Kyrie Irving is a ferocious slasher to the rim, expertizing in quick footwork, deceiving offensive moves, and an all-around skill package WHILE achieving angles sometimes not possible for the majority of the population. The guy’s a master at his craft. I’ve decided to put together a guide on today’s best Kyrie shoes for basketball.
Kyrie’s signature sneaker repertoire seems to clearly represent his style of play starting from his early releases all the way to today’s modernized designs and perfected features. This means that not everyone will find such a shoe fitting.
WHAT TO EXPECT
I’ll break down all that’s important to know before getting a Kyrie shoe for hoops and give you a hand-picked shoe rotation that I think quick guards, and possibly even wings or bigger players, in some cases, could find attractive.
If you think this sounds like something you’d enjoy, or perhaps you haven’t had the Kyrie sneaker experience yet and looking to try it out – this is where it all starts.
I. BEST KYRIE SHOES FOR BASKETBALL: QUICK LOOK
If you’re short on time – take a look at the summary of each top-performing Kyrie shoe I picked for the job
- SHOE, RETAIL PRICE CATEGORY RELEASE DATE RATING
- Nike Kyrie 4, $120 Best Overall December 2017 ~ 8.5/10
- Nike Kyrie Low 2, $110 Best Overall Runner-Up November 2019 ~ 8.5/10
- Nike Kyrie Flytrap 5, $90 Best Overall on a Budget December 2021 ~ 7.5/10
- Nike Kyrie 6, $130 Best for Outdoors November 2019 8.3/10
- Nike Kyrie Flytrap 2, $80 Best Cheap for Outdoors March 2019 7.4/10
- Nike Kyrie 5, $130 Most Supportive November 2018 7.9/10
- Nike Kyrie Infinity, $140 Most Comfortable December 2021 ~ 8.5/10
- Nike Kyrie Flytrap 1, $80 Best for Wide Feet February 2015 ~ 7.5/10
II. COMMON QUALITIES IN A KYRIE SHOE
Here’s what to generally expect when shopping for a Kyrie basketball sneaker
Many other signature athlete shoe lines tend to offer a variety of different hoop shoes. This means that you’d usually find models for a multitude of players/styles from that single athlete’s catalog.
NOT the case for Kyrie’s repertoire. His shoe releases are extremely consistent in regularly putting out affordable, well-built guard shoes that are focused on speed, agility, and catered towards a low-profile style.
Not to say other types of hoopers couldn’t enjoy it but it’s no denying that Kyrie sneakers are always built with Irving’s style of play on the court in mind. Take it or leave it.
But let’s dive a little deeper into this. I’ll take you through the main reoccurring qualities you’ll usually find on a Kyrie basketball shoe, so you’ll know what to expect when getting one in the future.
That’s right ladies and gentlemen – most Kyrie’s fit snuuuug. I could count the times I found a new Kyrie shoe to fit me in a non-suffocating way on one hand.
Of course, I’m a serious wide footer, so things won’t be as troublesome for you but even for the rest of you lucky ones, you can almost always expect a very compact experience for your feet with minimal-to-zero room width-wise AND length-wise.
It’s just how Kyrie prefers his sneakers to fit and if you’re in line with such preferences – you’ll find his kicks excellent.
And if you’re a wide footer like me or you generally prefer a more traditional fit with a tad bit of wiggle room and an experience that wouldn’t shove your feet completely in place for two hours – going up half a size from your usual choice will be a quite common choice when hunting for Kyrie’s.
But with that, Uncle Drew’s signature lineup is simply not the best choice for wide footers since they’re usually quite narrow, and this is commonly reported even by hoopers who don’t have as wide of a foot.
You can make it work but that usually means the need to tinker with the sizing and arm yourself with patience until the build breaks in and stretches out so your boat-like feet can start getting comfy in there.
LIGHTWEIGHT & AGILE
Speed, agility, and a light frame all go in line with what Kyrie is trying to achieve on the court. The maximum potential of quickness, precision, and effectiveness can’t be realized if your footwear is slowing you down due to being heavy or bulky-feeling.
