Carmelo Anthony's New York Knicks have spent their 2012-13 NBA season shocking the basketball world with a torrid start. Well, it looks like Anthony is ready to get 2013 off to a bang as a business man, too, as he and the Jordan brand will release the Melo M9 shoes on Jan. 9.
Introduced to the public on Friday, this release will be the ninth iteration of the superstar forward's signature shoes. And while the Melos aren't quite on the level of LeBron James' signature line in terms of anticipation, Anthony's kicks have been lauded for some time in the "sneakerhead" community.
With the Jordan brand coming under fire lately after the launch of the Jordan XX8s, it was critical that the designers came back with a great look. How do the Melos grade out? Here is a complete breakdown of the new Jordan Melo M9 shoes.
"Wow" Factor: 9.5/10
As is the case with all signature brand launches, the initial "wow" moment comes based on the uniqueness of the design. Colorways are obviously of the utmost importance, but they come after judging the uniqueness of the initial design. The color combinations are merely secondary.
After all, how many people are going to rock a pair of Jordan XX8s in any possible color combination? Based on the reaction the initial launch got, not many.
Luckily, the design for the Melo M9 kicks definitely leaves fans wanting a second look. Though some previous iterations of the Melos fell into the always-risky trope of looking too much like a standard pair of Jordans, the M9s did not. These are a unique look that blends innovative design without wading into the waters of gaudiness.
As for the colorways, the designers also did a wonderful job. Even the trio of shoes with a standard black base has an array of eye-popping secondary colors that stand out in the crowds.
Of the colorways, here's a look at the one I feel did the best job with an eye-catching design. The silver and blue work in perfect accordance with one another and the black and dark gray do a nice job of accentuation as well:
In the interest of fairness, here's a look at the worst colorway. You can't always hit a home run with every look, but this is barely a dribbler to third base.
Now comes the important question. Sure, the design merits a second look, but is it worthy of spending a couple Benjamin Franklins?
One look at these kicks should make that answer a resounding yes for most buyers.
In just about every colorway, the M9s are both aesthetically pleasing and basic enough to work for casual wear as well. The true winner and most unique feature of these Melos are the straps. Starting at the midsole, the straps, which "coincidentally" form the letter M, use Nike's Dynamic Fit technology to provide ankle support.
For anyone who plans to use these kicks on the court, these straps are lightweight and are substituted for heavier ankle-support systems often seen in other shoes. In fact, the Melos have been bogged down by a noticeable heaviness in the past. The straps on the M9s work to make weightiness a thing of the past.
The straps are also key to the aesthetic design of the shoe. Instead of just your standard secondary interweaving at the midsole, the straps play an interestingly vital design role. In the all-black base colorways, the straps are a focal point of contrast. However, in the flashier base colorways, the straps are increasingly hidden, assuredly to avoid possible gaudiness at the midsole.
As always, it's the little things that matter. Jordan took its time and came out with a well-designed pair of kicks here.
How would you grade the Melo M9s out of 10?
Avoid the questionable colorways. That's just about the only negative thing I can say about the M9s, which undoubtedly have taken the early clubhouse lead for the best basketball shoe of 2013.
They work for both on-court wear and casual fans, who can find colorways worth wearing on a daily basis. As for collectors, they should be more than pleased. The Melo brand has consistently been underrated since its inception and continually comes through with top-notch designs for collectors.
Obviously, price is a factor. Unless you're the Knicks star himself, it's unlikely that you'll be able to own a pair in each colorway. Still, if you're in the market for a pair of basketball shoes, you'll be hard-pressed to find kicks better than the Melo M9s.