Real Athlete Reviews: 2012 Nike Lunar Hyperdunk
This performance review is brought to you by Ryan and Kyle, a two-man team who take a particular interest in basketball shoes, especially their performance on court. We currently play basketball at the high school and AAU level, which will give our reviews a unique perspective, since we play games almost daily and at a high pace.
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2012 Nike Lunar Hyperdunk Review
The 2012 Nike Lunar Hyperdunk has become the most talked-about Hyperdunk since the original. Its new aesthetics, cushioning and next-generation Flywire all represent clear steps in a new direction, and the Nike+ model offers some of the most sophisticated training technology ever put on the court. (Learn more about technology in the Hyperdunk+.) Since the Lunar Hyperdunk will probably be one of the most popular high school team shoes this winter, we put it to the test to find out if it can live up to the hype.
This year, Nike decided to use both Lunarlon and Phylon cushioning in the midsole, which is a big change from the Zoom Air in the previous three models. The whole midsole is made of Phylon, and there are large pieces of Lunarlon in the heel and forefoot. The Lunarlon spots felt plush during play and did a tremendous job of absorbing impact. However, the soft foam lacked responsiveness, especially during hard cuts. Overall, the Lunarlon/Phylon combo felt great underfoot throughout the game.
Breathability is one of the biggest areas of improvement over prior editions of the Hyperdunk. For this model, the designers chose to expose the next-generation Flywire to allow for better ventilation throughout the shoe. Although breathability is decent under the Flywire at the midfoot, most of the airflow comes up at the ankle collar. This design may not provide the most airflow through the whole foot, but heat dispersal is definitely noticeable throughout the heel and ankle area. Overall, Lunar Hyperdunk ventilation is a nice upgrade from previous models.
The Nike Lunar Hyperdunk uses light, flexible materials in the upper, which resulted in a very quick break-in time. The shoe runs a bit narrow, which is a good thing in our opinion, because it leaves minimal dead space. Flywire in the midfoot provides a snug fit, as the large Flywire cables really hug and clamp down on the foot. Soft, lightweight material inside the ankle collar means no rubbing or irritation. High-quality materials and smart design made for a very comfortable on-court experience.
The new Lunar Hyperdunk features a carbon shank plate that provides arch support without causing pain during the break-in period. The exposed Flywire and Hyperfuse both do a great job of hugging the foot. However, when we went up for lay-ups, and especially dunks, our feet slid up during the last hard step, which affected our takeoff. Also, sometimes when we made hard cuts, our feet would not move well with the shoe. The thin material under the Flywire did not offer the best support for fast-paced, competitive basketball. Of course, support is not a huge problem if you choose the right size and tie your laces right.
This shoe presented no problem with lockdown when fully laced up. The Hyperdunk's external heel cup helps a bit, but most of the lockdown comes from the shoe's high cut. Basketball players should have no heel slippage with the Lunar Hyperdunk.
For all but the largest frontcourt players, the Lunar Hyperdunk is a versatile, comfortable basketball sneaker. The Lunarlon/Phylon combo keeps the shoe lightweight for guards, but offers enough support for most big men.
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