Pretty much all sneakers across all of Kyrie’s signature lines come in a very lightweight build that’s well below the average of even TODAY’s shoes.
And that’s saying something since the modern era of performance footwear is getting lighter, more nimble, and more comfortable by the hour.
Now, because of the need to shed as much weight as possible, sometimes certain compromises are made.
Take the newer Kyrie models like the Kyrie 7 or the Kyrie Low 4: those are both extremely light & nimble packages to play in but certain support features such as torsional protection are sacrificed just to make things as feathery as possible.
Those two shoes use extremely lightweight midsoles which don’t give you the rigidity you’d usually find on a basketball sneaker.
Not to mention shank plates are also removed there which can make certain players (like flat footers or those with a history of foot injuries) question whether they really want that kind of shoe.
There’s almost always a compromise in maxing out the potential of one specific element but I can say that the guy’s sneakers are constantly getting better in minimizing such trade-offs. It’s only a matter of time before that balance is perfected.
LOW-PROFILE RIDE FOR THE SPEEDY
“Cushioning? What’s that?” – Kyrie Irving a.k.a. Uncle Drew
Yeah, Kyrie likes his performance shoes firm, fast, and low to the ground. This is the most common reoccurring component you’ll find on a Kyrie sneaker. Almost all of ’em share the same style of minimal-to-no perceived feel of cushion underfoot.
You’ll usually find a very dense Phylon or Cushlon midsole and a Zoom unit (usually in the forefoot but a few models did feature it in the heel) that’s encased in a firm slab of foam, so you’ll barely feel it.
This, of course, complements the Kyrie style of player to perfection: you’ll be getting maximum court feel and precision while operating with great stability due to the cushion that sits very close to the ground.
Folks who are more accustomed to a more traditional basketball setup could find such an experience very flat and dull. You won’t be getting much impact protection and you can forget about that beloved bounce feel upon your jumps.
But if you’re aiming for your shoes to feel like formulas – there’s no better choice than a Kyrie silhouette. No doubt about that one.
AGGRESSIVE GRIP FOR THE SHIFTY
Relentless & comprehensive footwork can’t be consistently achieved to perfection if the foundation of the shoe is lacking. That foundation for many players, especially for someone like Uncle Drew, is traction.
Kyrie models offer some of the deadliest bite to date. You’ll come to find that Nikey’s classic herringbone traction was very commonly used among older models.
For more recent shoes, computer-generated patterns are becoming the standard and even though there have been a few less successful Kyrie shoes traction-wise, the consensus hasn’t changed.
If you get a Kyrie – you’ll stop on a dime quickly.
Also, a lot of Kyrie kicks, especially the cheaper models, tend to use durable & thick rubber throughout the outsoles, so if you can deal with that minimal ride on concrete, Kyrie shoes are among the most reliable when it comes to outdoor longevity.
After all, the guy’s game has born from constant streetball battles back in the day. The parks were bleeding from his ferocious crossovers, jab steps, and acrobatic finishes all the way back since he was a young kid.
Such an intense style of basketball requires a lot of torque to be generated from the body to the floor.
This means that the footwear has to account for that and needs to provide a structure that would support such movements without overly restricting them.
I feel like traction and overall support & stability are the two pillars that almost NEVER fail to impress me in a Kyrie sneaker. It’s never overkill, nor it’s too flimsy – it’s just right.
While most uppers of Kyrie’s aren’t your heavy-duty leathers or nubucks as the shift to modern synthetic materials is apparent here too, other design aspects of his shoes are perfected to achieve the right balance.
This means that with a Kyrie silhouette, you’ll get great heel & ankle lock-in, and overall foot lockdown & containment offered is excellent due to a very secure fit + a certain adaptation of an internal cable system is very often used.
Lateral & medial stability has to be up to par as well. You’ll often notice that Irving’s sneakers have this rounded shape of the tooling to provide additional mobility.
