Nike Lunar Hyperdunk 2012 Performance Review

Hit the jump for full written review & scores…


Traction – Much better than what is offered than any of the previous Hyperdunk models, this traction pattern works better than it may look. Facing multiple directions aids the rubber giving it some additional friction on the courts surface no matter what direction you plan to move.

The one downside is the use of translucent rubber. Clean floors are perfectly fine as are fair court conditions but those of us who end up on some dirty floors will soon realize that the clear sections eventually adhere to the dust and debris causing some slipping unless consistent wipes are implemented. I typically don’t ever clean the bottom of my hoop shoes but I ended up having to keep these soles as clean as possible in order to maintain above average grip.

I recommend using a solid rubber if you plan on purchasing as those should allow the traction pattern to do its job much better than the translucent rubber.


Cushion – Lunarlon is one of my favorite cushions, possibly my favorite foam cushion, but here is shows that foams aren’t perfect. Don’t get me wrong, the Lunarlon does its job of distributing weight from impact perfectly, however, it would have been better if implemented into a full length portion rather than the heel and forefoot targeted zones. Once the foam starts to break down – what some call bottoming out – you will have a slight uneven feeling as the arch of the shoe is made of a more dense Phylon. Its something that will take time so don’t let it stop you from trying them out but I will say that Nike may want to stick with what works for performance series such as the Hyperdunk by just sticking with Zoom Air.

All-in-all, some will complain that the Zoom is missing while others will finally understand my love and appreciation for foam.


Material – The upper is comprised of mesh and next generation Flywire. This style of Flywire seems to utilize Fuse material with thicker Nylon strands of exposed Flywire cables… it works wonderfully. Having this rubbery type of Fuse is great as it offers durability without adding stiffness. Break-in time is minimal so that is a huge plus.

I know that some are questioning the longevity of the exposed cables but in all honesty… I don’t see them getting torn or cut during game play. I’m sure its possible but its highly unlikely.


Fit – The latest Hyperdunk uses the same last as the Hyperdunk 2011 so they run a bit narrow at the forefoot. Wide footers may want to either try them on prior to purchase or go with ½ size larger. Length wise they are true to size.

The snug fit at the forefoot is welcomed as it leaves you with little to no room or dead space. At the midfoot is where you will feel the Flywire cables hug your foot and stay with it during changes in direction and other harsh movements… almost giving a custom fit for each wearer.

The heel is great. Slightly molded padding keeps the Achilles and heel in place while the rest of the collar hugs the ankle without restricting its natural movements whatsoever. They fit so nice at the heel and collar that I didn’t even need to lace them up to the top eyelet as I typically do.


Ventilation – Every Hyperdunk has greatly lacked in ventilation… until now. With the next generation of Flywire in place, exposed medial and lateral side panels are in place featuring mesh along with the rest if the inner boot/ sleeve (attached to the tongue).

There is very little air flow restriction so these have a ton of ventilation throughout the shoe… possibly better than a lot of sneakers available on the market currently; including most Fuse based sneakers.


Support – The overall fit provides a decent amount of support that work in tandem with the external glass based Carbon Fiber shank plate. One of the most notable features on this latest rendition of the Hyperdunk is the wider base which sits a bit lower to the ground when compared to Hyperdunk’s of the past. This created a much more stable platform along with better court feel, allowing you do do what you do without hesitation or awkwardness.

Overall – They may not be my personal top performance model of the year (at this time) but they are definitely in my top 3. Overall scores will push these to the top of the list for 2012 but again, this is based on their total average.

They are, however, the best Hyperdunk to date. If you have enjoyed Hyperdunk models in the past then you’re in for a ride as these are nothing like the past versions… in a good way. Do you NEED the Nike+ version? Not at all… in fact I recommend getting the basic $140 version unless you are neurotic about training or plan on being an NCAA/ NBA prospect in the near future. Sure, its fun to see your stats but its not something that requires an additional $100 or so dollars.

I will be reviewing the Nike+ Basketball system separately so stay tuned for that. Until then… enjoy your time on-court!





  1. As always your review is on point! Can’t wait to playing in these. New camera angles were making me dizzy tho. U still playing ball at Fremont?

  2. Your videos are awesome! Which shoe do you think will be the best shoe for 2012-2013?

  3. Hyperdunk 2012 is NOT da best don’t be fooled 2 muchhh hyyppee go get dem wade 2 ev forr rrreal!!!!!!!!!

    1. Dude, the Fly Wade 2 vs the Hyperdunk 2012
      Fly Wade: Rank 8
      Hyperdunk 2012: Rank 1

      Nuff Said.


