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Nike Kyrie 1 Performance Review

Uncle Drew wouldn’t be able to rock these…


Nike Kyrie 1 Performance Review 1Traction – There has been many varying opinions on the Kyrie 1’s traction, and I don’t think any of them have been wrong. I’d say under the right conditions, the traction is excellent. I’ve experienced nothing but great traction out of them, but all of the floors I played on – while not always clean – are well maintained in terms of having been refinished once a year. If you play on a court that could used some refinishing then I think that’s where people run into problems…especially when dust is present. I will say that I did need to wipe the soles every so often, but not to the point to where I felt the traction was anything less than stellar. Now… if only the rest of the shoe was as good.


Nike Kyrie 1 Performance Review 2Cushion – There is a rectangle shaped Zoom Air unit located in the forefoot, and its about 8-10mm thick which is great, but its encased in Phylon that becomes pretty damn dense. My first night of playing in them I thought the cushion was decent, but the more I played in them the quicker the Phylon began to break down and become a solid piece of foam. The lines or grooves that are in place help with creating some compression once this happens, but once all the tiny little air pockets within the foam midsole are gone… the shoe winds up feeling like dead weight. Not heavy dead weight… just lifeless. Like most aspects, there is a positive side to this affect… you have nice court feel and increased reaction time… but my knees and lower back never enjoyed the experience the following day.


Nike Kyrie 1 Performance Review 3Materials – If you guys checked out my Kobe X performance review then you already know whats up with these. Textile mesh, glued to Hyperfuse… and thats pretty much it. I will say that I liked the forefoot on these once broken-in due to the fact that Nike used a nice neoprene layer under the textile mesh. This is the one area where fuse is hardly present, only on the toe rand and thats for protection of the materials underneath. This type of setup definitely gets the job done, but as I’ve said before… you either love Fuse or you hate Fuse… and I’m just not a big fan of it.


Nike Kyrie 1 Performance Review 4Fit – The fit is incredibly awkward. I honestly can’t tell you how they fit… this is a shoe that you’re just going to have to try on – I did go with my regular size if anyone is wondering. They run pretty narrow, and you’re going to need to constantly adjust the laces in order to make them comfortable, but once they break-in they aren’t too bad. They kind of remind me of the KD 5 in that sense. That was a shoe I really didn’t like in the beginning but grew to enjoy the more I played in them. Same thing goes here… if you give them enough time, then you’ll likely enjoy them more and more. If you’re looking for something that’s ready to go straight out the box… keep looking.


Nike Kyrie 1 Performance Review 5Support – In terms of lockdown and support… they were okay at best. The heel isn’t incredibly supportive while the fit has its issues, preventing perfect lockdown. I also had to lace these all the way to the top otherwise my heel felt like it was going to pop out of the shoe. There’s also an internal support bar for torsional support – the same feature you see on most of Nike’s models without a formal shank plate. Other than that… they weren’t too impressive.


Nike Kyrie 1 Performance Review 6Overall – I think the Kyrie 1 is okay. Not bad, not good…definitely not great…just okay. Traction was probably their one great feature, while everything else is a huge hit or miss depending on who you ask. I can’t remember the last time a shoe has had so much differentiating feedback from all aspects. I’ve seen huge differences of opinion on their traction, cushion, and fit; so much so that I’d be confused as hell after reading and watching all the reviews. However, I honestly feel that there are better bang for your buck options out there. Whether it be an older model found on-sale or even something newer like the KB Mentality or Curry One – both of which offer you more for your money. They’re not bad for a first shoe, but they don’t have me eager to lace them up again.


Nike Kyrie 1 Performance Review Score

  1. Great review, have tried to talk myself into IDing a pair multiple times but I think I’ll sit this one out. Just too many conflicting reports and to be honest, most people seem to be trying to talk themselves into liking this shoe. On another note, I think your last sentence is missing a “never”.

  2. Hew NW, I have noticed you like short socks. Does it not scratch or scuff your ankles when you have shoes on? I guess I am just weird

    1. Some shoes do, the Curry did, but if thats ever an issue then I note it in the review. I start off in quarter cut socks and once I figure out if there are any potential hot spots or not then I’ll wear no shows.

    1. They probably would burn out quick (outsole). I would think xdr for this shoe is the main way to go if you want to use them outdoors.

        1. I think those are good for outdoors since they have the same outsole as the CFD and both habe thick and widespread treads

  3. Any idea where I can buy those online? I currently live in Canada and Nike.com won’t sell them outside the US and Footlocker don’t have them anymore.

    Thank you.

