Nike Air Hyperdunk, 2008
Nike Flywire gave the notion of “Flight” some extra might. The Nike Air Hyperdunk went over the head of its opponents by borrowing a concept from one of the modern world’s most impressive architectural feats — suspension bridges. By applying super-strong nylon filaments for precise support akin to the cables of a bridge, the Nike Air Hyperdunk was able to radically reduce weight by providing support material only where it’s needed. Once the Nike Flywire proved its mettle in testing and converted any skeptics, the team’s approach was to create a design that allowed most of the shoe to fall away into the background to make the Flywire in the midfoot the focal point. Another new Nike innovation, Nike Lunarlon, would also make its first appearance in a basketball shoe as a key performance element of a design that borrowed elements from a shoe that, at the time, was only the stuff of legend, the Nike Mag. The Nike Air Hyperdunk seized the global stage when some of the USA Basketball athletes took to the courts of Beijing looking to recapture glory. This was a seminal moment for both American hoops and the future of basketball footwear design.