NBA star Kyrie Irving has one of the best signature basketball shoe lines of all time — and he and Nike are just getting started.
The Swoosh has produced hit after hit for the superstar baller, starting with the Kyrie 1 at the end of 2014, a sneaker he wore during his time with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The follow up, dubbed the Kyrie 2, was on the six-time All-Star guard’s feet when he won his first NBA title with the Cavaliers alongside then teammate (and fellow Nike ambassador) LeBron James in 2016.
Aside from the mid-cut and low signature shoes that Nike has delivered for Irving, the brand has also released the Flytrap series, which are sneakers offered at a lower price point bearing his name. (The brand has done similar things with its other signature athletes such as James, who has his Soldier line of court-ready shoes.)
Prior to getting a signature shoe line from Nike, the No. 1 overall pick by Cleveland in the 2011 NBA Draft laced up several looks from the brand’s acclaimed Hyperdunk franchise.
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As Irving continues to electrify on the court, Nike makes shoes that both hoopers and sneakerheads love. Below, FN runs down the compelling signature shoe history for one of the best guards to ever play pro ball.
Nike Kyrie 1
The brand revealed Irving’s debut signature sneaker, the Kyrie 1, in December 2014 at an event in New York City alongside NBA stars LeBron James and Tristan Thompson and retired greats Charles Barkley and Penny Hardaway. The first colorway of the Leo Chang-designed shoe, “dubbed “Dream,” hit stores Dec. 23, 2014 and the “Deceptive Red” iteration followed on Jan. 10, 2015. The Kyrie 1 was designed with responsiveness, grip and support in mind with the inclusions of Nike Zoom Air forefoot cushioning, a 360-degree traction pattern that wraps up the side of the shoes and the brand’s Hyperfuse construction, respectively. The shoe featured multiple personal nods such as “#2” in Irving’s handwriting on the heel and his signature inside the tongue, jagged patterns on the toe and heel inspired by the Sydney Opera House in the baller’s home country (Australia) and the letters “JBY” on the outsole, which is the acronym for his motto “Just Be You.”
Nike Kyrie 2
Nike followed up the first launch by delivering the Kyrie 2 via NikeID customization platform (now known as Nike By You) on Dec. 9, 2015 and the “Effect” colorway on Dec. 15. The Swoosh and designer Chang equipped the shoe with a curved midsole and outsole that was designed to improve lateral movement, a must-have for someone with moves on the court like Irving. The shoe also featured Zoom Air cushioning, a midfoot strap and a dynamic traction pattern.
Nike Kyrie 3
Like the first two signature shoes for Irving, Nike delivered the Kyrie 3 in December. The shoe debuted on Dec. 21, 2016 in the “Black Ice” colorway. The shoe came equipped with elements of the baller’s prior shoes such as Zoom Air cushioning in the heel and the curved outsole, as well as new features including forefoot independent traction pods for traction and an integrated footbed with Flywire cables for lockdown.
Nike Kyrie 4
Nike led the Kyrie 4 push with the “Confetti” colorway, inspired by the piece of confetti Irving carries with him from the last game of the 2017 NBA Finals when his Cleveland Cavaliers squad lost to the Golden State Warriors. Nike said it acts as a reminder to Irving of “how it felt to fall short of victory.” That shoe hit select House of Hoops locations on Dec. 15, 2017 and had a broader release the next day. The Swoosh followed up with the “Black/White” look on Dec. 20, 2017. The look was the work of a new designer on the line, Benjamin Nethongkome, who built the shoe with a Flex Groove outsole, which was created to allow the baller to cut quickly on the court. The performance model also featured a Cushlon midsole and a Zoom Air unit in the heel.
Nike Kyrie Low
Nike released the Kyrie Low on June 29, 2018, a look that features more than just a low-cut upper. The Swoosh gave the Kyrie Low is bottom-loaded Zoom cushioning unit, which the brand said provides a softer underfoot experience. (The low was released between the Kyrie 4, which featured a top-loaded Zoom cushioning unit) and the Kyrie 5.)
Nike Kyrie 5
Nethongkome developed a new Venus Flytrap-inspired containment system for Kyrie 5, which was not only visually compelling but also functional, offering containment above its Air Zoom Turbo unit. The look also featured the aforementioned Air Zoom Turbo unit in the forefoot that was added to provide responsiveness in all directions and a new traction pattern designed with stability in mind. It hit stores in the “Blk Mgk” colorway on Nov. 22, 2018 and released in China on Dec. 6.
Nike Kyrie Low 2
Nike released several iterations of the second low-cut shoe for Irving throughout 2019 including a black-and-white look in June, the Sandy Cheeks and the Mr. Krabs from the SpongeBob Squarepants collection in August and the Nike Air Max Plus-inspired look on Nov. 1. The sneaker was built with heel and forefoot Zoom Air units, a molded and flexible midfoot cage for lockdown and a curved outsole that wraps up the sides for multidirectional traction.
Nike Kyrie 6
The Nike Kyrie 6 dropped at the start of the 2019-2020 NBA season, another tech-heavy shoe from the Swoosh for Irving. The model featured a large articulated Air Zoom Turbo bag that’s both flexible and responsive, Traction 360 grip to feel connected to the court, a mid foot strap for stability and a plush foam for optimum cushion and a smooth underfoot feel. Nike released on Nov. 11 the “Story of 11” preheat collection, a lineup of shoes inspired by 11 cities: Beijing, Berlin, Guangzhou, Houston, Los Angeles, Manila, Miami, New York City, Shanghai, Taipei and Tokyo. A broader launch of the shoe in the “Jet Black” colorway was announced for Nov. 22.
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