Nike Lunar Hypergamer - Camouflage - Oklahoma City Thunder

The Nike Lunar Hypergamer

Introduction

Now the standard in the Nike Basketball catalog, the “Hyper” line, highlighted by the Zoom Hyperdunk and Hyperfuse, was paramount in sparking the light weigh revolution in the industry.  Just as the Hyper line, based around a Flywire or Fuse upper for light weight performance is the standard for basketball, a mainstay for Nike Running and Training is the Lunar series, conversely centered around the Lunarlon cushioning base.  Making the transition to Nike Basketball, the Lunlarlon technology was matched with the Hyperfuse technology in the Jordan Fly Wade 2.  But before the Fly Wade 2 was released, this past summer saw the first melding of Hyperfuse and Lunalron technologies in the subject of this Performance Review – the Nike Lunar Hypergamer.

Joining a Hyperfuse upper with a Lunar foam cushioning base, the Nike Lunar Hypergamer is one of the most versatile performers for Nike Basketball this season. The features include the following:

  • Hyperfuse construction for light weight performance
  • Lunarlon cushioning set up
  • Rubber outsole with herringbone traction pattern
  • Midfoot stability plate
  • Internal foot sleeve

Aesthetics and Styling

Long over due, the pairing of the Lunarlon and Hyperfuse technologies for a basketball sneaker would seem natural, as Nike Training and Running have already tinkered with the combination.  With a design taken from the original Zoom Hyperfuse, the upper of the Hypergamer blends the three layers of fuse material for the “futuristic” look.  The signature thick Lunlarlon midsole is taken directly from the running/training models and is fitted with a standard basketball rubber outsole.  For the purposes of this Performance Review, a limited camouflage color scheme, representing the Oklahoma City Thunder/New York Knicks is our choice for the court.

Nike Lunar Hypergamer - Camouflage - Oklahoma City Thunder

A camouflage print fits in perfectly with the Hyperfuse upper and thick Lunarlon midsole

From the side, the layers of Hyperfuse material are clearly showcased on this standard mid cut performer.  The nylon webbing material runs through the toe box, quarter panels, and to the collar & heel, with the camouflage graphic fitting in nicely.  Starting on the underside, the contoured translucent rubber outsole is dominated by a very sharp herringbone pattern throughout.  The outsole forms a toe cap and a lateral forefoot outrigger, but is otherwise characterized by the herringbone pattern from heel to toe.  Molded into the herringbone at the forefoot are two vertical and three horizontal flex grooves, which are very faint.  At the midfoot, a large shank plate is visible, holding the curve of the medial arch.  Support for the outsole is complete with the layered Lunarlon foam midsole.  The basis of cushioning, the midsole is thick, taking a page from the Nike Running/Training line, with the “LUNARLON” logo printed on the lateral heel.

Quite appropriate, the camouflage graphic is very similar to the layers of fuse material for the Hypergamer.  Almost hidden from a distance, the shoe showcases the various layers which can be used.  Up front, the toe box, from the first eyelets to the center, is made with the nylon netting.  Over top the netting, a thin layer is used at the throat line and in the middle, while the toe cap is made up of the maximum layers, extending towards the forefoot on each side.  One the medial side, more nylon netting is found, with a thin layer of fuse circling the quarter panel.  A plastic Nike swoosh logo sits atop the netting.  The lateral side is set up in the same fashion as the medial, with the small difference lying in the Nike swoosh logo, which is now a simple outline over the nylon panel.

Covering the stiff heel counter, three layers of fuse material form a protective barrier, with ridges matching the Lunarlon midsole.  Nylon webbing makes up the top portion of the heel, which has the camo print done in thin layers for added support.  The rising collar has panels on each side, designed with ridges like the heel counter, on top of the netting.  Keeping the weight down, padding is thin through the collar sides and Achilles notch, with the lining made of a smooth synthetic.

For lacing, standard flat laces go through 8 eyelets.  The segmented eyestay is reinforced with maximum layers of fuse material all the way up to the final two eyelets on the collar.  Connected at the throat line, where a small Nike swoosh logo is present, a thin tongue is marked with numerous perforation holes.  The tongue forms an inner sleeve, connected at the throat line and on the sides with a mesh material.  At the top of the tongue, a lace holder keeps the tongue steady, with a “NIKE” logo is embossed on the front and the “HYPERFUSE” text appear on the rear.  Lining for the tongue is similar to the collar, and is very soft and non abrasive.  To cap off the Hypergamer is a thick, plush insole, with a fade graphic and Nike swoosh logo at the heel.

