Nike went to the classic film Back to the Future for inspiration in designing its latest iteration of the Hyperdunk.
The Hyperdunk proves a mainstay on hardwood floors across the nation’s basketball courts. All of those kicks will see a touch of more modern design with the Leo Chang reimagining of the Hyperdunk 2015, launching in July.
Chang, Nike’s basketball footwear design director, led the development of the new line—worn by the likes of NBA players like Paul George—which looked to modernize the aesthetic with a futuristic look found in the 2011 Nike Mag, a shoe Michael J. Fox wore in Back to the Future II.
“The Hyperdunk 2015 combines a progressive design aesthetic inspired by the Nike Mag, with technical obsession on the upper, midsole and outsole,” says Chang. “Our goal was to make this the best-performing Hyperdunk from top to bottom.”
The upper has risen. Fusing lightweight textiles for a seamless, one-piece upper allowed Chang to add in a flexible foam collar at the top and a mesh and foam interior bootie to stretch and conform for comfort. Flywire cased inside the shoe's molded channels helps with support.
The cushioning on the Hyperdunk 15 moves away from the full-on Lunarlon design we’ve seen from past lines. In fact, you don’t find Lunarlon anywhere, with the less-powerful phylon foam in the midsole and surrounding the newly placed Zoom Air units in the heel and forefoot.
Designed for both indoor and outdoor surfaces, the Hyperdunk 15 offers a herringbone pattern with the outsole wrapping the shoe’s sidewall for added support in the midfoot. Nike reduced the overall outsole material to minimize weight and reveal the Zoom Air cushioning.
Nike will launch the their new design in bright crimson in July and white in August. More colorways will follow, and we can only hope for a Nike Mag lookalike.
Tim Newcomb covers stadiums, design and gear for Sports Illustrated. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.