Nike Hypershift Performance Review
Nike has been pumping out new basketball shoes like crazy lately, and today the Sole Brothers will give you our Performance Review of the Nike Hypershift. The Hypershift is a new low top, budget model basketball shoe from Nike that retails at $100. Does this shoe exceed expectations or is it an underwhelming performer? Don tested this one out for us, so let’s see what he had to say about the Nike Hypershift.
The Hypershift’s traction pattern features oval shaped nubs that are very close together and are pretty shallow. The rubber compound is pretty hard so it should be okay for outdoor use. The outsole does pick up dust pretty easily which does hinder its performance. The outsole wraps around the midsole on the lateral side for added support and traction during hard cuts or crossovers. Don said the traction performs pretty well, but he was ultimately disappointed with it for factors relating to the cushion which we will discuss later. The Nike Hypershift earned a rating of 8/10 for traction.
The Hypershift’s cushion provides an insane amount of court feel. There is supposedly a Zoom Air unit, presumably in the forefoot, but Don was not able to feel it. The cushion provides an amazing level of responsiveness, but that comes at a cost. This shoe provides you with zero impact protection and no bounciness, similarly to the Kyrie 2 but with more court feel. The Hypershift provides such good response and court feel because its Phylon midsole is rock hard. Don also mentioned that he felt very low to the ground and that the heel to toe transition is good. This setup makes it an ideal training shoe, one that you can walk right from the weight room to the court with no worries. Don pointed out that this cushion is quite hard to rate since it gives excellent response and court feel, but since it does not provide impact protection, he cannot play in it for long stretches. As a go-to shoe, this shoe has poor cushion, but if you plan to use it only in certain situations, then it is pretty good. The Hypershift earns a rating of 7/10 for its cushion.
One surprisingly good aspect of this shoe is its materials. The materials are good in their own right, but what is surprising is how well Nike implemented the materials and the effect that has on the Hypershift’s performance. The upper is constructed using a knit/woven textile with fuse or synthetic overlays in high wear areas. The upper uses a full bootie design with not tongue, which is usually not a good sign for Don because the fit of the shoe has to be perfect for the shoe to perform well. Fortunately, Nike did a very good job of implementing its materials and design of the upper, and the usual problems that plague bootie uppers do not affect the Hypershift. One thing Nike did well with this upper is that they put a ridge structure in the middle of the bootie upper where the tongue normally is. The laces go through this ridge into Flywire eyelets which helps to tighten the shoe and lock down the mid and forefoot. The neoprene bootie also allows the upper to stretch some and conform to the foot, making the upper feel even nicer. The Sole Brothers give the Nike Hypershift a rating of 9/10 for its materials.
Fit: Don recommends going true to size or maybe 1/2 of a size down if you want a tight fit. The way the shoe fits is very comfortable.
Support: Where there is material, there is support with this shoe. That is to say that since it is a low top, it will not provide ankle support, but the midfoot and forefoot support is good, it would be better if the shoe didn’t feel somewhat flimsy.
Lockdown: The lockdown in the Hypershift is solid. The forefoot feels locked in, but it is the heel where this shoe impresses most. Flywire cables act as the eyelets for this shoe, adding to lockdown, and the top eyelet’s Flywire cable wraps around the heel. When you tighten the laces, the Flywire cable tightens around your heel and locks you in, this is not a gimmick, according to Don it works very well. Don said that his heel was super locked in due to this unique design, this being another example of how Nike did a great job implementing their tech in this shoe. The Hypershift earns a rating of 9/10 for fit/support/lockdown.
Ventilation, Durability, and Aesthetics
Ventilation: Don said that he never felt hot in this shoe, so it earns a solid rating of 8/10 for ventilation.
Durability: This shoe is not necessarily a tank, the upper feels somewhat flimsy, but it should be pretty durable. The Hypershift doesn’t seem to have any problematic areas with regards to durability, and its hard rubber outsole should hold up quite well outdoors. The Sole Brothers give this shoe a rating of 8/10 for durability.
Aesthetics: The silhouette looks nice, it is clean and simple without too much going on. Nike has put together some cool colorways in mostly solid colors, which look nice and clean with the sleek silhouette. The Hypershift earns a rating of 9/10 for aesthetics.
The Hypershift feels incredibly light on your foot, Don reported that he did not feel like he was wearing a shoe at all and that it felt “dumb minimal.” Don’s size 14 shoe weighed 16.12 ounces which is very light. Retailing at $100, this shoe is a very good bargain, but it does have one fatal flaw that I alluded to earlier that we must now address.
The cushion, as stated before, is extremely responsive and provides insane levels of court feel. Don made the point that if a shoe feels that responsive, it almost has to have amazing traction in order to fully exploit the midsole’s responsiveness, which in turn adds to the explosive feeling you get if you have amazing traction. Don likes a shoe with amazing traction and insane response in situations where he wants to go all out and be extremely fast, explosive, and shifty. That type of shoe needs to have responsive cushion and amazing traction,the problem is that the Hypershift does not have amazing traction. It isn’t bad, but the mediocrity of the traction hampers the experience of having the combination of responsive cushion and traction working together. Even though that aspect of the shoe is disappointing, Don still likes to train in this shoe then transition to the hardwood, and it is still a good shoe, but not a great one. The Sole Brothers do recommend this shoe, but only for smaller players who want to feel light, shifty, and explosive who don’t mind pulverizing their shins and knees into oblivion (I’m, looking at you Sammy!).
Let us know what you think about the Nike Hypershift if you have played in them, check out the scoring breakdown below, and watch Don and Sammy give the Sole Brothers’ Performance Review.