First off, let me say this: I love to hoop in Carmelo Anthony’s sneakers. In fact, the M10 was my favorite hoop shoe of last year, so I was curious to see how Jordan Brand would back that up with the M11.
Launched in mid-December of last year, the M11 once again features the innovative FlightPlate technology that has been prevalent in the brand’s performance shoes over the last couple of years. Melo insisted that his shoes continue using the tech.
“When it was time to talk to the designers about this year’s model, I told them it was important for me to have a shoe that could keep my game fresh throughout the entire four quarters,” said Anthony. “Whether taking flight or landing, FlightPlate has great cushion, responsiveness and bounce.”
They fit true-to-size, although they may be a little snug in the toe box area for some. With the exception of the Cardinal colorway that Melo wore on Christmas Day, all M11’s feature a synthetic upper which requires little-to-no break-in time. The synthetic leather functions just like normal leather would and allows your foot to bend and flex in a natural way without being too restrictive.
Also, it doesn’t show wear as much either. After a couple of months playing in them my shoes only shoe a little creasing around the top of the toe box.
The M11 has been stripped down from previous editions which have tended to be on the heavier and bulkier side. Even the M10 – as good as it was – weighed in at 13.9 ounces, but the first thing you notice when you pick the M11 up is how light it is. The M11 comes in at 12.1 ounces which is also perfect for bigger guys who want to play in a lighter shoe, but still seek that rigid support.
A couple of changes from the M10 to the M11 are: a phylon heel counter keeping your heel locked down in the rear, while a a molded collar increases ankle support. That alos reduces the overall weight of the shoe, too.
Flight Web lacing system is back so lockdown there is not a problem, although, lace pressure was an issue for me. The tongue is pretty thin so I did have to tie my laces up two notches from the top where I usually prefer to go as high up as possible.
I prefer the traction on the M11 to anything else Jordan Brand have released. It’s slightly different to the M10 in that it forms a multidirectional pattern, along with Melo’s logo. There are sections where the grooves are slightly thinner than others, but the rubber is actually quite thick overall meaning you could wear these safely outdoors without burning through them too quickly.
Flight Plate tech is back and this is where the cushioning in the shoe really excels. Much like the Super.Fly 3, unlocked Zoom Air is found in the forefoot, and the feeling of responsiveness and bounce is immediate. The M10 featured a split midsole, with a carbon fiber mid-foot shank splitting the two, whereas the M11 has a tendril working as conduit transferring pressure from the heel to the forefoot on strikes making the transition a ton smoother.
Ventilation is a minor issue for me with hoop shoes, but for those interested, it’s excellent on the M11, vastly superior to the M10. Perforations are found on the lateral and medial sides, along with the toe box. Breathability is not a concern.
The M11 took what was great about the M10 and improved on it exponentially. At $160 it provides a middle-of-the-road price point (compared to $225 for the Air Jordan XX9, and $140 for the Super.Fly 3) for someone wanting to test out the Flight Plate tech. I loved the fit, it’s a high-top sneaker with low-top sensibilities which is something I’m particularly fond of. Whether you’re a big man or a guard, the M11 has something to suit your needs.