Nine years after the NBA Legend Kobe Bryant famously launched the Nike Hyperdunk line at the Olympic Games 2007, the sports giants dropped the React Hyperdunk 2017 Flyknit.
To some, the Hyperdunk “17 was an improvement from the Hyperdunk Flyknit 2016, which came with full-length zoom.
NBA enthusiasts worldwide still argue whether this addition to the Hyperdunk line was a build for the better or not.
But with the co-signing of NBA Champion Draymond Green unto the New React Hyperdunk 2017 Flyknit, some of these doubts were silenced. Being that the goal is to reminiscence on this great shoe, let’s highlight some pros and cons, as well as some distinguishing features of the Hyperdunk 2017 Flyknit.
When reviewing a basketball shoe in recent times there are some major features to be considered to know if a shoe is dope or not. These features are measured against the already laid down standards by previous shoes to see if they’re similar or if they are better.
Some of these features include the support of the shoe, it’s fit, the traction of the shoe, not forgetting it’s a cushion (very important in basketball shoes) and the materials used to make all of these.
The traction is definitely better than that of the Hyperdunk 2016 and if we wanted to compare with other brands, let’s start by saying that it is easily better than the Hardens, Curry 3, Crazy Explosives, on par with Crazylight Boosts and almost on par with Kobe IX.
The outsole traction pattern which regulates the level of friction the shoe has on a surface was created using data-informed pressure maps of feet gotten From Nike’s Sports Research Lab.
In other words, you had a shoe which outsole traction imitated an actual foot pattern. It also created a traction pattern which effectively manipulated the foot’s impact moment, so as to ensure it gives a supportive base which is redefined for places that need traction the most.
From evidence the Hyperdunk 2017 Flyknit did work effectively on the court, allowing for an easy transition when there was a defensive slide to block a shot or having to run across the court end to end. Although it required some wiping especially on dusty courts and patience to actually fit, it proved to be a breakthrough on the court.
The cushion of the Hyperdunk 2017 Flyknit raised a lot of eyebrows, most especially when it debuted React in it. The new Nike React cushioning is the main story of the Hyperdunk 2017 Flyknit.
People wanted to know what it was really made of, whether it was similar to Lunar or Bounce. Whether it was better than Zoom Air and Boost which everyone was already used to.
Over time, people I think have come to realize that React is an entity on its own.
Still, it seems similar to the lunar, only slightly has a better bounce and lower you the ground. It’s nothing like Bounce, Boost or Micro G. Although people grumbled about the time it took to a break-in, they later came to know that has it was used regularly heat from the feet molded the React foam causing it to only be felt slightly.
And it’s also to notice that without the Ortholite insole that it came with, the cushion would end up feeling too firm. It contains a thin insole. It tends to be firm when moving quickly and quite soft when in a slower motion. It is more durable than Lunar.
Another feature of this new React cushion was that upon impact the feedback was felt and despite the fact that the foam bounced back quickly, the bounce was quite minimal.
The cushion of React is quite firm and effective, but still, some sports analysts would argue that for big guys like LeBron James and James Harden who usually have hard landings and heavy in-step, a more cushioned shoe than the React Hyperdunk 2017 Flyknit was preferred.
Nevertheless, we have seen that the cushion of the React is good enough for any shoe and surely would be improved upon has time goes on. Nike can be trusted to do just that.
we also need to analyze some of the materials used in designing this shoe. Some of which were reused from what had been used in previous editions, while others are a completely new feature.
The designer of the React Hyperdunk 2017 Flyknit, Ross Klien, who was also the brain behind the famous Nike Koke A.D. and UA Anatomix Spawn, explained that the upper layer of the shoe was entirely made of Flyknit, which makes the shoe extremely comfortable around the foot.
A Flyknit accompanied by TPU strands, similar to what Kobe XI Elite has. The TPU of the Hyperdunk 2017 has a softer feeling than that of Kobe XI Elite.
Flyknit isn’t a new feature to a basketball shoe, as it has become a common feature in them for its reinforced toebox with nylon yarns to the modified stretch tongue.
In simple language, Flyknit enables a shoe you stretch to the length of the owner’s toes, has it feature a stretchy material. The nylon backing gives a nicer balance of strength and flexibility.
Let’s not also forget that Hyperdunk 2017 also featured React foam cushion at the molded midsole or outsole piece.
The designers made sure to feature their new React foam into the design of this shoe bringing it to Life!!! Delivering one of the best designs of its time.
Nike surely knows how to design a basketball shoe and the Hyperdunk 2017 is not an exception.
The Hyperdunk 2017 is designed essentially to fit superbly, which is why one of the best features of the shoe is it’s fit.
No matter the nature of your feet, be it that you are a wide-footer or narrow-footer like myself, the flywire, the soft tongue, nylon backing at strategic areas, and the paddled ankle collar all work efficiently with each other to fit the shoe with your feet perfectly.
Despite the minor narrowness that might be felt initially, when the shoe is worn for awhile your feet becomes one with it, as you can no longer feel any form of empty space anywhere.
Neither do the material form any hindrance on your feet. It might be a little short lengthwise but actually true to size. It also has a different build to the Hyperdunk 2016 but feels a bit similar
So the React Hyperdunk 2017 Flyknit you get a shoe that allows ease of movement and gives you that feeling of having a shoe perfectly customized to your size efficiently.
The next feature of the shoe to consider is the support, which is gotten directly from the fit as they go hand in hand, once the fit is properly broken in.
With the Hyperdunk 2017, you have support for balance and stability, with its internal heel counter, Flyknit wrapping your foot and the ankle pillows, which serve as a good cushion for proper balance when landing after a slamdunk or point shot. The mesh cutout adds more flexibility.
The ankle collar is very thin and flexible and seems almost to be independent of the shoe. The addition of midfoot support helps a lot and the pods along the lateral sides of the shoe for good stability.
The lack of trippiness at the heel and the stable forefoot also helps to feel safe during play. And the raised midsole from heel to toe creates a really nice foot bucket that prevents side to side movement on hard courts.
One minor hiccup is the fact that the laces might seem to come to loose more often than usual when playing. This can be easily remedied once you’re properly strapped in. Some might argue still that the Hyperdunk 2017 doesn’t provide support for legs or knees, but this is something to be improved upon by the Nike team.
Basketball shoes have been in existence for a long time, some of them being technology showcase while some hardly even understand what the player wants.
For the Nike Hyperdunk react series which began in 2008, they have continued to produce excellent shoes with the exception of Hyperdunk 2015 and this continued with the Nike Hyperdunk React 2017 Flyknit, in which improvement was made with the introduction of the React cushion foam.
Beyond this, proper thought was put into creating a shoe with a comfortable build that betters all that was in the market already.
Which is why the Hyperdunk 2017 came with such a wonderful look while having a great fit, good stability, excellent containment and enabling very good flexibility why the thin ankle collar.
These are reasons why the React Hyperdunk 2017 Flyknit stood from others upon its introduction. We cannot deny that it has minor faults, like the lack of support for the leg and knee, the React foam being firmer than expected and so on.
Despite this, the shoe still ranks among the best. It can even be used in any position in the court as exemplified by Draymond Green, what more can be asked of in a basketball shoe. We definitely have to praise the Nike team for a job well done.