The Nike Kyrie Low 2 performance review is here. Thankfully, they’re better than the original.
While the traction on the Nike Kyrie Low 2 isn’t an ideal setup for long-lasting outdoor basketball play, indoor players should love how they grip the court. I was able to take them on all my usual indoor court suspects and I never had any issues with them. They keep up with the wearer while on offense and help you keep up with the opposing player while on defense. It doesn’t squeak at all, but most of you already know that sound doesn’t equal traction.
For those curious, they did play well outdoors. However, the nubs that make up the traction are very thin to help reduce the weight a bit. I don’t recommend them for players that primarily play outside unless you’re cool with burning through kicks at a fast rate.
Despite what I had originally said in the initial detailed look and review of the Kyrie Low 2, the cushion setup is the same as the original Nike Kyrie Low — featuring heel and forefoot rectangle Zoom Air units. Unlike the original Kyrie Low, these don’t feel bad under-foot. The original was a bit on the firm side, due to the Phylon used, while these offer a slightly more bouncy setup. You still retain all of the court feel you’d want or expect from a Kyrie model, but you also get a little more cushion while you’re on the floor.
I apologize for the incorrect tech specs that I gave previously. I’m getting older and have a lot of sneaker knowledge stored inside of my tiny little brain… plus the original Kyrie Low felt like ass. So, I guess I just f***ed up there ? .
If you’d like to add a slight spring to your step without removing court feel and responsiveness from the equation, then the Kyrie Low 2 should serve you well.
Textiles were used for the upper and they work very well: they’re soft and flexible while being sturdy. The last they used to build the shoe around helps keep you feeling snug and secure despite the softer build. Sometimes, you end up sacrificing a bit of durability when using textiles, but these have held up very well. They show little to no signs of wear and tear. In contrast, my CP3.12 that I’ve been testing are looking a little beat up as the Flyknit isn’t quite as rugged as the “cheaper” textile found on the Kyrie Low 2.
There are some TPU panels in place and all of them work really well. They do add a little extra weight to the shoe, but the upside is greater durability. The eyestay or lace holes that your laces run through are reinforced with the TPU as is the toe drag area at the forefoot. The shoe looks pretty minimal, and they are, but everything added to the shoe serves a functional purpose without much wasted space.
The Kyrie Low 2 fits true to size. They are on the snug side so wide footers should try them on in-store if possible. They’re mainly snug at the forefoot area so it may depend on which part of your foot is wide.
Lockdown was great at the forefoot, but the rear section did take some adjusting to throughout game-play. A super snug fit can throw me off sometimes as I tend to not lace the shoe up as tightly as I typically would to start. This is a quick and easy fix once you figure out how tight the shoe should be to keep you secure, but sometimes you just have to deal with it until the game is done. There are no timeouts when playing pickup. Once I figured out how I like these guys to fit, I really have no complaints. I feel they’re a no-nonsense type of shoe. They may not be what some expect aesthetically for a signature model, but they play really well so there isn’t much room for complaints.
Support is just what you’d come to expect from a performance shoe. I actually feel like shoes nowadays have gotten the basics of support down to the point where I feel a support section within a review is almost pointless and damn near repetitive. Obviously, a score or grade on the support as a category is important, but actually taking the time to talk and write about it has gotten me feeling very deja vu-y on a regular basis. Maybe I should start elaborating on stability rather than support nowadays — unless the support is piss-poor or overly restrictive. Maybe you guys can let me know your thoughts.
As for the Kyrie Low 2… they have a flimsy heel counter that I feel could’ve been a bit stronger, but still worked. There is a small torsional bar at the midfoot while the fit really helps reinforce everything they’ve put in place. The rubber wrap at the lateral forefoot is to contain your foot onto the footbed. It does a pretty good job at it. If it were any stronger, then it may cause some pain along the outside of some wearer’s feet so it feels like a nice balance of support while having a bit of give to the area.
The base is one of the more stable platforms on a Kyrie model. Most Kyrie’s tend to have the rounded tooling which is great for those that like to feel fast on the floor, but not so great for those that don’t want to feel like they’re running around on miniature balancing balls. For the Kyrie Low 2, the tooling is still rounded, but it’s rounded at the edges of the shoe which is perfect for, well, almost everyone. Faster players still get that mobile feel under-foot while players — like myself — that prefer some stability under-foot get that as well. Balance has been achieved here, and it’s something I like to see with footwear.
Is the Nike Kyrie 2 Low leaps and bounds better than the original Kyrie Low? Not really as both offer really good traction, fit and support. However, the Kyrie Low 2 does tweak the Phylon compound enough to allow you to feel the Zoom Air under your feet without taking anything away from court feel. They’ve got just enough of everything to keep most players happy without breaking the bank.
If you’re someone that wants to indulge in a certain aspect of a shoe, like cushion, then there are other shoes out there that will be able to take care of that need. But if you wanted something fairly light, low and fast… this is it.