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Nike Hyperdunk 2017 Performance Review

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WearTesters has tested Nike’s React cushioning in the all-new Hyperdunk 2017. Hopefully, for the last time.

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nike hyperdunk 2017 performance review traction

Traction – If it isn’t herringbone, this is the stuff that works. Hell, this type of pressure mapped pattern might even be a little better than traditional herringbone. While I cannot give this the Kobe 9 Hall of Fame level, it is as close as it comes.

There was only one court that threw the Hyperdunk 2017 for a loop, and that court was so bad that everyone in the gym was slipping. However, I’d say that that experience was not typical so most people should be completely satisfied with how the traction on the Nike Hyperdunk 2017 turned out. It was fantastic.

nike hyperdunk 2017 performance review cushion

Cushion – While React may be Nike’s most resilient foam cushion, it’s my least favorite. I was told by a product line manager for the brand that the same slab of Nike’s React cushion was implemented in the same exact way on the Jordan Super.Fly 2017.

I found this strange because I was able to tolerate the cushion in the Jordan Super.Fly 2017, but the Hyperdunk 2017 left my legs aching and burning. My feet would ache as soon as I’d start to warm up and they’d absolutely hate me by the end of a three hour session.

Will my experience with React be the same as everyone else’s? I highly doubt it. Some prefer firm cushion because it aids with speed and agility. There will be no loss in mobility or a feeling of sinking into mushy cushion. There are plenty of players that prefer this type of feeling.

If you prefer a springy cushion then there are plenty of options that will give you that feeling, React just isn’t one of them. If you enjoy having a quick first step that isn’t altered by mushy cushion under foot but prefer some sort of impact protection then I’d highly recommend buying a secondary insole. It may give you everything you want and everything you need.

To put things into perspective, if you love setups that are similar to the Kyrie line then you’ll love the Hyperdunk 2017. However, if you love setups closer to the Hyperdunk 2016 or KD9 then you’ll want to look elsewhere.

nike hyperdunk 2017 performance review materials

Materials – This Hyperdunk 2017 features an engineered mesh build. If you wanted a more premium feel you could always opt for the Flyknit edition, but in terms of overall functionality the engineered mesh works out just fine — and it’ll save you some cash at the same time.

Usually engineered mesh is lightweight, breathable, and easily damaged during game-play. The trade-off is that it requires little to no break-in time. This year Nike backed the material with a nylon and glued the two layers together. Nike has highlighted this by using contrasting colors for the base layer, which you can see here in blue. There are pros and cons to this setup; on one hand, it reinforces the mesh upper and provides greater durability. On the other hand, it limits the amount of airflow that mesh traditionally brings. While it isn’t suffocating, it is noticeable.

It still feels and acts like what you may be used to — if you’ve played in other engineered mesh models — so I don’t think that the lack of breathability is a deal breaker. If anything, going extra lengths to try and limit the amount of stress applied to the mesh during game play is a good look for those that only get one pair of hoop shoes per year.

nike hyperdunk 2017 performance review fit

Fit – The Hyperdunk 2017 fits true to size and I’d recommend that wide footers go up 1/2 size. However, the Flyknit version of the Hyperdunk was said to fit wide by one of our wear-testers (you can read those performance reviews by Stanley Tse) so I would recommend those for hoopers with wider feet.

Lockdown is what you’d expect — especially from a Hyperdunk. No frills, no Flywire lacing strands, no gimmicks. Just a simple throat with a basic upper built on a neutral last. Simple and effective. I love it. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy trying out new designs and features on footwear. However, with a line like the Hyperdunk, I prefer consistency.

Nike’s Hyperdunk is similar to its award winning runner, the Zoom Pegasus, where you usually know what you’re going to get each year. The brand may switch up the cushion here and there, but the basics of the shoe are almost always there.

nike hyperdunk 2017 performance review support

Support – Like the fit, everything you’d expect from a hoop shoe is here. An external heel counter, along with an additional external reinforcement piece, and a TPU torsional plate are all in place. All of piece do their jobs and keep your foot on the footbed, ensuring you aren’t straining your foot.

However, where the support excels is with the midsole and outsole tooling. A number of rounded outriggers are in place on the Hyperdunk 2017 and they offer a wide stable platform without feeling clunky or restrictive. These outriggers act like bumpers that ensure you aren’t rolling over on lateral maneuvers. This is something I’ve experienced before with the Ektio brand of footwear. Unfortunately, people didn’t accept the look of the bumpers — until it was placed alongside a Swoosh — and Ektio went out of business. And yet, the function of the design is still the same and works as it did before.

nike hyperdunk 2017 performance review overall

Overall – The Hyperdunk 2017 is a beast on-court. Traction, materials, fit, and support are all standout features. However, Nike really needs to work on React cushion or ditch the foam entirely.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a one and done type of foam after lackluster experiences in these and the Jordan Super.Fly 2017. Nike could have marketed the cushion more towards the quick guard that needed a little more than just Phylon, but we’ll see what the brand does with it next year. The good thing is that aftermarket insoles are usually a solid investment for sneakers like this because you can use that insole in as many shoes as you’d like.

Would I still recommend the Nike Hyperdunk 2017? Hell yes. Traction alone makes these a worthy purchase. Cushion, as I said, can be altered with a new insole.

