By definition, a combo-guard is a term that has evolved to include players who aren't the primary ball handler or the primary shooter on the team. So why call the Nike Kyrie 4 a "combo-guard" shoe?
Everyone on the team can find their size of course, but this shoe meets some special needs for those types of players. It's not a low top, but still light enough to be shifty and at the same time has great cushion/support for someone who runs/jumps equally. Let's dive in.
The Kyrie 4 has flexible traction outsole.
The "Mamba Mentality" pair I have has green outsole which I have to be honest, I was disappointed at first. The pattern and design of the outsole is pretty cool. It's one of a kind how it roles up the outside of the shoe.
If you look at the bottom, the sole is split with a zig-zag pattern that offers a good break when planting your foot and exploding. I played indoors on an average wood floor and found myself sliding in drills. I've since played on a different court and wiped them, providing better traction.
I honestly only feel comfortable using these shoes for workouts and drills. Also, it'd be great to try this shoe with a different colorway, especially one that may have the clear/translucent outsole.
The Kyrie 4 feels good and they were easy to put on and lace up. I did not experience a lot of shift inside the shoe in my size. There is some space around the heel that could be tighter but I'm really satisfied with how they feel.
The weight of the Kyrie 4 is just right. The responsiveness is not affected by me moving quickly. It doesn't feel clunky or anything like that. Weight is a non-issue with this shoe.
The Kyrie 4's materials have a good design mix and not a lot of transitions so I expect them to last awhile. They are breathable and high quality for sure.
I also like that the shoe aesthetically looks like one piece upper despite how it does transition in the middle of the foot, but you really can't tell.
The Kyrie 4 has zoom in the heel of the shoe which felt good. I like the bounce I feel just walking around and planting. Nothing stands out that causes discomfort either.
I had no issues with the support of Kyrie 4. My ankle felt locked in where I would not roll it and I still felt like I had plenty of flexibility to cut when doing cone drills. As I mentioned before, there was a little space on either side of my foot by my heel but it did not bother me.
Why did I categorize this shoe for combo-guards?
The Kyrie 4 has some of the best design ideas when you actually look at it up close and then put it on your foot. But the ideal spectrum for this shoe is right in the middle.
While these shoes are definitely shifty enough for Kyrie, his signature shoe might not be the favorite in the rotation for a true point guard. It also may not offer enough cushioning and support required for most players and true "bigs" over 220lbs and eclipsing the 6'7+ range in height, shoe sizes 15 and over.
Don't get me wrong. Anyone in middle school and younger will have all of their demands met with this shoe. Many colorways will go on sale and offer great deals for these shoes. I feel like this shoe has a lot of design answers that I have been looking for.
When I have my first opportunity I will grab another pair. Really hoping another pair can provide that lockdown I need and expect in order for me to really perform moves with confidence.
Good to know
The fourth to come out of Kyrie Irving’s signature line is designed to more appropriately correspond to the on-court needs of the NBA Star. “In terms of the technology, Ben is the guy. He really helps bridge the gap between my game and technology,” Irving says of Benjamin Nethongkome, the Kyrie 4’s lead designer.
“When you are part of evolution, when you say it is for the culture it means you are bringing a new flair. Bringing something new that is unmatched. Bringing that freedom to create against how I play, you create a new silhouette — something that can withstand for ages and stands alone.”
Cushion. The midsole of the Kyrie 4 is entirely made of Cushlon. This is a type of foam that is lighter and more responsive than Phylon, which is currently one of Nike’s go-to cushioning materials. The midsole is a bit thinner in the forefoot to give the wearer a better feel of the court.
Embedded in the heel is a Zoom Air unit. This important addition makes the whole cushioning system effective in providing impact protection and responsiveness.
Traction. The Nike Kyrie 4’s powerful traction comes from the outsole’s multidirectional herringbone, which is described as both traditional and aggressive. The outsole also features a unique a zigzagging groove at the middle, running along its length. This additional feature allows for more flexibility, which players like Kyrie Irving will truly need.
Length and Width. A lot truly fall in love with how these Kyrie Irving shoes perform and how they look. The materials and construction seem to give the shoe the desired one-to-one fit.
Lockdown. A play style like Kyrie’s is in many ways effective, and it requires a lot of support to the foot. The jagged teeth that extends from the outsole creatively cages the forefoot, keeping it in place as the wearer does a lot of aggressive linear and lateral movements. These Nike basketball shoes also have internal heel counters that ensure that the feet never slip out of their footbeds. Finally, Flywire cables are integrated with the upper to allow the engineered mesh to better grasp the foot.
The upper of the Nike Kyrie 4 brings the past and present close to each to other. The forefoot is made of engineered mesh that provides secure containment and a soft feel. The remainder of the shoe is made of leather, which is a clear nod to the material’s supremacy as a classic in shoe making. The integration of these materials with the Flywire cables make possible a more figure-hugging silhouette.
Kyrie Irving recognizes the need of his shoe to be both innovative and creative. “We want specific things that stand out and spark a memory and draw people back. They don’t need to want the shoe right then and there, but they need an initial spark in 30 seconds,” Irving says.
The jagged teeth design is perhaps one of the most recognizable features of the Kyrie line. It is basically an extension of the outsole, rising up until the upper. Though it looks like fangs, the design actually represents the Sydney Opera House, Kyrie Irving being an Australian by birth.
