So the trainer for the Detroit Pistons has banned the Hyperize, stating that the shoe is too light to provide adequate support, and has stated the numerous injuries on the roster as proof.
Blaming injuries on a shoe is nothing new (Jax blamed Peak for artest’s foot problems), but I wonder what’s Nike’s stance. I mean, flywire and light weight seems to be the direction their shoes are going, and with lowtops being more prevalent (Kobe V, Cradle Rock, Hyperdunk Low), are the accusations accurate and is Nike innovating at too fast a pace? Doesn’t a company wear test their product before going to market (though hindsight is always 20-20…take the jordan trunner fpr example…)? Are the innovations actually helping or hurting the athletes? Risk is part of anything, but is the trainer correct in saying that too much of a good thing may not be so good, or is the trainer just doing a poor job of conditioning his athletes?
The thing is that he’s saying that if a shoe is lighter, then it must not be as supportive, which is not true at all. If that were the case, then design should have stopped at the Air Force 1. I think Nike is still learning how to deal with flywire, since less layers in the shoe will indeed affect the fit.
Not surprised by this. It’s not about flywire. It’s the midsole, which is less stable than that of the Hyperdunk. Many NBA players started the season in the Hyperize, but switched back to the Hyperdunk or to the Kobe IV for this reason.
Granted, Im not expert on the inner workings of shoes, so correct me if Im wrong here. Although the design and manufacturing of athletic shoes seems to have changed in the last 10 years, I feel like the materials have not kept pace. I cant help but compare them to hockey skates (which undergo probably the most abusive testing in all sports). Skates have gone from flimsy nylon wrapped around a cheap plastic shell to ridiculously stiff carbon fiber shells in the last 5 years alone. The entire sport has seen major advancements in every piece of equipment imaginable. New materials are constantly being used to improve performance and safety.
i beg to differ with this part of your statement. from the perspective of both a collector and aspiring designer, the footwear industry has seen a lot of materials come and go, some being successful while others had proven themselves a gimmick. take for example Nike…i use them as an example partly because i am most familiar with their products and partly because they have made the most noise with their constant advancements in technology. in the beginning, they started with canvas and leather uppers, just like everyone else. from there, they have constantly evolved, trying existing materials like suede and patent leather, to creating new materials specifically for a shoe, like foamposite, the synthetic material used for the hyperflight, flywire and the ridiculously thin skin used on the kobe v. looking back, they’ve done their fair share of innovation in terms of materials.
i think that where the problems arise is in their constant search for the ‘better’. better material, better stability, better cushioning, better durability, better everything. don’t get me wrong, i think that the search for a ‘better’ is what makes them the best, but i think that in their search to make a better product, they inevitably had to break a few eggs (hyperflight, playerposite, air pressure, jordan trunner, zoom turbine…all these shoes either had a malfunction or were just plain uncomfortable, in my experiences). maybe they went as far as they could go with flywire with the hyperdunk, and kobe v, but because they pushed the envelope as far as it could go, now they are better for it in terms of being informed of a material’s capabilities and limitations. maybe this usher in something better than flywire…
I’ve played basketball my entire life, YMCA league through college. I’ve had both ankles operated on because of wear and tear as well as torn ligaments. The one thing I’ve learned is that it really doesn’t matter what type of shoe you are wearing. If you jump up and come down on someone’s foot, or try to cut and step on the outside of your foot, you are going to roll your ankle. Having high-tops or low-tops are a mental thing. Kobe’s new shoes are low tops, Steve Nash’s shoes are low-tops, 80% of the NFL wears low-tops……you get my point. The one commonality of these people that wear low-top is that they all tape their ankles. That is the best way to minimize injury. Key word….Minimize. You will still roll your ankles even when they are taped. However, they will hopefully not be injured as bad. The fact is, its not that one specific shoe that’s causing problems. The Hyperize is the most common shoe in the league so to say most of the ankle injuries occur with people wear that shoe is not a valid statistic. Hell, canvas Chuck Taylors were the shoe of the NBA for years. Talking about no stability!!
P.S. The trainer was talking about Hamilton being one of the injured but he wears Jordan’s so it 2 out of 3.
cavsball42, as someone who played through juco in lowtops, I agree with much of what you’re saying. I’d even go as far as saying that lows prevented me from rolling an ankle at times, actually torquing under my foot when I cut, nearly coming off, while my ankle stayed relatively straight.
