Nike Zoom Hyperfuse 2013

The Nike Zoom Hyperfuse 2013

Introduction

Nike has been a trendsetter in the basketball shoe industry for over 3 decades and is responsible for the light weight movement that the market is entrenched in today.  One of the most influential technologies they developed was the Fuse design introduced with the Hyperfuse.  Many performance shoes today use a similar layered upper design for light weight performance and stability.  This season, the Hyperfuse is back – always aggressive from the styling to performance.  But in a sea of “Hyper” branded shoes the original seems to get lost in the shuffle.  Will the 2013 version have the performance to stand out?  This Performance Review takes the Nike Zoom Hyperfuse 2013 for a run on the hardwood.

Along with the Hyperdunk, the 2013 version of the Hyperfuse stands atop the Hyper line.  The features include the following:

  • Hyperfuse construction for light weight performance
  • Cushioning provided by a Phylon midsole and Nike Zoom unit in the forefoot
  • Rubber outsole with herringbone traction pattern
  • Inner sleeve for comfort and fit
  • Adaptive Fit ankle collar system for light weight protection and lock down

Aesthetics and Styling

Every season, the designers of the Hyper-line seem to come out with very similar styles that are very hard to distinguish as years pass.  For 2013, it looks as though the Hyperfuse is going back to basics.  Styling is more subdued this time out.  In fact, the shoe does look on par with the first Hyperfuse released in 2010.  The performance mainstays are in place which includes the Fuse upper, Zoom unit in the forefoot, and Phylon midsole.  New to the shoe are an inner sleeve and the detached Adaptive Fit ankle collar system.  With so many shoes in the Nike Basketball catalog this year, the Hyperfuse had a somewhat quiet release.  This did not stop the company from releasing a handful of introductory color schemes, as the shoe will be one of the more popular models in the commercial market.  The choice for this Performance Review is the two-toned Game Royal/Blue Hero color scheme.

Nike Zoom Hyperfuse 2013

Four years in and the Hyperfuse is still one of the best light weight performers on the market

From a side profile the sharp lines and narrow shape of the Hyperfuse is topped off with the zig zag hang tab.  A flat base makes the forefoot shank stand out, while the middle of the shoe has a long, narrow look.  The upper has a somewhat clean look with only two places for a secondary color, and the Nike swoosh logo over the Fuse layers.  Starting with the underside, the flat & contoured rubber outsole is marked with the herringbone traction pattern and plenty of flex grooves.  This lay out has been seen on past Hyper shoes including the Hyperdunk.  At the forefoot, the rubber comes up to form a toe cap.  On the medial side, the traction pattern climbs up the sidewall slightly.  The body of the forefoot is simply marked with the herringbone pattern with four deep diagonal flex grooves running horizontally.  The third flex groove reveals the forefoot Zoom unit.  At the mid foot, a second rubber portion is in place in lieu of a TPU shank.  It has a Nike swoosh logo with a crossing traction pattern and climbs up the mid foot on the upper for added support.  Also, the lateral outrigger is part of this portion, which has the “NIKE ZOOM” branding molded into the rubber.  Rounding out the rubber is the heel section.  It has the herringbone traction molded deep and a star flex groove pattern in the middle.  Supporting the herringbone based sole is the customary Phylon midsole.  It simply runs along the base, contoured on the medial side.

It is a familiar scene up top as the upper is made with various layers of Fuse material.  The toe box area is covered in the smooth synthetic, with the only openings visible towards the lateral side.  A silver Nike swoosh logo marks the medial side.  Each side has the chain link-like design for the quarter panels which creates the openings on the upper.  The reinforcement base material can be seen underneath the chain link design.  Finishing off the upper is a silver Nike swoosh logo.

At the rear, the zig zag rubber hang tab runs stiff down the center.  It runs on top of the heel counter, which is covered in maximum layers of Fuse, all the way to the Adaptive Fit collar.  The Adaptive fit collar is detached from the Fuse upper at the heel.  It is stitched on the inside at the heel before being glued onto the Fuse upper.  Smooth leather covers the outside which has a padded, protruding bubble.  The “ADAPTIVE FIT” branding is printed small on the medial side.  For comfort, this ankle system is lined with a silky synthetic material.

Standard flat laces run straight up the 7 eyelets.  Each eyelet is reinforced with the material being raised except for the throat line eyelet and the two collar eyelets.  A thin and light weight mesh tongue sits underneath the laces, connected on the sides to form an inner bootie.  The tongue has two lace holders in the center with a padded “HYPERFUSE” branded portion on top.  Rounding out the Hyperfuse 2013 is a very soft foam insole.  It has the Nike swoosh logo on the heel and brings comfort over the Phylon midsole.

