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Nike React Hyperdunk 2017 Flyknit Performance Review | Stanley T.

Nike React Hyperdunk 2017 FlyknitNike React Hyperdunk 2017 Flyknit thumbnail

Transitioning from what was an already wonderful shoe — the Hyperdunk Flyknit 2016 with full-length Zoom — to a new unknown cushion in the React Hyperdunk 2017 Flyknit makes me scratch my head.

The fact that NBA Champion Draymond Green has given the Hyperdunk 2017 Flyknit his co-sign is somewhat positive. Is the new Hyperdunk build for the better? We’re here to find out…

YOU CAN FIND THE Nike React Hyperdunk 2017 Flyknit on Eastbay – August 3 for $160

Nike React Hyperdunk 2017 Flyknit traction 2

Nike React Hyperdunk 2017 Flyknit traction 2

Traction – The outsole traction pattern was created by data-informed pressure maps of feet in the Nike Sports Research Lab. The Swoosh created a traction pattern that manipulated the foot’s impact and movement to ensure a supportive base that is fine tuned for areas that require traction the most.

I’d say that the Hyperdunk 2017 Flyknit’s traction definitely fit the bill. Of course, some wiping was necessary on dusty courts, but I didn’t skip a beat from either going end to end on-court or having to defensively slide in transition to cover on defense. The outsole did take some time to break-in but afterwards, it’s amazing — especially that extended outrigger.

Nike React Hyperdunk 2017 FlyknitNike React Hyperdunk 2017 Flyknit cushion

Nike React Hyperdunk 2017 Flyknit cushion 2

Cushion – REACT! A lot of questions were asked when React debuted in the Hyperdunk 2017 Flyknit. Is it Lunar? Is it better than Zoom Air? Is it like Bounce? Is it better than Boost? I think React is its own entity.

The React foam takes time to break-in. After I put time into the shoe, and the heat from my feet molded the foam, the foam will be felt — but not by much. Without the Ortholite insole the cushion itself would feel far too firm. The feedback is felt upon impact and the foam bounces back quickly, but the bounce is quite minimal.

A big guy like myself — someone who has a heavy in-step and lands hard — requires something more cushioned (I still love the Pebex Zoom, refer to Nike LeBron II) than React. I prefer something more forgiving, something similar to the Air Jordan 31. React is effective, but there are improvements to be made. The Swoosh is always innovating, so I wouldn’t call it a failure, but it’s an evolved version of Lunar in my opinion.

If it were up to me, I’d find a way to stack forefoot and heel Zoom Air to compliment the firm React cushioning. It might be a completely different shoe at that point, but I wouldn’t mind paying an extra $10 if that combination was implemented effectively.

Nike React Hyperdunk 2017 Flyknit materials

Materials – As stated by the shoe’s designer, Ross Klien (he did the UA Anatomix Spawn and Nike Kobe A.D.), the upper is constructed entirely of Flyknit and it’s super comfortable around the foot. From the reinforced toebox with nylon yarns to the modified stretch tongue, Flyknit on a basketball shoe has really come a long way.

There is also the molded midsole/outsole piece which featured the React foam cushion. The materials made the Hyperdunk 2017 come to life and it showcases one of the best builds on the market today.

Nike React Hyperdunk 2017 Flyknit fit

Fit – One of my favorite aspects of the shoe is the fit. Even for a wide-footer like myself, I went with my natural size, and I recommend going true to size. There was some minor narrowness to the shoe but after a few games the Flyknit contoured to my feet well. The Flywire, nylon yarn backing at strategic areas, the soft tongue, and the padded ankle collar complement each other so well that the shoe feels one with your feet — the ideal feeling. I didn’t feel any empty space whatsoever and the material did not created any hindrance on-foot.

Nike React Hyperdunk 2017 Flyknit support

Support – The support comes directly from the fit, and the fit was wonderful once fully broken in. The Flyknit wrapping your foot, internal heel counter, and ankle pillows provide balance and stability.

The only gripe I have is that I find that the laces come loose a little more often than they should. Once you’re really strapped in you’re good to go. I did enjoy the React — and definitely appreciated the OrthoLite — but I’d prefer something a little bit more forgiving for my knees and legs. React just didn’t work well for my style of play.

Nike React Hyperdunk 2017 Flyknit overall

Overall – The Nike React Hyperdunk 2017 is by far one of the most solid shoes I’ve played in this year. From the fit and support to the traction and materials — the build is well thought out and executed. The introduction of the new React foam was a nice touch but it was more firm than expected. If Nike considered adding Zoom Air units to complement the React foam, I might jump at the shoe even more because its other qualities work very well.

Also, a big thank you to the people at Nike and Jordan Brand for having the WearTesters team at the Terminal 23 Court in New York City.