But it seems that your mention of Chuck Taylors is intended to compare that shoe to today’s shoes. The comparison isn’t relevant in the way you made it. Back then EVERY player’s playing style and feet were accustomed to “Chucks”. Look at action from those days. It’s almost as if those guys are tippy-toeing around the court, compared to the reckless physicality of today’s game. Nearly every trip downcourt nowadays you’ll see a player doing something, whether it’s a hard cut or a leap, that a player from pre-1970s NBA would not even attempt. This is only because of the support provided by shoes, lateral as well as vertical (cushioning).
It was an observable fact that early in the 09/10 season, many players who started with the Hyperize soon switched to other shoes that provide more stability. You can say it WAS the most common shoe in the leage. It didn’t stay that way for long. You can assume the reason to be whatever you choose, but the abundance of photos like the one Chris posted earlier, as well as complaints from SOME people who’ve worn the shoe, is a pretty good indicator
while there is little doubt that the advancements in footwear has allowed players a better performing product, don’t you think the way the game is played today has much more to do with the difference between the type of athletes on the court in the different eras? part of the reason bill russell was so dominant in his era (late 50s to mid/late 60s) was his athleticism, at a time when most of his comp were just tall stiffs… i’m sure if lebron were to lace up in a pair of og chucks he’d be just as dominant (though he might/would definitely be worse for the wear & tear in them!). more likely it was the other way around, footwear evolved as function/response to the evolution of the athletes…
not sure that is wholly true, the type of shoe does matter, just not as much as we think…yes high, mid, or low, ankle sprains cannot be helped really by the height, but there are definitely pros (& cons) to different types of sneakers…
interesting take…but what brand in any area isn’t constantly searching for “better”? i’m sure if it were another brand that would be a negative attribute if that search for “better” resulted in subpar product…it doesn’t seem that other brands can get the same pass for the “constant search for better”
No, I don’t. NBA athletes are indeed better now than in the 50s/60s. But a 50s/60s NBA team is arguably as athletic as a run-of-the-mill college team of today. Observe that same college team (even good high school teams) and you see the same athletic, and comparatively reckless, style of play that you do in today’s NBA.
You can see 15 year-olds at your local playground making moves on concrete that NBA players couldn’t routinely do in Chucks 40 years ago. Athleticism affects level of play, not the style of the game. The way the game (not the caliber of the game) is played now has much more to do with the shoes.
shoes probably don’t affect skill as much as they effect longevity. i bet more than a few players could have squeezed a few more years out of their career if they were able to ball in the shoes we have nowadays.
really? doesn’t athleticism affects both the level & style of play? modern footwear definitely is more comfortable, cushioned, grippy, & stable than their past counterparts, and no doubt that has made players the better for it; but the way the game is played now has everything to do with the caliber of athletes. this has been many of a coach’s lament, that because the players have gotten so athletic they are losing some of the nuance of game (oddly enough i listened to a podcast today where the cat the runs the 5-star all-american camp actually said something to this effect)…hop in a time machine and bring 5 of the best players, in their prime (outfitted in modern gear), of the pre-modern era of hoops to the present day against your average college basketball team, or even a team of all-american high schoolers, athletically it wouldn’t even be close…and you could have said the same thing about kids a the park 40 years ago, when everyone was wearing chucks, isn’t that normal evolution, building on what was to try to be better…
the game of basketball was changed when, more athletic players were added to game (along with some evolution/shift in style of play), not with any footwear advancement(s) that i know of…if so let us know what they are/were, that would be some good info to know!
The earlier comparison to hockey skates is interesting - boots got stiffer, allowing better energy transfer to the blade resulting in increased propulsion ability and a quicker reaction from toe movements. Many would approve of the advancement, however hockey players who utilised the quickness of their ankles in softer boots and resulting angles well would not gain any benefit from the boot apart from speed and would certainly lose the defining movements of their own style of play. (it should be noted that many top level hockey boots are actually softer than their mid level offerings because of this reason.
ski boots and bindings. quite simply, years ago when boots were soft and bindings stiff, people suffered horrendous leg breaks with bones sticking out above the cuff line and blood everywhere. healing time? 12-16 weeks.
Now, stiff boots, quick release bindings. still as many broken leg injuries? no. Number of “non-visible” or clean ligament injuries?Huge. and the recovery time for these? career ending in many cases, otherwise 1.5 years of rehabilitation.
so, perhaps the rule of unintended consequences and in the sports industry these can be extensively researched (and more elegantly stated here) so perhaps the nike shoe is a model for this phenonemon. it might let the fast get faster, but those that play in another manner may require something different. take shaped skis, oversized tennis rackets (touch vs feel) cavity backed vs bladed golf clubs…
however, fit problems because the material is thinner…i would be surprised