly 4. Jordan Brand switched it up completely with this new model using a foam-backed mesh. Right away you’ll notice how flexible the shoe is and feels broken in, despite being fresh out the box.

The shoe’s upper is backed with a slight fuse upper so durability is still there (for those moments an errant foot lands on yours), and even after a couple of months of wearing the shoe it still holds up well.

I would suggest going a half-size bigger than your normal size, however. Upon our initial wear-test at Terminal 23 in New York I kept commenting how the fit was perfect on the SF4, only to realize after two hours of playing in them that I was actually wearing a size 10, instead of my usual 9.5.

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Support/Lockdown

A subtle change that I like on the SF4 is the addition of an external heel counter. It’s predecessor featured a welded overlay, coupled with an internal padded collar, which did an adequate job, but you can really feel the difference with a TPU heel counter on the new model. It’s a softer TPU, but it adds more support, while allowing for more lateral movements as well.

The SF4 also comes with some web straps that are placed closer to the foot and are integrated with the lacing system which provides good support – it’s not crash hot, but it suffices. I feel like the Melo M10 has been the best so far from the Jordan Brand shoes I’ve wear tested significantly. There’s no lace pressure, though, which is always a bonus.

Cushioning/Traction

Cushioning is the area where Jordan Brand have been excelling of late – from the flagship line right through to models like the Super.Fly and the Melo line. All these shoes provide great cushioning, in my opinion. The FlightSpeed (formerly FlightPlate) cushioning system in the SF4 distributes the responsive bounce from Unlocked Zoom across the foot. It also provides extra torsional support. When reviewing the SF3 last year I commented on how responsive and “bouncy” that model was, well, this model felt so much better. Upon first wear I was bouncing off my toes – it was that good.

In direct contrast to the Super.Fly 3 which caused me to have blisters after the first few wears, this was like a smooth ride.

The outsole features a predominantly herringbone pattern, although, certain areas near the fore-foot have a wavy pattern. I didn’t really notice much difference as I was playing, though. Traction is tight, and requires minimal-to-normal wiping. Note, I did play on pristine courts.

Unlike the Super.Fly 3 which had a thicker, durable rubber outsole, I don’t think this model is suited for outdoor settings. The rubber is the softest I’ve encountered on a SF model.

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Ventilation

Night and day compared to last year’s. When playing in the SF3 my socks were drenched because the ventilation was non-existent, not so in the new model. Again, it’s a breathable mesh over a light structural foam so ventilation is there.

Overall Recommendation

The Super.Fly series has been improving with each iteration and this is by far my favorite model to hoop in. I feel like it’s suited to all types of players – whether you’re a guard, or a bigger man, this shoe would work for you. The Melo M11 had been my favorite non-flagship performance shoe to hoop in, until I played in this. Comfortable, durable and lightweight, it ticks all the boxes and even though there’s been a $10 increase in price to $150, it still provides a great alternative to the Air Jordan line.

The Super.Fly is available now for $150.

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  1. Pingback: Jordan Melo M12 Performance Review » Starting5online

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