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Nike Kyrie 2 Performance Review

Nike Kyrie 2

The Nike Kyrie 2 is excellent in every aspect, except the cushion. However, if you prefer the ultimate court feel, you’ve found the one.

Release Date: 2015

Price: $120

Athlete: Kyrie Irving

Total Score
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You can check out our most recent Nike Kyrie reviews here. Some of them even made our Best Basketball Shoes list.

We’re back for another one with the performance review on the Nike Kyrie 2. Hope everyone enjoys the Holidays and stay tuned for my upcoming Top Performance Picks for 2015!

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Kyrie 2 - Traction Page

BEASTLY. Yeah, simple as that. Traction of the Nike Kyrie 2 is: Just. F***ing. Amazing. You want to go right? No problem. Wait, now you need to go left? No worries. Stop everything. Think for a second… no time for thinking, just react. Yeah. These bad boys got you covered.

Outdoors? I wouldn’t expect them to last too long on the blacktop, but they’ll work while they do. Exactly how long will they last outdoors? Wait right there while I go grab my timetable for how long every shoe lasts outdoors…


Kyrie 2 - Cushion Page

There is none. Plain and simple. The Nike Kyrie 2’s main focus was court feel, speed, and change of direction. In that sense, nailed it. But if you want or need cushion then stay away. Far away. There is a Zoom Air unit placed in the heel for impact protection, but Guards tend to stay on their toes – hence the rounded midsole/outsole setup. The forefoot isn’t completely bare as there is a section of Poron attached to the strobel board, but that’s mostly for step-in comfort and very minor cushion. I will say that while the shoe lack cushion, that it’s not always a bad thing. Those that prefer the feeling of the court underfoot will really enjoy the setup and this will help them feel light on their toes. However, if you must have the Nike Kyrie 2 and need cushion then I’d suggest grabbing an after-market insole. Afterwards, you should be perfectly fine.



Kyrie 2 Materails Page

Hyperfuse materials with textile mesh glued really glued onto it. Yeah, I loath this setup. It breaks in rather quickly and feels perfectly fine, but it’s like a tease for someone such as myself that really enjoys mesh, woven, and knitted uppers. The KD 7 for example. Loved it. Kyrie 1… not so much. These? Basically the Kyrie 1, but with a really cool rear setup – being softer mesh-like material – and a strap. It’s durable, supportive, and offers plenty of containment. Great for someone with Kyrie’s game. I just like something a little softer.


Kyrie 2 Fit Page

They fit true to size, and nowhere near as narrow as the Kyrie 1. Wide footers will still want to try them on to be sure, but just know that the setup isn’t suffocating like it was in the previous model. Lockdown is something that was much improved. The Kyrie 1 didn’t have many issues, but the midfoot and heel area always seemed to need some sort of lace adjustment whenever I’d wear them. It’s like you had to adjust to the shoe with each wear. These don’t offer the same problem. Actually, there isn’t a problem at all. You put them on. Lace them up. Strap yourself in and enjoy the ride.


Kyrie 2 Support

The rounded midsole/outsole is the main thing that I was worried about…and I worried for nothing. Initially I thought it was going to cause some instability but that wasn’t the case. The base of the shoe is still pretty wide so stability, while it starts off feeling a bit wobbly, is pretty solid. The more force or pressure applied helps flatten the entire setup – much like a tire with the weight of the vehicle and passengers. Once in motion you’re pretty much good to go. Heel support, fit, and containment, as stated earlier, are really solid. So that’s something you won’t have to worry much about.


Nike Kyrie 2 Overall

Kyrie Overall Page

I enjoyed them overall. There were parts that I really enjoyed, while other parts I thought could have been better. Traction, fit, and lockdown were all superb. I’ll even go out on a limb and say that I enjoyed the traction to that Hall of Fame level. Cushion is their weakest aspect and something an insole could easily fix. But, like I said before, some may just really want court feel. If that’s you then you’ll probably fall in love with these. Materials are not my personal preference, but I acknowledge that it works so I can’t really say anything negative about it from a performance perspective. They just don’t fit within my personal preference. If you enjoyed the Kyrie 1 then you’ll likely really enjoy the Nike Kyrie 2. The one thing I think we can all agree upon is that the price increased without the tech showing it. If I were to hope to see something improved…try and combine court feel with a bit of cushion. To me, that would make these a near perfect Guard shoe.

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Nike Kyrie 2 Performance Review Score
  1. Would the after-market cushioning insole affect the whole “curved-traction” set up? I was looking at it in the release video about how, when the traction is not use, it becomes ovular but once the user steps on to the ground, the ovular portion flattens.

      1. Hey NW, I’ve been subbed for a long time to your channel and love your content. Just one question, I usually play point guard, but I can play a lot of positions except post. I like being a guard and I drive to the hole a lot. Do you think this shoe would be a good fit for me? If not do you have any recommendations, my budget is around $110. That would be great if you could help me out!

      2. Hey Nightwing, i just wanted to say thanks for all your work you’ve done on weartesting so far 😀 I just had a quick question on after-market insoles. What specific after-market insole would you recommend for this shoe? I watched your video, and it said to get one with “forefoot specific cushion,” and I haven’t had much luck in finding some. Thanks for all the help!

