Nike Hyperdunk 2016 Low Performance Review

They did way better than last year…

Nike Hyperdunk 2016 Low Performance Review TractionTraction – Blade traction runs through the outsole’s tooling in multidirectional fashion…and it’s awesome. Yes, they used translucent rubber along the outsole of the Hyperdunk 2016 Low. No, it doesn’t hinder performance — this time. The pattern and rubber compound were awesome, even in dusty settings. You’re covered linearly, laterally, and even with quick jabs steps or step backs. Last year’s Hyperdunk had great traction, and these do as well. Luckily for us, the traction wasn’t the only highlight on the shoe this time around.

Nike Hyperdunk 2016 Low Performance Review CushionCushion – Last year’s Hyperdunk 2015 brought back our beloved Zoom Air cushion, and despite bringing back the fan-favorite setup, it had horrible cushion. The 2016 edition changes that completely as it provides you with ample cushion that is low profile and responsive. It’s not the Zoom Air’s fault when Zoom goes bad; it’s usually the foam that the cushion setup is encased in. There are different densities of foam, much like rubber, and the more dense the Phylon is the firmer it feels.

For this year’s Hyperdunk 2016 Low, Nike used better Phylon that allows you to feel the cushion underfoot. Not only that, but they cored out the heel and forefoot sections as well. That means those sections will compress more than they would have had they been filled. This allows you to really feel what Zoom Air is capable of. This is what it felt like to play in a Zoom Air setup back in the 90’s. This is how I fell in love with the tech.

Nike Hyperdunk 2016 Low Performance Review MaterialsMaterials – Fuse and screen mesh are the primary materials. These aren’t my preferred materials, but they worked really well and were comfortable on top of that. If durability and ventilation are your primary focus when looking at material options then you’ll want to consider these as they offer both without sacrificing containment.

Nike Hyperdunk 2016 Low Performance Review FitFit – After the Flyknit rendition of the Hyperdunk 2016 was noted to fit a little long and wide, we assumed that the regular versions of the shoe would as well. Well, you know what they say about those that assume. Yeah, made an ass out of myself as I wound up with a shoe 1/2 size too small. I could tell that there would’ve been a bit of room within the shoe width wise, but it would’ve been manageable with the length running true to size. My recommendation would be going true to size, and the width might even accommodate wide footers well enough.

Lockdown was solid as the lacing system did what it’s supposed to do. It’s also slightly asymmetrical which really hugs the foot nicely. It’s something so minor that you tend to dismiss it, but that’s sort of the point. You want a shoe that will fit so well that you forget all about them while playing.

Heel lockdown was solid as well; it’s something Nike has gotten down pretty nicely over the past few years. It’s rare to find a low top Nike Basketball shoe that doesn’t offer ample lockdown in the rear of the shoe — a bonus for those of us that enjoy playing in low tops.

Nike Hyperdunk 2016 Low Performance Review SupportSupport – Everything we’ve previously gone over plays directly into the support of the Hyperdunk 2016 Low. The materials being durable and containing the foot properly, as well as their overall fit, and the wide base they ride on, all tie into their support. They don’t go above and beyond what you’d expect, but they don’t need to, as they do exactly what you need them do — something most players will appreciate.

Nike Hyperdunk 2016 Low Performance Review OverallOverall – Much better than last year. Although last year’s were pretty bad, so that isn’t saying much. What you’ll receive here is great traction, a real Zoom Air experience, durable materials, a nice fit, and ample support. Yeah, the Hyperdunk 2016 Low is back being one of the best all-around basketball shoes for players at any position.

Nike Hyperdunk 2016 Low Performance Review Score



  1. Great review.You forgot to mention of the traction is suitable for outdoors.Although I think that it isn’t,I would like to hear your opinion

    1. I didn’t play in them outdoors so I didn’t comment on it. They’ll grip fine, but durability might suffer. Comes with the territory though — something most outdoor hoopers already are aware of.

  2. Good performance review NW. I’m surprised about the zoom air in these. This is a rare bang per buck for NIKE.

  3. I know what you mean and I know that thin blades aren’t that durable outside. I was reffering more to whether the rubber of the outsole is soft or hard.

  4. Great review as always. I wish this level of zoom was the standard for all zoom shoes. For the last several years Nike has been releasing a lot of zoom that could barely be felt or not felt at all. Its a great cushion, but they don’t use it to its potential too many times.

