Kyrie Irving left Nike to join Anta, and the Anta Shock Wave 5 is his first shoe with the brand. The Shock Wave 5 is a very well-built, Kyrie-esque hoop shoe.
Colorway: ‘Dark Matter’
Release Date: 2023
Kyrie Irving had an unceremonious and notorious breakup with Nike in 2023 and since then, sneaker fans have been wondering what sneaker brand would land him. Kyrie Irving’s signature line was immensely popular, and Nike’s best-selling signature (basketball) line, so it would be a huge asset for whoever signed him.
After a brief courting period, it would ultimately be Anta that would come away with the W. Anta has been producing top-notch, high-performance basketball shoes for years at this point, so here at WearTesters we were excited to hear the news.
Kyrie’s first shoe with the brand will be the Air jordan 1. It isn’t a signature shoe, and it wasn’t even designed for Kyrie specifically, it is only the most Kyrie-esque shoe Anta has. But it is a very well-thought-out performance basketball shoe with all the bells and whistles. Let’s jump into the review and see how these will perform on court.
Anta Shock Wave 5 Specs:
Anta Shock Wave 5 Traction
The Anta Shock Wave 5 has a durable solid rubber outsole with a shark tooth traction pattern that offers excellent multidirectional coverage. The rubber is thick and firm, and the shoe’s sole is flat, making these a perfect choice for playing outdoors. There are also some portions of the outsole that wrap around the front end of the shoe, for some added grip on specific moves on court.
This setup will work equally as well indoors, if not better because of the enhanced durability, but there is an indoor-specific version of this shoe. The Anta Shock Wave 5 Pro also features a solid rubber sole but the traction pattern is slightly different and the rubber is not formulated to withstand outdoor use, so it’s a bit softer.
Anta Shock Wave 5 Cushion
The cushioning on the Anta Shock Wave 5 is what you would expect from a Kyrie shoe. What we have is a full-length slab of nitrogen-infused foam. It’s shaped like a wedge so it’s thinner towards the forefoot of the shoe. The foam is wrapped in TPU for added stability and reactiveness on court. That foam offers a very nice mix of impact protection and court feel.
It’s very reminiscent of the cushioning that was featured on the Harden Vol. 1 which was a great basketball shoe. If you’re looking for a reactive and agile, guard-style shoe that offers a bit of spring and impact protection this will be a very good option.
Anta Shock Wave 5 Materials
Materials are perhaps the shoe’s worst quality. They are very functional, but they do feel very plastic and cheap in hand. The Shock Wave 5 is built with a textile upper with TPU and fuse overlays for added containment and durability. The textile portions keep the shoe lightweight and breathable and allow the shoe to break in quickly and conform well to your foot.
The fuse and TPU portions are strategically placed along the upper to keep your foot well-restrained as you play. There are also portions of the midsole that wrap up the upper to act as containment walls that also boost lockdown. Again, these materials all work very well in terms of on-court performance, however, they do feel particularly plasticky in hand.
Anta Shock Wave 5 Support
Support on the Shock Wave 5 is on point, and very detail oriented, which is refreshing to see. Everything on the Shock Wave 5 is very well thought out. Through the very wide and flat sole of the shoe, we can see a blue TPU spring plate in the forefoot and a carbon fiber shank plate in the midfoot.
Wrapping the midsole is a TPU cage that adds stability to the cushioning system and some torsional support as well. In the midfoot, we have 2 straps integrated into the lacing system for lateral containment, and several lace cables towards the top of the lacing system as well. And last but not least the shoe is equipped with a heel counter as well. This is a top-tier setup, to say the least, but that’s not all.
There’s also the build of the shoe. The medial side of the Shock Wave 5 is rounded for added mobility, and the lateral side is much flatter and wider for stability. This is a great configuration, especially for an electrifying player like Kyrie Irving.
Anta Shock Wave 5 Fit
The Anta Shock Wave 5 fits like a glove. The textile upper adapts very well to your foot, and there is plenty of sculpting in the heel as well. So, go true to size, but, since Anta is a Chinese brand, the safest bet is to go with your Euro size, so keep that in mind.
Anta Shock Wave 5 Overall
Even though the Anta Shock Wave 5 wasn’t designed specifically for Kyrie Irving, it’s a very “Kyrie feeling” shoe. If you liked Kyrie’s Nike shoes you will like this one as well. Anta really has thought of everything when designing this model and has created an elite guard shoe.
So, if you were looking for an agile, low-profile, reactive hoop shoe, with a dash of impact protection underfoot, the Shock Wave 5 is going to be a very good option.