Kyrie Irving has quietly just joined the three signature line club to became only the second player aside LeBron James to do it. So today, I’m ready to bring you the performance review of the second iteration of the Kyrie’s mid-range signature line – the Nike Kyrie Low 2. Are they as awesome on the hardwood as their tech sheet? Let’s find out!
WEIGHT: 380 g. / 13.43 oz
TECH: ZOOM AIR
FIT: TRUE TO SIZE
RETAIL PRICE: $110
BD RATING: 8.2/10
It’s our traditional full-length mesh upper which currently is going through its own Renaissance period as we can clearly notice some sustainable improvements in performance & quality departments, compared to the past mesh set-ups. Therefore, the upper requires small to no break-in time, in this case, it’s a quick one (1-2 days at max), and after that, you’re getting that nice one-to-one fit with every piece of the upper just layered down straight on to your foot.
Now on top of the main mesh body, the Kyrie Low 2 features an additional mesh yarn to improve upper’s overall containment and add just a tad bit more durability. While continuing with durability, you do have a rather big overlay on the toe box area for upper protection against toe-drags, though, it’s not a traditional fuse layer, it’s a piece of rubberized TPU. So if a fuse layer isn’t enough for you to keep that upper intact, this one will do for sure, and without harming the fit in the toe section as well.
Like the original Kyrie Low, this year’s version, on paper, did have so much potential to finally fulfill one of mine old-time sneaker dreams, which is a Kyrie shoe with an awesome heel & forefoot or even full-length Zoom Air tooling. Sadly enough, the forefoot/heel Zoom Air set-up in the Kyrie Low 2 was far away from what I would call it a dream come true. It’s a mediocre step-up from the same Zoom Air cushioning found in the first Kyrie Low, even so, it must be one of the deadliest Zoom Air units in the game, period. But don’t get me wrong, it still better than having a full-length phylon, well, minus BOUNCE, that stuff is way nicer.
That adequate responsiveness in the forefoot and the same amount of impact protection in the heel is still here, while the focal point of the whole cushion set-up remains the same as in all of the Kyrie shoes – premium court-feel and being super low to the ground. For those who prefer having something plushier under their feet, this will feel lackluster, as it did for me. However, that minimalistic take on Zoom Air is definitely something to enjoy for guards.
The edge-to-edge traction makes its appearance onto the Kyrie Low 2. Pushing those fancy names away, it is our well-known nub traction pattern which we already have seen featured on the Kobe AD NXT 360 or Air Jordan 33. But unlike the following, this particular one brought me some Kyrie 2 vibes. For those who don’t know, the Kyrie 2 had one of the most killer traction patterns of all time, and the Kyrie Low 2 is now taking the torch from it as one of the best ones to ever grip the hardwood. Yep, this is a $110 team model folks…
So basically it’s a beast that eats up everything you throw at it – clean, semi-dusty or nasty court conditions – it doesn’t really care. Straight up glue performance at all times, even though it does pick up a bit of dust in those pivot circles where the nubs are tighter mapped – a few wipes per session should keep that bite mad aggressive.
The only kryptonite of the nub pattern of any nature is durability, same applies to this one too – outdoor usage is not recommended.
If you’re all about that famous outsole curvature on the main Kyrie signature line, great news for you, the Kyrie Low 2 has adapted this feature, though, with a few changes & improvements of its own. This time, instead of the outsole being rounded all the way, it only features that buttery smooth curvature on the sides, while keeping the middle portion of it flat. That not only does let you still pull off some crazy angles but also makes you feel really stable once your foot is fully planted. So you’re getting the best of both worlds, which I do prefer over that fully rounded outsole found on the Kyrie’s flagship line.
Again, talking about the upper, after the break-in time it was all positive vibes only – soft, form-fitting & supportive materials, plus some inner heel pillows to complete the package. But if you still happen to be not completely happy with your overall fit, no need to panic, the shoe has a very similar lacing system as features on the Dame 3 that allows you to personalize the laces, and find what works for you the best. As for the sizing, they do run pretty narrow but not so that you would need to pick a bigger size. Therefore, I do recommend staying true to size for regular/narrow/semi-wide footers true to size. While our wide footers or those who prefer having a little bit looser fit, go half a size up.
There’s nothing too staggering about the support which isn’t eventually a bad thing, the shoe is still really solid in this department nonetheless. On that account, you do receive both internal & external heel counters combined with a midfoot plate for trustworthy heel lockdown and torsional rigidity. Moreover, that wide platform with TPU caging on the sides will make sure you stay onto the footbed even in the craziest situations.
The cushion department is what going to be a lackluster experience for those who do prefer having something plushier under their feet, but if you ain’t one of them, I don’t see any reason why the Kyrie Low 2 could not be your next pickup. That hall of fame traction with the rest of the aspects solidly working together creates a well-balanced guard shoe and one of the best values for the money you can get right now. What else do you need?
By the way, if the cushion is the only part that did let you down in the Kyrie Low 2, but you still all about that best value for the money and solid performance, I highly recommend checking out the adidas DON Issue 1.