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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.