Nike officially unveils the KYRIE 6
As Nike Basketball closed out the Kyrie 5 line with the SpongeBob SquarePants pack, we turn to the next — the KYRIE 6. It’s been said time and time again, that a signature shoe shold capture both the athlete’s performance style and his personality. Benjamin Nethongkome (the designer of the last 3 sigs) was able to exemplify that design on to his latest shoe.
“My identity has never been defined by the hardwood and it never will,” “It really is defined by the philanthropy that I do, the interactions that I have with other human beings — treating them with compassion — and being empathetic to who they are.”– Kyrie Irving
Kyrie’s an old soul, complete with quirks and nuances, and the KYRIE 6 meshes that with his style of play, a definite site to behold every night out. Let’s break down what’s new and what’s familiar with the KYRIE 6, both on a tech and design standpoint:
What’s New (and Familiar) about the KYRIE 6’s Tech
The tech behind the KYRIE 6 fuels Irving’s dynamic game. He describes it as entertainment — apt considering its flamboyant dynamism. And the game itself requires a base that supports Irving’s banked cuts.
“We’ve built a lot of trust over the last three shoes,” says Nethongkome. “I know what Kyrie wants from an overall feel. There is a certain formula: An extra-padded tongue, almost SB style, and a cushy collar, combined with support in the midfoot.”
These characteristics are combined with a lower-to-the-court feel and a 360-degree grip system that advances the properties Nethongkome has been dialing in over the years. This all presents Irving with what he says is the most comfortable shoe he’s ever had.
“The biggest accomplishment that we’ve had in my shoe line is just evolving with the technology at Nike, and it really being specifically made for me,” says Irving.
- The Traction 360 grip helps keep Irving feeling quicker and more connected to the court. Micro textures on the top of the forefoot extend that connection during extreme banking.
- To enable Irving to play at top speed, the last is dropped 5mm closer to the court.
- The KYRIE 6 features a plush foam, or optimum cushion, and a smooth underfoot feel at the heel.
- The midfoot strap offers increased stability and arch support.
- Despite the aesthetic of the new last, the curved outsole still provides Irving (and those who emulate him) banked traction to help with court grip whether banking, cutting or attacking the basket in drastic degrees.
- The KYRIE 6 features the same articulated Nike Air Zoom Turbo unit in the forefoot as its predecessor, helping enable responsiveness at all directions.
Whats New (and Familiar) about the KYRIE 6’s Look
“The Zoom Airbag, 360 traction and the strap — the technology defines the functionality of the shoe,” says Irving. “But it’s evolved into a beautiful design that incorporates different inspirations from past Nike shoes.”
Irving grew up and entered the professional arena during an era that benefited from being able to pick footwear from the best of the best. Specifically, there was opportunity to play and chill in both the latest designs and the greatest silhouettes of the past. For Irving, this defined his belief in what makes a shoe stand out. And it made him, now six shoes into his line, want to push into that territory. “What’s history without utilizing it and implementing it into your own style and your own swag?” he asks.
The KYRIE 6 aesthetic answers by pulling the shoe’s technological elements into an instantly familiar package. It’s everything that defines a basketballsneaker cross-generationally with everything that is required of top-flight play now.
Here’s how it breaks down:
- As noted in the tech, the traditionally styled midfoot strap is a new element in the KYRIE line. It doesn’t just support dynamic cutting motion, it imbues a sense of nostalgic ’90s swag too.
- The refined materials — including premium leather and ballistic mesh — promote off-court appeal.
- A sharply modeled heel counter references models worn by KYRIE in his pre-signature PE days and some of his favorite lifestyle silhouettes.
- Irving’s signature line continues to reflect some of his personal and spiritual connections. For example, some of the motifs appearing on the KYRIE 6 include the healer’s hand, all-seeing eye, number 11 and his mantra “hungry and humble.”
- The KYRIE 6, like the models before it, will also function as a canvas for unique colorways that offer insight into Irving’s emotional and intellectual energy.
The Nike KYRIE 6 ‘Jet Black’ drops November 22nd. Keep it locked here for local release dates.