Totally tubular performance ?Almost but not quite.
Pros: Fit, traction, excellent containment, support and stability
Cons: Very low profile Zoom not very responsive, painful break in time around outer ankle
I just put this comparison up between the low and mids in case you were wondering about the lows.
HD15 Mid vs Low
Nike really is trying to win an ugly contest with the Lebron Soldier IX and these.
If you want to see how the Hd15 faired in the ugly performance contest:
I also reviewed the Super.Fly 4 after I reviewed HD15 and I can say that the Sf4 is as good or better than the HD15 in every way. No brainier really.
Sometimes I feel like Nike pushes the aesthetics of shoes to just do it (pun intended). Look how lows took off after the launch of the Kobe IV. Rather than follow the trend, Nike sets it and starting with the ultra high Kobe IX Elite , the Swoosh is making shoes ankle collars higher or more tubular than ever. The Hyperdunk 2015 didn’t have to be this high or not have a coffee cup as heel counter.
Before I get into the review, the ankle collar isn’t as high as it looks, it just has more meat in the rear so it is more tubular looking like the Kobe X Elite.
Onto the review
Good ol plain vanilla herringbone, thank you Nike.
Tried and true it is still one of the best traction patterns. Nike used a nice pliable rubber that really grips the floor. Reminds me a lot of the 2011 traction pattern. I was worried about the smooth portion on the lateral forefoot bc it is made out of foam but I didn’t have any issues with it although I do question long term durability bc it is a separate piece from the actual sole and looks like it could be pulled away from frequent use. This goes for the entire “midsole bucket”.
Zoom Air ? Yes please… Can I have more actually ?
Zoom hasn’t been in the HD since 2011 so I really had high hopes for this set up. However, I was disappointed that the set up felt less Zoom like than the 2011 version. I didn’t feel much bounce at all initially but after a few runs I could feel a little. A little in the heel and an ok amount in the forefoot. The overall set up is very firm and doesn’t provide much of the bounce we all love. It actually feels a lot like the Rose 4 targeted Adiprene set up. The Soldier IX and KD 8 cushioning set ups feel light years better.
One theory I have is that there isn’t any midsole foam cushioning. All that “midsole bucket” I mentioned earlier is glued onto the sole and the orange portion is rubber so the only additional cushioning to absorb impact is the rubber on the sole and the little foam surrounding the Zoom.
You can see the rectangular Zoom unit in the heel. I couldn’t take a pic of the rectangular Zoom in the forefoot but I could feel it with my hands.
This is where the foot sits without the insole. Take into account the rubber thickness and there isn’t much foam. When I say I miss the feel of Lunarlon, that’s not a good thing. It does play low to the ground though.
I went true to size with my normal 11 and these fit me perfectly All the way around. If you have narrow feet you may want to size down. No deadspace in the toe box. The materials are stiff to start especially the ankle collar. Total lockdown in the heel although up to the lower calf which is a weird sensation. Unlike the Kobe X Elite, It doesn’t feel very natural when moving forward because of the stiff materials but it does loosen up after a few games but not to the point that is is an afterthought . If you like that natural unrestricted motion, I’d look elsewhere because you’ll know that collar is there. Also worth noting is what a pain in the ass they are to get on. Point toes down, pull ankle collar taught, push foot in as start to point toes up, slide foot into footbed..
The HD15 material is Hyperfuse and it looks like it would be pliable like the Kobe 8 engineered mesh but it isn’t near as soft and flexible although it doesn’t pop or flex weirdly either. This fuse iteration is as thin as I’ve ever seen but doesn’t feel any better than mesh /fuse combo uppers in the past. I enjoyed the 2012 and 2013 upper far more ( 2013 was my fav upper). If the Aj XX9 upper is a warm comfy sweater, the HD15 upper is a freshly starched dress shirt. If Nike hadn’t given us better uppers in the past, I probably wouldn’t have any problems with the upper bc it works fine.
Above: Kobe 8 and HD15
Half the tongue is stitched into the upper for a more sock like fit.
Heel lockdown is excellent when the laces stay tight. Having the super high heel collar in the back allowed my calves to flex leverage itself when running and loosen up the laces. With a regular ankle collar my calves can’t do that since it isn’t as high up. It doesn’t loosen up as much after the collar breaks in though just something to note.
The inside of the collar is beautiful, looks beastly and performs its duties wonderfully. It is the only portion of the shoe aside from the tongue that has any plushness or cushioning inside the shoe.
Flywire provides lace loops and color
Support and Stability
I didn’t like the accordion on the back of the HD 13 and I don’t really like the looks of these either. Not only is it an eyesore but it is an ankle sore as well Whenever I would cut hard to the left or right I could feel it dig into my ankle on the lateral side in the direction I was moving. Very annoying and irritating, literally. Didn’t go away for me as I could always feel it but the pain lessened or I just got used to it. I had a similar issue with the Crazy Quick 2 .
**quick note I’ve been working the plastic that dug into my ankle by working it with my hands and pain almost gone completely.
The orange portion is an extension of the sole and is made of the same rubber. And then there is an small hidden internal counter too (this was the actual culprit) .
As stated earlier the “midsole bucket” is glued on to the shoe.
I will say that the HD15 sits low to the ground and feels lower than the HD12 and 13. Very stable and supportive thanks to the big heel counter, high ankle collar, stiff upper and firm Zoom Air. These passed my heel test easily as they were not tippy at all.
The best aspect of the Hd15 is the containment. Nike raised the midsole around the entire shoe to keep the foot contained . Very similar idea as the Rose 5. Also they added another layer of glue/fuse to high pressure areas to keep the foot in on hard cuts.
Above: triangular reinforcement for hard cuts
The HD 2014 was so bland and more of the same that Nike really changed it up this year. Fit, containment, support and stability, and traction are great on the 2015 while the cushioning set up is lackluster and the upper material leaves a bit to be desired. If there was more of a mix of mesh and Fuse the upper would have great like the 2013 upper I would have liked these more. And if the Zoom felt like Zoom.. And if my ankle didn’t get dug into .. And.. You get the point. I’m just used to the step in comfort and soft blend of materials of the last few Hyperdunks I guess. The HD15 isn’t bad at all it just could have been better. For the $140 price point go get the Lebron Solider IX or Supet.Fly 4 if you want a more minimal and lower feel. Both shoes actually feel good to wear from the get go and excellent cushioning for a similar price point.