This alone could be alarming but it’s always countered with a wide forefoot base and a near-flat platform of the shoe. You’ll find the heel drop-off to be in the range of 4-6 mm for an average Kyrie.
This brings the best of both worlds: stability and mobility. Not just one.
III. THE KYRIE SNEAKER CATALOG BREAKDOWN
A practical retrospective of each Kyrie signature shoe line from a hooper’s perspective
Kyrie Irving’s sneaker catalog can get confusing. His shoe lines don’t seem to follow a clear pattern. There’s only one shoe line that’s clearly a budget-focused line but the rest seem to share similar pricing which can get a bit weird.
There are four main Kyrie shoe lines available: the Kyrie (the main flagship line); the Kyrie low (a low-top variant of the flagship shoe long with a few changes); the Kyrie Hybrid (a hybrid of the 3 models of the flagship shoe that came out before it); and the Kyrie Flytrap (the budget-friendly line with minimal tech & features).
Here’s all you need to know about each of the four lines so you’re able to distinguish each and make a more informed decision.
1. THE KYRIE
The main attraction for most – the Kyrie line. You’ll find that the shoes here had the biggest budget to work with as they offer Nike’s best tech for Kyrie.
You can’t always say that about the build quality & materials used since we all know how Nikey’s QA can sometimes be.
Still though, expect these shoes to commonly be the best performers, and also provide the biggest variety of colorways. The Kyrie line is notorious for dropping a TON of different designs even a couple of years after the shoe’s release.
Price range: $110-$130. The top-tier line, although pricing doesn’t really reflect it as the rest of the lineup is priced similarly
Best for: Kyrie style of players. Would best suit fast, agile, footwork-heavy, and lighter hoopers. Also those who like a low-profile ride
Shoes available: 8 shoes and counting (yearly release): Nike Kyrie 1 – Nike Kyrie Infinity. Some shoes have a low-top version (NOT to be confused with the separate Kyrie Low line)
Pros: ✔one of the most competitively priced flagship signature lines ✔ you’ll usually get solid all-around performance
✔ the Kyrie line is known for putting out a TON of colorways for each release ✔ always widely available to get
Cons: ✖ newer models stripped off support features & thick outsole rubber in exchange for a lighter frame ✖ usually not the best choice for bigger, heavier guys
My favorite shoe in the line: Nike Kyrie 4
2. THE KYRIE LOW
Don’t confuse the Kyrie Low line with the Kyrie flagship line which actually offers low-top variants of some models. Yeah, I know it can get messy but hang in there.
The line debuted in 2018 with the Kyrie Low 1 and since then, it’s supposed to be a direct counterpart to the main Kyrie shoe for that year, just in a low-top variant.
However, that hasn’t always been the case. The later models, the Kyrie Low 3 & 4 better resembled the Kyrie 6 and 7 in terms of performance, looks, and feel.
If you’d like your Kyrie shoe to be in a low-cut height and also save a few bucks, this is the line for you.
Price: $110. Could be considered the mid-tier line based on the pricing
Best for: Kyrie style of players and those who like the flagship Kyrie shoe, just in a low-top design
Shoes available: 4 shoes and counting (yearly release): Nike Kyrie Low 1 – Nike Kyrie Low 4
Pros: ✔ tech specs & build quality often close or identical to the flagship shoe for less $$$ ✔ usually offers balanced all-around performance in a compact form factor
✔ you’ll also find a whole bunch of stellar colorways here
Cons: ✖ no distinguishable features for consumers to be attracted to when they already have the main Kyrie shoe
✖ newer models stripped off support features & thick outsole rubber in exchange for a lighter frame
My favorite shoe in the line: Nike Kyrie Low 2
3. THE KYRIE HYBRID
The weirdest out of them all and one that not all of you will be familiar with – the Kyrie Hybrid series. Granted, there are only a few models out but there’s a reason for that.
The Kyrie Hybrid’s idea is to take the three previous Kyrie shoes in the main line that came before it and build a hybrid out of those. I gotta say, they’ve been doing a solid job with that so far.