        1. dude, I personally have Jordan FlyWade 2 EV’s and their awesome but they have quite obvious down-sides like its ventilation problem…..
          BUT I also have Lunar HyperDunk 2012 as well and they have hit every need of a player from ALL positions.
          I love the FlyWades but nobody can deny how ALMOST perfect the Lunar HyperDunks are.

          PS: you keep on talking about hype and all that. Can you please keep that to yourself CAUSE YOU’RE NO GANGSTA

  4. Great review. Traction in my yellow/red Chinas doesn’t sound any better than your pair. I would give traction a 7 or 8 because it’s great on clean courts but needs plenty of wiping on slightly dusty courts. Also, I liked the lunarlon better in the Wade 2s. I find the Lunarlon in the 2012s to be good but a little too mushy for me. I think zoom would have been better in these.

  5. Hey nightwing if you could use any bball shoe made in any year which shoe would u use .. Also whats your favorite bball shoe? … Great work love your youtube channel!!

  6. Since you already finished the hyperdunk ’12, can we now have your top five best performance shoes based on your personal preference and not with the scores for the first half of the year?

  7. nice review, wouldnt have expected it to get high as a score as it did, but it must of been good to land that score. just a question, is it going to be on your top 10 of ’12 list on your site? i know its good, just want to see how good.

    1. it ranked TOP end IF we busted Solid rubber throughout, NIke needs to quit the icey sole garbage. NIKE needs that first layer of protection, go rubber.

  8. Interesting bit before the intro; I kind of like the way you showcase how the shoe would look while playing. Great review as always, surprised that it did as well as you scored it. It seems you made an effort to make it a bit more brief.
    would’ve been nice to have the sport pack cw for the regular price though.

  9. Hey Nightwing,

    i like the idea with the numbers at the scoreboard. Good job 😉

    Great review. I think, i ll buy these shoes.

    Do you know when you post the review from the Nike+?

    Go ahead.

  10. I’m thinking Nike made the arch from phylon in order to help protect the removable/rechargable Nike+ sensor. I can see how that sensor would take a beating if it were encased in Lunarlon.

  11. Due to the elevated traction pattern, do you think these shoes will be able to hold its own playing outdoors? Or will the solid rubber just smooth out? And do you think sneaker grip can increase the life of the shoes outdoor play if the solid rubber cant hold up on the outdoor courts independently? And do you think I’m asking too much questions? Lol jk hit me back asap. (Btw im talking about the solid rubber in particular. And I’m trying to avoid nike ID due to the price and the wait but let me know of I’m just better off trying to ID these with xdr)

  12. Awesome review.hey nightwing im intrigue with the jordan does it caught your attention to review it?very interesting shoes and the vegas colorway is awesome.

  13. Wow, this shoe has nice scores. Gotta try to fit them since they are on the narrow side again. lol

    1. Tried on a pair of blackouts earlier today. They do run narrow so I tried my regular size & half size bigger. The problem that I encountered was that the tongue was too narrow that it doesn’t cover up my feet and I could see my socks. Oh well….

  14. i am big fan of yours here in the Philippines…great review and hoping for more. thanks nightwing2303!

  15. What i would do and what would probably be good for these shoes is to use them in just games, because it might not last long in practice and games altogether, but for just games you would use them at their peak instead of broken down lunarlon sand pa bit of pain in your arch. Nice review by the way i’m pretty sure about rocking these on the court.

  16. Hey nightwing,

    Great review. Bought a pair of the regular ones, but now I’m a bit concerned about the longevity of the lunarlon. I’ve never played in lunarlon before and usually go for zoom for its responsiveness.
    How long do you think the lunarlon will last? And does it go off with time or by the amount you use it?

  17. Hey nightwing. 🙂
    Great review. I’m planning on copping a pair. Will you review the low cut version when they release?

  18. Excellent review, like the new intro. A question, similar to how car magazines carry out “long-term” reviews, will you consider something along those lines to examine the extent/or degree to which the lunar foam breaks down/bottom out? To that end, the same can be said about the Fly Wade 2’s. On another note, it’s a shame that this CW is only available in the + form…it’s really the only CW I prefer…thanks Nightwing.

