Hit the jump for full review & scores…
Traction – Just as it was in the original version, traction in the low is exactly the same. I did feel solid rubber performed greater when dust and debris were on-court so if possible, I’d recommend using a solid rubber outsole if you plan to pick these up so you can get the most out of the traction surface as possible.
Cushion – While the heel Zoom Air has been removed, I still felt the cushion was adequate for a Guard. Larger players may want heel and forefoot cushion and that is where the higher cut model comes into play. I will say that the Phylon midsole was good enough coupled with the forefoot Zoom, however, foam isn’t quite as resilient as an air based cushion so keep that in mind as well.
Material – A much thinner upper was used on the low model which is something I do enjoy. It isn’t overly restrictive but also not extremely supportive either. While you will receive much more flex within the material itself, it did buckle a bit under severe pressure – mostly upon sudden stops. Luckily the Fuse/ Flywire combination is still durable as ever so in that regard nothing has changed with the difference in thickness between layers.
Fit – They fit true to size and offer exceptional lock down in the midfoot/ forefoot region. The heel on the other hand was lacking quite a bit due to the missing heel notches as well as the lace setup implemented. Those that tape their ankles or wear a brace most likely won’t run into this issue but for those of you who don’t, just be on the lookout and invest in a pair of SpeedWraps.
Ventilation – Air flow isn’t restricted too much. The tongue is a lightweight & breathable mesh while the Fuse layers actually have perforations in place that work. They are slightly better than the higher cut model in this regard and above average overall in the ventilation department.
Support – Having proper heel lock down would have been a nice touch so the support took a hit when directly comparing it the Hyperdunk 2011. There is a TPU shank plate in place for rigidity but because the heel was unable to fully keep your foot in place, the TPU heel counter was almost a useless piece placed on the upper. Just because a heel cup is on a shoe doesn’t automatically mean it works.
Overall – As a Guard, I did prefer the low cut version over the high. However, there are some issues present that made my time playing in them a bit underwhelming at times. For speedy fast paced players, these will be a perfect match. Larger players may want to stick with the higher cut model as the multiple layers along the upper & lockdown fit are more abundant which will offer much more support and stability.
You can purchase the Nike Zoom Hyperdunk 2011 Low at retailers such as Finish Line.