So, for instance, the Kyrie Hybrid S1 is a combination of the first three Kyrie shoes. The outsole & tooling were taken out of the Kyrie 1 but likely with some minor tweaks. The front portion of the upper was inspired by the Kyrie 3, while the back is almost identical to the 2nd shoe.
The same idea goes for the Hybrid S2. It resembles the features you’d find on the Kyrie 4, 5, and 6.
Price range: $130-$140. Technically the priciest line but it’s not the flagship shoe
Best for: Kyrie style of players. Also those who like different features from different Kyrie shoes and would like a combination out of those
Shoes available: 2 shoes available and counting (releases once per 3 Kyrie flagship shoe launches): Nike Kyrie Hybrid S1 – Nike Kyrie Hybrid S2
Pros: ✔tech specs, features and build quality aligns with the flagship shoes ✔ a practical choice for someone who needs different components from different Kyrie shoes
✔ the coolest colorways are also often here
Cons: ✖ these are tougher to get due to limited quantity of releases ✖ nothing new or different about these since they’re just a hybrid of the models already released
My favorite shoe in the line: Nike Kyrie Hybrid S2
4. THE KYRIE FLYTRAP
The cheapest line Kyrie has to offer. You could say it’s catered to budget hoopers and outdoor players who can’t afford to spend $100+ on a pair that will break down on them in a single season.
The Flytrap series is designed to pretty much combat that.
You’ll find that the outsoles used here are using thicker, more reliable rubber. You’ll also find the patented wide forefoot design and rounded tooling which promotes mobility.
Don’t expect anything major in terms of cushion though. Nikey went all-out in cost-cutting with the Flytrap shoes, so a basic Phylon midsole + a single Zoom unit is what you’ll find here at best.
Cheap materials are also nothing new among Nikey’s budget shoes. For the most part though, I didn’t find them lacking when it comes to performance.
Price range: $80-$90. The cheapest line in the repertuire
Best for: people with a low budget for shoes; hoopers preferring an ultra-minimal shoe; outdoor hoopers
Shoes available: 5 shoes and counting (yearly release): Nike Kyrie Flytrap 1 – Nike Kyrie Flytrap 5
Pros: ✔ no-nonsense type of offer: get only what you absolutely need for a low price ✔ usually the go-to shoe for long-term outdoor play
✔ you can often track these down in sports outlets or on sale for dirt cheap
Cons: ✖bare minimum tech & features, cheap materials ✖ a no-go for anyone who doesn’t enjoy & embrace the ultra-minimal experience
✖ sits in a weird place on the market: you could get a better overall shoe for $20 more
My favorite shoe in the line: Nike Kyrie Flytrap 2
IV. BEST KYRIE SHOES FOR BASKETBALL
Shoes last updated: April 1, 2022
I picked a bunch of models and divided them into different categories. I got a few all-around picks for just about anyone and also other options in case you’ve got more specific needs.
In case you’d like to grab any of these in 2022 and beyond, I left links to where I believe you’ll still find them for a good price.
1. NIKE KYRIE 4
If a user clicks on any of the product links included and purchases a product, I earn a small commission
WHY IT’S A GREAT OVERALL SHOE
Some say it’s the greatest Kyrie ever. What I would say is it’s definitely the most well-rounded. The stuff that’s used here is still being missed in the newer models and the end result means that 2017’s Kyrie 4 is MORE than a viable option to get for 2022 and beyond.
The biggest draw was the reworked cushion: the Kyrie 4 offers a pure Cushlon midsole that brought what many fans have been hoping for. It’s actually got some nice rebound properties to it and step comfort is greatly enhanced.
It’s not your crazy bouncy stuff as it’s still a low-profile shoe but wearers will find that it’s a well-balanced option no matter the style this time.
Just like most Kyrie’s, traction on a multitude of surfaces was solid, and so was overall security. You’ll sit low to the ground with these. Pair that with a wide forefoot base and these become both mobile AND supportive.
