Nike Kyrie 3 Review [2018] the Good, the Bad & the Ugly

The Magic Behind Nike Kyrie 3 Review

Nike Kyrie 3 reviewNike did a splendid job tailoring a shoe around the needs of Boston-Celtics’ Kyrie-Irving. This third release in the ‘Kyrie’ shoe series comes with great traction as well as fair pricing, and aesthetic appeal. This shoe is ideal for light and quick players who mostly play like guards.

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There is a better feel to the court and foot support is superb. The shoe is the ideal choice for traction-minded athletes and also features some drawbacks. A brief discussion of its key features will give you a better idea of what these shoes have to offer.


The traction is excellent. Nike did away with the multi-direction traction patterns from the Kyrie 2 and used a pattern more suggestive of the Kyrie 1. The shoe features a single direction herringbone pattern from toe to heel and accompanied by a duo of multi-directional pods.

These pods allow the player to grip the court’s surface whenever they promptly change direction and without compromising on court feel. And if you look closely, the center of these pods appear and function like suction cups. The herringbone supports rapid linear movements. Nike brought back the pivot circle on the center of the forefoot sole, which was a massive success with the Kyrie 2.

The previous iteration of the shoe, ‘Kyrie 2’, featured blade traction and nubs that worked quite well, but it is pale in comparison to what its successor has to offer regarding base friction. The only bone of contention in the setup is the area between the pods that requires you to acclimatize the shoes when you first put them on.

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The rest of the outsole has more aggressive tooling compared to this area where the tooling converges. The traction is suitable for both indoor and outdoor courts. Although playing at the latter surfaces will require you to clean your soles regularly.


The Kyrie features very stiff cushioning that requires breaking into and apart from the ‘Zoom Air’ unit at the heel; you won’t find cushioning at any other part of the shoe. This should not shock you as this shoe line focuses mainly on court feel and Nike had to compromise on the amount of cushion to make this possible. Unlike the Kyrie 2, this model does not feature ‘poron’ in the forefoot which usually makes that spot softer. The insole is very thin and brings no cushioning, and one can easily replace it with something thicker to add cushioning.

The heel unit absorbs your crash after rebounds or jump-stops. Players are complaining that this feature is completely ineffective for the latter. Nike did well to incorporate a low profile responsive cushion for this shoe line to offer some form of impact protection in the way of the Zoom air. This is a general improvement from the Kyrie 2 which featured no cushioning at all. Many reviewers still agree that the cushioning is not the best aspects of Kyrie 3 shoes.


The primary material from the toe to midfoot is mesh. The flex zone at the forefront comprises of foam reinforced with flywire. This is much better than the fuse shell with glued mesh featured with the Kyrie 2. The materials are stiff and take time to soften and are more robust compared to the soft flyknit material used with the Hyperdunk shoe line. The improved setup gives you an enjoyable feel on the court.

As you play, you notice that every component of the shoe flexes and moves appropriately and at no instance do the materials and tooling work against each other. A nylon backing of the medial side and toe box make them softer than the lateral side. Also, note that the hard rand in front of the toe box enhances durability but is tough to the feel.

Choosing the right material is critical as they are an essential part of the shoe’s build. Nike added fuse to the mesh regions susceptible to high wear for durability and increased strength. The rear section of the upper has a rubber overlay, ‘Kurim,’ which is a layer of protection against abrasions.

This Kurim component is also visually appealing apart from providing added security. The upper of the model offers excellent breathability and enhances the comfortable feeling. You will notice the fuse reinforcement at the toe area might be particularly hard when playing in them.


The fit is okay and most people will fit in the standard sizes. For wide footers, you will find your size a little narrow, and it might take a while to break into them. You can also opt to go for pair that is a half size larger.

The lockdown is good, slightly better at the front towards the forefoot and a little loose towards the heels. Nike placed a built-in forefoot strap secured in place by ‘flywire’ technology to replace the Velcro straps featured by Kyrie 3’s predecessor around the toe region of the shoe. This allows for a sturdy lockdown and comfortable fit. The thinner mesh and flywire improve the flexibility at the forefoot.

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The throat of the shoe is both practical and simple in design. Although the heel can be snug and secure, the long laces keep getting loose and compromise the ankle structure preventing a perfect fit. The movement of the forefoot is minimal with the toes squeezed tight, and there is close to no wasted space above the upper foot in the toe region.

Nike could also have added a little more padding in the interior of the sole. Overall, despite these complaints, the fit is decent with a great lockdown, and no particularly tightened areas. Once you hit the court, you instantly realize that the court feel is excellent and it is like your wearing nothing. Players with preference to speed and making quick direction changes will love these shoes.


The support is good and features a simple design. The foot support is impressive since there is an internal shank at the midfoot to offer some form of torsional support. The fuse material on the lateral sides of the Kyrie 3 is stiff for a better hold on your forefoot. The ankle support is standard but nothing impressive as far as support goes. The back of the foot gets support from the internal heel counter by keeping your foot in place. The tooling is by no means flat but wide and frames your foot perfectly.

The traction pattern holds the outsole like a wrapping to bolster player movement when cutting through defenders. The outsole and midsole are rounded, and this will require some getting used to. The materials work well but don’t influence the structure as much. The result of these intricate design details by Nike is a surprisingly high-performance regarding support by the Kyrie 3 on the court. Most importantly, you must ensure your pair is the right fit for you as that is where you derive your central support.


The Kyrie 3 is aesthetically appealing. Nike released the pair in many colors so you can get whatever color suits your style.

The popular color combination includes white and orange as well as obsidian black. The placement of the Nike swoosh is perfect with the trademark logo visible. The sole features a beautiful and symmetrical heel-to-toe placement and the Kyrie logo never goes wrong.


The shoe offers some merits;

• Fair price. With a price of around $120, the shoe is indeed a budget shoe with remarkable design features.

• Excellent traction and grip of court surfaces.

• You can play with these shoes both on indoor and outdoor courts.

• They have great level of court feel and will be useful for players who cut heavily and require minimalistic cushioning.

• The outsoles offer great durability.

• Improved support as well as stability from the Kyrie 2.

• There is excellent containment as a result of the stiffer lateral-fuse upper and the elevated midsole.


Some of the disadvantages of the Kyrie 3 include;

• The traction pods at the forefoot of the outsole protrude and create somewhat unreliable traction in the heel area.

• The sole requires intermittent wiping if you use the shoes on dusty floors.

• The cushioning is very stiff and firm, and needs breaking in.

• Poor impact protection since Nike compromised on the cushioning.

• The ankle support is weak since the material surrounding that shoe section is not very firm.


The Kyrie 3 is a fantastic shoe regardless of the glaring lack of cushioning. The price is good and falls within the budget range. The traction stands out as it is remarkable with the containment and lockdown also noteworthy.

The fit is just right with a firm cushioning and reliable stability and support. Nike designs this shoe line with players occupying the ‘guard’ position in mind, so the shoe maximizes on traction, and court feels to enable quick movements as they dribble the ball.

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Unfortunately, the shoes offer nothing to players who prefer soft cushioning for impact protection and ankle support. Nevertheless, the shoes allow for an enjoyable playing experience and the materials ensure a comfortable fit.

Nike Kyrie 3 Review | Detailed Look and Insights

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