    1. CLB 2016s, just look at the score cards. Try them on in store too to ensure no heel slippage.

      1. There is more to it than a score card. You have to try them on yourself first and see how your foot feels in them. You have to understand this is coming from a perspective of different players who play different positions. As much as this is a overall shoe, each shoe is based upon a players needs.

  5. You guys should make an app so use on mobile devices is easier, although it’s not bad at the moment on a phone

  6. Great review. I picked up the Flyknit version and have been impressed by them. Very interested in trying out a pair of lows now and seeing how they compare.

    Nice Kobe socks BTW. Still my favorite Nike basketball socks.

  7. Yawn.
    With all the things adi is putting out right now, im not excited for any swoosh right now

  8. Thanks for the detailed review. Just one question: Do u know is there any difference between the shoes sold/made in Hong Kong and US?
    Because i don’t know if u notice that in fact in nike website in HK, some of the shoes’ tech spec. say that their outsole use a material called HAGR apart from XDR for oudoor durability(In HK website->HAGR shoes: Hyperdunk 2016 low, Kobe Venomenon 5. For XDR: hypershift, Ambassadar VIII and Hyperrev 2016)These info are not mentioned in US Nike website.
    and i am in US bay area now, so i want to buy this low top b4 i go back as the Unlimited colourway is dope. Thx again for the review.

      1. This is what it says on the Nike HK website:


        The Nike Hyperdunk 2016 Low EP Men’s Basketball Shoe features a breathable upper and Zoom Air cushioning for ventilated comfort and a lightweight, responsive ride. An extra-durable rubber outsole allows for extended play on outdoor courts.

        Heel and forefoot Zoom Air units deliver low-profile responsiveness
        Flywire cables integrate with the laces for a locked-down midfoot
        Flexible, low-top design for excellent range of motion
        Breathable textile upper provides ventilation
        Injected Phylon midsole for responsive cushioning
        HAGR outsole material offers durability and high-abrasion resistance on the outdoor court

          1. It really is just XDR rubber. I just copped a pair from NIKE HK and they came in today with the standard XDR tag on the left shoe. I want to post a picture of them but don’t know how lol.

  9. NW, I need your help or advice BIG time!
    I am traction-support-cushion priority and I’m tossed between the HD2013 and HD2016…please which one? Performance wise…you say it and I’ll proceed with payment right away 🙂

      1. I will be getting the Crazy Explosive FOR SURE!!!
        Emphasis on “FOR SURE”…lol
        Just honestly tossed between the HD2013 and the HD2016…

    1. Go with the big 3 of the Adidas Lineup,

      CLB2016, D Rose 7, Crazy Explosive,

      They will satisfy your Cushion, Traction and Support needs.

  10. Regarding the cushion and the hollowed out portions that you say enhance the Zoom experience, did you personally prefer that over the CLB2016, specifically in the forefoot? I’m currently trying to decide between these two or if I’d rather wait for the Clutchfit Drive 3 Low. I figure heel cushioning will be good on all 3, but wondering which will provide the best forefoot responsiveness.

  11. Nightwing, do you think there’s too much difference performance wise between the Elite and the regular model ? The Elite is kinda cheap on my country (same price as the KD, Kobes, and way less expensive than any new Adidas model) and I don’t think the lows will come anytime soon.

  12. Why do people keep asking NW for which shoes they should buy? NW and the crew are great bball sneaker reviewers not a shoes physics. As basketball players we all have different needs and thats what makes all the reviews on this site great. We are offered with different categories and options-from prices to brand.
    FYI — based on my needs, as a basketball players, i’ve been buying sneakers, different brands, using THE REVIEWS on this site for years and I have not been dissapointed.
    Maybe this will help you- write all the categories in order of importance to you incluiding prices and then decide for yourself.

  13. very good hoop shoe ! very good cushioning u can feel the zoom, the phylon is right, i went 1/2 size up to my normal 9.5 coz i got very wide feet, a very good shoe overall, responsiveness is ok.

  14. Picked these up instead of the Jordan 29 Lows. The difference maker was the heel cushioning. Huge difference when wearing one right after the other. Still can’t believe Jordan was putting no heel cushioning in their best shoes!

    I can’t wait to play in these Hyperdunks. They feel great just wearing them around.

  15. Hey NW, thanks for the review! For you personally, did you like these more or the Hypershifts? Would any of the 2 crack your rotation? Thanks!

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