I shall dispense with the formalities and cut right to the chase; the Hyperdunk 2014 is a really good oncourt shoe.
Right from the outset, placing the shoe on I was treated to a well cushioned inner that was devoid of any elements that could be a source of discomfort. The tongue is integrated into the inner to form an inner bootie that works extremely well with the upper and lacing system in providing a high level of comfort and fit. It is padded where it needs to be to avoid pressure across the instep from the laces.
The Hyperdunk 2014’s upper is composed of a thinner hyperfuse, which is designed to cut down on weight. The thinner upper required no break in time and were ready to go right out of the box. The intelligent implementation of the rigid layer hyperfuse material in the zones where it is needed, combined with its readily available flexibility really allowed the ’14 to work with my foot, rather than against it. The fit provided by this shoe was high level. Once laced up, the Hyperdunk kept my foot locked in place from front to back without a hint of slippage whatsoever.
In addition to flexing well and being an ally of my foot, the ’14 did a great job of providing support. The upper is the right combination of firmness and flexibility. The medial and lateral sides performed better than I expected, which was contrary to my initial visual impression of the shoe. The tandem of the use of the firm portion of the hyperfuse material with flywire do a great job of providing lateral and medial support and it kept my foot where it needed to be on the hardest of cuts.
Cushioning is provided by a full-length Lunarlon midsole. I must commend Nike for their consistent and continual refinement of Lunarlon because it has gotten better with each subsequent implementation since I first tried the material on shoes like the first Hyperdunk and the Kobe IV. In each of these shoes, after not so many wearings ,the material would bottom out and be rendered completely inert from that point moving forward. The cushioning on the ’14 is ready to go right out of the box and it required no break in time. I was very impressed with the feeling of the Lunarlon in this shoe. I can unequivocally say this was the most responsive version of the material I have tested to date. It provided this level of cushioning feel without being overly soft and still doing an excellent job of providing impact protection. Because of this, I can say that smaller big men can get in these with not much of an issue ( think Pau Gasol).
The Hyperdunk 2014’s outsole performed pretty well in the way of providing traction. The rubber that forms the outsole is somewhat stiff but is still flexible enough to grip the court fairly well. The colorway I played in features a translucent orange outsole and it started off as a dust magnet. Even if the court did not appear dusty, this outsole found the dust and debris. Later in the reviewing I played on a court that was a bit more debri and dust covered and I felt as though I was wiping my shoes every few minutes. Normally, wearing down the rubber reduces this type of tackiness but that did not totally happen with this shoe so be mindful of this if you plan on playing in these on a dusty floor. Despite the dust sticking issue, the Hyperdunk 2014 still did a respectable job of griping the floor. For the most part it stayed with me during quick cuts and lateral movements ( I can’t say that ever recall slipping) but it never rose to the level of what I would term “excellent”.
In conclusion the Hyperdunk is a shoe that is more than worthy of being taken on the court. It offers good fit, support, cushioning, and court feel in a package that is not heavy, weighing in at 15.3oz. It also holds up to wear well, so you will get plenty of court time in these before they finally conk out. It is also is versitile to accommodate a wide variety of players and play styles. The really big fellas or those who need maximum court grip will want to look at other available options.
Nike Hyperdunk 2014
Colorway Reviewed: Dark Grey/Hyper Crimson-Volt
Weight: 15.3 0z ( in a sz 11)
Pros: very good fit, cushioning(the Lunarlon on this shoe is amazing), support and comfort
Cons: outsole picks up debris readily and rapidly; outsole doesn’t grab the court as well as we’d like