Kyrie 2 was simply a goddamn beast. It was the king of traction. It is the ultimate low-to-theground guard’s shoe. I’ve been doing these reviews on an opposite order. But who can judge me? Jesus Christ.
The Nike Kyrie 1 isn’t a bad shoe, but not an awesome one, let me tell you that right away. Let’s take a look at the sneaker’s appearance, technologies, performance, comfort and price aspects. We have a lot to cover!
Shoes: Nike Kyrie 1
Weight: 345.9 g. / 12.2 oz
Technologies: Nike ZOOM AIR, HyperFuse
Fit: True to Size
My Rating: 5.5/10
So in terms of looks, there are definitely lots of similarities between the two. The ankle collar is just about the same height, the shape of the shoe’s upper is also very similar. Kyrie 2’s outsole is more flat than the first model, especially in the forefoot area. There are some material changes, but we are going to get into that in the Performance & Comfort section.
The Nike Kyrie 1 has a lot of colorways to choose from, about 8-12. So color variety is not a problem here.
Notice there’s no FLYWIRE featured on the shoe. It is not a $200 model, but it is a SIGNATURE shoe. Come on Nikey, you can do better than that.
Obviously, there is still ZOOM AIR. It’s only one unit which is in the forefoot section. This is their cushioning setup.
You also got HyperFuse, which is the upper material. It is really strong and stiff. More on that later.
Not much to say here honestly, but these don’t have a lot to offer. Again, it is not some premium Air Jordan model, but it’s still a signature, so I’m not sure why Nike decided not to add some extra tech to boost that performance.
PERFORMANCE & COMFORT
Let’s start with cushioning. If you read my Kyrie 2 review, then you know those got almost NO cushion, like literally. They are hard as rocks. The Kyrie 1 however, is not as rough, but I can say that it is a strict guard’s shoe. I personally think that for lightweight, low-to-the-ground type point guards, this should be okay.
But for anyone else, the cushioning is simply not soft enough and it doesn’t have good impact protection. That one single ZOOM AIR unit will not sustain hard steps and landings, which isn’t good.
Traction is definitely on par though. Kyrie 2 had THE best traction for a 2015 shoe. This model, I will tell you right away, is pretty damn close. The pattern is different, but it grips the floor really well. The pattern is not too dense, so dust will not clog up quickly. They also perform really well on dusty/poor condition courts. As for outdoors, I’d be very careful about that if I were you. The pattern doesn’t seem to be too stiff, so it may wear off quickly.
That terrifying diamond shape heel counter may seem super tough, but support is not great on the Kyrie 1. There is supportive fit thanks to Hyperfuse, I’ll give it that. But the ankle collar, that TPU heel counter, midsole and the rest doesn’t do too much good in terms of support. It is not wobbly or slidy like the Lillard 1 was, but it just doesn’t protect your feet effectively. If there was no HyperFuse on the upper, I don’t know how anyone could play in these.
The upper material is mesh with HyperFuse. This always depends on personal preference. If you like soft uppers (woven, knit…) – stay away from this one. But if you’re a fan of these hard, plastic materials, then the Kyrie 1 is a good choice. It gives you a tight fit (if that’s what you’re into), breathability and awesome durability. Durability is definitely the highlight of the shoe, honestly. Many people also reported that its cosmetics don’t wear or peel off at all, so, again, durability is great in all ways.
Lastly, let’s talk a bit about comfort. Here’s the deal. HyperFuse is really stiff and inflexible. Because of that, your movements are SOMEWHAT restricted on quick cuts, crossovers, that type of thing. Another thing, because of its stiffness, moving causes a some pain and discomfort. Last thing, HyperFuse takes A LOT of time to fully break in. Expect some crappy comfort at the first two weeks or so.
I gave you the insight, so it’s up to you to determine if the Kyrie 1 is comfortable.
Nike Kyrie 1 Review: FINAL VERDICT
The Nike Kyrie 1 is a mediocore shoe, if not worse. If you read up on some user reviews at ANY store, you will find that the opinions on the shoe are extremely varied. That’s not a good thing right away.
I say that the shoe is just decent. It has awesome traction and unkillable durability. But the rest is simply not good enough to make this a go-to basketball shoe.
If you already have a good model for the 100 dollar price range and you’re liking it, don’t waste your time on these. However if you’re looking for a first sneaker, the Kyrie 1 could be something what you’re looking for. But again, there are far better shoes out there for this price. Check out the recommended alternative below.
Awesome traction for any court
Durability is simply undestroyble
Cushioning is off with minimum impact protection
Support isn’t enough for a guard’s shoe
HyperFuse makes the shoe slightly uncomfortable
I will simply say that the second model completely changed the game and made critical improvements to the shoe. It won’t be for everyone, but it’s a great shoe for a low-profile guard.
The Kyrie 2 has ZOOM AIR cushioning and the upper is pretty much all Fuse.
They’re comfortable and have a tight fit, killer traction (outdoors too), cushion is really really firm, but responsive, support is killer and they’re just as durable as the first ones.
I hope you enjoyed this review and found it helpful. These aren’t horrible shoes, but they’re not your #1 pick.