Nike has gone all out for the London Summer Olympics Games and sports and sneaker fans have seen plenty of special edition sneakers. In part because Nike dominates the NBA sneaker game with a 92% market share and endorsements with almost all the top NBA players, they’ve placed sneakers on the feet of every Team USA player. Even the coach, Mike Krzyzewski, has a Nike endorsement. To celebrate, Nike has released a huge assortment of new and throwback basketball sneakers dedicated to the USA Olympic Basketball team, both past and present. But which Nike sneakers are Team USA players actually rocking on the London Olympic Courts? You can spot them by the use of red, white and obsidian blue, which you’ll see throughout Nike’s 2012 USA editions.
Nike Hyperdunk USA Edition
LeBron James (+), Anthony Davis (+), Blake Griffin, Andre Iguodala, Tyson, Chandler, James Harden (low) and Deron Williams (low)
Out of the wide array of basketball sneakers offered by Nike, their brand new, super high-tech Hyperdunks are covering the majority of feet on the Olympic Court. Released just this summer, these sneakers offer the absolute latest in Nike technology. First, Lunarlon and Phylon is used for the cushioning and midsole. Lunarlon, inspired by astronauts bouncing across the moon, is a patented type of ultralight foam. It also allows for a larger pressure distribution area across the foot, helping to minimize stress and injury. Phylon is another Nike invention and is a firmer foam midsole made of compressed pellets. The two different foam densities are used together to provide better balance and stability.
Nike Flywire is used for the upper, which was also designed to maximize support and minimize weight through a new minimalist design and materials. It does away with bulky layers of materials and replaces them with special threading and cables. The ultra-light and ultra-strong Vectran fibers turned into embroidery threads are used to create long stitches to build the shoe to support key areas of the foot. Vectran is also known for its use by NASA and bicycle tires. The shoe is then secured with cables that wrap around the show, acting like tendons in a foot.
This design of thread, cables and sole are all that are technically needed for the shoe to work. While the material panels normally perform the function of a pair of sneakers, the Hyperdunk’s actual material covering the foot are there simply to keep the foot free of outside elements like dirt, rocks, water, etc. Because of their reduced importance, the upper materials used are specialized for high-breathability and lightness.
Another high-tech feature that will be used by frontman Lebron James and Nike’s newest team member, Anthony Davis, will be using Hyperdunk + sneakers. The Nike + system uses sensors in the sneaker sole that will gather stats and measure performance based on jumps and steps for vertical, quickness and hustle.
Besides the high-top version seen here, guards James Harden and Deron Williams will be using low-tops for extra mobility in their defensive efforts.
Nike Zoom Hyperfuse USA Edition
This Nike Zoom features an upper built with Nike’s new Hyperfuse system, which is a blend of three materials. It uses a synthetic as a support base layer, mesh for lightweight breathability and a thermoplastic urethane film as a top skin, all hot pressing into one piece. This creates a series of vents and slits for superior airflow in a durable unibody construction. Phylon is used for the midsole with a Nike Zoom Unit used for the forefoot. The Nike Zoom unit uses a network of thread, plastics and pressurized gas for padding and support giving a lower-to-the-ground responsiveness.
Jordan Super Fly USA Edition
Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony
The Jordan Super Fly used the latest combo of Nike tech styled under the Jordan brand. It also uses the basketball-tailored Lunarlon found in the Hyperdunk, but keeps the heel tight with a Zoom Air unit. The upper is built with Nike’s new hyperfuse system making use of synthetic leather parts for strength and to add some traditional aesthetics. It follows the same red, white and blue colorway with the addition of gold accents and the iconic Jumpman logo in red making the Super Fly a high tech sneaker with a bit of classic Jordan styling.
Nike Zoom KD IV USA Edition
This new version of Kevin Durant’s signature sneaker now employs the Hyperfuse system, giving it a stronger, lighter and more breathable upper. For cushioning, it uses a full Phylon midsole. The highlight is the Adaptive Fit System, which uses a strap to lock your foot down. And this strap system is more than just a simple velcro strap on the other shell to work like shoe laces – It extends to include both the forefoot and the arch of the shoe, which lets it conform to your foot, not just the shoe.
Nike Zoom Kobe VII USA Edition
Kobe’s latest kicks use the latest in Nike tech, but incorporates a few features not found in the other sneakers above. First, it uses the Flywire system, as seen in the Hyperdunk, for its upper. It then uses a thermoplastic urethane heel clip to help lock down your foot. It comes fitted with an Attack Fast midsole insert, which uses a combo of a Phylon midsole amd Nike Zoom units in the heel and forefoot. The Zoom Kobe VII Supreme model includes another interchangeable Attack Strong insert.
While dedicated to Team USA, these sneakers also stand as classy, more toned down colorways when compared to the variety of flashy and colorful versions found of these basketball sneakers. Which ones are your favorites and do you plan on picking up a pair? Let us know in the comments below!