Kyrie’s line has never been one for drastic changes with each new model. Each one looks and feels very similar, just with a few tweaks here and there each year. Let’s break it all down in my detailed Kyrie 7 review and see if the usual pattern has been broken…
I’ll break down the shoe’s fit & comfort aspects, outdoor performance, overall build quality, versatility, the value factor and also provide some potential alternatives. You’ll find all the needed information in the spec sheet & each review component below.
Let’s begin the most comprehensive Kyrie 7 review on the Internet!
SHOW TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. SPEC SHEET
click for a full-sized sheet of the shoe
BEST DEALS OF THE KYRIE 7
II. 1-MIN REVIEW 🕒
Short on time? Here’s the quick version: the Nike Kyrie 7 returns with the same intent as every year – bring a fast, light and mobile shoe for guards or wings who are nimble on their feet.
Once again, it does that successfully.
The shoe provided me solid traction and it’s a decent choice for some outdoor action. Grab the EP version or slap on XDR rubber outsoles via Nike By You if you’ll be primarily hooping on the blacktop.
The Air Zoom Turbo + Phylon cushion setup returns with its reponsive, low-to-the-ground feel. Speed and precision is what it’s all about, though my knees weren’t sufferring as they would with a Kyrie 2 for example.
All-around security is on point as always but this time, the shoe barely offers any torsional rigidity due to a pliable midsole and lack of a midfoot shank, making this one a no-go for flat footers.
The upper uses multi-layered mesh and while it can’t be put in the “premium” category, it worked just fine while I was hooping. For $130, this is a decent buy, especially for those Kyrie-like guards.
For alternatives, check out the adidas Dame 7 if you’d like a bit more cushion and better torsional coverage. If you’re saving cash, the Nike Renew Elevate will deliver balanced performance for just 80 bucks.
> The full review is below
III. FIT & COMFORT
Do they fit TTS or should you alter the size? What’s the comfort level? Any additional factors to take in?
The overall fit and comfort are what separates the 7 from the 6 the most in my opinion. The Kyrie 7 felt more narrow right away and I’d have to say it’s not as great for wide footers as the Kyrie 6 was.
But it’s playable.
I’ve gone up half a size as I’ve got very wide feet and while the experience wasn’t very pleasant the first 1-1.5 weeks, things got under control from there.
It’s still not my preferred type of feel though. They’re still a little too tight for me and some of the torsional/linear movements that cause the shoe to flex cause some discomfort.
But that’s an issue we’ll touch on a bit later as it ties into other aspects of the shoe.
Also, as you can see, the forefoot lace loops go through those plastic fins, as Nikey calls them, further pulling down the forefoot area for extra lockdown.
That also wasn’t ideal at first but I’m suspecting it’s mainly due to my wider feet. The plastic ended up digging into the sides of my feet at times but that went away altogether after a few sessions.
So, regular/narrow footers will be fine with their regular size but expect a very snug, one-to-one type of fit. If you prefer a little bit of room for your feet to breathe, I’d suggest going up 1/2 a size, even for a smaller, more narrow foot.
Wide footers, our only option will be half a size up, as going a full size up would likely cause containment/support issues. Expect things to feel a little off at first but with each session, the shoe should start feeling right at home with how a classic Kyrie feels like.
COMFORT & CONTAINMENT
As soon as I broke the shoe in and gave it some time to properly adjust to my foot shape, comfort became a thing.
Like I’ve mentioned, I think it’s not an ideal choice for a wide footer as the shoe is still a little too suffocating for me.
But looking past that, the Kyrie 7 feels just like it’s described by Nikey. Fast. Very fast. It’s over a whopping 3 ounces (~85 grams) lighter than the Kyrie 6 and sure does feel like it.
The materials have been toned down to modern synthetics which shed the weight, there’s no midfoot strap anymore, no midfoot shank, and the Phylon midsole used is also a bit lighter.
For better or worse, they went all-out for speed and mobility with the 7.
The ankle area is heavily padded which feels great around the ankle & achilles, the lacing system does a great job evenly distributing the lockdown and pulling down the shoe closer to your foot.
The tongue is also heavily padded and feels smooth as butter, and can also be heavily bent to accommodate an easy entry for your foot.