Comfort and Fit

A square opening leads to the inner sleeve, where a contoured fit is felt.  Comfortably snug,  lace pressure is mainly felt at the middle of the foot, as the upper of the shoe is somewhat rigid.  Fitting is true to size with the sleeve holding the foot in place nicely.  The toe box area, again, is comfortable, with just enough room to wiggle the toes.  Sucking the heel and Achilles in place, lock down at the rear is excellent.  Even without a thick layer of padding, comfort is very good and ankle support & protection are felt when laced tightly.  On the foot bed, the thick & plush insole is a perfect compliment to the also thick & dense Lunarlon midsole.  Because of the upper construction, the foot does not sit flat, and has great arch support.  The profile of the shoe is not too high considering the thick midsole, but the cushioning set up is on the responsive side.  Overall, the Lunar Hypergamer brings a comfortable, contoured, and protective fit with a very responsive feel.

Nike Lunar Hypergamer - Camouflage - Oklahoma City Thunder

The Hyperfuse upper and inner sleeve provide a contoured and snug fit, while the Lunarlon midsole has a responsive feel

Performance

In a static position, the Hypergamer feels like a natural high performing basketball shoe.  Running is a bit stiff due to the Hyperfuse material, but the segmented eyestay provides some flex points to ease heel to toe transitions.  The Lunlarlon set up has a bouncy and plush feel, but is dense enough to keep responsiveness high.  For performance, the Lunarlon is definitely the highlight in making the shoe a versatile performer.  For fast and quick players, moving around the court is comfortable and fast.  The weight of the shoe is not the lightest, and the profile not the lowest, but is not a factor in performance.  Everything is in place for running up and down the court, sliding laterally, and playing explosively above the rim.  The fit of the shoe is excellent in not only keeping the foot comfortable, but making it a second thought for the player when playing on the fly.  Responsiveness of the Lunarlon keeps the player balanced and ready to react to any circumstances on the court.  For the low post player, the density of the cushioning set up favors a wrestling match or a finesse match up, and when jumping up multiple times for a finish or a rebound, the foam absorbs the impact evenly, with great comfort.  Performance wise, the shoe is simply versatile, responsive, and comfortable for all players and playing styles.

In terms of stability, the Hyperfuse upper does not fail.  Trading in great flexibility for stability, the Hypergamer does an excellent job of keeping the foot steady.  From the contoured fit, to the comfortable inner sleeve and midfoot plate, there is little to no sliding of the foot during play.  This consistency in stability is a major factor in the overall versatility of the shoe.  Furthermore, the Hyperfuse upper holds up well for all abrupt movements and for those moments when a random foot stomp may occur.  Those who value ankle support and protection are also well served, as the shoe keeps the ankles in place without the use of cumbersome padding.

Continuing the great performance, the herringbone outsole does the job of providing outstanding traction.  Because the pattern is simple throughout, the feeling of court grip is, again, consistent.  The shoe has a more sticky grip, but not so much that it keeps the player stuck in place.  Traction performance is further enhanced by the fact that the outsole does a great job on a dirty court surface, losing little performance.  Ventilation for the Hypergamer is very good.  Although there are openings around the shoe through the nylon netting, the inner sleeve does hold the foot tight.  This does limit air flow, but the shoe does not get too hot, and sweating is a non issue.

Conclusion

Nike Basketball has long been dominated by Zoom and Max Air cushioning set ups, combined with a Phylon/Cushlon midsole.  Translating well in a basketball context, the Lunarlon technology balances comfort, responsiveness, and support, and looks to be superior in terms of overall performance than the aforementioned Nike patents.  Our review of the Jordan Fly Wade 2 revealed an exceptional all around performer, and in the Hypergamer, the high quality performance trend is continued.  With versatile performance, offering a contoured fit, comfort, excellent support, and great responsiveness, players of all sizes and play styles will find the high performance from the Hypergamer.  The question now is whether Nike plans to use the Lunarlon cushioning in more of their signature models, as it quite simply is very applicable to basketball performance.  Released this past summer, the Nike Lunar Hypergamer is available in various color schemes now at the Official Nike Online Store.

This shoe is comparable to:

Jordan Fly Wade 2
Nike Zoom Hyperfuse