The build features a combination of new-school and old-school: you’ll find mesh at the front and suede at the back. This upper is nothing special but it doesn’t take a lot to break in and will last a while.
I never got the chance to do a full review on these but if I had, these would probably be my favorite Kyrie shoe out of all models I’ve played in and ranked.
As you already know – Kyrie’s products aren’t exactly friendly for the likes of wider feet. This one’s no exception. Go a half size down if you’ve got a wider foot and allow the upper to adjust to your feet before throwing these away.
Also, don’t worry if the traction’s a little iffy during the first few sessions. This will mainly be apparent indoors. The unnecessary coating on the outsoles should burn off quite quickly and you’ll be stopping on a dime soon after.
Retail price: $120
Cushion: heel Zoom Air unit + Cushlon midsole
Build: engineered mesh front + suede back
Sizing: TTS. Wide footers – half a size up
2. NIKE KYRIE LOW 2
WHY IT’S A GREAT OVERALL SHOE
I haven’t yet played in these (as I started with the Kyrie Low 4) but the people seem to love the 2nd Kyrie Low shoe more than any other. So, for low-top wearers, this one’s the best-performing option.
The featured Zoom units in the front & back aren’t as comfortable as Cushlon was on the Kyrie 4 but you’ll still get a fairly well-balanced setup that focuses on speed & court feel, yet doesn’t completely forget that you need some step comfort for longer sessions.
Traction seems to be fantastic both indoors and outdoors with minimal-to-no wiping required. The older models used to really nail this one as you could hoop on a 30-year old court and still come to a screetching halt with no delay.
Security was a non-issue either, and the lightweight fabric build was a nice change over the previous models. It’s comfy and agile but the added TPU sections and critical support features make sure you’re not feeling flimsy.
If you’re specifically hunting for a low-cut Kyrie shoe – you’ll have to take the people’s word for it and try out the Kyrie Low 2.
Much like the Kyrie 4, these could potentially be an issue for wide footers. Some say go up half a size, while others report that even doing so didn’t fix their heel slippage issues. You’ll have to experiment with the fit of the Kyrie Low 2 but start by going half a size down.
The rubber used on the outsoles here is stronger than your average basketball shoe’s today but it’s still not an ideal outdoor beater. You might burn through these quickly if you’re constantly hooping on the blacktop.
Retail price: $110
Cushion: forefoot & heel Zoom Air units
Build: textile w. TPU reinforcements
Sizing: TTS. Wide footers – half a size up
3. NIKE FLYTRAP 5
WHY IT’S A GOOD OVERALL SHOE FOR CHEAP
For those looking to get a decent Kyrie sneaker for cheap, just grab the Flytrap 5. I haven’t played in these THAT much but it was enough to form a rough opinion.
No, these are not perfect, nor they will blow you away in any aspect but for the price you’ll be paying (especially in 2022+), the shoe has most things you critically need on the court. Not exactly what you ideally desire.
The Kyrie Flytrap 5 features a basic Phylon + Zoom Air cushion setup and it’s about what you’d expect for $90: it’s fast, minimal, low to the ground and you’ll barely feel any feedback.
Want something comfier un underfoot? Get the Kyrie 4 or perhaps it’s time to shift from the Kyrie’s?
Traction was fine (I’ve only tried these outdoors) while occassionally wiping down the outsoles.
In terms of support, ythe minimal build and the lack of support features you’d find on most shoes means that it’s a very minimal frame you’ll be playing in. Guards who aren’t particularly shifty or athletic should be fine in ’em.
I didn’t experience any serious issues during the short time I was hooping in them but bigger players or those who play with a lot of force/athleticism might need something beefier security-wise.
This also has to do with the fact that the forefoot is noticeably wider than most Kyrie shoes. Narrow/regular footers could find this a bit unnatural at first, so you might need to tinker with the laces to achieve a desired fit.
I haven’t experienced this but hoopers report that taking these on a weary court full of dust means that the Flytrap 5 starts sliding all over the place and you’ll need to keep wiping these down frequently.