  2. $120 for a shoe with great traction, but no cushioning. Haha, they really stopped caring and trying a long time ago, eh? If these weren’t a Nike sig then who in their right mind would get them?

    $120 can get you a lot of excellent performers, both online and in outlets.

  3. Nw I think you should but a star by the benched rating because it was ment to have court feel so they didn’t put cushion it on purpose so it was ment to have no cushion

  4. Great Vid NW. I liked the interaction with the wife and daughter at the beginning. Things like that show you’re a down to earth dude. Keep doing your thing man. Enjoy the holidays.

  5. The kyrie 1 was my favourite hoop shoe last year because, all I want is great traction and above all I don’t want to feel on a cloud, not everybody need cushioning

    1. Interesting. If that is what you like, then that is great thing. Some people really do prefer court feel rather than over-the-top cushioning. I just think cushioning helps with lessening a bit of leg and feet fatigue as well as providing impact protection.

  6. Great review man. Just wondering, on how the traction is compared to the kobe 9, jordan xx8. I know its straight beastly, but just out of interest. Happy holidays bro!

  7. how do you feel about these lasting or helping when it comes to athletic point guards? i play overseas, and back for the holidays. I’m big on jumping and dunking in games as well and i do have tendinitis in my knees. sounds like it might not be the best set up, but just asking!

    1. you just answered your own question, really…you get up in the air a lot, and you have tendonitis in your knees….i would imagine these would not be a good choice for you

  8. They should’ve just scrapped the Zoom and given targeted Lunar (at least) since court-feel is what they were going for.. Awesome review though and Happy Holidays man.

  9. Nike really dropping the ball on the cushioning in their sub $200CDN price point shoes. Used to be you could lean on the Hyperdunk for some solid overall performance, but the 2015 HD, Kyrie 2 both prove otherwise. Shameful.

  10. Nice review, how would you compare the traction of these to the curry 2? I got the curry 2 for Christmas and was wondering if I should exchange them for the kyrie 2.

  11. I’ve been wearing these for just over a week now (Asia) and NW hit the dot on everything. There is one thing that wasn’t mentioned though..Watch out for the Velcro for the strap and your laces…my laces are complete fussed up because when your putting them on or taking them off your laces will get caught in it and when you try to separate the two…disaster! Something you might want to comment on…it can be avoided but you need to be mindful when putting them on and taking them off.

    1. LOL! Pretty much. Everyone can benefit from some kind of cushion. I get that not everyone needs an abundance but the athlete that just had a knee injury getting a super basic shoe with regard to cushion is interesting. I guess if you are ground bound then it’s ok.

  12. (At your advice) I swapped out the insoles for performance ones. While it’s been a rough break in process – you could park a car under my arches, I pulled the soles outta some old Flightposites. Broken in + forefoot Zoom pad = $$!

  13. Hello Nightwing. What a great review!! I just had a question. Personally, I think the traction is not so great compare to Kyrie 1 (actually Kyrie 1 was way better). When I tried this shoe on, it felt like the rubber patterns on the outsole flattens out when you make cuts and slips. Do you think it would be one of the manufacturing problem or do you feel the same? Thank you so much

  14. Nice review. I’ve been super interested in reading reviews because I’ve been working out in them a little bit and played in them a couple times and they’re still pretty unique.

    Also, I made those gifs you grabbed from the Nike site. Neat what you did w/them with the review copy/headers.

  15. Guys what do you think about the Kyries in comparison to CP3 IX’s?? Please I want your opinion because I can’t decide between those 2

  16. Does the cushion on these shoe really that bad i mean if you played on these and after that will make your feet hurt or its just not that soft for the feet

  17. I’ve been playing in on my Duke pairs.

    I think the no cushion thing is a bit exaggerated. If you have a severe foot condition in which you require extra cushioning then MAYBE these aren’t for you. OTHERWISE, there’s adequate cushioning that your foot won’t hurt after playing. I’ve spotted a ton of big men in NCAA March Madness players wearing these as well. I’m a PG that loves a more accurate feeling on the court but I also love wearing some KD8s from time to time.

    Oh yeah, the traction is bar-none. I hope Nike continues to have the same pattern on the outsole for the Kyrie line. These just grip like a M’FCKER and as a PG these nothing more you could ask.

    1. These having no cushion isn’t exaggerated, its a fact. There is no cushion other than a small Zoom unit in the heel. You also need to take into consideration that you are not everyone. “Maybe” these aren’t for someone? More like these aren’t for everyone. Everyone has their own needs and preferences. To say anything otherwise is ridiculous and incorrect. Also, cushion isn’t about the foot. It protects the knees and lower back.

  18. As someone with narrow feet, I got the Kyrie 1 in a size 10 and they are very tight and hard to get on usually. Once they are on they are good but initially were very hard to get on. Should I get size 10 for Kyrie 2 or go up to a 10.5?

  19. Kyrie 2 after four months wear have several holes in the insoles! Holes under toe and ball of foot on both sides 1.5″ and another 2″X 2″ hole in heel of left shoe! Wish I could include a pic….terrible quality.

  20. Nightwing, I play all positions but mostly 2/3 what are some good insoles I could pick up to go with these bc I want some comfort in my shoes. Thanks in advance!

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