WearTesters is reader-supported. When you make purchases using links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Why trust us?

Nike Hyperdunk 2016 Flyknit Performance Review

The Hyperdunk line from Nike has always produced some of the most dynamic and versatile performance models on the market. It has been a fan favorite, regardless of position, but this year Nike introduces Flyknit to the Hyperdunk line and implements a full-length Zoom Air bag.

Will this be enough to keep all positions one through five happy? Find out with the WearTesters of the Nike Hyperdunk 2016 Flyknit performance review.


While the traction does work, it isn’t anything extraordinary. The blade pattern will cover you in all directions but you will almost never hear that euphoric squeaking sound that us hoopers have associated with great traction. Dust does tend to get stuck to the translucent rubber outsole every now and then but with just a few wipes you’ll be ready to go. There is an area on the medial forefoot where the traction wraps up onto the midsole and this feature is excellent for those hard v-cut-like movements; it will keep you from slipping and loosing that extra step you were planning on having from your defender.

The traction didn’t let me down, but it didn’t blow me away either. It did everything it needed to but nothing extra and with top of the line traction recently being used in other models, we couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed with the traction. In reality we’re just spoiled and the Hyperdunk 2016’s traction is reliable in all conditions.


This is one of those cushion setups where Nike said “Full-length Zoom” and then dropped the mic. It’s fantastic and if you love Nike Zoom Air, it will be hard for you to pass these up. Originally we thought that the Hyperdunk 2016 utilized a 3/4 length bag, but after we saw this model deconstructed, the Zoom bag was longer than we thought and extends to the very bottom of your toes which is perfect. Every player will find something they love in the cushion setup of the Hyperdunk 2016. Bigs will get enough impact protection and guards will get enough responsiveness, but slashers will benefit the most thanks to the hallowed out core between the Zoom unit and outsole in the forefoot and heel areas. It makes for an extremely bouncy ride and provides excellent snapback for quick toe offs and jumps — this is not a gimmick, it actually works. During rebounds you will feel like your second bounce comes quicker and goes higher. Of course this is just a feeling because the Hyperdunk 2016 doesn’t actually make you jump higher, it just feels like it does.


Nike seems to have figured out the whole Flyknit-on-a-basketball-sneaker thing with models such as the KD 9 showing us that we can have a true Flyknit experience on the hardwood. However, the Hyperdunk 2016 reverts to an old method that leaves us slightly disappointed. While the midfoot utilizes true Flyknit and the collar area is a more elastic version of the critically acclaimed woven material, the toebox is backed by glue and is identical to what we saw in the Kobe 9 Elite. This turns the Flyknit into a stiff material that retains its shape but doesn’t allow the toebox to conform to your foot, leaving the user with an ample amount of dead space that is made more noticeable by the fact that the Hyperdunk 2016 fits long.

Besides for the toebox, the materials are outstanding and conform to your foot perfectly. It’s a real bummer Nike couldn’t figure out how to apply true Flyknit to the front of the model as the duality in materials affect the Hyperdunk 2016 in more ways than one.


I would highly recommend that you go down half a size. As I mentioned in the materials section the Hyperdunk 2016 fits long and this is made even more noticeable by the fact that the materials used in the toebox area don’t conform to your foot for a nice lockdown fit. You won’t have to worry about tightness in the midfoot as the Flyknit material in this area isn’t restrictive and will wrap around your foot nicely. At first glance you may think that the sock collar is a pain to get your foot in and out of but Nike made this area very adaptable by increasing the elasticity of the Flyknit material. This makes for a comfortable experience that doesn’t feel restrictive at all.

What is a pain is lacing the Hyperdunk 2016. The laces get caught on eyelets which are made of raw Flyknit material and thanks to the sloppy fit in the toebox, you will have to re-adjust your lacing every 30 minutes or so. This small but nagging issue makes the Hyperdunk 2016 somewhat a chore to wear — something you don’t want to hear about a model that utilizes a woven upper. The good and bad of the Flyknit material is an awkward experience that makes the toebox feel like it’s catching up to the rest of the shoe as opposed to moving with you at every moment.


I was wary of the rounded outsole in the heel area and thought I would be falling on my backside on hop-steps and jump-stops. However, thanks to the extremely wide base, staying on your feet in the Hyperdunk 2016 is as easy as a break away layup. Features like the strikingly large heel counter and Flywire do their jobs just fine, but the stand-out feature is again the immensely wide base that keeps you on your feet no matter what type of player you are. If you’re a quick player that uses sharp cuts for quick changes in direction, the rounded outsole and midsole wrapping traction will work to your advantage; explosive players that use power moves and solid planting will find that the wide base will keep them upright even if their footwork isn’t Hakeem level.

Nike understood that by using a woven material some sacrifices in support had to be made on the upper. But the Swoosh did what it does best and once again pushed the bar by making up for the lack of support on the upper with a versatile wide base that can cater to a variety of play styles. That is is exactly what the Hyperdunk line made its name on: versatility.


With a $200 dollar price tag, only you can answer the question as to whether it’s worth it or not. What we can say about the Nike Hyperdunk 2016 is that there are a lot of things to get excited about. Not only does the cushion put a smile on our face but the dynamic support system shows us that models with woven materials can be useful for everyone, regardless of position or play style.

