Looking for a fast, nimble sneaker that’ll hold anywhere you’ll take it? Kyrie Irving’s budget signature line from Nikey has some very solid offerings under $100 but what about the 5th iteration that seemed to receive mixed reception? Let’s analyze it in this comprehensive Kyrie Flytrap 5 review.
After a good 2 months of indoor & outdoor hoops, I have broken down the shoe’s fit & comfort aspects, performance, build quality & value for the price, versatility, and decided if it’s finally a shoe made for everyone or just another niche-focused model from Uncle Drew.
In a hurry? Here’s the quick Kyrie Flytrap 5 review
The Nike Kyrie Flytrap 5 is another traditional release in Uncle Drew’s budget signature sneaker line. It’s a niche shoe, meaning not everyone will enjoy this one.
You’ll get great outdoor-ready traction but be sure to keep wiping the outsoles down to avoid dust buildup. The EVA midsole + a forefoot Zoom unit won’t give you any bounce or great step comfort. The soles of my feet were hurting after a longer outdoor session.
If speed, precision, and staying low to the ground are keys to your game though – you’re going to love this setup. Support wasn’t terrible even despite my physical playstyle but I wouldn’t prefer this setup over something more balanced. A hard sell for an explosive wing or a shifty player.
This cheap mesh build is quick to break in but due to the roomy toebox, I wouldn’t recommend these for a narrow footer. Overall, a decent $90 performer that could be an indoor/outdoor beater for someone who can’t afford to go past $100.
I. FIT & COMFORT
True to size or should you adjust? How does the shoe fit? What about overall comfort?
Let’s begin with the need-to-know. The Kyrie Flytrap 5 definitely fits true to size in a snug manner. I barely had any space for my toes length-wise but not to the point where I couldn’t move my toes at all.
Width-wise, more of the same. A fairly narrow construction that eases up a bit in the toebox but my wide foot did feel fairly suffocated, especially initially.
The main pressure points for a wide foot would be the lateral side of the toebox (around the first eyelet) and the middle region at the top of the lacing system.
However, I have experienced much worse. These are playable for anyone who’s not a crazy wide footer (whatever that means but you get the idea). Though expect some pressure as this toebox is not among the roomiest.
Mind you, this is the standard US version and not the widened EP variant.
So, I recommend going true to size for pretty much anyone except very prominent wide-footers or people who simply can’t stand a one-to-one fit. Those hoopers should try a half-size-up or the EP option.
Besides some pressure in a few areas, I don’t have anything bad to say about the fit. No heel slippage or any kind of foot movement inside the footbed, no pinching, ankle digging, or anything nasty. I’ll give it a pass.
Comfort-wise, you’ve probably already expected that the Flytrap series won’t give you anything special for the price you’re paying.
Basic materials, basic internal construction, basic build quality. Basic doesn’t mean bad but if you’re anticipating a luxury time for your feet – this is not the direction to go.
I found very minimal padding along the ankle and throughout the shoe overall, though not to a point where I’d feel bothered. Who knows, perhaps more than a couple of months will introduce some digging but not the case currently.
The shoe utilizes a half-bootie construction, so the tongue is sewed directly to the upper and allows for greater lockdown.
However, this type of setup combined with a compact forefoot means that putting the shoe on is a damn hassle. Especially for my thick feet.
There were times when I had to repeatedly smash the floor with half of the shoe on just to stuff the heel inside. It’s annoying but the experience once my foot’s inside is ultra-secure. A trade-off I’ll live with.
Besides that, all else was okay. These are feathery light and feel very quick to play in, and the snug fit allows me to forget everything besides the hoop session (besides the occasional pressure due to the narrow toebox).
How does the shoe grip a variety of surfaces? What about sensitivity to dust? Will it handle outdoor environments?
The Nike Kyrie Flytrap 5 features a computer-generated traction pattern and solid rubber outsoles for all available colorways.
Taken straight from the Kyrie Flytrap 4 and the Kyrie 8– the end result is about what I expected.
I had somewhat of an untraditional testing phase with these. I played indoors more than outdoors this time, and it’s usually the other way around.
Indoors, I primarily hooped on a soft rubberized surface and I also managed to squeeze in a few sessions on classic hardwood.
The traction on both floors was fine. It’s probably the best way to put it. Not top-10 of all time, not exceptionally aggressive, but not terrible either.
I didn’t have issues with coverage on pretty much any movement I threw at them. Mostly.
The slight hiccups appeared when I wouldn’t wipe the outsoles down for a longer period of time. Occasional (and sometimes even frequent) slide-outs started happening in such cases. They were slight but you could imagine they were anything but beneficial.