    1. Sportchek.ca sells them, don’t know if they are still in stock. also a few boutiques, check out the niketalk canada forum. there’s quite a few online stores that are located in canada

  4. Yeah I can’t hoop in these after playin in the lillards. Lillards are similar but sacrifice a bit of support for a much better cushion with more court feel. The fit is opposite, lillards a bit roomy (Lace em tight) and Kyrie’s are tighter. For $105-110 if you feel the need to get a signature go with the lillards. Even though i feel like there’s better options out there.

  5. i’ve been playing in my kyrie 1s two or three times a week the last three weeks (just hooped in them last night), and i think many of your comments about the shoe are fair, the heel lockdown isn’t the best in the world, and the fit is, in my opinion, weird if you wear your regular size (i went half a size up, but i have feet that are a bit on the wide side)…as for the cushion, i think your observation is dead on, but i’m not somebody who cares a whole lot about cushion to begin with, as long as the cushion is flexible and doesn’t prevent me from feeling the floor, so it isn’t a deal-breaker for me…
    i personally think it’s a really good shoe for the price, and i haven’t played a bad game in them yet, so they have a special place in my rotation…nothing really outstanding about them, but they certainly get the job done

    oh yeah, the traction you get on outdoor courts with the xdr version is frighteningly good..

  6. two more things-
    1. the heel phylon is really nice
    2. the bowser looking pattern on the heel counter gets damaged pretty easily, parts of mine have scraped off after falling down once or twice

  7. I was saying the same things back in December when I got the Dream color way! That fit being seriously narrow is no joke and feels unnecessary to be so damn tight. Dudes kept complaining about the lockdown fit on IG and I said that it only worked for me if I went to the top eyelet. That summary was on point too. Having so many other better shoes will sweep these under my rotation radar until I see and miss them months later for a revisit. Well done NW!

  8. Don’t buy kyrie 1. It’s just all hype by Nike. I don’t like the fit even though i went half size up when i tried it on. you better get the Lillard 1 or if you want better cushion you’ll never go wrong with Peak TP9-2. But most people who are playing hoops are about fashion, they just want to look good even it’s not comfortable.

    1. That’s not even close to true, most people who play hoops do it for the love of the game, not just silly fashion. The whole reason people like Nightwing make reviews is that you the people, can choose what shoe will help provide the needs for your game. Clearly, if you want cushion, then maybe throw an ortholite in the Kylie 1, but don’t come on here just making rash statements that make the reviews look pointless

  9. Disappointed in the review, not the quality of the review, but the outcome. I have a pair of the BHMs waiting to be played in and now I’m not looking forward to it as much as before. I’ll probably go with the ASG Lillards first. Looking forward to a performance review on those, NW, thanks again.

  10. Based on Nightwing’s review, I guess Curry was more lucky with UA, Im a big fan of Kyrie because of his handles, i guess i’ll just wait for the Kyrie 2, because someone like uncle drew needs an awesome shoe to match his ball handling.

  11. Man i thought you were gonna leave the lower tier models to jaron, duke and the others lol but hey, the more insights, the better. Thanks a lot for your efforts nightwing, you da real sneaker mvp. Much love from the philippines.

  12. I think you’re spot on that opinion is really divergent. I have wide feet and I don’t think they’re too narrow. The tp1 and kd5 killed my pinky toes TTS, these are so far good. Nothing really stands out, but the shoe feels smooth overall, not disjointed like the kd6 elite. I gotta admit though, after playing in the kyrie 1s I slipped on my j crossover 2s and I felt immediate comfort. Huge difference in quality.

  13. Great review, I think it’s great what you guys are doing keep it up.
    I do hope you really do reassure people how well the traction performs on clean courts. I actually have more grip in these than my cp3 6’s, granted I actually have to wipe these. And to all those people with flat feet that are in between wide and medium these are great fits when broken in.

  14. My friend says that this is better than the XX9. He said that these were the Best Basketball Shoes ever and I just laughed because I tried his on and I have the Hyperfuse 2012. The Hyperfuse feels better on feet in my opinion

  15. I am undecided between the kyrie 1 or D Rose 5 boost, I play in
    courts of cement and not be if the sole of the d rose I go to last

    Help me!!!

  16. hey nightwing,

    im okay with how kyrie1s perform for me. i have 2 pairs (one is a nikeid). but main issue for me is the cushion especially now that im recovering from an achilles injury. do you recommend any insole i can replace the origina insole with? thanks! definitely will check your reviews more often from now on

  17. In the traction category of this page. When it says “Only if the rest of the shoe was as good” That made me laugh because the shoe is not good but its still 100 times better than the grip.

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