Watch out for that if you’ll be playing indoors on a non-abrasive surface.
Retail price: $90
Cushion: forefoot Zoom Ait unit + Phylon midsole
Build: mesh front & back + ripstop midfoot
Sizing: TTS for everyone
4. NIKE KYRIE 6
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
WHY IT’S A GREAT CHOICE FOR OUTDOORS
After the awesome Kyrie 4, I was not expecting to be caught off guard and end up liking the Kyrie 6 as much as I did. Fortunately for us outdoor hoopers, this one has all the components that make up a reliable outdoor sneaker.
The Nikey Kyrie 6 features durable rubber from heel to toe, as the pair I have is still just fine after all these years. Not saying I’m hooping in these often but they’re definitely more durable than your average indoor sneaker we usually get from the Swoosh.
The new Zoom Air Turbo unit in the forefoot spiced things up a bit as jumps, landings, and cuts felt a bit springier while staying just as fast. Definitely an awesome tweak here, and blacktop players’ knees will especially appreciate this.
It’s still not your ultra-mushy stuff but if you like Kyrie’s, you’re not really looking for that anyway. Be prepared for a fast, low-profile ride but one that’s still fairly comfortable.
The mix of leather and lighter textile means that these will hold for a while even on the blacktop. There’s a good amount of structure throughout the upper and after I broke these in, I had no issues comfort-wise.
These are among the heavier Kyrie models so if you were used to an 11 oz Kyrie Low silhouette, stepping into these will likely feel a little different at first. Not a fault by any means though, they play just fine.
I did have a couple of smaller issues with the Kyrie 6.
The shoe utilizes an internal cable system in the forefoot portion but those cables seemed to loosen up very quickly after I re-laced the shoe.
It’s a bit of an annoyance but I remember that completely redoing the laces from the ground up and leaving a bit more room actually ended up fixing this thing.
One more thing – the heel leather portion doesn’t breathe at all. Not a factor for indoor hoopers but if play under the sun during a hot summer – you’ll feel it with these.
Retail price: $130
Cushion: forefoot Zoom Air Turbo unit + Phylon midsole
Build: textile front & genuine leather back
Sizing: TTS. Wide footers – half a size up
5. NIKE KYRIE FLYTRAP 2
WHY IT’S A GREAT CHOICE FOR OUTDOORS
I imagine some of you usually take a cheap shoe and make it as your outdoor beater in case it breaks down sooner than later.
Well, I think the Flytrap 2 will handle the load for you here – and it should NOT break down on you sooner than later.
Once again, don’t expect anything amazing from Nikey when we’re talking about an $80 price tag. The Kyrie Flytrap 2 gives you the benefit of the doubt when you’re in need of a cheap shoe that’ll last.
Two elite traction patterns, herringbone, and radial, are used on the outsoles as well as aggressive, thick rubber. You already know what that means. That means coverage on concrete for months and months. These aren’t burning off anytime soon.
I didn’t find any major support issues despite the minimal build. The textiles used on the build are cheap but they’re structured with Fuse on high-wear areas and the end result is just fine.
Overall, this is a very Kyrie-like sneaker that’s lightweight, agile, and straight to the point.
I played in these for quite some time but I couldn’t do more than 40-50 minutes at a time simply because these are just NOT for wide footers. Even some people with an average foot might find themselves needing to step a half size up due to how snug these fit.
Unfortunately, the cushion used here is far from ideal too. Even for those who don’t care about having a bouncy ride. It’s virtually non-existent here.
The midsole is super dense and barely budges, so if want to be reminded of how a Kyrie 2 felt back in the day – you’ll feel right at home with the Flytrap 2.
I don’t recommend hooping for extremely long periods of time if we’re talking concrete.