Photography by Stanley Tse for WearTesters.com. All rights reserved.

  1. Thanks for the review Stan. The silhouette looks so good to me. I just hope that Nike doesn’t mess up the look of the next models with REACT and that the foam itself continues to improve. I guess it would be silly to expect greatness out of the gate so it’s all good. I’ll pass on these since I need that cushion first and foremost. Heres to hoping that the improvements actually do occur.

  2. stan is such a nice guy that he can’t even say something bad when he needs to. and when he does, you can almost see him blushing for doing so. the world needs kind people like you stanley.

  3. Hey weartesters you guys need to fix your site on mobile because I keep getting these pop up ads that send me to some ad site and it’s impossible to get rid of. It’s been happening for a while now

  4. basing from what I’m reading, it sounds to me that REACT foam is nothing more that a rebranded Dual Density foam or Podulon.

  5. Hi Stan/Nightwing.

    My question would be is the impact protection better than the curry 2-3.5?

    Sounds very familiar to the curry, great fit, great traction but cushion sucks.

    What do either of you think?

  6. So after all the marketing hype and saying the foam cost x number of years to formulate, react is just a little better than lunarlon? That all you got, Nike? I’m skipping this.

    1. well Nike has been lying and downgrading materials, especially cushion in years now, so I wouldn’t be surprised if this so-called REACT is just their usual old-tech that they shelved a few years prior (Cushlon, Podulon, DD foam) without people realizing it. I know that some of you might try to defend Nike saying that this is a new foam compound. but the point is, if it feels the same as that of the old tech, what’s the point? there isn’t really any benefit to the consumer in terms of comfort, impact protection, cost.

  7. I feel like Nike should have made this to compete with bounce .. the only shoe I prefer with that is the alpha bounce. They need to make something to compete with boost.. which I think is unmatched. Also with nightwing testing cushioning over the years, and he likes boost more of the time, I think it’s the best out currently.

  8. If this were a signature shoe, I could understand the player wanting less cushion and more feel, like Kyrie or Curry.

    But for a team shoe, it’s not acceptable. Team shoes should be well rounded, like last year’s hyperdunks.

    Sadly, I expect the Superfly to be much the same.

    I do have to wonder if it the React itself or the foam carrier.

    Too bad React isn’t filled with Cons React juice instead of foam…

    1. if it didn’t work for you, then I would say I’d be in a lot of foot pain as well. having said that, it seems that the Ultra Fly 2s are a steal and should be seriously considered over these SuperFlys.

  9. Great review, the honesty is very appreciated, kind of starting to feel the REACT is a gimmick though, from just the behavior you describe, sound very similar to the CP3.VI.
    I think they should’ve kept the Zoom.

    1. i don’t think it’s like the cp3.vi at all tbh, the cp3.vi had targeted cushion that you could discernibly feel and was soft while being responsive, REACT is firmer, it’s more like under armour’s charged for me
      it seems to me that nike don’t know how to implement react in a way that would make it stand out more, remember that the react layer in the hd 2017 is actually pretty thin….we’ll have to wait and see
      i got a pair of the hd2017 yesterday, will play in them for the first time tonight, so

  10. Hi
    was thinking of either getting these or the crazy explosive 2017, I’m a relatively quick guard, which would you recommend?

    1. Save your money on the CE 2017, get the 2016 Primeknit version which has dropped in price of late. The 2017 has also dropped to about the same price already and that should tell you something. Unnecessarily complicated shoe, if you want speed then skip it because it’s basically a very rigid low top with a bunch of superfluous material on the top. The 2016 has the same tooling with more fluidity and speed.

      I have not tried the HD2017 yet but it’s not on my radar as a full-price buy. The only thing that intrigues me is better integration of Flyknit than previous models. I tried on some samples and the React was very underwhelming to me. Many are comparing to Charged foam, which I hate (was a big Micro G guy) in all but a couple iterations.

  11. Are there any plans on releasing a review on the Hyperdunk 2017 Low? So far we’ve only seen coverage of the Flyknit model.

  12. The Superfly React will probably be better felt, as React core on those seemed thicker than the core in these Hyperdunks, glad I bought those 2016s hyperdunks the low and FlyKnit. I was kinda hyped with the “boost killer” tag, turns out these are kind of a downgrade, hoping Superfly will be React’s salvation.

  13. Hello! I was wondering if you have any input regarding the materials in the low versions (especially regarding the white “leather” ones). Thanks for the review and all the work you guys are doing!