    1. I have the Lunar HyperGamer, which uses the same cushioning setup. I lay SF/PF. They completely bottomed out well before the traction gave way. I’m never getting foam shoes again. I have a few pairs of Zoom Kobe VI that have lasted considerably longer.

  19. I think “bottoming out” is not a correct description of lunarlon. The kobe 4s and of hyperdunks had “lunar foam” which had pockets within the foam. Lunarlon uses the density of phylon added to lunar.

    Ive played in lunarlon tennis for 2 years. The grip would die first before the cushioning.

    1. Yes, I meant “Lunarlon”, I constantly get the names mixed up, so thanks for the correction. However, foam breaks down regardless of its density or name, correct? And especially with the application of the “Lunarlon” in this model (i.e. targeted zones), it begs the question, how will the “Lunarlon” break down? And when it does, how will that change playing dynamics in the longer term? Or say, in a course of a season? Hopefully I’ve paraphrased my initial comment a bit better. Thanks.

  20. just 38 more cents, back in the Day when we had pagers and phone booths to get you hooked up NIKE did make outdoor kiks called “NDESTRUCT”, Air Worms and the like were the shoe. bur whatever. think of shoes like tires. you can get a Z rated tire that will give you the best driving performace because the softer compound rubber and indoor shoes will give you the best performance but Out door kix are not as soft and dont allways skreem out that qym sqeek. Out door kicks have larger floor contact points than indoor kicks. (refer to the grade skool kobe 6 to understand the dif between indoor and playground) Run a pair of kobe bruce lee’s outdoor and their gonna go bald faster than a Kemo patient. Indoor kicks will give you the best outdoor game but not the other way around. IMMFO.

    1. Today, in year 2 of our Lord Metta World Peace, we have Nike ID, and can have outdoor-specific outsoles fitted to pretty much any of their shoes. We at the Church of Metta believe those who take their game outdoors should also have the opportunity to have their faces elbowed, and are in no way less worthy of a broken nose or cheekbone than individuals with softer shoe outsoles playing in the hardwood realm of THE PEACE. All hail!

  21. Pls go get dem apl shoes they will make you dunk for rrrreeeaall. They called APL .hyperdunk is too much bs

  22. just wondering if the mesh tongue will rip like it did for the original fly wade 2’s cause i loved those shoes but ripped the tongue to the point that i had to replace them
    and cheers nightwing your reviews are the best

    1. yea I asked you can. but can you find out if foot locker can give me 50% off the $140 pair. Im not gonna wear them . … just stare.

  23. would you recommend this to a player who play outdoor, a player who would use a shoe for a year? or would it be better to wait for the lebron zoom soldier 6?

  24. im looking for the same color shoes as the one reviewed in the video that doesn’t have the nike+ thing. Do they hav it?

  25. Hey nightwing, i wasnt sure if you reviewed the hyperdunk 2011 elites, so ill just ask you here. Performance wise which is better, the hyperdunk 2011 elite or the 2012 hyperdunk? Thanks and great job on the reviews!

  26. This shoe is absolutely terrible. If anybody’s thinking of buying, don’t. The fit is so narrow they are unwearable and going up half a size would make them too long to perform well.
    And this lunar foam is useless. It’s like walking on fluffy pillows. Very unstable and inconsistent.
    And finally, the materials are so cheap they make paying anything over 50 bucks a major scam

  27. I just want to know can I buy the Nike+ Tech separate from the shoe or do I have to buy both cuz I really don’t want to spend $250

    1. you have to buy them together because the normal version does not have the empty spots in the insole to have them go in there

  28. Hey, Nightwing2303.
    I have been reading your blog for a while now. I really appreciated your work and what you have been doing. You did exactly what I wanted to do back then, great job. I used to ball everyday for at least 2 hours, and I am a sneaker head since I have been playing basketball more than 10 years ago. I always buy the new innovated shoes from Nike and try them out. I was willing to do something like what you have done a while back. But anyways, I have a question for you about the shoes I should choose. I believe you will be a great help for me.
    I stop playing basketball about 2 years ago, and not much of exercises due to school and work. Recently, I try to get myself back into the court. Of course I gained about 20 lbs in the past 2 years. I am about 185-190lbs, 5’8″ tall.
    I play PG, and I love low to the ground shoes back then. Kobe V and CP shoes are my favorite. I have never been a big fan of air max basketball shoes just because they are so dull on the reaction when I try to change direction with the ball. Hope you can get the idea what kind of shoes I like. Lately, I hooped in those thin sole shoes a couple of times, my knees feel pain after wearing them. So I start looking for a shoes that with maximum cushioning, it seems like cutting direction may not do good for my joints as of now.
    I am looking at the leBron9 and the new hyperdunk 2012. Or do you have any recommendation on what I should wear to play for now?
    Any suggestions will be appreciated.
    Thank you very much!