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nike hyperdunk 2017 performance review score
  1. Although the cushion is firm, how was the impact on you knees/legs? I’ve prefer feeling a bit more bounce but I’m not opposed to firm cushioning if it still provides adequate impact protection.

  2. Great review as always,Nightwing.. by the way,how do you think this will perform outdoors? Is this gonna hold for a good period?

      1. Got it.. then I’ll skip on this,since I’m mostly hooping on outdoors.. thanks,Nightwing.. stay awesome,’cos you’re my #1 information source on basketball sneakers..

  3. Fantastic review!! Looks like a great shoe to ball in. But it kinda weighs (13 ounces) on the heavy side doesn’t it?

  4. I found that the step-in comfort on these shoes are nice, but then again, it sounds completely different when actually balling or running on them. sad.

  5. What i really don’t understand is why basketball shoes in general don’t come with a proper insole. Same with the Crazy Explosive.
    All the same cost cutting money zombies. If a shoe retails for 100$ and up every shoe should have an insole that doesn’t need any swapping whatsoever.
    Mostly i’m transfering Ortholight insoles from my running shoes to my basketball shoes. Maybe i’m a little bit too philosophic but to me it seems that the running community won’t accept useless insoles without any fuss like the kids in basketball nowadays do.

    1. there is an ortholite insole in the hd2017, at least in the flyknit one, that’s where the step-in comfort and ‘cushiness’ of the shoe comes from
      i feel like react needs some breaking in, at least my flyknit pair feels pretty good after 10+ wears, it doesn’t feel plush or anything, but i do feel some bounce, however slight
      i love the shoe personally, for me it’s my go-to shoe next to the harden vol 1, but i understand it’s not for everyone, especially folks with long-term foot or knee injuries

    2. Nike and Jordan have come with Ortholite insoles pretty regularly now. Those insoles are great for step-in comfort as well as its antimicrobial properties. However, its not cushion. Its just fluffy open-celled foam. I wish shoes would come with PU insoles or insoles with additional EVA heel and forefoot pods like they used to. Those were the best to maximize support and comfort.

      1. i feel you, the ortholite ‘fluffiness’ wears down really fast, too…..there hasn’t really been a basketball shoe with a decent insole in a minute now, to be honest, correct me if i’m wrong

  6. I think based on the above, this shoe serves its purpose, hence, I will rate the Nike Hyperdunk 2017 4 out of 5. Do you guys agree with my rating?

  7. I found the REACT felt better the second spin in them. I even go as far as to say it was comfortable. Don’t know if it broke in a little, or what? But agreed, that first wear was brutal especially if you’re used to zoom. Didn’t have any post game aches but was definitely questioning my purchase for a minute,

  8. Curious to know if larger shoes have smaller insoles? I ordered a size 16 for my son, but the insoles are only a size 14, MAYBE a 15, but the stop about an inch or so short from the end of the shoe

  9. Just had my first game in them today, zero break in time and they felt great. Being 140 I don’t think the lack of cushioning was an issue. Felt like just enough without feeling slow.

    Fit, support and overall comfort was great in that you don’t worry about the shoe after a while and can just play.

    My opinion is if you get sore knees from playing there are probably issues with your running gait (heel strike) and how you land after jumping (not bending your knees). I’d look at addressing them rather than using a shoe or orthotic. Understand bigger players may likely need better cushioning, but just a thought regarding those with knee issues.

  10. Great review. Since I have a Plantea fascitis since a couple of days, wanted to ask if someone knows whether these are okay with that issue? I tried the PG1´ s too, but felt like they are too hard in the heel section since there is no Zoom, is it? Also i´m a wode footer, so the toe are is quite narrow for me. Just not sure which shoe is better, doc said just not to choose to soft cushions. I had the D Rose 6, it was like walking on clouds but well, also felt they were almost too soft and for sure a bit bulky. Any thoughts or recommendations on that would help a lot, thanks guys!

    1. Plantar faciitis source of problem is when u wear too flexible shoes. HD 2017 is a good choice since the midfoot support is firmer

  11. I’m a tennis pro who use to like to wear basketball shoes when I played while I was playing both bball and tennis. Have on worn tennis specific shoes for years. Have thought about trying some bball shoes ( only lows ) thinking that may feel softer due to more cushioning and softer rubber bottoms. I’m 60yrs old now and not concerned if the rubber wears down fast if they provide my feet more comfort and cushion. I always add insoles. .

    Anyone bring some knowledge to how I might like these comparatively.????

    Tried them on in the store and they felt good.

  12. Hey guys, the insoles seem to come out pretty easy…can you buy extra insoles anywhere for when they wear out or do most of you 1) take them out and put in other insoles 2) play on the originals 3) put in other insoles on top of the originals?

    I wear them out pretty fast and then it just becomes a nightmare taping down other insoles on top of the originals. Looking for best practices. Thanks

  13. Had these for two weeks. Great shoes BUT ventilation non existent like he mentioned in review. For me, this was a deal-breaker big time. Went back to Kobe 11s.

  14. Well, I learned my lesson with these. My feet ache like crazy every time I wear these. They’re going back. I’ve never had a bball shoe cause me so much discomfort. Coming from the Crazy Explosive 2016, the switch has been laughable. Spot on with the biggest weakness of this shoe.

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