  14. ok, so i just hooped 4 hours pickup in these tonight, and this is what i think:
    the shoe, to me, pretty much feels like a nicer version of the kyrie 2, which is no knock on the shoe because the kyrie 2 was my favorite shoe last year, so much so that i bought multiple pairs and pretty much played in nothing but for months….

    traction is pretty much the best traction you’re going to get on any shoe out right now, besides the kyrie 3, and when this is paired with the incredible fit and how low the shoe is to the ground, you know that this shoe is built for speed, it’s a very very very different shoe than pretty much every single hyperdunk that has been released thus far, it’s not a well-rounded team shoe for all sorts of players, it caters to people who want rockets for their feet

    as far as react goes, you don’t feel it at all, which could be great for some people who want an unobtrusive but fully functional cushion, but of course people who want something ‘fun’ to play in and who live for the bells and whistles of the performance sportswear industry (i’m not throwing shade here, cuz i am very much one of those people just like the rest of y’all) will be sorely disappointed….i will say, though, that all the folks who have been complaining that their feet hurt playing in react have had experiences that vastly differ from mine, my feet and legs still felt fresh after hours, it’s just that you don’t feel the cushion underfoot, for nike to create a shoe that is as fast and as low as this without dispensing altogether with impact protection is actually quite a significant feat, for real…whether this cuts it for people who have now jumped ship and gone with boost, though, is something else altogether

    the flyknit is ok, it feels a bit nicer than the kobe xi elite, but it’s not something you’ll notice very much and i’m sure there isn’t a substantial difference with the mesh version, which might in all honesty be an even more comfortable shoe….i know, for example, that i liked the engineered mesh kobe xis a lot more than the elite version….flyknit, in my honest opinion, just isn’t that exciting of a material choice, it looks nice and it’s more than supportive enough, but it’s leagues behind primeknit as an upper material in terms of comfort…even the runner that was designed to compete with the ultraboost in the ‘athleisure’ market, the vapormax, just doesn’t compare when you put the flyknit next to a primeknit upper

    i gotta put in a lot more hours in these, obviously, but to me it is a shoe that really showcases and epitomizes what nike does best in the performance basketball business…to me it fits better than any other shoe out there besides the pg1, and is proof that nike has this category down better than their competitors, it sits REALLY low to the ground and is built for a game that is evolving by the minute, a game where split seconds count and quick reflexes are everything….if you can accept the shoe on those terms, as a refined exemplar of the brand’s identity at this point in time, then i think the hd2017 is an exceptional shoe….besides the incredible rounded outsole, it doesn’t feature any ‘standout’ features that you can feel working, like the midfoot strap of the pg1 or the max zoom of the kd10, but it is a very very serviceable basketball shoe

    1. i’ve said a lot but i would add that people who play the kind of game that requires you to stay on your toes, change directions constantly on both sides of the ball and rely on their first step to get to the rim….definitely give this shoe a shot, it’s the lowest, fastest shoe in the nike line, the fit and lockdown in the pg1 are marginally better than the hyperdunk (i have a tiny tiny amount of heel slippage in the hd while the pgs are basically like a second skin on my feet, you put the pg on and there’s NO MOVEMENT ANYWHERE) but otherwise the hd is a pretty perfect guard shoe (or is it just a guard shoe? now even big men step out to the perimeter and beat dudes off the dribble)

      it’s not my favorite shoe right now (that would still be the harden) but really the only thing that hardens have got over the hd is a really cushioning system that’s soft enough to offer a discernible bounce while still being super responsive, the hd 2017 fits better, has better lockdown in the heel, is lower to the ground

  15. I am looking for an outdoor shoes, but after viewing two reviews in weartesters, this HD 2017 obviously would not be my choice.
    I recently keep my eyes on Nike Ambassador 9, the reviews here seems very positive. What do you feel about this shoes? Also, would you recommend some other shoes for outdoor for me??


  16. Hey Stan, great review! Love the detail you put in, especially your thoughts from the perspective of a big man. I have a question that I hope you can answer.

    I too am a big man and play a versatile position on my team as I switch between guard or forward when needed. I’ve tried playing in dame 3’s, crazy explosives (first model), and flyknit hyper dunk 2016, but they all really hurt the arch of my feet. I know you guys say not to get shoes based on the reviews alone, but I tried them on and they felt great. They fit well, gripped well, and etc. However, playing in them is a different story. Every time I played in those three shoes my arch would burn, and I would end up sitting off and taking off my shoes to relieve the pain. From personal experience the best shoes I’ve played in are either Kobe 8 and 9, and hyper dunks 2010 and 2011’s. I’ve noticed that the shoes that hurt me they are all like socks and the shoes that I consider best were not like socks and had normal tongues. I was wondering if you have any recommendations on any shoe that is currently available that is similar to the feel of hyper dunk 2010 and 2011’s? If it helps I am also wide and flat footed.

  17. Hello ! My only question about the shoe ? Are the materials durable enough or they are going to break soon enough with usage lets say 3 times a weak. ? Thanks to anyone that can answer !

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