    1. I’m also 5″8 Tall and about 75kilos, is also playing the PG position. Tried Lebron 9 and it’s not that responsive compared to hyperdunk 2012 and hyperfuse low 2011. I wouldn’t recommend this for faster and change-pacing guards likely because of its weight but I think it’ll work for slower moving guards as I commend its support, fit and especially its cushioning. It has an instant push or explosiveness for very athletic player but with their speed at cost. Your feet will be feeling so comfortable while wearing these. With regard to hyperdunk 2012, still haven’t tried them yet.

    1. No, they don’t its just a normal shoe, you can’t buy a nike+ chip and put it in. It’s just a normal basketball shoe, if you want the nike+ activation you HAVE to buy the 240$ nike+ model… sucks doesn’t it?

  29. Hey nightwing,

    Ive been trying to decide lately what shoe to get. Im deciding whether to get the crazy light 2’s or the nike lunar hyperdunks 2012. Im 6″0 Ft. 180 lbs. Im an all around guard that loves to move quick and drive to the basket real hard. Which shoes should i get?

  30. i’m guessing they made the lunarlon pocketed so they can insert the nike+ system to the shoe..

  31. Hey, Nightwing,

    great review, I like the camera angles. Hyperdunks this year are great, I think Lunarlon is a great solution for this shoe. I am looking forward to get this shoe, and the fact that they are ranked #1 in your top ten, makes me want them even more. But, are they better than Crazy Lights 2? I think they are, but I need your professional answer.

    Thank you.

  32. I have worn a variety of different shoes and I must say the 2011 model works better for my foot. In the 2012’s my toes get soggy and it feels terribly uncomfortable. The midfoot is too tight and the upper foot ankle area can’t seem to get tight enough.

    I really wanted to love these shoes, but honestly have not. Went back to the 2011’s

  33. Hey Nightwing,

    I was wondering how you would compare these shoes to the Hyperdunk Elite Series? Specifically regarding the fit, traction?

  34. Hey nightwing,

    if i buy a pair of the non sport pack ones and i have the sport pack from another pair of shoes can i use the sport pack again?

  35. Hey can anyone answer me, which is better for a combo forward- center the Hyperdunk 2012 or the Crazy Light 2 or the AdiRose 2.5. Can somebody asnwer? please

  36. i never own any hyperdunk so i got questions did hyperdunk2012 better than 2011 model ? i normally play as center or sometimes guard im 6′ tall 220 a bit fat
    is hyperdunk suit me

  37. Hey nightwing, i own the hyperdunk 2012 but the lunarlon is too soft for me at some times but i love the fit. What shoe would you recomend that have the same fit just a little more firmness in them?

  38. Hey NightWing, I was looking to purchase a shoe but I am sort of a perfectionist. I wanted to know what is your best performance shoe for basketball all-time. I will be using these shoes indoor only. I was looking at the hyperdunk 2012 but noticed recently you had the lebron 10 above it. I am not a big fan of lebrons and prefer the style of the hyperdunks but I just wanted to know what you think is the best basketball shoe performance wise.

    Thanks alot I really appreciate all your vids. Big Fan! Keep it up.

  39. I recently bought a pair of Hyperdunk 2012’s-Team China colors. Overall performance was spot on your review. My only concern is what material should I use for cleaning my shoe? What do you suggest Nightwing?


  40. Compared to the Kobe VI, which do you prefer? I have about the same body type and am probably the same basketball player position-wise as you. I really liked the Kobe VI, but if I wanted to try a new shoe it would be this one or the low version of these that are coming out later in the year.
    I know you had the Kobe VI ranked pretty high for performance shoes in 2011, so I just wanted to know which you liked more and which performed better.
    Thanks in advance.

  41. i just got this one in all black color, just like you said, it´s an excellent shoe, ready to use directly out of the box. I had just used it to walk, but feels great by now, no complains so far. I used your review to finally decide to buy them. No regrets about that.

    Thanks, and saludos desde México.

