Prose: Jake Sittler (@jtsittler)
Following up my initial impressions last Friday, I’ve had a chance to hoop in the HyperRev 2016s a couple more times to complete the review.
The silhouette itself is polarizing, but I find it to be one of the best looking Nike shoes in recent memory. They went for a totally different look and construction and for that, major props to Tony Hardman (still remember his unreal Kicksguide renderings back in the day) the folks behind it. It reminds me of the 90s era Nike models that would take some chances in terms of design and construction. The $110 price point makes it insanely accessible for most. With those two things going for it, we’ll do a little deeper dive on the 2016 Rev and how it plays on court.
I mentioned the totally different construction, and the build of the shoe is integral to its performance on court. The base of the upper is basically a neoprene/mesh bootie that extends up over the ankle bone with a stretch fit collar. This shoe is extremely hard to get on your foot (I went TTS with an 11.5), and wide footers or those needing ankle braces probably won’t be able to get them on. I’ve found the best/fastest way is to get a death grip on the front pull tab and just mash the heel counter down with your foot until you can get it on. Not ideal.
Once on foot though, the fit is fairly snug and supportive. The support and lacing system comes in the form of lace straps stitched into the midsole (thankfully NOT Flywire) and I felt that the lacing system here is far better than the last two Rev models. It’s not as flashy as Flywire and doesn’t have a fancy marketing name, but it gets the job done. Like the previous versions, the top eyestay is just below the ankle bone so you’re not getting a ton of lockdown above there – the shoe could have easily been a low top.
The other aspect for fit and lockdown is the large Hyperfuse strap that’s integrated into the lateral side of the upper. It goes across the midfoot with a simple Velcro attachment, and provides more security. I did not feel the strap impeded flexibility at all.
Overall, fit was very good but probably just short of great. I always felt like there was extra space around the heel – possibly because of how the collar and heel were shaped with that rubber heel counter – but I couldn’t go down to a size 11 because it was tight in the toe box. I never felt a serious amount of slippage, but there was just a little extra room all around.
Transition is very smooth right of the box with a fairly standard Phylon midsole with heel and forefoot Zoom units. The outsole also is segmented to promote natural movement and a decoupled (split) toe enhances the feel. No issues at all through the footstrike.
I’ve mentioned it before, but it bears repeating: this is an extremely well cushioned shoe, and even more so when you consider the $110 price tag. Nike’s Zoom based shoes should always come with this kind of setup. No more thin met bags or dull heel bags. The Zoom used here is responsive and gives you the stability and court feel all in one. It’s certainly one of the best cushioned shoes I’ve tested in awhile, coming in just below the Rose 6 in my unofficial rankings.
Besides the excellent Zoom usage, the whole package is very good all around. It’s light but provides adequate support for most players, uses a large forefoot outrigger for extra stability and gives a very natural feel all around. It’s not a complicated setup, but it works to perfection.
The diamond grid pattern provides very good grip on most court surfaces. I didn’t find it real squeaky, but it stopped on a dime pretty much whenever I asked. I’m not sure that it’s built for outdoor play, but it’s good for all indoor surfaces. Deep flex grooves help here too.
I have a few reservations about the long term durability of those lace straps and some have heard of issues with the strap not hooking up with the Velcro patch very well. I also wonder about the rubber heel counter, which seems to just be glued or fused on. The sock-like upper is going to stretch and pull under stress and I could see the heel counter beginning to peel away over time. No issues have popped up in my initial wearings though (you’d be surprised at how many shoes do show flaws early on) so I have nothing to report so far. All in all, I think they’d be durable enough as a team shoe option, especially with the solid colorblocking.
The HyperRev does just about everything well and has an exceptional cushioning setup – one of the best on the market. Lockdown could be a little better at the heel, but that’s just about my only complaint. It’s simply a great shoe at an unbeatable price and should be near the top of your list to pick up next. Wide footers and big guys may have an issue getting the shoes on, so it’s definitely one that needs to be tried on in-store before a purchase.