Having two midsoles to choose from can be intimidating, having three options is just crazy… especially when it’s hard to choose which one you prefer. This performance teaser will most likely be a long one due to the fact that there is so much to go over with this one particular category… if you’re ready, read on…
Fly Around, Fly Over & Fly Through… Three choices with one sneaker… unheard of!
While I initially assumed that each of the three midsoles had different foams used, after playing in them and feeling each one between my finger… I’m no longer sure that’s the case. It would make sense that each of the three were different foams yet I don’t believe they are, one thing they all share in common however, the cushion setups are all bottom loaded which is great in my opinion as you receive greater court feel… even in the full length Air setup which is great. You get all the positive attributes from the cushion systems and none of the drawbacks.
Fly Through – Full length Air is in place under the midsole. This is something that is common in visible full length Air based sneakers but it’s a much lower profile unit so its not as soft as you may be used to. It does work but you wont get that step in comfort feeling you had last time with the Jordan 2011… this is mostly because the foam midsole does not have a soft insole placed on top of it and the cushion is further away from your foot. While you may assume this is bad, its actually perfect as the Air unit is taking the brunt of all impact upon your foot striking the ground. Even as a Guard, I enjoyed this quite a bit more than the Explosive midsole featured in the Air Jordan 2011. The Fly Through option is good enough for a Guard and should be perfect for power players who will need some additional impact absorption during games such as Small and Power Forwards.
Fly Over – With forefoot articulated Zoom & heel Max Air you basically get the best of both worlds from a cushion standpoint. Again, this setup is good enough for a Guard but its targeted towards players that may have a need fore maximum impact protection in the heel while receiving responsive cushion in the forefoot. The one player that comes to mind that plays this way would be Dwyane Wade… Wade is all over the place, blocking shots, running offense and wreaking havoc on the unfortunate ones who have to guard him. Someone that plays a rapid game with lots of ups and down will enjoy the heel impact absorption and quick first step upon landings with the articulated Zoom. Keep in mind, they are bottom loaded so you may not feel that the cushion is there but it is working.
Fly Around – I didn’t think I would like this setup much but this was actually my favorite of the three, for me personally.
The heel bag located in the midsole of the Play Fast (Kobe System) gave me heel pain for not being flush with the foam. This is not the case with the Fly Around setup and it made all the difference in the world.
It is a much smaller bag (roughly the same thickness) than what is in the Kobe VII and its a different style of Zoom altogether… I couldn’t get an image of the bags from a side view but if you were to see them both in person they are quite different… I didn’t notice much other than the fact that I had zero pain in my heels while wearing the Fly Around midsole as I had in the Kobe VII.
The part I was most concerned about was that the forefoot has no cushion at all. Surprisingly this was such a nice ride from heel to toe. It’s possible the combination of top loaded forefoot Zoom along with bottom loaded heel Zoom is where the Kobe system went wrong but I can’t really say for sure… all I know is that this Fly Around setup was absolutely perfect for a fast paced Point Guard/ Shooting Guard such as myself.
One area that most were concerned with, myself included, was with the interchangeable inner sleeves. I thought they might have had some slipping issues and I was way off base with that one. With the way the shoes shell (upper and outsole) is constructed, once the sleeve and midsole of your choice are placed inside, there is literally no differences between these and any other shoe. In fact, these have provided me with the best fit and lockdown of any sneaker so far this year.
There is such a huge difference between the playability of the Jordan 2011 to the 2012 that it makes the 2011′s feel like a huge mistake in the way they were designed and constructed… at least in my opinion.
Stay tuned as we will get more in depth with another teaser soon!