Overall, this feels like a true fast guard’s shoe, so no surprises there. No containment issues either – despite the minimal build, my foot never wanted to jump out of the footbed.
Just make sure to give these some time before evaluating if it’s right for you.
Does it grip various surfaces well? Is dust/debris a factor? How long will the outsoles last outdoors?
STANDARD OR EP?
Before I get into the traction, make sure you know what you’re getting with the Kyrie 7.
Like several other hoop shoes from Nike, these come in a standard version (the one I’ve got here) but there’s also an EP version. If you’re primarily playing outdoors – get the EP version at all costs if you can find it.
Those versions use XDR rubber throughout outsoles which will last longer on abrasive surfaces. It’s not as big of a difference as you might think but it’s still an upgrade if we’re talking longevity.
The best places to find the EP version will be overseas retailers, so if you’re a non-U.S resident – you probably got the EP version. Look for the ‘EP’ tag on the box.
For people living in the States, the best place to grab the more durable variant will be the Nike By You customizer, as you have the option to slap XDR rubber outsoles there.
That will bump up the price to $150 though and you do not have the option to widen the last of the build there. Try to grab the shoe from a Chinese retailer for a wider fit since shoes over there are usually manufactured using a wider last.
The Kyrie 7 uses a 360-degree, computer-generated pattern assembled by tracking Kyrie’s real movements on the court.
Sounds awesome, right? While it did perform at a solid level that’s acceptable on the court, the picture that was painted left me slightly disappointed. Or perhaps confused.
The overall bite and stopping power could fall somewhere in the middle between weak and aggressive tractions, which is not horrible, sure. I’ve always had enough coverage to feel confident with each move but slips here and there did happen more often than they did on the previous two shoes by Uncle Drew.
You could’ve just slapped herringbone and called it a day but there’s gotta be some kind of sales pitch to ramp up the hype.
I’m not hating, just saying that sometimes the best marketing is just keeping it simple and letting the product speak for itself, something that Nikey tends to overlook A LOT of the time.
No, the traction isn’t terrible, but the previous two models definitely had a stronger bite and fewer instances where I slid out due to a nastier spot on the court or dust getting into the rubber.
How you feel about this traction will depend on how and where you play though.
For a super shifty player like Kyrie himself, you might find it a little sloppy at times, especially on a weary court.
For more traditional, linear-dominant players, these should be more than enough. I’m not considering myself mad shifty but I’m no slouch either and personally, I didn’t feel like the world was ending in these.
I can’t speak on how the XDR rubber version lasts as I don’t own that pair but I’m assuming it’s more than enough for outdoors as it’s, well, XDR rubber.
But speaking on the regular version, it once again falls somewhere in the middle.
After about 3 months of outdoor play on the blacktop and a synthetic rubber court, things are still solid. There’s a lot, and I mean A LOT of visual damage to the rubber but fortunately, that’s all it is.
Performance-wise, I’m not feeling a noticeable decrease in grip.
There might be a few more slips when the outsoles catch some dust when compared to the shoe when it right was out of the box but that’s not meaningful enough to me.
I’m cleaning my outsoles regularly anyways and that helps preserve healthy, debris-free traction.
And perhaps your pair might last longer than someone else’s.
We’ve already seen this happen with the inconsistent production of the LeBron Witness 4, and this might be the reason why we’re seeing slightly different opinions on this shoe’s traction & durability among different reviews/user feedback.
The shoe also comes in different coatings of paint throughout the outsoles depending on the colorway – even that can sometimes affect the traction. Grabbing a solid white/gum rubber pair is usually the safest option.
All in all, I don’t see these lasting multiple seasons in the park, so don’t get it twisted. At this rate of the rubber fraying, it’ll eventually catch up performance-wise and it might be sooner than later.
So if you’re aiming for pure outdoor play in your next pair, I’d grab an EP pair or check out this outdoor shoe list.
How’s the absorption of impact & energy return? What about ride comfort and height? Is it stable?
The same cushion setup has carried over from the 6th shoe – a hexagon Air Zoom Turbo unit in the forefoot along with a Phylon midsole. However, I could feel a minimal difference between this and the 6.
If you’re expecting a complete twist in Kyrie’s line in terms of cushion – don’t get your hopes up too high.
