Modeled with Blake Griffin in mind, the Jordan Super.Fly 4 was constructed to provide speed and stability, two key factors in the on-court approach of the Los Angeles Clippers’ highflying power forward.
While there are few citizens of the world who possess a 35" vertical jump, Jordan Brand allowed SI.com, along with other outlets, to attend an event at Terminal 23, in Manhattan, to wear-test the latest release in the Super.Fly series. In essence, media were given the keys to the Super.Fly 4 before anyone else, taking the shoe out onto the court for a spin on Tuesday.
The fourth shoe in the series, which was made available in China on July 1 and is set for global release on Aug. 5, is neon, black, and red to fit a Marvin the Martian theme. As it was explained to us, the pairing of Griffin and Marvin the Martian came about because the familiar Loony Tunes character is out to capture the world-dominating power that the Clippers star already possesses.
The style points are there for the Super.Fly 4 from the start. The color and design of the shoe pops, coming off as bold without being overbearing. But Tuesday's presentation didn't stop at the shoe, as green lights lined the walls of the gym and videos of Marvin the Martian hatching a plan to acquire the Super.Fly 4 lit the dark locker room. Large side by side photos of Blake Griffin and Marvin the Martian also occupied space on one end of the court.
All of this made it clear that serious thought went into the theme of the shoe, but it is mainly a performance sneaker decked out with technology to complement Griffin's game. Anyone who has watched the Clippers play could guess that the sneaker handles well in the open floor and provides enough support for Griffin to stick landings after his impressive dunks.
With Griffin and DeAndre Jordan in tow, the Clippers retain the moniker of "Lob City," a nickname that celebrates the team's high-wire act in transition and pick-and-roll scenarios. The play on this day was not quite as sophisticated, yet there was plenty of running up and down, and the shoe passed the wear-test on several levels.
The first noticeable quality is the nice, tight fit of the shoe, a comfortable feel that is conducive to speed. With a Zoom Air unit to provide proper cushioning and a flexible textile upper and foam backing, the Super.Fly 4 should hold up well under pressure, even for an athlete of Griffin's ilk.
Full-length Flightspeed allows for fluid motion during a light trot or deep sprint, yet the shoe remains stable enough to withstand quick cuts and sudden elevation.
Based on the nature of his game, Griffin is sure to test the shoe more than the hapless group that evaluated it over five games under Terminal 23's house rules—winner take all open run games to 11, with only Jordan footwear allowed—but it should suit him well if it feels even 75% as proficient as it did over our two-hour session.