I Played Basketball in the Nike Kyrie 4 — Here’s How it Performs on the Court

I’m not the greatest at basketball. In fact, I’m pretty awful. But on Wednesday, I managed to get a few good decent acceptable games in, thanks to Foot Locker and the Nike Kyrie 4.

The athletic retailer brought media members to Boston this week for the launch of its second Sneakeasy pop-up, located at 539 Tremont St. And during the trip, Foot Locker invited us to the Boston Celtics practice facility court to wear-test the latest signature shoe of NBA star Kyrie Irving.

No matter the level of your game — even if its as abysmal as mine — this model performs well on the court.

The highlight of the shoe is its innovative Flex Groove outsole, which was designed for the ankle-breaking moves of Irving. And if it’s good enough for him, it will undoubtedly support the quick cuts on the court of the non-pro athlete. The outsole felt far different than others I’ve worn on any indoor court and provided exceptional grip on the hardwood.

Nike Kyrie 4 Boston Celtics
The Flex Groove outsole on the Nike Kyrie 4.
CREDIT: Peter Verry

Aside from traction, its responsive cushioning — which includes a Zoom Air unit in the heel — will also impress ballers. The cushioning provides a soft landing, and even after a couple hours of playing, my feet didn’t hurt whatsoever, which is rare with basketball sneakers.

The Kyrie 4 is also perhaps the lightest basketball shoe I’ve worn for a pickup game. And its upper, which features mesh in the forefoot, will keep your feet from overheating.

When you first lace up, the shoe will fit snug, almost as if you need to go up a size. But after about 15 minutes of walking around in it (not even playing ball, just walking), the Kyrie 4 molds to your foot and feels secure and supportive.

And even if you’re not a hoops fan and just want a clean, classy sneaker, the Nike Kyrie 4 checks off those boxes as well. The shoe boasts a suedelike material on the upper, which gives it a premium look, and it isn’t as clunky-looking as other basketball sneakers on the market today. (I may not play in them again, but I will be wearing them off the court, for sure.)

The Nike Kyrie 4 is out now and retails for $120.

Nike Kyrie 4
The forefoot of the Nike Kyrie 4, post game.
CREDIT: Peter Verry
Nike Kyrie 4
The heels of the Nike Kyrie 4.
CREDIT: Peter Verry

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