Jordan Brand has been getting bashed left and right with their performance lineup yet they have all been excellent performers, here’s hoping the last of the big four signature models (Fly Wade 2, CP3.V & Air Jordan 2012) are just as great as the rest.
Traction – Herringbone is back again and I couldn’t be happier. There are a few sections on the outsole that feature texture only which as a Guard I think may hinder their performance a bit due to placement however, these are not Guard shoes and the rest of the build emphasizes this greatly.
There is a small area of traction that is recessed into the forefoot of the outsole, this I believe ties in with the cushion setup. It should compress upon quick jab steps, which is something Melo’s known for, and offer some additional traction for those who may play similar.
Cushion – We have a combination setup… not something I personally enjoy but these may work out after trying them on.
The heel has a notch made of rubber but once enough pressure is applied it should compress a bit to offer some additional relieve from harsh or strong landings.
In the forefoot you have a 10mm Zoom unit in place; I actually don’t like these believe it or not. Typically this style of Zoom is too mushy for me. The last shoe I played in with this size unit (not including the Jordan 2012 & Kobe VII) was the LeBron VII Post Season. It was placed in the heel and felt as if the heel portion was collapsing on me.
This setup is more embedded into the midsole and the lateral forefoot section, while exposed, is supported by a TPU cage. When I put these on they not only offered cushion but they didn’t feel as if I were sinking into the ground so I think these will play nicely in the forefoot area.
Materials – There are quite a few overlays going on with the upper… again, not something a Guard would look for but for Forwards and even some light on their feet centers, this is ideal.
This particular version has nubuck, Flywire which is then followed by patent leather. With the patent leather being the strongest of the three, it’s been placed along the forefoot and mudguard areas for durability and strength. The midfoot section is where I have already noticed the placement of the overlaid materials affecting the fit, this would be the case no matter the position you play. On the right (medial side closest to the forefoot) you can see the materials bow out a little. It’s a bit of an awkward flex and could have used a modified design to help with forefoot flex while retaining shape in order to keep the fit secure in this location.
Fit – The fit is nice and secure overall. Padding is full and smooth without any noticeable hotspots, at least from a basic try on. There is a quarter sleeve inside which is attached to the tongue and covers the forefoot area.
The heel features an additional layer of materials, just like the CP3.V, to help cup the heel and keep it in place. After tying them up & moving around a bit, I did not feel any area which was not secure so they should do their job as far as keeping the foot stable.
Ventilation – The only area with some ventilation is the tongue. The fit is secure enough to where this shouldn’t pose a problem for your foot slipping inside the shoe which is better than having a low air flow shoe with an improper fit. One thing to note is that the tongue is decently padded so lace pressure wasn’t bad at all so some people may enjoy that.
Support – The upper itself feels quite supportive and will keep your foot where it’s supposed to be. Then you have the TPU cage which runs through the lateral side full length wrapping itself under the arch of the foot and up around the medial side. This has limited the overall flexibility of the shoe, that along with the thick midsole, but again… this is not a shoe built for Guards. For power players with a quick first step this setup is exactly what you’d need to remain agile yet nimble.
With a performance sneaker such as this I have to go about the review in a totally different frame of mind. I can’t be too picky with certain attributes as they were not designed with me (a Guard) in mind. This is how I go about reviewing LeBron’s signature line as well so if I ever mention that something didn’t work well for me personally, that’s just me speaking in terms of what a Guard would need. On the other hand, if a shoe like this performs greatly, LeBron 8 V1 & 2, from a Guard perspective then they will be suitable for multiple positions on the floor.