Nike Hyperdunk 2013

The Nike Hyperdunk 2013

Introduction

For the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, Nike revamped the Hyperdunk which made a debut in 2008.  The legacy of the Hyperdunk is that it set the basketball sneaker industry in a light weight trend.  Now, it seems as though every basketball shoe company has a push for light weight and minimal designs, which can all be credited to the Hyperdunk.  2012 did breathe new life into the series.  Dynamic Flywire and Lunarlon cushioning highlighted the technological changes as the shoe set the standard of high level light weight performance for Nike Basketball.  For 2013, Nike has made a couple of changes to the 2012 to make the more swifter.  For this Performance Review we take the 2013 version of the Hyperdunk on the court.

Five years in, the Hyperdunk is well established as the flagship model for Nike Basketball, back this season with the 2013 iteration.  The features include the following:

  • Upper constructed with mesh and Dynamic Flywire for light weight performance
  • Cushioning provided by Lunarlon technology
  • Rubber outsole with herringbone traction pattern
  • Sculpted mid foot stability plate
  • Extended midsole at the heel for comfort and protection

Aesthetics and Styling

Representing modern, minimalist design, the Hyperdunk series always pushes the limits for outgoing aesthetics.  Last season, the 2012 brought a more tame approach in terms of shape.  2013 can be looked at as a return to form with sharp and sleek lines.  This shoe has more flow than the previous model from the pointy collar to the shapely midsole.  On the technological front, not much has changed.  The upper is based around mesh and Dynamic Flywire while the designers have stuck wiht the Lunarlon technology for cushioning comfort.  Standard black, red, and white color schemes were released along side very bright combinations for the initial run.  For this Performance Review, the Tropical Teal/Sonic Yellow/Midnight Navy blend is the choice.

Nike Hyperdunk 2013

An extended foam counter keeps the aesthetics bold for the 2013 version of the Hyperdunk

Streaming and dominating the sides are the Dynamic Flywire strands which form a basis of stability above the mesh build.  The shoe has steep lines that flow well and give off a stealth sense.  And of course, the extended midsole at the heel is the main attention getter.  Our evaluation of the shoe begins with the contoured rubber outsole.  Herringbone is molded into the rubber from top to bottom outlined by a textured pattern which rounds the lateral side.  The forefoot area has all the aspects you would expect from a Hyperdunk – a pointy lateral outrigger, slight curvature, and diagonal flex grooves.  A large pivot circle towards the medial mid foot caps off this section of the sole.  Midnight Navy comes into play on the Nike swoosh logo and sculpted mid foot plate as the shoe transitions to the heel.  The heel area sees a pivot circle in the center with a deep flex groove crossing into the Swoosh logo.  One of the biggest aesthetic changes from the 2012 is observed with the midsole.  Pointy, contoured, and sleek, the midsole has the most prominent design feature with the extend heel patterned like an accordion.  The “LUNARLON” branding finishes off the foundation on the medial heel.

Mesh and Dynamic Flywire have a synthetic layer of material for support on the upper.  The toe box area is covered with the smooth skin layer which is raised right a the toe cap.  A diamond shaped throat line accentuates this pointy toe box.  Each side of the shoe has the Dynamic Flywire cables running to the base.  Grouped in fours, the Flywire is associated with an eyelet and is tied down to the upper with the synthetic skin right above the midsole.  Reflective Nike swoosh logos mark the quarter panels on each side.

The thick accordion shaped midsole jumps out at the rear.  Above the midsole is a V-shaped Achilles notch which has a silky feel.  This notch ends at a horizontal line before a steep ascent for the collar.  The high collar almost drops to at a 90 degree angle and is very lightly padded.  Lining is done in a smooth synthetic, with mesh windows on each side.

Based around Dynamic Flywire, the pointy lacing system consists of 8 eyelets – 5 with the Flywire, 3 on the collar.  The Flywire bands are looped under a slit between the mesh and are supported by the smooth skin layer, housing the high quality flat laces.  Fit and comfort come with the slight inner sleeve created by the thin mesh tongue.  This sleeve runs from the forefoot all the way to the midfoot to keep the foot in place.  The tongue is finished off with a large patch on the top containing a lace holder.  “HYPERDUNK” text runs across the top of this smooth patch which matches the design of the heel portion of the midsole.  Rounding out the 2013 Hyperdunk is a soft, plush insole.  The insole is contoured to help with fit and is branded simply with the iconic “NIKE” and swoosh at the heel.

