Nike Hyperdunk 2016 Flyknit Performance Review
Nike changed their approach to their Hyperdunk line this year, opting to release 3 models of their signature basketball shoe instead of just one. Nike designed the Hyperdunk 2016 Low, the Hyperdunk 2016, and the Hyperdunk 2016 Flyknit. The Sole Brothers have tested the Hyperdunk 2016, and today we will bring you a Performance Review of the Hyperdunk 2016 Flyknit. Stay tuned for a VS matchup between the Hyperdunk 2016 VS Hyperdunk 2016 Flyknit. Let us know what you think of this shoe in the comments below, and check out Don and Sammy’s Performance Review at the end of this post.
The Hyperdunk 2016 Flyknit uses the same traction pattern as the other Hyperdunk 2016 models, which features thick grooves and soft rubber arranged in a similar style as the Kyrie 2‘s traction pattern. The Hyperdunk 2016 Flyknit uses a translucent outsole which attracts dust and requires wiping every 3-5 plays. One nice characteristic of this outsole is that even when it attracts dust, you do not slide around like in other shoes, instead you just do not stop as quickly as you did before. Since the rubber is soft, this shoe will probably not be suitable for outdoor use. Overall the traction on the Hyperdunk 2016 Flyknit performs well, earning a rating of 9/10.
In the Nike Hyperdunk 2016 Flyknit, Nike implemented full-length Zoom Air cushioning on top of a hollowed out Phylon midsole for a “trampoline-like effect.” Sammy reported that he could not feel the Zoom unit very much at all, and only slightly in the forefoot area. Since he could not feel it, it did not give him very much bounce, which was an advertised feature of the cushion. Sammy is a pretty light guy, so how did Don think the cushion felt? Don said that he loved the Zoom Air cushion, reporting that it provided great impact protection, a little response, and excellent bounciness. Don reported that it is a good marriage between response and bounciness. The Hyperdunk 2016 Flyknit earns a rating of 9/10 for its cushion.
As the name implies, this shoe’s upper is constructed with Nike’s Flyknit material. Flyknit is a knitted textile material that boasts comfort, strength, flexibility, lightness, and good ventilation. In performance basketball footwear, it is usually reinforced with glue in order to provide the necessary support required. The same goes for the Hyperdunk 2016 Flyknit, the toe area and at least part of the lateral side are backed with glue, while the medial side and the ankle collar/sleeve are very soft and stretchy. The areas backed with glue are still pliable, but less stretchy than the non-reinforced areas. Flywire cables going across the toe area provide added stability and support, and Flywire cables integrated with the lacing system help to hold your foot in place during cuts or crossovers. The pure Flyknit ankle sock is soft and comfortable and provides ankle compression and feels very nice. Sammy pointed out that Flyknit is pretty overrated, since Nike usually fails to implement it well and they inflate the price. Jacquard uppers perform either equally to or better than Flyknit uppers, and are far less expensive. This upper is pretty nice, but it suffers mainly due to the insane price tag and the fact that equal or better shoes are far cheaper. Overall, the Nike Hyperdunk 2016 Flyknit earns a rating of 9/10 for its materials.
The fit in this shoe is pretty good, but you will need to go 1/2 of a size down. The shoe fits pretty wide as well, so if you have a wide foot then this is probably not the shoe for you. The materials fit snugly on top of the toe area, providing an excellent fit and support for the forefoot area. Don experienced a little bit of heel slipping, which he attributed to the lacing system. The laces are extremely hard to adjust and either cause you to experience pain in your foot or heel slipping since it would be too loose. The support in the toe area is pretty good, but the Hyperdunk 2016 Flyknit provides no ankle support. The shoe looks high due to the Flyknit sock, but it is in reality a low top with an added compression sock similar to the Nike KD8 Elite. Sammy said that he could fit his ankle brace in it which felt nice but looked weird and bulky. Overall the Nike Hyperdunk 2016 Flyknit earns a rating of 9/10 for fit/support/lockdown.
Ventilation, Durability, and Aesthetics
Ventilation: The Flyknit upper is well ventilated and has holes in the ankle collar as well as on the medial side which help the shoe to feel cool. The Hyperdunk 2016 Flyknit earns a rating of 9/10 for ventilation.
Durability: The materials that Nike utilized on the shoe are pretty premium and seem to be quite durable. The softness of the rubber is a concern, but it should hold up as long as you do not play outdoors. This shoe earned a rating of 8/10 for durability.
Aesthetics: This shoe is straight fire! The colorway that Don and Sammy tested is not the best looking, but the all white and the Oreo colorways look awesome. The Hyperdunk 2016 Flyknit earns a rating of 9/10 for aesthetics.
The Nike Hyperdunk 2016 Flyknit in Sammy’s size 7 weighs in at 11.60 ounces, which is very light. The shoe does not feel light on the foot, largely due to the Zoom Air unit pressing into your foot making you more aware that you are indeed wearing a shoe.
The Hyperdunk 2016 Flyknit retails at $200, which is far to expensive. It is a nice shoe, but not nice enough to justify the exorbitant price tag. If this shoe was priced at $160, then it would get far more praise, but as it is, the value for the money is so bad that it brings down the experience of a good shoe. Another aspect of the pricing issue is that there are plenty of shoes on the market whose performance is equal to or better than the Hyperdunk 2016 Flyknit and cost far less. Nike does deserve kudos for its ambitious design, the full Flyknit upper and innovative implementation of its Zoom Air cushioning are the type of out of the box thinking we expect from Nike. Unfortunately, in order to make progress by pushing the boundaries of what seems possible, disappointments and failed ideas are inevitable. The key to breaking boundaries lies in learning from past mistakes and failures, and refusing to allow those setbacks to halt the pursuit of innovation.