The Jordan Super.Fly started the performance chain last year for Jordan Brand and the links just got stronger as the year went on, ending with my pick for shoe of the year, Air Jordan XX8. Summer is now almost over and we are hit with the Super.Fly 2, prominently endorsed by Blake Griffin (who tells us all about it on video here). Will 2013-14 be a banner basketball shoe year for Jordan or stall out before it gets going?
Jordan Brand crushed it last year. I loved every signature shoe they put out and the team shoes were right there with any other brand. Matter of fact, I would rank Jordan Brand as the best performance shoe maker on the market based on the XX8, CP3 and Melo lines, and Super.Fly. Before I started writing reviews here I fell back under the Jumpman spell with the Air Jordan XVI.5. It reminded me of everything Jordan was when I was a kid — it looked good and performed great. Jordan Brand has always put performance ahead of appearance for the most part (excepting Air Jordan XV) regardless of what people think these days. Air Jordan III was ugly to some in 1988 because of the elephant print, yet those who ‘got it’ loved it. The IV with the wings, VI with the holes in the tongue, VIII with the straps, the patent leather XI, all way off the grid of aesthetic convention but built for performance. Being on Mike’s feet, which can make strips of burlap cinched with birthday ribbon look good, helped a little. Now we have beastly performers that no one buys because they aren’t retros. The best thing about the first Super.Fly was it took existing concepts and materials and just did them well. Hyperfuse, Lunarlon, Zoom Air, it was all there. This year we get Hyperfuse, Zoom Air, Fit Straps, Flight Plate — nothing just-introduced but together they work.
For anyone who was lucky enough to grab a pair of XX8, you know how well the Flight Plate works with the Zoom forefoot. For those who didn’t want to pay the $250 price tag or just couldn’t find a pair, Super.Fly 2 is the closest to a copy I have seen. Feeling like a shroudless XX8, I was instantly on board when these first surfaced in the spring. After getting them on the floor, I am not only on board, I am flying the plane. Let’s get it…