    PS: Sorry about my poor english

    1. I own both the Crazy2’s and the Lunar HyperDunk. The Crazy2’s have adequate ankle support, keeps your foot inplace. The Lunar Hyperdunk has an AMAZING fit, which inturn provides the ankle support.

      If I had to choose, Lunar Hyperdunk >

  42. hyperdunk 2012 is really the beast on court, i’ve a wide foot and i have to like break it in for 2-3 games before it hugs my feet. i play the 2 position and it suits my game! w/o the review i wouldnt want to get a pair of this shoe! you the man nightwing2303!

  43. Quick question NightWing,

    Can a shoe model, having different colorways/material have different fits?
    Asking this because I fitted the Team USA Home of these babies last week
    wearing athletic socks (little thick) at my size (11) and they fitted perfectly both
    lengthwise and widthwise. But earlier this afternoon, while wearing office
    socks (thin socks) I fitted the All Black ones with the laces loose even. To
    my surprise they were tight both length and widthwise.

    Is it the material? or… I don’t know…

    Let me know what you think, thank you! Really appreciate your work.

  44. anybody having problems with the tongue? it seems to get out of position every time i ball with it.

    1. Yea, dude Iv’e noticed that too. But there’s no other downside that I can see throughout the shoe. And, their basketball shoes. It doesn’t need to be in position whenever you’re ballin’. Just Do It.

  45. Hello nightwing 2303
    I saw the Nike + hyperdunks on for like 159.99 it is really cheap. Did your Nike + hyperdunks come with the Nike + package or did you buy it your self. Why is it so cheap

  46. Yo nightwing2303, please rate the following shoes based on your opinion of overall performance, A- Nike Lunar Hyperdunk B- Nike Hyperdunk 2011 Elite & C- D Rose 3. I am a PG/SG, use my speed along with a very long stride. I am 6″ and am able to dunk on a 10′ ft hoop. I am having a hard time decide which Hyperdunk is better, price is NOT a factor. Please respond with your rankings of the 3 shoes based on given information. Thank you nightwing2303.

    From, A daily returning visitor to the site & YouTube channel. (Mike)

  47. Hey Nightwing i need some help…im a powerforward playing in cp3.vs which were perfectly fine but now its time to upgrade..should i get the since ive played in the v’s already or should i choose between the 2012 hyperdunk or the lebron 9 low…what i need is an all around better shoe for a power forward/center..i have played in the 2011 hyperdunks as well so that is why im considering the 2012 hyperdunks as well…please reply…ur opinion is much appreciated

    1. Based on nightwing’s personal list I think u should get the hyperposites because that’s the best big man shoe, 2nd would be the zoom soldier 6, and third would probably be the melo m8. Notice I said personal not the actuall score board thing. If u don’t like any of those,

    1. You should get drose 3 dude. Because it’s lightweight, perfect for almost any point guard, and good lookin’. But if you’re going for Dunks, do it man.

  48. I personally have These HyperDunks on Court Purple, Varsity Red, Electric Green and they’re awesome. The fit almost got me going on the court with a little bit snugginess, but they have everything a guard needs on a basketball shoe. One of the best shoes of this generation (IN MY OPINION). This shoe has a unique pattern of Flywire cables exposed throughout the side that is being held by those 3 stitches. The design is amazing as for my personal view. The material is perfect based on the flexibility and still remains durable somehow. It’s perfect for a Guard, and If you’re a guard and looking for good shoes like this, get one.

  49. hey ive been lookin for these all over and I cant find them I checked nike and they quit carryin them and ive checked eastbay footlocker and finish line and night wing ur the best person who reviews shoes out there

  50. i have a good chance in getting these but with the 2011s and the kobe 7s my foot hurt almost everytime i played in them and i want a comfortable shoe…any suggestions anybody besides the micro g torches cuz im already getting those too

  51. In all honest here, these shoes were the best basketball shoes I’ve ever worn in my whole life once I broke into them, and does exactly what nightwing’s review says. But recently, after balling for like 7 months in them for about 1-2 times a week, just as nightwing had said, the lunarlon gave in and broke down “bottomed out” which created like a hard crater in the heel, not foamy and comfortable as it was use to be, giving it a uncomfortable feeling which puts strain on my legs…so it’s definitely the best shoes I’ve balled in, but for those that dont want to spend $140 for shoes that lasts about half a year, then don’t go for these, unless you get them at the outlets.

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