After playing in the very good Hyperfuse and the and the good(but not quite as good) Hyperfuse 2011, I was looking forward to getting the 2012 incarnation on the court. So was my anticipation well founded? By and large, yes.
Putting on on the shoe I was treated to a very smooth and seamless fit. The issue was not with the inner but with the tongue, but I will get into that on the fit section.
The outsole is comprised of heel-to-toe herringbone, and traction is very good in all directions. The rubber is flexible and that allows it to stick to the floor, even on some dusty floors. On hard cuts or playing defense, there was,for the most part,no slippage. Although this is primarily an indoor shoe, there is an XDR( Xtra Durable Rubber) version that can more adeptly handle the rigors of outdoor basketball.
The cushioning load is carried by a phylon midsole augmented with a forefoot Zoom Air unit. The Zoom bag does not encompass the entire forefoot, but just runs laterally underneath the metatarsals, the tubular bones in the midfoot. The break-in period on the midsole is minimal, as the playability on the Hyperfuse 2012 right out of the box is rather high. The phylon does somewhat retard the responsiveness of the forefoot Zoom-Air unit, in terms of feel but not performance, however it does make up for that with the level of impact protection it provides. I think this is a cushioning that is versatile enough for a wide range of players. The midsole is not overly thick so the court feel is not too adversely affected.
The Hyperfuse 2012’s fit is an improvement over that of the 2011 ( that is not saying the fit of that shoe was bad, it’s just the 2012 is better). The main area of improvement was in the midfoot, which was the one glaring weakness of the 2011 Hyperfuse. The 2012 also had more room ,vertically,in the forefoot than its predecessor, which made wearing them more comfortable, as I didn’t like how they felt as if they were sitting right on top of my toes. The fused upper does a good job of keeping your foot locked in place, both front to back and side to side. Heel fit was excellent as well as the lacing system and padding at the heel work synergistically to lock the heel down.
One issue that lingers from the previous Hyperfuse is the tongue,specifically the padding and its location. The tongue is very thin and has padded sections. The issue stems from the the laces falling in between the thin areas. While that’s not a big deal during casual wearing, when laced up for serious oncourt action,the laces fall in between the padded areas and when laced tight it caused me some discomfort. This discomfort was nearly rose to the level of pain and was very perceptible while playing and was an unwanted distraction from what I needed to do oncourt. I sincerely hope this is an issue that is addressed in subsequent models.
Though the Hyperfuse 2012 doesn’t move the needle on the line from the previous model as much as I wanted to see, nonetheless the shoe is very good oncourt and continues to uphold the high level of performance set by its predecessors. It provides cushioning, fit and traction at very high levels and though it is more a guard shoe, it is versatile for even smaller post players. The big players or those who want more cushioning feel will want to pass on these.
Colourway Reviewed: Photo Blue/Wolf Grey-Black
Weight: 14.5 oz ( in a size 11)