words // Brandon Richard
Earlier today we alerted you about Nike Designer Leo Chang conducting a live Facebook chat in association with the upcoming release of the Zoom Hyperfuse 2011. That chat just wrapped up about an hour ago and a lot of information was covered. Leo fielded several questions about the next generation of Hyperfuse and how it stacks up in comparison to its predecessor in terms of design and performance. Additionally, Leo encouraged aspiring designers, addressed Nike Basketball's competition and carefully answered questions about possible projects that people probably knew he wouldn't be able to answer.
Always a class act, check out some of the highlights from Leo Chang's Zoom Hyperfuse 2011 Facebook chat below, courtesy of Nike Basketball.
Stanley Onuegbu: What makes the Hyperfuse 2011s different from the Hyperfuses?
Leo Chang: It was actually pretty difficult to update the original Hyperfuses... we got really great feedback from our Pros and we didn't get many returns... so we looked at improving a few areas... Mesh durability, by adding more skin coverage in key areas... then the new midsole has a high sidewall wrap to provide extra lateral stability.
Mark Sandy: How did you find your inspiration for the new Hyperfuse design?
LC: really just listening to feedback from athletes and finding solutions to make the shoes better for them... and continually pushing our technologies... how they are made, materials, etc.
Kumail Zaidi: How light are they going to be?
LC: roughly 12.5 oz in a size 9.
Joshua Lindsey: what position is this shoe best for?
LC: it's a pretty versatile shoe for many types of players... we have point guards to centers wearing it. I don't like classifying shoes by positions necessarily... more about what you like your shoes to feel like.
Aaron Moore: will we be able to customize them on NIKEiD?
Delores Schafer Thompson: No, no iD plans for the Hyperfuse 2011.
Marshall Williams: I under the the lightness, but as a shoe, is the stablility good as well?
LC: yes...we always try to make our shoes stable. it's not just about lightweight.
Scott Scotty Liu: What will be the smallest size available?
Delores Schafer Thompson: The smallest men's size is 6, but there will be grade school sizes available too.
Evan Roberts: what inspired you to change the design?
LC: hearing feedback from athletes and consumers...all good things and bad.
Jose Carrero: I find similarities in the design of the Hyperfuse 2011 and the Hyperize from back in 2009. Is this because some elements were taken from the Hyperize or is it just a coincidence?
LC: hmmmm good question... not intentional, but there are some "best practices" that we design around to ensure our shoes will perform.
Travis Gray: Are they going to be available in size 15 and/or 16?
Kyle Freudenberg? Why the decision to make the swoosh so much more minimal compared to the 2010s?
LC: I wanted switch it up a bit aesthetically. Sometimes we can get formulaic with our swoosh placement... gotta have some fun with it sometimes!
Brenden Nwankwo: why isn't there any zoom bag on the heel of the hyperfuse 2011? I know its a similar set up to the kd lineup, but I figure it would be an upgrade and benefit the guard type players even more so.
LC: We prioritized to have the Zoom in the forefoot because that's where you need the responsive cushioning the most. We put Zoom in the heel and forefoot of the Hyperdunk bc it's at a higher pricepoint... Zoom doesn't come cheap.
Hassan Shaw: What are the differences in technology that will make my game better and how will these sneakers be better than Nike competitors like adidas?
LC: for Nike, we always strive to make our shoes lightweight, while not sacrificing stability, fit, cushioning... hyperfuse is great for breathability, stability, and durability.
Alec Aquino: What's better in your opinion, hyperdunks or hyperfuses?
LC: I think i answered your question but it must have disappeared... i love lows... so the Hyperfuse lows were nice for me, i love the breathability of them too. I also really love the zoom/zoom cushioning in the Hyperdunks too... depends on the day, i guess!
Eric Whittier: what is the difference between the original hyperfuse and the air max hyperfuse?
LC: mostly the large air cushioning and the strap.
Sean Nana: Designers seem to be all over Hyperfuse. What are the benefits of Flywire and how well do these two technologies mesh?
LC: Flywire is all about the embroidered threads that are engineered to support the foot... when Hyperfuse technology came out, it actually influenced the way we constructed Flywire too. Hyperfuse is all about seamlessly "fusing" together 3 layers of materials to get the best breathability, stability and durability.
Belal Abuasi: what makes them better than jordans?
LC: ha... not sure how to answer this... bc we love jordans and we're all family her, but we had nearly a third of the league last year wearing the Hyperfuse... the consumer and athlete always decides!
Jose Arreola: we need 60 dollar hyperfuses!
LC: the materials we use on the Hyperfuse are pretty expensive, and it's what we need for the "fusing" of the materials to stay together... we're always looking to make our technologies more excessible but right now we won't be seeing a $60 hyperfuse.
Kumail Zaidi: Which players wear the Hyperfuse?
LC: Rondo, Russ, Westbrook, Lamar Odom and a bunch of others!
Vilmer Ekstrom: how do you plan to compete with the derrick rose sneaker? as you may know the shoe is only 9.8 onces how light is the new Hyperfuse 2011?
LC: We compete by making shoes that are lightweight without sacrificing amazing cushioning, like Zoom Air, arguably the best cushioning system in the industry, and stability. The industry hasn't reached it's limits with weight, but we want to make sure we do it the right way without compromise.
Jake Ratcliffe: what made you think of all these designs, where did you get your ideas from?
LC: A lot of it comes from working with our athletes and knowing what they like, and problem solving issues they may have. Innovations and cool solutions often times comes from their insights... big or small.
Marshall Williams: how did you become a shoe designer? its my dreammm.
LC: it was also my dreammmm too! draw you ass off... not just shoes, everything. think about problem solving and benefits to the athlete... learn about the fundamentals of product design... go to school. I caught my break after getting an internship at Nike... then the rest was history! living the dream.
Dabo Chen: as a product design student, I know I shouldn't be limiting myself in sneaker design, so I want to ask that have you ever wondered what to do before you started with nike? or do you have any suggestions?
LC: I've always loved designing shoes, but I did my best to learn a lot of different things that relate to art and design. (painting, textiles, printmaking, furniture, architecture, ceramic slip casting, etc.) It all somehow helped me gain a different perspective on shoe design. At the end of the day, if i never landed at Nike, I would have fine designing other product too... (while still doodling shoes on the side, of course.) even if you take a job in another product industry too, you're knowledge there can still help you in shoes... diversify your knowledge. Keep working hard!
Bones Escareno: hey what's in store for the KD4?
LC: We'll let you know more in the coming months... we just had KD wearing the shoes at his Skills Academy in Chicago... He was lovin' them.
Marc Anthony Mendoza: Any word on KD's request on a Foamposite version for his KD 4?
LC: no word!
Kyle Freudenberg: Are we ever going to see a foamposite/hyperfuse hybrid?
LC: you know i can't answer questions like that! appreciate the curiosity tho!
Matthew Lowe: When do the Lebron 9's come and when do the 2011 hyperdunks come?
LC: Hyperdunks come out around Aug 12...as for the LeBron 9...can't tell you about those yet!
Raymond Ng: Will we ever see hyperfuse used on a Kobe sig?
LC: I'll give you the generic answer: "we can't tell you, you'll have to wait and see!" Who knows what Eric Avar has cooking up on the Kobes.
via Nike Basketball