Comfort and Fit

The thin upper materials of the 2013 help to bring a form fitting, true to size fit once the Hyperdunk is laced up tightly.  Pressure is felt down the center and up the collar as the shoe has a close, gripping feel.  At the toe box, the smooth skin later sits very close all the way around the forefoot on the lateral side..  The toes fit in very tight, which might not be the most ideal for wide footed players.  It feels more flat than rounded.  Moving to the backend, the collar and tongue provide a high wrap.  Because the material is thin, the wrap brings more security (due to the tightness) than protection.  The wrap is high, but has a flexible feeling.  For the Achilles, the notch is comfortable and non-restrictive.  Below, the heel counter and foam midsole bring good heel lockdown.  For the most part, the heels are locked in place with little movement.  Equipped with the Lunarlon technology, cushioning is soft and comfortable.  In this context, the Lunarlon foam does not have a thick and high off the court feel.  The signature memory foam feel is felt with contours at the arch and heel.  All in all, it is a good blend of plush comfort and low to the court feel.  Side support is great.  The Dynamic Flywire wraps tight around each side holding the foot in place.  And with the sculpted mid foot plate on the lateral side, arch support is very good.  A form fitting, close, and tight fit is complete with the comfortable Lunarlon cushioning.

Nike Hyperdunk 2013

Lunarlon cushioning is comfortable and plush, while the Dynamic Flywire grips the foot tight

Performance

On the court, the Hyperdunk 2013 is strapped on as if the foot was tapped from the top of the ankles all the way down to the toes.  It does not have a sock-like feel, but more of a tight and gripping feel.  The upper is thin so it is not cumbersome.  Court feel is comfortable with the Lunarlon base surprisingly having a lower to the court feel.  Heel to toe transitions are cushioned well.  There are no problems with the upper and outsole flexing.  In fact, flexibility may be too good as it feels like the foot can bend with ease through the Dynamic Flywire.  The weight of the shoe is light with the foundation having a heavier feel than the mesh upper.  Performance fits the player looking for swiftness on the court.  The first aspects that stand out are the plush cushioning and the great flexibility of the shoe.  Although the thickness of the midsole may limit the shoe from being the most nimble, it does play fast with some fluidity.  Moving around the court is fast and comfortable.  The upper flexes with the foot, while the Lunarlon cushioning has a good balance of responsiveness and comfort.  Whether playing off the forefoot or heel, the foot always has some cushioning.  Some may not like the somewhat mushy feel of the Lunarlon, but heavy footed players will find that the small sacrifice in responsiveness is worth the comfort.  For jumps, again the Lunarlon provides a soft base.  Jumps are not as explosive, but they are comfortable, as well as landings.  Versatile and comfortable, the 2013 version of the Hyperdunk stays true to how a well rounded, light weight shoe should perform.

Stability performance is based on the tight fit of the upper with the Dynamic Flywire.  First, the collar and tongue do grip the ankles tight.  Furthermore, heel lock down is excellent with the foam counter adding a barrier of support.  However, because the material is thin, flexibility is favored over protection.  The ankles are locked in place, but when pushed hard, the collar does not provided very good support.  Where the shoe excels is with keeping the foot in place.  The Dynamic Flywire engulfing the foot on each side keeps a very tight grip.  Also, the foundation is contoured, so this further helps with arch support.  The player can feel the upper holding the foot in place for all those abrupt lateral stops and when cutting.  Like the plush cushioning, this is very evident out of the box.  Another aspect of the shoe that helps with stability is the mid foot stability plate.  Since flexibility is just outstanding, there can be problems with the foundation bending too far.  The mid foot stability plate does solve this problem, keeping the shoe true to form.  In summation, the Hyperdunk 2013 may not be the best for an aggressive player in terms of stability, but those looking for a performer that locks the foot in place will be pleased.

Herringbone based traction patterns almost always equate to sticky grip.  In this case traction is sticky, but not with the jerky feeling.  The traction pattern is molded very thick from the forefoot to the heel.  Those who are familiar with the herringbone design will not be disappointed, as it brings great court grip for all those quick & harsh stops.  What makes the traction less jerky are all the elements that break up the herringbone from the flex grooves, to the pivot circles, and textured layer rounding the lateral side.  The player will get all the benefits of the herringbone surface, but in a bit more fluid sense.  In the end, traction performance is great for any playing surface.  Next, ventilation performance not an area of concern for the Hyperdunk 2013.  A mesh based upper helps to control heat and moisture.  And because the material is very thin, the feeling of the foot being suffocated and unable to vent air is not a big issue.

Conclusion

Each year the Hyperdunk series makes small changes and improvements over the previous model.  For the 2013, the shoe returned to the herringbone traction pattern, plays a bit lighter, and has a lower profile that the 2012.  Although the changes are not as significant as the jump from the 2011 to the 2012, they are enough to show some distinction between the two.  Light weight & comfortable with good traction & court feel make the Hyperdunk 2013 great for the guard or swingman looking for a well rounded, every day performer.  Nike has had the Hyper series running strong for the last couple of years.  The Hyperdunk has shown evolution, but on the whole, the light weight push seems as though it can only go so far.  Their catalog is filled with variations of the Hyperdunk and Hyperfuse which does create some confusion.  To see how Nike Basketball will breathe new life into the Hyper series in the next coming season, or if the line is headed in a new direction, will show if this light weight trend has come to a peak.  Available in multiple color schemes at the Official Nike Online Store is the Hyperdunk 2013.

This shoe is comparable to:

Nike Hyperdunk 2012