The Best selling Signature Athlete Basketball shoe of 2017 is the Kyrie 3. One look and its easy to tell why. Great looking shoe at a price point of $120 that has proven to be a sweet spot for buyers. Add to the fact that the man himself is having an MVP caliber season and its marketing 101 at its finest.
First thing to note when comparing the Kyrie 3 is if you are looking for a signature athlete's shoe or if any performing basketball shoe will do. I would say on my own accord that 1/2 of the Kyrie 3 sales are based on either Kyrie himself or the looks of the shoe. Price point is always first priority but at $120 and even $75 on sale now that the Kyrie 4 is about to launch, it almost leaves most buyers not even caring about how they perform.
Well for your hard earned money, I would say at least Nike did an admirable job making the Kyrie 3 a good overall performer. It goes in a different direction the most of the Nike lineup with heel cushioning focus vs forefoot cushion but I think that caters to the quicker players so not necessarily a bad thing. Nike also played it safe as the Kyrie 3 is a nice mid top so even if you are a high or low kind of player, it does a nice job catering to any personal preference on ankle support.
Definitely run tight and I had to go up a full size with my wide feet. Normal footers may be able to go true or possible up .5 size. The way the materials are used throughout the upper does provide a nice secure fit so even going up in size will not take away from the support.
For a signature, it's always nice to see premium or more exclusive materials and Nike came through at the price point. The back 2/3rd of the shoe is a foam back supportive 3d structure. Feels supportive and Nike has released some awesome color ways to take advantage of the design. The mid foot uses a lighter mesh with Flywires to lock down on hard cuts. It also alleviates any potential crease pinching or long break-in times. Lastly, the forefoot is a more durable but breathable upper that rounds out a shoe that isn't boring or lack luster in looks or materials used.
Shank plate, Check. Big heel counter, Check. Flat base, Check. Lock down fit, Check. For a shoe that is meant for probably the most elusive player in the Association, The Kyrie 3 will not let you down. The last uses a rounded forefoot section that increases responsiveness and ground contact that I haven't found on any other shoe in the market. Also, as you can imagine, adds to very good traction.
Being a guard shoe and coming from the Kyrie 1 and 2 where traction was a stand out feature, you would assume the Kyrie 3 would be amazing. Well, not quite. It was very very good, consistent, and quite durable for all season play. That being said, There are other shoes out there with equal or better traction available. Overall, still excellent but the Kyrie 2 was better. In the comparison, I'll go over some other options.
Well, Kyrie is a quick guard that requires as much responsiveness as possible. Nike obliged and has literally positioned no cushion below the forefoot. This allows the quickest first step possible and is the same setup used in the Kyrie 2. That being said, they have added a little bit more basic foam (possibly Phylon) where even a bigger play like myself can play a few runs in these without too much pain. Nike has added a rear heel zoom pad for landing as Kyrie may not dunk but, is always in the air finishing around the rim. This is a stand out difference as the majority of Nike's basketball lineup involves a small forefoot zoom pad with no heel cushion. I would normally prefer the forefoot zoom pad but it works in this setup.
If you are looking for a signature athletes basketball shoe that will be quick playing for guards, you have a great selection of options out there.
- The Curry 4 is eliminated as it is more expensive, has less cushion, and overall less support. I'll have a review on those coming soon
-Nike offers the PG1, KD Trey 5, and Lebron Witness 2 but all have forefoot zoom cushioning. I would personally recommend the PG1 but they will not offer the responsiveness of the Kyrie3
-If you prefer a high cut, the Lebron Zoom Soldier 11 offers both heel and forefoot zoom, better traction, similar light weight feel, but does not provide the lockdown for quicker guards. A great options for bigger players though
-The Mamba Instinct or Rage for 2018 offer full length lunar cushioning, durable and similar traction, with a great fitting upper for less money. Biggest difference is the Mamba is a very low cut sneaker which some may have hesitance to use. If your good, don't hesitate at a great performer that is a successor to the Kobe 8.
- Adidas Dame 4. It costs less, looks as good in my personal preference, offered full length cushion, similar durable and possibly better traction, and is named after another cold blooded guard in Damian Lillard. Only issue most people will have is this is from the 3 stripe camp in Adidas. If your not adverse to straying away from the swoosh, this is one to try.
- Kobe AD Mid. Released in a variety of team color ways, all mostly on sale for the same price as the Kyrie3. The AD Mid has better traction, better cushion, same mid cut for support, and overall is a better sneaker that originally sold for more money. Only knock some would have is it does run kind of hot with no breathability. Also, for retail, the materials felt a little cheap. Now on sale, the only issue would be the traction is much softer and will not last as long as the Kyrie3. I think it will hold up for a full season but not if this is an everyday shoe while also being used to play out doors.
Kyrie 4 is right around the corner and the Kyrie 3 will be available at some amazing price points. Watch the video to get a full detailed breakdown and please feel free to comment with any questions on if the Kyrie 3 will work for you.
Overall, I can recommend the Kyrie3 if you are a quicker, lighter player, who prefers court feel and will be using the shoe all year 'round.