I was shocked that Jordan Brand lowered the price from $160 to $135 but now I know why…

I am not a Carmelo Anthony fan. When I watch him play I see a player that can score and that’s about it. Given his size and speed he should be getting at least two to three more boards per game but the effort isn’t there. He’s a star that can score but not a superstar that makes his teammates any better.

* I stand corrected by Jon, Melo leads SF in rebounds and is 4th on assists Haven’t watched the Knicks this year. Good to see he is getting better*
Regardless of his play, I am a fan of his shoes and who wouldn’t be ? Can’t afford the latest Air Jordan XXXXX? Get the Melo version for 2/3  the price or wait until they hit the clearance sales for $60 ( I did that with the M11 and M9 both great on court).  Given the enthusiastic reviews I’ve seen about the M12, I was curious if it was an upgrade.
Pros: traction, fit

Cons: cushioning is mediocre, poor containment, cheap materials explain the price drop, does nothing better than the M11

Best for: Jordan brand fan boys.. Even then  stick to the M11

Sizing: true to size

Price: $135 ( wait for clearance, trust me)



Same weight as last year so the material change was presumably for financial reasons. Leather costs a lot more then mesh. 


Jordan Brand has done a great job with traction the past few years and these are no different. 


Nice pliable rubber and a simple wave traction pattern provide great traction. Worked great on all surfaces although some wiping is necessary on very dusty floors. I found it to perform the same as the M11 on all surfaces.


Only Jordan Brand could create a great cushioning set up ( AJ XX8) and make it worse year over year. Rather then give us two Zoom units, JB decided  it wasn’t necessary anymore after decades of giving us two or full length. At least the XX9/Superfly 3/M11 felt decent in the forefoot. 

The M12 just feels like a thin layer of full length foam with a teeny tiny touch of Zoom. 

  It shares the same Flightspeed set up as the Super Fly 4 but feels dead from heel to toe. I loved the set up on the Super Fly 4 but this is just blah. The foam heel feels better to me then the forefoot.  

Marketing states two Zoom units but I can’t feel one let alone two. Maybe it’s just hidden by the Flightspeed plate ?

The Zoom in the forefoot is recessed even more than the previous year. Recessed so much I think they took it out altogether.    


 Shot of the Flightspeed plate. 


I went true to size with my normal sz 11 like I did with the M11 and these fit almost exactly the same despite the much bulkier overall look. The mesh conformed well to my foot so it will accommodate more foot shapes than the M11. I had no movement side to side and had my normal finger width at the toe. 

JB added extra ankle pads in the M12 snd they feel great but probably aren’t all necessary. No heel slip at all. Pretty sad when these are a highlight of the shoe. 

Mesh replaces the leather upper of the M11 and it works great in terms of conforming to the foot ( containment is another story) I’m surprised it took shoe manufacturers so long to design shoes with mesh especially considering how much less expensive it is versus leather. The problem with mesh is containment because it stretches and flexes so much  with no resiliency ( see containment). 

Ballistic mesh is used in the lateral side and a thinner micro mesh is on the medial side .  
Web straps are found on the M12 just like on the Superfly 4. Straps do a much better job holding the foot in place versus Flywire due to the increased thickness. They are free floating, meaning they aren’t tied into the upper.  

The fit is great but not any better then the M11

Support and stability 
Support comes mostly from the fit and the heel counter. The heel counter is higher then normal but it is just a very thin sheet of plastic with very little rigidity.
There is a little hardness on the lateral side of the heel counter but it isn’t much.  It gets the job done I guess but I expect more when a Jumpman is on the box. The Phylon midsole triangle with the Jumpman you see at the heel is where the most of the support comes from. 


**edit per Jb marketing, the heel counter is leather . If you say so ? 


Here you can see the M11 thick and sturdy heel counter 

Thankfully stability is good  a with a split heel. There is no forefoot outrigger but the forefoot outsole is wider overall so it’s still stable. 


The forefoot is articulated too but I couldn’t tell at all. 


Containment is terrible due to the mesh upper. It has a raised midsole but it is too low and flexible to keep the foot contained. 

You can see how easy it is to bend with my fingers   On cuts and stops I felt my foot come out of the footbed ( midfoot to forefoot) and get pinched between the upper and the insole …mind you the insole is fixed, not removable so this is very disappointing to feel.  I haven’t felt this poor of containment since the Hyperrev 2014. 

Here you can see my foot come  out coming from a running stop of only five feet. You can see it makes my foot tip as well

Having a full head of steam from one end of the court to the other really exacerbated the problem. The M11 had above average containment but is worlds better than the M12. 
Jordan Brand is a premium brand so I expect premium products. If you bought a cheaper prices Louis Vuitton for your wife, you’d still expect LV quality and feel right? You wouldn’t want LV making H&M quality bags would you ? That’s what I feel like is going on with the M12. 

Cheaper price, cheaper materials . The shoe itself looks like it came out of a Fisher Price factory with all the cheap materials. I’d take the M11 over it any day; better materials, far better cushioning, more support etc.. And not to mention on clearance everywhere at half the price. There are so many shoes below $135 that perform light years better . I suggest you do what Melo doesn’t do, and pass on these. 

44 Comment on “Jordan Melo M12 Performance Review and Comparison

  1. Pingback: Coming soon: D Lillard 2 Melo M12 Performance Review | schwollo.com

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