Dime: So how would you relate the actual shoe to a high-end watch?
JT: Well the fact that you get a leather synthetic material touch on the heel and toe kind of hints at the watch bands, how they come off the sides of the watch. Then the middle of the shoe is sort of like the watch base. So you get the three layers with the inner booty, the Dynamic Fit system, and the quarter and they all interlock and interweave similar to the way the pieces on a watch face do. So all these pieces fit together to create a supreme fitting piece of footwear. Also, each lace loop works independently. So you can tighten up the shoe from any angle to support any foot shape just like you can adjust a watch to fit your wrist specifically.
Dime: Tell me about the technology that went into the actually sole of the shoe.
JT: What we used on the sole of the shoe is a Max Volume Zoom bag. So it’s a typical Zoom Air unit, but just a bigger sturdier bag than what we normally would use.
Dime: So it’s not an Air Max shoe?
JT: No it’s still a zoom shoe, but it’s what we call Zoom Max. It’s different than the Zoom Max that’s coming out on LeBron’s shoe. That’s a different system. This is actually an older Zoom Max. LeBron’s got the brand new one. The Zoom bags look similar in the LeBrons because that’s how zoom technology is built. So any Zoom bag will always have those little cables going down, whether you see them or not they’re always there.
Dime: So how does Zoom technology really work?
JT: The way Zoom works is there’s a gas inside the bag that’s expanding the bag, but then there’s also those fibers that are pulling it back together at the same time. It’s sort of a system that’s built to defeat itself, so when you push on it, it automatically wants to jump back, but even as it’s jumping back that energy is still being stored in the bag. So it’s super responsive. The LeBron X will have those same little cables in it, that’s just a trait of Zoom Air technology.
Dime: What about the cushioning setup in the forefoot? I see that there’s a little extension on the bottom of the shoe.
JT: So what we did here, we actually put a zoom bag in the forefoot also. But it’s a smaller one and it’s actually the same shape. So the pod you see on the bottom is a one-to-one fit with the actual Zoom bag. We built the smaller Zoom bag to extend out of the foot bed exactly one and 1/2 millimeters further out. It works as a Podular mechanic system. So as you step down, you hit that small Zoom bag first and feel that first impact protection, then you get the responsiveness from the actual Zoom bag in that extends to the heel. So this gives you a really unique cushioning feel in the shoe.
Dime: What about the patent leather on the toe box? That seems like a reoccurring theme from the Melo M8.
JT: Yeah I mean that’s kind of just a Jordan thing. As much as we try to push and do something different, it’s always just a good easy win for Jordan. It speaks to our heritage and is something that’s just a timeless fashionable theme. But we do explore. The base models that ‘Melo will wear on the court will have patent leather on the toe panel, but the materials differ on different colors. Some have more of a flat matte leather, and even some have a 3M material. So we’re going in a couple different routes, but the patent leather is something that’s just true Jordan so we just can’t say no to it.
Dime: So with there be a Melo M9 Advance that’s slightly different from the base Melo M9 model?
JT: At the moment, we’re looking at concepts that could work for it. Whether or not we go there depends on how things play out with the base model 9, but we’ve looked at a couple concepts and when the time comes well see what the decision is for that.
Dime: Do you have any special colors or limited models releasing?
JT: Okay well the on-court stuff is what you’ll see in Foot Locker and Champs. These all launch January 9th. As far as the special colors go, we thought it would be a good idea to have colors that represent some of ‘Melo’s biggest opponents. So it’s like formidable foes for ‘Melo. So he’ll wear this red and grey color when he plays the Heat. Then there’s an exterminator inspired color that he’ll wear when he plays Oklahoma City. So it’s like the exterminator against the Durantula. So those are much more unique and will probably be more limited. Look out for those.
Which sneaker do you like the most?
Follow Jaimie on Twitter at @SubZEROxPaste.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.