Much ado has been made of the new hexagonal Nike Zoom featured in the LEBRON 12 however what you may not know is that Nike recently released another shoe featuring this technology: the Zoom Hypercross. The Zoom Hypercross is Nike’s newest training shoe and they claim that “whatever the surface, whatever the activity the Zoom Hypercross is the only footwear needed to match the challenges of the ever evolving training environment.” We decided to put this claim to the test by testing the shoe in various ways in the various environments that athletes train in.
The Zoom Hypercross features a translucent full rubber outsole designed to provide aggressive traction while highlighting the individual hexagonal Zoom air bags. The outsole uses a chevron traction pattern which is similar to the pattern used in the Nike Lunar TR1. In order to put these traction elements to the test we tested the shoe on a variety of surfaces just as any athlete who purchased these would. We tested the shoes on an indoor basketball court, pavement and an outdoor track. There was some very minor slippage on the indoor court when changing directions quickly and moving laterally however after we factored in that this is an all-purpose trainer and not a basketball performance shoe we found that it exceeded our expectations. When testing the shoe on pavement we were again impressed with the level of traction provided as the shoe was very responsive to changes in direction and speed while providing minimal slippage. To no surprise perhaps the surface the shoe tested the best on was the outdoor track. One of the key benefits of the Zoom Air cushioning system is that it brings the athlete closer to the ground which resulted in a higher level of stability which we felt on the track when starting and stopping quickly.
Rating: Indoor Court – 7/10, Pavement – 7/10, Track – 8/10
The key feature used in the Zoom Hypercross is of course Hexagonal Nike Zoom Air. This concept takes Nike Zoom Air and combines it with nature’s strongest shape, the hexagon which allows Nike to shift the positioning of the Zoom cushioning to the forefoot. With the cushioning in the forefront it was a lot more comfortable pivoting and changing directions quickly due to the improved flexibility of the entire outsole of the shoe. The Hexagonal Zoom Air is designed to deliver a quick and responsive feel which was evident during testing especially in any sharp movements made using the forefoot. Overall we feel the Hexagonal Zoom Air technology was effective in allowing increased mobility and responsiveness in the shoe while providing excellent cushioning in the forefoot – we’re very excited to see how this technology will work in relation to basketball performance in the LEBRON 12.
Rating – 9/10
FIT & LOCKDOWN
The Zoom Hypercross features a lightweight mesh upper that is backed with soft, pliable foam for training-specific support that is designed to provide a great fit. The shoe fits true to size length wise and has typical Nike width. Synthetic leather overlays provide structure and dynamic flywire cables are in place to wrap the forefoot for excellent lockdown and support. When testing the shoe on various surfaces we found the forefoot lockdown to be very good. When combining the forefoot lockdown with the responsiveness and cushioning provided by the Hexagonal Zoom Air it provided a base that was both sturdy and comfortable for movement while training on multiple surfaces. The lightweight mesh upper provides adequate ventilation for heat to escape the shoe while keeping the shoe light and responsive to the lateral movements the feet make. While the forefoot fit and lockdown was excellent we found that the lockdown in the ankle and heel was lacking. The dynamic upper provides flexibility which works well in the forefoot but there were small gaps just south of the ankle collar which resulted in a few slips in both the ankle and heels when moving laterally.
Rating – 7/10
Final Thoughts: Nike did an excellent job utilizing the Hexagonal Zoom Air technology in this shoe. The forefoot cushioning this technology applies was complimented perfectly by the use of dynamic flywire to give that locked in feel in the front of the foot. While some improvements could be made to reduce movement in the heels and ankles, the Zoom Hypercross is still a more than capable shoe for athletes of any kind to use when training in any environment.