April 25, 2012 BY Aaron Kr.
SN: Obviously we know who the LeBron and Kobe models are tailored for, but what players do you take into account when developing the Hyperdunk?
LC: We always look to Blake Griffin as “the Hyperdunk guy”, but really, it’s for postions one through five. You look at any team out there and it could be anyone from a point guard to a center wearing it, so we wanna make sure that it works for all of them. It’s the hardest project to do because it’s so versatile and has to be made for so many different players.
SN: With that in mind, what updates were made to the Hyperdunk 2011 design for the Elite version?
LC: Just looking at the Hyperdunk 2011, the way it was constructed, it’s actually pretty dynamic and pretty soft on the foot, so it fit really well. One of the things I was looking at was we used kevlar. Kevlar has less stretch than other conventional threads. It typically has 1-2% stretch, versus conventional nylon threads that have about 20-30% stretch, so you can imagine what that difference can do as far as the lockdown fit. So I thought, because this doesn’t stretch as much, can we reduce the number of layers in the (upper) package?
The original Hyperdunk 2011 has 4 layers, so what if we do two layers, and by reducing the layers, it actually got more dynamic and the material is a lot softer, so certain areas of the foot where you want more flexibility, you have less stuff digging into your foot and becoming an irritant. At this time of year, these guys don’t wanna have to think about hot spots and things that hurt their feet, so it just eliminates all those distractions.
We did something cool too where we added the kevlar, but then we didn’t need the bottom thread on the backside, so we trimmed all that away and that just helps to shed weight and make it thinner. Some changes like that are subtle. I mean, it still looks like the Hyperdunk, but you’ll notice that all the overlays are gone. It’s one sheet of material and then we articulated the eyestays so that it breaks up and really moves with the foot. And some little details like we added a little sticky, grippy print on the achilles notch so that it reduces that internal heel lift movement. You want the best reaction time when you’re performing at the highest levels, so you can’t be slipping around and losing seconds falling over on a cut. So those are the sorta things we looked at.
And of course, as you can see, one of the biggest changes is the carbon fiber heel counter. You can feel the spring and the responsive nature of it and it’s way different, so we used carbon fiber on the counter and the quarter panel and the shanks. It’s just about using the best materials possible.