We’re back with a long-overdue performance review of the Nike Kyrie 2. Kyrie Irving kicked ass in the just concluded NBA finals, and it’s only befitting we review his young signature line here at Men’s Footwear.
These pretty much fit true to size. This is a sharp contrast to the absurd narrowness of the Kyrie 1. The Kyrie 2 is also fairly narrow, as I got a US13 – which is my regular shoe size. With most basketball sneakers, I have to size down to US12 or 12.5. Even though from my experience I’d say the Kyrie 2 fits true to regular size, guys with wider feet might want to go half a size up to be safe. The fit feels great, especially with the neat lockdown applied on the Kyrie 2. The midfoot strap, wrapped around the ankle, does a good job of keeping you locked in around the heel area without inhibiting movement.
What we get on the upper is hyperfuse plus some mesh glued to it, and a softer grade of mesh lurking around the ankle area. Of course Kyrie’s shoes would have to be designed to suit Kyrie’s game, so this doesn’t surprise me at all. In fact, the materials are very similar to the ones used in the Kyrie 1. Personally, I’d root for softer materials: knit uppers, more mesh, less fuse. But who’s asking?
If you’re the biggest fan of cushioning, look away now. This doesn’t provide any cushioning. Simple as that. What the Kyrie 2 gives you is a balance of court feel and comfort. It offers a great deal of court feel, without sacrificing much in terms of comfort. That’s kind of like the whole point of the Kyrie 2. The Kyrie 2 offers a Zoom Air unit in the heel for impact protection, as opposed to the Kyrie 1 that offers its own Zoom unit in the forefoot. It makes more sense to me to have it in the forefoot, as guards tend to be on their toes most of the time. What they did to compensate for this on the Kyrie 2 was provide a rounded outsole. If we want to look at it from the angle of the Kyrie 2 being designed for speed, and not impact protection, the thinking behind the cushioning seems to make sense. I’ve stepped on a court with these only once, and I must say I didn’t feel any pain. But time will tell if that will always be the case. This a no-brainer for folks that love the feeling of the court underfoot.
The Kyrie 2 provides very solid stability. Excellent fit, perfect lockdown and containment all contribute in some ways to the overall solid support these shoes provide.
This is by far the strongest quality of these shoes. All you need do is put these shoes on, and it’ll become apparent to you immediately! These provide firm grip on smooth and not-so-smooth surfaces. No more worrying about slipping while doing crossovers, sharp brakes, cuts, landing, and whatever else I’m missing. The Nike Kyrie 2 got you. Just do it.
Overall these are very nice kicks. Traction, aesthetics and fit are all A1. The biggest let-down for me has got to be with cushioning. But even then I’m sure a lot of people will love these shoes, because of the court feel they provide. To each his own. The materials were not my cup of tea, but they were not bad and they do not hinder performance. So we can’t complain. If I were to recommend a mechanism for my ideal guard shoe, I’d say: Maintain court feel, whilst still providing some cushion. But sadly, no one is asking me to recommend.