The tacky rubber used here is notorious for dust buildup sticking inside the pattern but due to the short grooves of the pattern, a quick wipe easily solves things and I’m good to go again.
All of us have times in a game where wiping the outsoles isn’t an option at the moment, or even for a while.
So if you think you have a lot of those moments in your basketball environment or you’re just not a big wiper – these outsoles might not be ideal for you.
For everyone else – these are solid. Both courts I’ve played on aren’t peachy in terms of condition and the base level of traction I received was still alright.
Outdoors, I only tried these out for about a couple of weeks. A rubberized tennis court and classic asphalt were the two surfaces I played on.
As expected, traction was even gripper due to more abrasion but surprisingly, I felt like I needed to keep wiping as often as I would indoors. Something that rarely occurs, at least for me.
If you’re hooping on pristine courts – you will be a-okay. If medium/poor condition courts are all you have – you should still be fine as long as you maintain the dust buildup of the outsoles.
The Kyrie Flytrap series has consistently offered shoes with fairly solid outdoor reliability, and the 5th iteration is no exception.
Even though I’ve only hooped in these for just over 2 months, it was enough to separate this from the average crowd of today’s indoor-focused market. However, don’t put these in your top 10 most durable shoe list just yet.
I never experienced any decreases in performance during the two months but I can see that my high-wear areas of the outsole are beginning to visually degrade. That means it’s a matter of time before performance catches up.
This could mean another 2 months of quality traction. This could also mean 1 month of quality traction, or even a whole 6 months.
I had shoes where I’d still grip the floor with no issues with a near-naked outsole due to the sheer quality of the rubber compound used.
The rubber used here is on the strong side, but there’s no guarantee it’ll hold up after the pattern starts wearing off.
Don’t get me wrong – the shoe has noticeably stronger outsoles than an average shoe you’ll find today and maybe it’ll even hold for a full outdoor season.
It’ll depend on how often you hoop but the general consensus is, don’t be afraid to take these outside.
Breaking down the cushioning: impact protection, energy return, step comfort & transitions, ride height, and stability
Here comes the shocker (yes, I’m being sarcastic). The Joran Luka 1 offers a 90-dollar-certified setup, featuring a Phylon midsole and a small rectangular forefoot Zoom Air unit.
If you’ve played in any of the previous Flytrap shoes – you already know what to expect.
Speed, responsiveness, and tons of court feel were what I got from this midsole. The foam felt stiff and hard to move initially but a few hours turned a shallow experience into an acceptable one once the EVA heated up and got softer. Mind you, this is not my cup of tea.
There’s simply no feedback that I could feel from a landing or a change of direction, and despite feeling super fast and agile, I could feel my legs being more fatigued than usual after a longer session.
My foot soles were hurting after almost every outdoor session. Not to a point where it would become dangerous but it’s something I obviously did not appreciate.
The benefit of this kind of setup is its durability. A denser foam compound means that it won’t bottom out as fast as a plusher foam would, so you won’t end up running on bricks.
I’m not going to sit here and trash this setup any way I can. We have to be mindful of different variables that come into building a sneaker.
These didn’t have a big budget to stuff pricier tech in here and on top of that, it’s a niche-specific shoe. It won’t be for everyone, so if you’re a player who values cushion and jumps out of the gym – there’s simply no reason for you to get these.
But I believe that there shouldn’t be a reason to bash the shoe just because it doesn’t suit someone’s tailored needs either.
If Nikey would’ve marketed the shoe as an all-around beast that caters to any player – it would be a different story. However, it’s not the case. Take it or leave it.
Breaking down security: support, lockdown, stability, and restrictions
The success of this shoe’s support offerings will heavily come down to how it fits your foot.
I read and watched multiple reviews of these and it seems that the guys who tried the widened EP version simply had too much room in the forefoot that resulted in poor security.
So, if you’re not a huge wide footer – I’d say grab the regular version. The key is to properly fill out the space of the shoe.
If you can’t do that – support will suffer because the Flytrap 5 doesn’t offer a whole lot in terms of additional features.
There are very pliable internal heel counters for ankle & heel lockdown, extremely subtle lateral outriggers for stability, and criss-cross straps attached to the top laces that pull down the midfoot for further lockdown.
The MVP here would definitely be those straps that feed through the top laces and push down the midfoot upon lace pressure. However, you must ensure the shoe fits you in a snug manner for this to work well.
For me, I didn’t have major issues with support. There are definitely shoes that I’d prefer over this one if I need something trustworthy for an intense game/session but I can’t say my game suffered because of this shoe.
