SLAM Magazine has re-published a summer interview with Rajon Rondo. The Celtics point guard talks about his sneaker - Nike Zoom Hyperfuse 2011. What really catches my attention is the lack of ankle support.
KICKS: As far as shoes go, what was more important to you earlier on?
RR: Pretty much, I loved low-cuts. Since the Hyperfuse, I’ve been in mid-tops. But I go back and forth every once in a while. But the most important thing is ankle support. I like to support my ankle but still be able to move. The Hyperfuse are very light so I’m able to do what I do best as far as my quickness and me being able to get up and down the floor.
KICKS: Is this the lightest shoe you’ve ever worn?
RR: It’s up there. It’s a mid-top shoe, so it’s a little bit heavier, but it’s pretty light. It’s probably the lightest mid- or high-top shoe I’ve ever played in.
KICKS: Did you wear low-tops growing up, or have you always needed the ankle support?
RR: I always wore low-tops. In college I went back and forth between the Huaraches and low-cuts. But pretty much low-cuts.
KICKS: And the main reason you wore the low-cuts was just because of the weight?
RR: Yeah, the weight.
KICKS: You’ve played in the Hyperfuse; how does it help you to be more effective?
RR: Honestly, I don’t even wear an ankle brace when I’m in the Hyperfuse. Not to say that’s a great thing, but they’re pretty supportive with my ankles, and I haven’t had any problems with my ankles with the Hyperfuse.
Ankle support must be a generational concept. I cannot fathom wearing mid-top sneakers without an ankle brace. Back in the day, guys used to tape and wear braces. And high-tops were mandatory. None of this loose-fitting, low-cut crap.
Rondo says he hasn't had any ankle problems wearing the Hyperfuse. He does have a history of ankle problems. I wonder if an ankle brace or high-top would have helped with this sprained ankle? Or this one. Or this one. Let's not forget this one.