This is still the same fast, ultra-responsive, low-to-the-ground type of setup that will work best for a guard who’s shifty, a spot-up shooter, or someone who’s lighter and needs to take advantage of all the speed available.
However, initially, things started off very different compared to the 6. The Kyrie 6 felt great right away and while it wasn’t too bouncy or FUN, it was just how it was intended to feel right out of the box.
The Kyrie 7’s ride felt stiff and all kinds of weird at first.
BUT, in a couple of days, the foam along with the Zoom Turbo unit softened up and that’s when stuff got wayyyy more fluid and just more pleasant to run around in.
If I had to compare this setup to the Kyrie 6’s implementation, I’d say the heel portion of Phylon here is a little softer and yields a tad bit more impact protection.
However, the front where the unit is felt a little faster & firmer than on the Kyrie 6.
Honestly, I had a tough time picking the favorite out of the two as in reality, things are extremely similar. Heel-to-toe transitions are still smooth, I was still feeling fast and explosive, and the midsole sits just as low to the ground.
Don’t overthink this one too much if you’re making a decision between the 6 and the 7. The overall feel is the same but if you’d like to go all-out with the details, go with the 6 if you prefer a little more balance throughout the cushion and a slightly bouncier forefoot ride.
The 7 will be the better choice if you want more impact protection but would like to keep the same fast ride. Just don’t expect you’ll be walking on clouds with either of ’em.
How much security does it offer? What about stability and containment? Any restrictions as a result?
The Kyrie 7 packs most of your standard support features: a strong internal heel counter for ankle & heel lockdown, a heavily structured upper, a flat & wide platform externally for stability, and the forefoot plastic caging of the midsole which helps contain the Zoom Turbo unit and also acts as an outrigger for lateral protection.
Something unusual for the Kyrie line is the lack of any curvate to the tooling. The outsole is usually in a rounded shape, helping you achieve awkward angles and plants with more ease & speed.
This time, the outsole is almost entirely flat, so if you’re used to Kyrie’s usual setup, this one might feel a little unnatural at first.
I’m all in for this version though – stability is key and I’d rather take that over a curved shape for a slight improvement in mobility.
The lacing system is traditional but with a twist – there are plastic pieces that go through the lace loops in the forefoot area, further pulling down the front of the shoe.
So overall support & security is solid even for a bigger guy.
But things might get a little iffy for some. I’m sure you’ve seen some people/reviews completely bend the shoe in half with barely any resistance.
The lack of a midfoot shank and a very pliable midsole means torsional rigidity isn’t really there, so this is definitely a no-go for those who have plantar fasciitis (THIS list will help you if you’re flat footer though).
But even those with healthy, condition-free feet might need some time to get used to this setup.
You see, when a shoe’s midsole is so forgiving and can bend in any direction with ease, your foot ends up doing the work in terms of torsional support, and not the shoe.
But all things have two sides of the coin – a lack of a midfoot shank doesn’t always mean the shoe is BAD for everybody. I felt fine in these, although there were a few instances where I would catch myself thinking about how my feet (especially the right one since it’s my jumping leg) felt more fatigued.
That’s where better torsional support might’ve helped. But you never know, nothing can be that precisely predicted and tailored for everyone’s build and foot shape.
So the bottom line is, don’t get these if you’re a flat footer, and be careful if you’ve got untrained & weaker feet, but take that with a grain of salt too. Because I’m sure there are plenty of players who feel fine playing long sessions in these.
I’m talkin’ college players all the way up to elite NBA players post-injury or casual hoopers who don’t take care of their legs & feet properly and hoop on the unforgiving blacktop.
You just never know how much it matters to you until you get to play in them.
VII. THE BUILD
What are the materials choices? How do they perform and will they last long?
The upper utilizes multi-layered mesh along with a few Fuse overlays in high-wear areas such as the toe.
But it’s not just mesh. It’s some of the most durable, structured mesh that consists of three layers but STILL feels ultra-minimal.
The shoe uses a standard lace & tongue construction with the ability to greatly bend the tongue for quick entry.
The lacing system is also standard though enhanced with the bottom two eyelets attached to plastic fins which further pull down the upper. Works just as intended.