This is also because my wide foot fills up the shoe properly, so as long as the upper holds my foot in place, I’ll be alright.
For guys who are on the heavier/more explosive side – I’d recommend something more structured. But for anyone else, and especially for those who prefer a minimal setup – the Kyrie Flytrap 5 should do the trick.
V. THE BUILD
What are the materials used for the build and how do they feel & perform? What about reliability?
The 5th Kyrie Flytrap model doesn’t bring any surprises to its structure and build quality.
You’ll find an open design mesh material throughout the forefoot, while the midfoot portion, which takes up the biggest chunk of the build, is sporting a stronger ripstop style fabric that’s also see-through for greater airflow.
The heel utilizes a softer micro-molded mesh material. The tongue features a basic fabric that’s very minimally padded with foam.
You’ll also find fuse overlays around the toebox, under and over the forefoot’s mesh material for protection, and also on the midfoot to shield some of the high-wear areas.
All the materials used throughout the build are as thin as it gets, though the ripstop on the midfoot feels fairly strong for its minimal footprint.
The shoe utilizes a half-bootie construction with the tongue sewn directly to the upper and acting as one continuous piece. Great for lockdown, terrible for putting the shoe on without feeling mad at it first.
I wasn’t overly impressed with how the materials moved with my foot but that wasn’t a surprise given the paper-thin compounds and a $90 price tag. However, I can’t say I had deal-breaking issues either.
This type of setup barely requires any break-in time, however, the forefoot does stretch out a bit given some action time. Those with narrow feet might not find this as a plus if the toebox is already too roomy.
Ventilation was also decent due to the open nature of the materials.
My foot could be regarded as compatible with the shoe minus some discomfort due to pressure but I can’t say this mesh and ripstop do a good job of wrapping around my foot.
The toebox feels a little bubbly and not very conforming. Nothing terrible here but I’d imagine someone with a more compact foot than mine wouldn’t appreciate it since the toebox is already pretty spacious.
Overall, the shoe felt fine after a few sessions. I remember maybe three or four instances where I thought my foot was about to slide off the footbed (only happened during a full-pace pickup game) but it never did.
Still, something that no player wants to think about while hooping, casually or not.
I took the time to find the optimal lace pressure to both feel secure and comfortable and while this is definitely far from a contender for a 6’9 high-flyer in terms of foot containment, a lighter, more low-profile player or anyone who’s looking for a cheap beater should make these work.
As you might expect, all of the materials feel and look pretty cheap.
The mesh on the forefoot is looking a bit bubbly and is quick to start looking all banged up after some flex. The internal lining around the ankle uses a low-quality fabric that already looks a little faded and scratched up.
However, none of this cosmetic damage affected my time with the shoe yet. It’s not looking like I’ll blow right through them soon. With that said, I’m not expecting multi-year outdoor durability either.
I don’t see a reason these won’t last a few years if you’re hooping in a gym though.
I haven’t yet toe-dragged heavily with these and no one has stepped on my foot during these two months (2 things that usually have the potential of wrecking the shoe’s materials), so I can’t really say how they hold up in those situations.
Though my guess is, pretty standard due to the fuse overlay on the toe and a thin but multi-layered forefoot.
It’s basically a good beater of a shoe for cheap if you need that backup option. Or, if you can’t afford a more expensive shoe.
Closing out the Kyrie Flytrap 5 review & a quick recap
The Nike Kyrie Flytrap 5 brought no surprises to my expectations and it’s probably why my overall scores will be a tad bit higher than others (though I haven’t thoroughly checked how other reviewers rated this one).
It’s definitely a performance sneaker that’s tailored to a specific set of players. You’ll get speed, mobility, precision, and will be able to keep a low-profile footprint.
But for a hooper who needs more structure to withstand their more explosive or athletic movements, or for someone who’s on the heavier side, it’s a tough sell both cushion-wise and security-wise.
It also might be tricky to achieve a proper fit if you’ve got a narrow foot or you didn’t have the chance to grab the non-EP version.
There are not a lot of support components implemented here, so if the fit is off – it might be game over for some.
Traction held up fine though, as long as I kept wiping the outsoles down in a dirtier/dustier environment. On good condition surfaces though – you’ll have no issues at all.
Is it a great overall shoe for everyone? No. Is it a noticeable upgrade over the Flytrap 4? Not really.
But if you don’t have the previous model and looking for a cheap outdoor-ready option, don’t overlook the Flytrap 5 as long as your preferences align with what the shoe offers.