Prose: Finch (@Sir_Stymie)
Weight: 10.2 ounces
Test size: 13
Colorway: University Red/Street Grey-Black
So I picked up the Nike Hyperdisruptor kind of on a whim (I have been playing in the Air Jordan 2012’s and was really enjoying how they performed thus far) but it was time for the intramural basketball season, a last hurrah of sorts for my team Terminator X since a lot of us will be graduating at the conclusion of the year. I found it only fitting that I purchased some new shoes to prepare myself for what hopefully will be another deep playoff run that concludes with us defending our championship and cementing basketball supremacy at Ball State University.
During a routine mall run with my boy Jake (which is something that we do quite often) we stopped by the local Finish Line and Foot Locker to see some of the latest in footwear. While in Finish Line, I saw that they had released the Nike Hyperdisruptor, a shoe that I had seen online but was excited to see in person. When I tried it on foot I knew it was a shoe that I wanted to have in my life. Needless to say, I had the support of Jake. After several moments of self conflict, reconsideration and checking my funds (which has been a constant stumbling block in the past) I knew what had to be done. Once everything checked out, I was in the car with the large orange shoe box in my lap. After several weeks of playing in the shoes I am happy to report to you fine people with my in-depth review.
Without question fit is very important – it can make or break a performance shoe in my opinion. I must admit the overall fit in the Hyperdistruptor differs greatly from the AJ 2012 that I was playing in before. I’m not sure if it’s due to the difference in materials or not but I will discuss that further in the Durability section.
The Hyperdisruptor is a shoe that runs very narrow through the midfoot a la Huarache 2k4, but in this instance its almost to a fault. The toe box is also pretty small. I have a narrow foot so it fits me quite well, but due to the fact the shoe is so narrow it may not be a good fit for some hoopers. The tongue of the shoe is connected to the upper making it kind of like a sock liner (very much like the KD V) so the fit in the midfoot is kind of strange at first. Since the tongue isn’t free to move, I don’t always feel as locked in to the forefoot as much as I want. Fortunately, this problem can be remedied by tightening the laces further than normal but it does mean some extra lace pressure if you’re sensitive to that.
On the other hand, the heel lockdown is quite nice. There is an external heel counter much like the Kobe 8. This aspect of the shoe is very, very solid. While playing and shooting in them, at no point did I feel unstable or uncomfortable with fit in terms of heel lockdown. Although I do have some small problems with the fit in the forefoot and the overall narrow last of the silhouette, the overall fit of the shoe is very solid.
I was not sure what to expect when I first picked up the Hyperdisruptor in terms of heel to toe transition. But after playing several weeks in the shoe, I have found the midsole is very flexible. Foot movement and placement in the footstrike is smooth and natural, which is a plus. Another plus is the the curvature of the sole on the toe-off. This small addition to basketball shoes in particular allows for almost a rocking motion, which makes the transition from heel to toe to be amazingly smooth. My favorite example of this (you would know if you have read my primer) is the Nike Force Max made famous by the Round Mound of Rebound Sir Charles Barkley and the team that defined a generation, the Fab Five of Michigan (ed. note The KD III also used this design very well.) If you look at the silhouette of the Hyperdisruptor you will clearly see that the toe area is curved slightly allowing for the smooth transition.
I like the heel to toe transition of the Hyperdisruptor, but my only complaint would be that there is no carbon fiber plate in the sole. The plate which would give the shoe structure and rigidity. It is the base on which the shoe is build around similar to the frame or chassis of a car. I feel that is a plate would have been added to the shoe it would have been a major upgrade and would have put the shoe in elite company in turns of heel to toe transition.
It is well-known that I am a strong believer in the marriage of Zoom Air in the forefoot and Max Air in the heel. Sadly the Hyperdisruptor does not come with that particular setup, but that is not to say that the cushion that is provided for this shoe is inadequate. The Hyperdisruptor has what we call a Zoom-Zoom cushioning system which means there is a Zoom Air bag integrated into the forefoot and in the heel. This setup doesn’t provide as good of impact protection in the heel as a Max Air unit, but that is merely a matter of my preference.
