Though originally told we would have to wait until January to get our hands on the Kyrie 3, it appears Nike Basketball will give Kyrie Irving fans a shot at the third edition of the point guard’s signature line before the turn of the calendar.
In what looks like a blend of the Kyrie 1 and Kyrie 2, the Kyrie 3 keeps its mid-top silhouette, its 360-degree outsole, and “KI” branding while adding a few new elements to improve off its predecessors. Unique texture encases the shoes entire upper. Though the Kyrie 2 had a strap that came across the shoe’s upper, the Kyrie 3 opts for an integrated forefoot band with Nike Flywire cables to enhance forefoot motion while maintaining its lockdown capabilities.
You also don’t have to be the most astute observer to notice the heat map-like pods on the outsole. These design elements, while looking sharp, have a functional purpose to enhance Irving’s ability to cut. Also on the outsole is a Zoom Air unit in the heel, allowing for responsiveness similar to the Kobe and Kevin Durant lines before it.
Here’s Irving via Nike:
It’s a different lace form that allows you to keep your forefoot down and stay locked in. The team at Nike shows me pictures of me on court and my foot is at an unbelievable angle. I’m crossing over somebody and my body angle and positioning is so abnormal, even when I look at it. I’m kind of amazed, because I’m thinking, all I did was a simple cross over here, but my foot is dang near touching the ground horizontally. I want to have technology in this shoe that is fit for those moments. The shoe is lightweight, comfortable and always keeps me locked down.
The traction pods are unbelievable. How responsive they are on the floor. Starting and stopping and going and picking up from behind-the-back crossover, and you start and stop on a dime while your defenders shoes are still going forward. That can be the biggest difference. This game is separated by very finite moments where you have to get your shot off. My shoe speaks to that. Being able to stop on a dime and cross over and go another direction, I can’t wait for players to try it.
As has been the case for Irving’s other two signature shoes, the Kyrie 3 will include a variety of references to the point guard’s family. Roman numerals VIII and XIII (similar to the tattoos on Irving’s shoulders) pay homage to his late mother, Elizabeth, who was born on August 13. The Zoom Air panel in the heel also includes the names “Elizabeth” and “Azurie”, the latter being his one-year-old daughter. And bookending the “KI” tongue logo are the letters “JBY” (Just Be You) and “H+H” (Hungry and Humble).
Set to release on December 26, the “Black Ice” colorway will be the first in what will be a long line of Kyrie 3 releases over the next 12 months. This model will retail for $120 and can be