Retail price: $80
Cushion: forefoot Zoom Air unit + Phylon midsole
Build: textile w. Fuse reinforcements
Sizing: true to size OR half a size down. Wide footers – skip these
6. NIKE KYRIE 5
WHY IT’S THE MOST SUPPORTIVE KYRIE SHOE
It’s tough to top what Nike did with the Kyrie 4 if we’re talking about a formula of a shoe that’s also balanced for many styles. I feel like this is what they tried to do with the Kyrie 5 but succeeded more with the Kyrie 6.
However, this doesn’t take anything away from the 5th model – it’s still a great shoe, especially for those who want the absolute maximum lockdown while playing fast.
The Kyrie 5 brought back the classic herringbone traction which handled everything I threw at it. Dusty, clean, abrasive, or soft – doesn’t matter. This was truly herringbone at its best and it shows.
The first iteration of the forefoot Zoom Air turbo unit was just a tad bit firmer than the Kyrie 6’s but I could still feel it during some harder foot plants. You won’t feel dead with these.
The main attraction with these is the build & support. Everything just worked so well with one another. The exaggerated heel piece, the flat & wide platform, the lacing system, and the insanely snug fit topped it all off. Your foot won’t be moving in these.
We could probably sit here and praise most of Kyrie’s shoes with great support but the 5 kind of stood out for me with their lockdown. That’s why I decided to put it in this category.
I didn’t particularly find any glaring issues with this one – it’s just a solid overall shoe that won’t be for everyone but if you like that kind of package – you’ll love these.
I suppose the break-in period for my wide feet was longer than I originally expected but that’s about it. The fit was suffocating at first but eventually I found myself playing in these and not thinking about it at all.
Retail price: $130
Cushion: forefoot Zoom Air Turbo unit + Phylon midsole
Build: mesh infused with Nylon
Sizing: TTS. Wide footers – half a size down OR true to size for a very snug fit
7. NIKE KYRIE INFINITY
I don’t want to put the Kyrie Infinity (or the Kyrie 8 as it’s technically the 8th model in the series) in the best all-around section yet simply because I haven’t played in these enough.
However, I can already confidently say it’s the most comfortable shoe from Uncle Drew to date.
The cushion underwent the most changes. The forefoot now features a large Zoom Air Strobel while the heel features a smaller Zoom unit. If you wouldn’t know these are from Kyrie – you wouldn’t tell it’s a Kyrie shoe based on the cushion.
It’s very pleasant to play on my forefoot with these. The heel is a bit firmer but I could still feel the midsole compressing a tad bit and the unit springing back into place.
It’s all very subtle but STILL more than what you’d usually get in the heel.
The added padding around the heel & ankle are also very much welcome and there’s much more of it here than on any Kyrie sneaker. It seems like Nike went for all-out comfort with these while leaving the formula-like performance in the back seat.
With that, the shoe isn’t a slouch performance-wise but currently, I’m seeing a lot of mixed opinions.
For now, I’ll say that I’m getting solid traction outdoors, security is fine (except for a few small issues), and the beefier build feels very nice on foot.
Much like the previous Kyrie 7, don’t expect good torsional rigidity. It seems like they decided to take any form of beefier shank plates away for the future of the lineup in exchange for a lighter frame.
And now they have a beefier cushion setup to handle too, so my guess is, they don’t want any more weight than they already have. I wouldn’t recommend these to a flat footer or someone who’s got problems with their feet due to this.
Also, it’s worth nothing that the design team deviated from the usual Kyrie formula the most with the Kyrie Infinity. The forefoot cushion is now nice and bouncy but the ultra-responsive stride you’d typically get isn’t as responsive now.
Retail price: $140
Cushion: forefoot Zoom Air strobel + heel Zoom Air unit + foam midsole
Build: textile w. Fuse coating front + suede w. leather lining back
Sizing: half a size up for most
8. NIKE KYRIE FLYTRAP 1
WHY IT’S A GREAT WIDE FOOTER’S CHOICE
The Nikey Kyrie Flytrap 1 is a pretty old shoe by now but that shouldn’t prevent you from being interested in it. There are really not many options for a wide footer in Kyrie’s catalog and I feel like the very first Flytrap shoe is exactly it.
