On Tuesday, we traveled to New York for the unveiling of Nike React at Terminal23 - the Jordan Brand basketball court - where we were able to speak to the designers and test both pairs of shoes both in drills and scrimmage.
Nike React is a new cushioning system that reinvents foam to offer a lightweight, resilient and durable sole and a greater energy return.
This new technology will be debuted on the Nike React Hyperdunk 2017 Flyknit and the Jordan Super.fly 2017.
While Nike React begins with basketball and is backed by over 2,000 hours of basketball performance testing, the brand plans to scale the technology across more sports.
“The maniacal detail that we put into testing product like this… accumulating all of the testing, it’s 83 24 hour days - that just shows you the level and the information that we’re looking for when it comes to our players and being able to provide the greatest product.” - Ross Klein
Nike React Hyperdunk 2017 Flyknit
Draymond Green debuted this shoe during the NBA Finals and he came to chat with us about it. “It’s a pretty special feeling… that I would be the face of a shoe,” he said as he held the black/white colorway and stood just steps from us. He still wears his orthotics and double socks but attests to the comfort and durability of the shoe - he’s been wearing them for weeks and has not yet had to switch them out for a new pair. They also required very little time to break in.
We began with the Hyperdunk in two colourways: white on white, and black on white. The first activity was a combine where we tested our abilities across various basketball drills. From shooting, to dribbling to a vertical jump test, we were able to get some solid time with the shoe.
The React cushioning is noticeable almost immediately and may be the softest basketball sole we’ve tried. The designers focused on really amplifying the Flyknit in the shoe. Its mid-cut upper offers a snug fit that is both supportive and flexible. A number of people commented that they would’ve gone up a half size. It moved really well during agility drills and the bounce was noteworthy.
Jordan Super.fly 2017
Blake Griffin debuted the Jordan Super.fly and uses the same Nike React cushioning. Blake was not at the event but we were able to speak to David Creech, Jordan VP of Design, who was able to give us insight on the design process and inspiration behind the shoe.
“Our retro shoes, are some of the most iconic shoes, not just for our generation, but just period. So if we can draw inspiration and take design cues from those shoes but - and this is a big but - script it with new innovations, to me this is a formula that nobody can compete with. We have the DNA lines of Jordan - nobody can mess with us.” - David Creech
For the second half of the event, we switched into the Jordan kits and ran some scrimmages to get some on-court experience. Design-wise, it maintains the Jordan narrative by incorporating DNA elements that are true to the brand, such as the “Flight” script across the back of the heel.
The Super.fly’s cushioning felt more impactful. It has such a soft step but is still quite bouncy. There’s that energy return. Because the upper is not Flyknit like the Hyperdunk, it is a bit heavier but not limiting in-game.
The Nike React Hyperdunk 2017 and the Jordan Super.Fly 2017 release globally August 3 and retail for $140 USD.