Nike Kyrie Infinity
The Nike Kyrie Infinity is one of the most well-cushioned Kyrie shoes to this point. Some good elements from previous models return as well.
Release Date: 2021
The Nike Kyrie Infinity is Kyrie Irving‘s 2021-22 signature shoe, but we’re not entirely sure what the brand would call them as some retailers instead listed them as the Nike Kyrie 8. Regardless of what these are called, though, we are excited to get them tested on the court. A lot of elements from the last two models as well as more recent Nike basketball releases have been included to make this shoe a certified bad boy performer.
I’ve been able to play in these both indoors and outdoors (though my short review video is all outdoors) and during league play, so I really put them through their paces. I’ll let you check out my performance review video above to see my verdict on the shoe.
Now let’s dive in to the full breakdown of the shoe:
The Kyrie 8 / infinity features a very similar traction pattern to the Kyrie 6 and the Kyrie 7. The pattern is etched into the rubber and it is super aggressive. The traction was superb and it was augmented by the shoe’s lockdown and support.
I got to use the Kyrie 8 during several playoff league games, on a court that tends to be pretty dusty and dirty. The competition level was high as was the intensity. On top of that, I’m coming off an Achilles tendon tear, and I still have to build muscle mass back in my left calf. All this to say that I was hyper-aware of the traction and support as they are the two features I was most wary about. I DO NOT want to re-injure that tendon.
If you have ever had a bad injury, you know that when you return you are a little gun-shy at the beginning and you slowly gain confidence as you play. I was very surprised that after just a quarter of play or so in the Kyrie 8, I was no longer focusing on my Achilles. I felt so safe and locked down in the shoe that instinct took over and I could play with no (mental) restrictions.
The traction had me stopping on a dime, making hard cuts, and locking down on defense. Now, if the support had been lacking, the traction wouldn’t have mattered. If your foot is sliding around as you stop or cut, the traction might even be a hindrance.
On outdoor courts, it worked equally as well. I have heard some people say that it is not the most durable set-up for outdoor play, but I personally have had no issues with this and my traction pattern looks the same as the first day I laced them up. That might have to do with the fact that I bought my pair in Spain where I live, and we might get a different rubber compound here, but my experience outdoors has been great.
But the Kyrie 8 was awesome, great traction and great support. But more on that later.
The Kyrie 8 is the Kyrie model that packs the most cushioning tech out of all the shoes in the line. The Kyrie 8 features a phylon midsole, a U-shaped zoom unit in the heel, and a large zoom strobel in the forefoot. The same zoom strobel, in fact, that you will find in the Nike GT Run. Thats a lot of cushioning for a Kyrie Irving shoe.
Kyrie Irving seems to prefer low-profile shoes with a lot of court feel and responsiveness, so it’s surprising to see this level of cushioning. But the fact of the matter is that the implementation of the zoom unit and strobel allow the shoe to provide a ton of impact protection and even feel bouncy while keeping you close to the ground like a traditional Kyrie shoe.
I really enjoyed the cushioning. I prefer shoes on the responsive side to feel quicker on my feet. The Kyrie 8 did a really great job of providing cushy impact protection and responsiveness. In this aspect, they kinda’ of reminded me of the Puma Clyde All-Pro for some reason.
The materials on the Kyrie 8 were easily my favorite feature, and that’s saying something. The Kyrie 8 has a perfect blend of modern lightweight synthetic materials and old-school premium materials.
The synthetics do their job well and keep the shoe light and well ventilated. But the shoe also has some nice suede and leather on the heel which give the shoe a “premium signature” look and feel. I personally really like leather uppers so this was right up my alley. I even liked the puffy tongue which a lot of people didn’t care for.
You get all of the performance of a modern hoop shoe with a slick “90’s” design. Love it.
If there is one aspect to nit-pick it is probably the fit. I went true to size with my pair and I had no problems, but the consensus seems to be that the Kyrie 8 fits snug. This being the case I would say to go up half a size, or if you have the chance, go into a store and try them on and see how they feel for you.
For me, the fit enhanced the support and lockdown and I had no issues what so ever.
Support was again, excellent. I was paying close attention to the support because of my wonky leg and it worked great.
The Kyrie 8 features what Nike calls the Dynamic Strap System. In this video, our teammate Rico takes an in-depth look at this setup.
The shoe features 2 interior straps that surround your heel and forefoot respectively. When you lace the shoe, you tighten both straps, pulling your foot down into the footbed and securing it.
I thought that it worked great. I am a heavy guard and when support on a shoe is terrible I really notice, and not only did I have no issues with the support, I would say that the Kyrie 8 is one of the most secure feeling shoes I ever hooped in.
I know some of my WearTesters colleagues have other shoes they would put above the Kyrie 8 performance-wise, but everyone agrees that it is one of the best basketball shoes of 2022.
I personally think that the Kyrie 8 is the best basketball shoe of the year. Admittedly, it has everything I WANT in a basketball shoe. You might prefer a different cushioning setup, different upper materials, or just different aesthetics, but you will enjoy playing in the Kyrie 8 on some level.
Initial Look and Detailed Review
What’s in the video?
In the video, Chris provides detailed information from all the usual categories, providing the in-depth information you need. He supplies expert-level opinions on the materials, cushioning, traction, support, and fit. Here’s some of what he discusses:
- Potential bad boys
- Nike Kyrie 6-like traction pattern
- EP, XDR overseas release
- Phylon midsole
- Standard heel Zoom Air unit
- Forefoot Zoom Strobel unit
- Nike Zoom GT Run-like setup
- Bouncy try-on feel
- Weird “outrigger” and sculpting
- Textile forefoot section
- Premium rear section materials
- Synthetic leather tongue
- Lockdown wings
- Sizing recommendations
As an added bonus, Mrs. Wing reveals the giveaway would be for the third day of the 12 Days of Christmas.
How to Buy the Nike Kyrie Infinity
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