The special aesthetics incorporated in the design of these Kyrie Irving shoes make them really good off-court models. Sneakerheads sport these with pants, shorts, and fitness outfits.
The Kyrie 4 is made available in a lot of colors:
- Black/Orange/Metallic Silver
- Obsidian (Navy/White/Teal)
Nike Kyrie 4 AS
Another celebrated colorway of the Kyrie 4 drops on February 15, 2018, just in time for the All-Star break. This colorway alludes to the Los Angeles beach town of Venice that is known for its Bohemian tradition and its residents’ rather free-spirited approach to life. Kyrie Irving’s legendary on-court tale fits so well with the artistry and liberating attitude of this California beach town.
This Kyrie 4 AS features a white and black tie dye appearance that is accentuated by a pink Swoosh on the rear panel. The outsole is all blue save for the purple groove in the middle. The heel pull tab once again features the All Seeing Eye.
Nike Kyrie 4 BHM
Through the release of the BHM colorway of the Kyrie 4 in mid January 2018, Kyrie Irving yet again lends his voice to the fight against injustice and discrimination. This shoe has a predominantly white upper with the word ‘EQUALITY’ strewn all over it. The color of the outsole features the colors of the pan-African flag.
Once again, the All Seeing Eye symbol makes an appearance on Kyrie shoes. It is now found on the pull tab at the rear part of the collar. This symbol is construed to refer to the opening of minds, which is necessary if we are to achieve unity in the usually divisive games of the world.
Nike Kyrie 4 Chinese New Year
The Chinese New Year is definitely one of the most celebrated holidays at Nike. A lot of the company’s signature basketball shoes get the Chinese New Year or CNY treatment. For 2018, the Kyrie 4 and the KD 10 gets CNY versions. Kyrie Irving’s shoes are predominantly red, which is a very important color to the Chinese. It also has special floral embroidery on the tongue and the sides, right on the Swoosh logo.
Nike Kyrie 4 Confetti
Debuting in December 2017, the Confetti colorway of the Kyrie 4 looks back to the NBA 2016-2017 championship games that were ultimately won by the Golden State Warriors. Kyrie Irving, of course, was playing alongside The King LeBron James for the opposing team Cleveland Cavaliers.
The rain of confetti that celebrated the Warriors’ win made Irving realize the value of hard work and determination. Stories have it that when Kyrie Irving left the court, pieces of confetti got stuck in his basketball shoes. They were to serve as constant reminders of his goal to win, and he came so close to it that season. He now plays for the Boston Celtics.
The Confetti aesthetics include having the left and right shoes in different hues. The right one is bright green, the left purple. The rear side panels of both shoes contain scribbled words of encouragement such as WE GET READY TO BATTLE and NEVER FORGET THIS FEELING. There is also the All Seeing Eye symbol at the back of the tongue. According to sneaker enthusiast Nick de Paula, this symbolizes one’s never ending battle to find answers beyond what the books, tradition, or even the media provide.
Nike Kyrie 4 LDN PE
Kyrie Irving has an undeniable passion for music. This is made obvious in the LDN PE version of the Kyrie 4. These Nike basketball shoes have little red violin figures embroidered on their rear lateral and medial sides. This rendition’s purple and yellow skin pay tribute to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
The Kyrie 4 LDN PE was debuted in the NBA London Game 2018, where Kyrie Irving’s Boston Celtics defeated the Philadelphia 76ers.
Nike Kyrie 4 March Madness
The Kyrie 4 celebrates March Madness 2018 with a predominantly white rendition that has on a black outsole with marble-like touches of the tournament’s team colors. The shoe is accented with a an iridescent Swoosh on the rear panels.
Nike Kyrie 4 Parquet Guardians
The ‘Parquet Guardians’ version of the fourth Kyrie Irving shoes pay homage to Boston as the All-Star player’s new home. The shoe is largely bathed in matted silver with green accents on the outsole. The rear panels feature a wood grain print, which directly references the hardwood courts where Kyrie Irving earned the stardom that he currently enjoys.
Nike Kyrie 4 Power is Female
In June 2018, Nike celebrated femininity with the release of a celebrated version of the Kyrie 4. Dubbed ‘Power of Female,’ this rendition has its rear panels covered in statements ‘POWER IS FEMALE’ and ‘WE ARE A NEW GENERATION’ from midfoot to heel. The heel counter also has a basketball-themed female logo.
Nike Kyrie 4 Red Carpet
The 2018 offseason is surely not a chill period for Kyrie Irving. Aside from practices, he also debuted the movie ‘Uncle Drew’ where he play the titular role. In the week of the movie’s release, Nike dropped a nearly all-red Kyrie 4 that’s aptly called ‘Red Carpet.’ The shoe has a velvety sockliner, which stands for the velvet red ropes that usually line the carpeted path. A gold Kyrie logo on the tongue and a big gold Swoosh on the sides add an unmistakable touch of sophistication to this mid-top basketball shoe.
Nike Kyrie 4 Year of the Monkey
Kyrie Irving was born in 1992, which is a year of the monkey in the Chinese calendar. The Kyrie 4 celebrates his year of birth with a colorway that is straightforwardly named ‘Year of the Monkey.’ This build features a unique branding on the tongue: the usual Kyrie logo is adorned with a monkey silhouette. The shoe’s anthracite upper sits on top of a multicolored outsole.
The Nike Kyrie 4 Year of the Monkey was released in mid April 2018.