If you need a cheap shoe that will also work very well for a thicker foot – check this one out.
While the midfoot & heel portions fit in line with an average shoe, the toebox is much wider than you’d traditionally see. There hasn’t been a wider-built shoe from Kyrie’s lineup of models yet.
The performance for a shoe that costs 80 bucks from NIKE shouldn’t surprise you too much.
Expect solid traction that should last a while outdoors, adequate support, a lightweight woven build that keeps the foot contained, and a very basic cushion setup but it wouldn’t exactly make the top-3 most dead feeling rides from a Kyrie sneaker.
Definitely not an ideal option for anyone who’s NOT a wide footer. You’ll simply be presented with a ton of width in the forefoot and that might cause security issues since there’s a lot of room for the foot to move around in.
Stepping down a half size might be an option but do that at your own risk.
The first Flytrap shoe is the hardest to find too. Chances are, not a lot of you will look for this one but if you do, GOAT and StockX marketplaces will be your best bet.
Retail price: $80
Cushion: forefoot Zoom Air unit + Phylon midsole
Sizing: TTS or half a size down. Wide footers – stick to your usual size
V. HOW I CHOSE EACH SHOE
It’s essential for you to know the context & principles behind each sneaker I chose
How I actually picked the shoes can be just as important to know as the shoes themselves. I always stick to roughly the same set of rules every time I make a shoe list like this one.
I believe these are good to know in case you’re not sure of the reasoning and intricacies behind each choice.
THE PLAYER & SETTING
To start off, let’s talk about WHO is testing the shoes and WHERE it’s being tested on.
I’m a 6’1 guard at ~175 lbs (it can fluctuate in the ~172-180 range though) who’s an aggressive slasher to the rim. I consider myself to be fairly explosive and tend to play with a good amount of force.
I’m decent in all other areas of basketball but I operate the most comfortably and confidently when I’m driving to the hoop and either finishing or kicking a pass, shooting mid-range jumpers, or defending tough & quick players like myself.
I’m definitely not as shifty as Kyrie and it’s not exactly my style. I’m not a pro player by any means either but I can definitely give some good work in an amateur/adept hooper setting.
I like to primarily play outdoors on two surfaces: a rubberized tennis court-like surface and a classic blacktop. I do take my shoes indoors on the hardwood when I can though.
ALL SHOES ARE TESTED OR PROVEN
The shoe list consisted of shoes that I either personally played in and thoroughly tested, or shoes that I haven’t put enough time into yet but the general reception from the people seems to be overwhelmingly positive.
I test a shoe for a good 2+ months before I put out a full review. If you see the ability to go to a full review of a particular shoe in the list, this means it has been thoroughly tested by me.
There are quite a lot of Kyrie shoes I haven’t played in yet (and there’s a good chance I won’t be able to), so this is why I decided to include shoes that are recommended by the people/other testers this time.
I believe it turned out to be a very solid combination of the two.
BALANCED PERFORMANCE IS KEY
While the Kyrie sneaker repertoire is clearly focused on the same style of play, I still tried to compile a list that’ll give you balanced performance.
This means that each shoe should fit you pretty well, it should provide consistent traction, sufficient cushion, support without overly restricting you, and an acceptable build that’s worth your money.
Even if it’s not quite the shoe for your playstyle – it will surely deliver in all critical areas of basketball in case you decide to try it out.
NOT A HURDLE TO ACQUIRE
Last but DEFINITELY not least, I only included the shoes that are still available to get for a price that’s not ridiculous. Luckily, this wasn’t very difficult with Kyrie sneakers.
You’ve surely seen what can happen when a particular shoe catches the hype and the perceived value rises to a point where the shoe becomes an investment. Well, you’ll find that most Kyrie kicks don’t follow such scenarios, fortunately.
You’ll be able to grab all the shoes for their retail price or even under it.
VI. WHICH KYRIE IS YOUR FAVORITE?
Your opinion can spark conversations and bring value to the future reader!
Which Kyrie shoe is your favorite though? Do you even have a favorite?