If I would compare this shoe to my personal favorite, the Huarache 2k4, (which just has Zoom Air in the heel) I would have to say that it is a upgrade. Two air bags are always better than one. The one thing that I can’t ignore – and I don’t want to sound like I’m repeating myself – but the midsole is very soft in the Hyperdisruptor. It make for a comfortable fit and ride, but sometimes I feel that the softness of the midsole is compromising the Zoom bags (ed. note: in Nike terms, the soft midsole hurts the compression/deflection of the Zoom bags). It feels as if you are walking in very thin, almost flip flop-like, foam. The 2k4 has a much more dense midsole and it makes the shoe more stable and comfortable.
You have heard us say it once, and you’ll probably hear it a million more times: we here at The Gym Rat Review LOVE herringbone traction patterns. We are not saying that other patterns don’t work or that its a deal breaker if a shoe doesn’t have herringbone, it’s just one of those things that will stand the test of time. It started out in the 70s with shoes like the Nike Blazers and Adidas Pro Models, and is still used today in high-performance kicks like the Kobe 8 and adidas Rose 3.
The Nike Hyperdisruptor, I am sad to report, does not have this traction pattern. The pattern for this shoe is several elevated lines that run parallel and go diagonally across the shoe. These lines come from both sides of the shoe and criss cross in the center of the shoe. The lines get more dense in some parts of the shoe for added grip in high-impact areas. This system was new for me at least ( I admit I had my doubts) but all in all I was impressed with the overall traction. It seemed to grip the court very well right out of the box and has reacted well through constant beating that comes with my style of play. Other than the occasional use of Mission Court Grip and swiping, it’s been a pleasant traction experience.
As you can tell by the name, this shoe has a complete Hyperfuse and mesh upper. Of course the Hyperfuse is reinforced in certain target areas for durability, in my opinion it will never be as strong as quality leather. It has held up so far but the jury is still out. The midsole, once again, is where the problems really lie. This shoe is stupid light – I literally forget I have them in my bag sometimes – but the foam in the midsole is simply too thin and squishy for lack of a better term.
I am not fan of this midsole, to say the least, and the construction was proven bad on the flimsy midsole. I have had to take a pair back because the outsole was detaching from the midsole; this is after less than 10 wears and that is unacceptable. Whatever positives I felt about the upper have been tainted by this poor quality midsole. I admit the second pair that I got in exchange are doing fine, but this is due to the fact that I have switched back to my Jordan 2012 for open rec and have relegated my Hyperdisruptors for intramural game days only.
All in all, I have become a fan of the Hyperdisruptor and I feel it has a lot to offer as a performance shoe. The fit is narrow but is comfortable; if you are looking for a shoe that will hug your foot and give you good ankle support, this is it. The heel-toe transition is very smooth and promotes an effortless gate. The cushioning meets the standards set by today’s modern athlete (although I believe Zoom/Max would have worked better) and the traction was a very pleasant surprise.
The thing that is really hurting this shoe is the overall durability. Any time a consumer has to take a pair of shoes back because they have fallen apart within two weeks, something is wrong. By no means am I saying that it is a horrible shoe, I just believe the focus was too much on making the shoe light and in turn, Nike sacrificed durability in the process. Another glaring problem for me at least was the overall softness of the midsole – again, a direct result of Nike trying to make the shoe as light a possible.
You can’t have quality control problems on a shoe that costs $130 and is a flagship model for so many Nike schools; you just can’t. This problem could be fixed by adding a carbon fiber plate to the bottom of the shoe for structure. Making the midsole a bit more rigid you would make the shoe a bit heavier, but it would make for a more sturdy, stable and comfortable ride. The problem with the addition of carbon fiber is we’d probably be talking about a shoe that costs $160 to $175, and that’s a little too steep even for me.
In closing, the Nike Zoom Hyperdisruptor is a nice change of pace shoe for players at multiple positions. Just like everything else in this world, it’s not perfect. It’s easy for me to sit here and say how I feel about the shoe, but many college and NBA players are wearing the Hyperdisruptor and loving it – from Ohio State Point guard Aaron Craft to NBA veteran Grant Hill – so make sure you guys get to your local Foot Locker or Finishline and try them on for yourself.
Overall Score: 39.5/50 x 2 = 79