Had the fit in the toebox area been more refined and had Nike gottem rid of that glued Flyknit in the toebox area for true Flyknit, that hefty price of admission would be a lot easier to swallow. As it sits right now the Hyperdunk 2016 Flyknit is one of the best in a long line of Hyperdunks, but it could have been so much more than that.

Hyperdunk 2016 Flyknit Performance Review - Score Card
  1. $200? Another overly-complicated shoe that has issues. Flyknit backed by glue and fuse is completely superficial and useless. Shoes like the XX9, J Crossover 2, and CL Boost 2015 all applied the use of knit effectively. On the Kobe IX and X it was just there for looks.

    The most basic of questions when building a shoe should be: will this application help or hurt performance? Too often it gets ignored or shoved aside in the name of using flagship tech. and visual appeal.

    To me it seems like the HD 2011 was the peak of the line.

    1. The issues are not overly-complicated. They fit long and the toebox is backed by glue. Everything else is true Flyknit. Regardless of price. These performed very well. Whether its worth $200 is up to you but that doesn’t hurt the way the shoe performs.

    2. Is Flyknt better leather or synthetic material yes. The plastic film backing the Flyknt in the toe-box area prevents ripping. Over time the plastic film molds to the foot shape.

  2. Wouldn’t it be interesting if the regular version doesn’t have fit issues, for $60 less. In any case, this seems like just another elite that doesn’t come close to justifying the price.

  3. thankyou, im interested regardless of price, come on its not bloomingdales, but because when saw it cut in half reminded me the time I tried on the 2011 in store and had to buy them there because of how light it was.. In wondering if this is light like that cause the cut in half looked extremely minimal yet the density of midsole would decide.. also wondering why zoom is never all the way to toe except in couple models maybe LeBron 12 and the Jordan with hole on side.. dunno, if want it to be more stable on pushoffs?? thanks, j

  4. Why didn’t the cushion recieved a HOF badge?You sound trully amazed by this cushion set up.
    The shoe is a pass for me . with 150 I can get the kd 9 with full lenght fat zoom and with 120 the CLB 16 with full lenght boost.
    Nice job Nike. a great shoe for your outlet stores

  5. I can’t totally hate on the glue-backing. If they didn’t need it, I’m inclined to believe Nike wouldn’t have bothered with that step in materials and production. I’ve heard about the JC2 and CL’s stretching, and they lack that kind of reinforcement. Put it on the feet of typically-heavier and more athletic players, which include centers, it probably won’t pan out so nicely after a few wears.

    I guess if anything, we could be critical about trying to implement it more strategically over time so there’s not some stark change in feel from midfoot to toe.

  6. i almost always read the WT reviews first before watching the video. and THIS is the first time i’ve read your review i your voice. 🙂

  7. I would respect you guys so much more if you just flat out said, ‘These are not worth 200 dollars, in fact they probably aren’t even worth 150.’

      1. Yea, money only has as much value as you put into it, buuuuuut this has a 200 dollar price point which is absolutely crazy. Now I understand if one is rich, money is not a big deal and, rich or poor, one can spend their money how they choose.

        My issue is that there are much better options for almost half of this price, and that is not being made more of a big deal (in general, not just from you).

        So yea, love your work and what you guys do, I would just think it would be amazing if you guys called Nike and others out on shit like this when it occurs.

        1. “there are much better options for almost half of this price.” i feel this. my favorite weartesters reviews are those that just call it like it is and not try to occupy any middle ground. when i read this review, this is the energy i get from it: “ehhh—it has some things that are pretty good, some things that are ok, and some other things that are whatever/not so great; it’s not the best, it’s not the worst. oh, and it’s $200. for a middle of the road, lukewarm review. but it’s up to you if it’s worth it.” sounds like it’s absolutely not worth it, no matter who you are. it’s really only ever worth it if there are no better options available at the same or better price. and in this case there are.

  8. These or Rev ’16 in terms of cushion/impact protection/bouncyness?

    Thanks man keep up the great work.

  9. I enjoyed the review and I like the way that the images were places in the text. It isn’t broken in the middle and flows beautifully while displaying really great images to the side of the text. Keep up the excellent work Jarron and WT Team.

  10. Part of the hollowed out core in the forefoot resides in the portion of the outsole that receives the most beating during play. If you wear your traction down, you’ll know where I’m talking about. This can’t be good for traction any way you slice it. The rest can make up for it, but I suspect this does come into play.

  11. I was wondering if you or anyone else at weartesters has tried on the regular hyperdunk or the low because i can’t spend 200 dollars on a shoe

  12. Miss Wien you don’t mention weight. Seems less focused on then fel yrs ago but for many important info. The for great review otherwise!

  13. I’d greatly appreciate it if someone could explain how the hollowed out core underneath the Zoom makes it feel bouncier.

  14. Thanks for another great review.

    I picked up a pair. This review is spot on . Cushioning is bouncy and responsive. Love it. Traction and transition are very good. Support and stability are very good too – just need to be careful not too lace up too tight.

  15. Kyrie 2’s or the hyperlink 2016’s? Which do you prefer. What’s the overall better shoe. This will help a lot thx.

    1. I’d say the hyperdunk 2016. Traction set up is similar, but upgraded materials and way better cushion makes for an overall better shoe. I have two pairs of kyrie 2s and just bought the flyknit hyperdunks.

  16. Anyone have an issue when you go down half a size and there’s a hot spot right on the small toe? Or did I just get a crispy pair and I just gotta break it in?

Add a Comment

Related Posts