It’s been ten long years since the birth of what happens to be Nike’s basketball icon – the Hyperdunk line. The shoe that has been worn by point guards all the way up to centers globally…
This is the Nike Hyperdunk X performance review. Ten year anniversary. I’m super pumped. You should be too. Let’s get it!
WEIGHT: 342.5 g. / 12.08 oz
TECH: ZOOM AIR
FIT: TRUE TO SIZE
RETAIL PRICE: $130
BD RATING: 8/10
BEST PLACE TO BUY: AMAZON
Nike is giving us a basic engineered mesh set-up on the regular version as per usual – we yet don’t have any info whether a Flyknit version is coming out later down the road or nah – I hope it does. Anyways, sticking with what we have right now, the used materials, obviously, didn’t blow me away, though, it wasn’t bad either. It actually did heavily remind me of the Hyperdunk ’16 – the mesh on both of these two versions wasn’t form-fitting as much as I would want to – but once I got past that break-in period it softened up a tad bit. So as a final result it definitely wasn’t a deal breaker for me. It just this stuff won’t sit as natural on your foot as Flyknit. However, I do like the fact that this mesh doesn’t stretch at all, okay, maybe just slightly in the forefoot. Meaning that lateral coverage & support, in general, is pretty darn solid.
Now looking at the midfoot, we come across the same neoprene-like contraption, again, as on the HP ’16. But rather than the old version featuring it only on the inner side of the midfoot – this year’s HP has that neoprene goodness on the entire midfoot section – which means that you’re receiving smooth like butter transition as well as second-skin-like fit in that area.
Oh, and the external heel counter is wrapped with a layer of synthetic leather (that’s ten-year anniversary luxury right there LOL).
I’m so freaking happy seeing those small windows in the bottoms again! That can only mean one thing… Zoom Air is back as well as my freaky smile.
Last year “REACT” was basically the main reason why the HB didn’t appear on the TOP 10 list of 2017 – that thick ass brick of phylon was nowhere close to true REACT experience. I love innovation & new stuff but when it’s good, obviously, that wasn’t good. Nike should know by now that Zoom Air is their bread & butter when it comes to cushioning, and it should stay that way. That being said, the HB ’18 houses two top-loaded Zoom Air units: a huge 14mm. one in the back & 7mm. in the forefoot (already way better than the Kobe AD Exodus).
The heel unit is basically taken straight out of the Kobe AD Exodus – the same crazy amount of Air with the same soft phylon underneath & same mad performance – the only difference being that this time Zoom is top-loaded instead of bottom-loaded, which I found enjoying even more mainly because you can feel that thick Air unit doing its thing straight under your foot. Apart from that, it did produce the same amount of compression & impact protection meaning that this stuff is freaking awesome.
Meanwhile, the forefoot is being toned down quite a bit – it did actually heavily remind me of the AJ 32 or something along those lines. The combination of a thin layer of Zoom Air & same sized phylon layer assures springy/responsive ride for heavy forefoot strikers to avoid hitting the ground while landing or applying force.
The Hyperdunk line has never really let me down as far as grip goes. Well, maybe a few times, but this is definitely not one of them for sure. This time Nike decided to stick with the OG stuff by slapping on a herringbone pattern – I call this one the “wavy herringbone”. It’s a tad bit modernized, I guess, or less aggressive version of herringbone. Luckily, that lack of aggressiveness didn’t transfer to on-court performance at all.
When it comes to herringbone – we ain’t talking about those NBA-like sassy courts – it’s an automatic W. What we care the most is how they act under ghetto conditions, the answer is, there’s no tangible performance gap between balling on clean or dirty surfaces. I can easily count on my one hand how many times I wiped the bottoms in the span of my entire performance test (just above 2 weeks). No doubt about it, this stuff earns my “Straight up glue” badge for sure.
But there is one BUT… I know for the fact that they’re quite a few people out there, who are buying HB for outdoor use due to solid all-around performance & durable construction (let’s don’t forget about price after discounts as well). Unfortunately, this year’s version seems to lean toward indoor performance only – mild rubber being the main culprit of that.
Look out for those sharp edges of the ankle collar if you’re one of those dudes (or girls) who love wearing ankle socks, it ain’t gonna work with these. You can check out my list of best basketball socks and pick a nice pair of crew socks for your fresh pair of the HB ’18. Or just simply go with the Low version and stick to your ankles socks instead. By the way, let me know in the comments if you do prefer ankle socks over crew socks or vise verse?
When it comes to sizing, I found them fitting true to my Nike size. So if you’re a regular footer or a bit in either way – do the same thing. As for wide footers, I highly recommend trying them out in store first since the width of the shoe can get a little bit tricky & different for everyone.
The only nitpick I did find was mesh material not completely resting on my foot – there was little to almost none volume around the toe area. Yet, that awesome neoprene midfoot sort of redeemed all of that without comfort/containment being hindered that much. Another than that, the fit was simply solid.
Thanks to that fairly massive swoosh shield taking its place on the lateral side of the midfoot, lateral containment itself was freaking off the charts. Probably only Shaq with Westbrook’s explosiveness could bust his foot over the footbed in these bad boys.
The heel was nice too. Both internal & external heel counters were confidently locking my heel into place, as the lacing system did its own thing by pushing my heel down and keeping it that way all the way through. While that pretty aggressive heel mold was making sure my heel doesn’t move vertically. So that being said, heel slippage or other issues related to heel was nonexistent.
The outsole is definitely not the widest in the game – yet it’s flat and does feature a fairly sharp-edged outrigger at the forefoot – so it was enough to make me feel stable when performing shifty moves.
When you lace-up a pair of ball shoes before the match and then completely forget about them even existing on your feet the first second you step on-court, letting only basketball control your mind & body – that’s my definition of a well-made basketball sneaker – and the HP ’18 was exactly IT. There’s no exceptions or gimmicks… Just pure performance… If that’s what you need – I wouldn’t look any further than that.