Comfort and Fit

Like the past Hyperfuse models, construction of the sides is stiff and narrow.  Wiggling through the Adaptive Fit collar is aided by the use of the rubber zig zag hang tab.  Pushing through into the inner sleeve brings a very tight, close, form fitting, true to size fit.  The Fuse upper bears right down on the foot.  Every aspect of the shoe feels locked in place and tight.  There is no wiggle room at all.  The toe box has a precise fit.  It has a flat shape with more width room than previous versions of the shoe.  Those with tight feet might want to first try on the shoe as there is almost no wiggle room at all.  One of the beast aspects of fit is with the Adaptive Fit collar.  Ankle coverage is excellent and not too tight.  Both support and protection can be felt, but since the design is detached from the upper, it allows for the ankles to be rotated with good freedom.  Heel lock down is tight.  The collar locks the heels in place with no movement at all.  For cushioning, the Phylon/Zoom set up feels minimal.  The footbed is contoured with soft comfort coming from the insole.  At the forefoot, the Zoom unit is small but prevalent.  With the countered shape, inner sleeve, and griping Fuse layers, side support is excellent.  The arches are held tight and it feels as though the foot will not move around when in use.  Close, tight, and supportive, the Hyperfuse 2013 gives the quintessential feel of the Fuse technology in a basketball shoe.

Nike Zoom Hyperfuse 2013

Equipped with the Adaptive Fit collar system, the Hyperfuse 2013 brings very good support, protection, and lock down

Performance

With the upper tight and stiff around the foot the Hyperfuse needs a short break in period to get eased in.  The contoured base and flat sole brings good court feel.  Broken in, heel to toe transitions feel solid and cushioned.  Below, the herringbone based outsole hugs the court.  The insole brings comfort for each step as the foot pushes down on the Phylon midsole.  Luckily there is consistency in cushioning as the Phylon does not have a hard feel.  For the upper, flexibility is good from the Fuse layers around the shoe to the Adaptive fit collar.  All of this is wrapped up in a light weight, balanced package.  Performance is versatile for all positions and playing styles.  The shoe plays more towards the quick, nimble, and aggressive player.  Moving around the court feels both solid and responsive.  The foundation is not the lowest but it does play low.  Quick players will be able to blast forward off the first step.  Pushing off the forefoot Zoom does not slow down the player as it is not very thick.  Yes the player will push right through the unit, but it does bring a slight bounce for finishes at the rim or jumpers on the run.  For lateral movement, the shoe fares well.  Movement feels free and precise because of the fit and design of the foundation.  The player can move, stop, start, and change directions all at a hard and face pace.   Next, the feel of speed of the shoe is accentuated by the Hyperfuse construction.  The upper is minimal and does not get in the way of bending and flexing freely.  It has a solid sock-like feel.  Awkward flex points seem to have been eliminate by the inner sleeve which lets the player performer agile moves including cuts and spins.  For jumps, the shoe pushes the player to be dynamic.  Because the fit is so tight, it pushes the foot on the footbed.  Shoes like this just give the feel that the player can push off the foundation explosively.  And this is one of the aspects that makes the Hyperfuse a special shoe.  Aggressive jumpers who like a combination of cushioning and responsiveness will find this set up ideal.  Fast, light weight, and versatile, the designers at Nike have brought the Hyperfuse back to the original form.

With the Fuse construction, stability for the 2013 falls in the light weight category.  Players who need optimal support may not be accommodated by the thin fuse upper, even with the inner sleeve.  That said, stability performance is centered around the inner sleeve and Adaptive fit detached collar.  For the first time, the Hyperfuse line is equipped with a sleeve set up.  This not only provides comfort from the Fuse upper, but also helps to keep the foot locked in place.  There is very little movement for jerky, abrupt moves.  The player rarely has to adjust the upper as it takes a lot to get it out of place.  All of this allows the Hyperfuse upper to flex and hold as the foot bends.  The result is light weight and comfortable stability.  The consistent feel of the upper translates up to the ankles.  Detached from the upper, the Adaptive Fit collar first brings excellent lock down for the ankles, Achilles, and heels.  The detachment helps with to keep the player nimble on the court, but most importantly provides very good support and protection.  This is a good example of light weight, comprehensive support without a restrictive feel.

Aggressively sticky traction is what the Hyperfuse 2013 is all about.  The herringbone based outsole performs just as it looks.  There are no other words to describe it but sticky.  Players who like planting and having the shoe halt them in place will find no faults with this performer.  Stopping on a dime is very aggressive.  The player can change directions on the fly, spin, and jump at will.  And for lateral movement, the rounded shape of the lateral side combines with the traction performance to make the shoe feel extremely fast and nimble.  The Hyperfuse 2013 brings no surprises with traction performance as it is just sticky.  For ventilation the shoe fares well.  The inner sleeve does limit the feeling of free flowing air.  However there are plenty of outlets for heat and moisture which include the openings on the upper and the slight space created from the detached collar.

Conclusion

The Hyperfuse line has always been solid year in and year out.  It is perhaps the best illustration of what the Fuse technology brings to the table in terms of a performance basketball shoe.  The original Hyperfuse may be the best in the line so far, but the 2013 version comes very close to capturing the well rounded performance.  Tight and form fitting, it brings versatile light weight performance with exceptional responsiveness, stability, and suburb traction performance.  Even though the Hyperfuse continues to deliver with performance, it may seem time for Nike to move in a different direction.  With so many Hyper variations on the market, making a choice on what shoe is best is getting harder and harder.  Needless to say, it is once again a great option for those who like the light weight and somewhat aggressive performance.  Available now at the Official Nike Online Store is the exceptional Zoom Hyperfuse 2013.

This shoe is comparable to:

Nike Hyperfuse (2012)
Nike Zoom Hyperfuse 2011
Nike Zoom Hyperfuse