Fans of raw materials will be disappointed though. The Kyrie 6 featured some really nice genuine leather or nubuck at the back portion but hey, we’re in an era where it’s all about making the shoe marketable for the “new age”.
It’s all about shedding as much weight as possible, making it as comfortable as possible and just making things look more modern. I’m not mad with the Kyrie 7’s material setup – it does just about what I want it to do.
PERFORMANCE & RELIABILITY
For a three-layer mesh setup, the upper still feels really damn thin. It’s a little beefier in the back area but still feels minimal. The front is some of the thinnest looking stuff I’ve seen and it’s awesome since there’s no real performance reason to beef things up there.
This type of setup will take a bit of time to break in, but it’s far from the worst cases I’ve seen.
1+ week in and I was fully content with the fit. It might be even faster for you since I’ve got some really beefy clown-like feet at my disposal.
Ventilation doesn’t really exist with this upper but since those layers are thin, my feet never got that hot. That’s more than enough for me.
And in terms of durability – I think we got the best of both worlds here. This mesh definitely looks and feels strong but things are still comfortable & light, so here’s to our 2021 standards of modern materials!
If those standard outsoles would be as reliable as the overall build, you could absolutely put these among the best outdoor options. But we can’t get everything.
For $130, this isn’t a bad deal at all.
Rounding the Kyrie 7 review up: are they well-rounded? Who’s best suited for the shoe? Is it a good buy for the $$$?
The Nike Kyrie 7 follows the same path the rest of the line did. Whether you dig it or not, this is a solid guard’s shoe that will handle all the angles you throw at it.
The shoe feels comfortable and provides a secure fit. Not the best option for wide footers though but it’s doable.
Traction is decent, though the previous two models could be considered better in that category. While the standard version has acceptable durability, go for the EP option if you’re mostly playing outdoors or slap XDR rubber via Nike By You.
Cushioning is similar to the previous models – it’s fast and responsive, though you won’t be leaving your knees on the court as there’s still a base level of impact protection there.
They’re supportive and unrestrictive, which is what a quick guard needs. Be aware of the lack of any torsional rigidity though – guys with flat feet won’t like these.
And the sturdy mesh build might not be the most ”premium” option, it still gets the job done if we’re talking performance.
Is it better than the Kyrie 6? In some ways, yes. In others, such as torsional support, it could be considered as a step back but it’ll come down to what you prioritize.
Whichever model you go with, you’ll feel quick, precise, and explosive. That’s for sure.
🛒 GRAB THE KYRIE 7
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IX. ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS
Not completely sure about the Kyrie 7 but looking for something similar? Take a look at these options instead
For those who are concerned with the Kyrie 7’s questionable torsional support and lack of proper feedback from the cushion upon impact – you might want to take a look at the Dame 7 from adidas.
It’s still an extremely well-rounded guard’s shoe just like Uncle Drew’s sneaker but comes with a bit more structure on the upper, more reliable outsoles for long-term outdoor play, and a more balanced Lightstrike cushion setup that offers more uuumph underfoot.
Or if you’re looking for very similar performance but can’t afford to spend $130 on a single pair – the Nike Renew Elevate, $80, is still among the best budget options.
It’s tough to miss with these – they’re nothing special in terms of the tech or materials packing but will absolutely deliver in balanced, outdoor-ready performance for just about any style/position without breaking the back.
X. YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE SHOE?
Let the people know what you think and help the future reader!
That concludes the Kyrie 7 review! I had a ton of fun doing it! I won’t leave you hanging here though – make sure to have a peek at the Kyrie 6 review and see which one works better for your needs!
I’m really interested to hear your thoughts on it though. Do you consider this one as an improvement or a step back? Do you feel different about the shoe? Or perhaps you’ve got a question?
Your thoughts are absolutely critical for the next visitor who’s looking to get multiple angles on a shoe and make an informed decision!
Leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you as quickly as I can!
XI. KYRIE 7 REVIEW: THE VERDICT
My final personal scores, additional notes, and recommendations
Nike Kyrie 7$130
Fit & Comfort8.5/10
Value for the Price8.0/10
- Regular/narrow footers: true to size for a snug fit & up 1/2 a size for a roomier fit
- Wide footers: 1/2 size up
- Get the EP version if you'll be playing outdoors
- A solid all-around performer & watch out for questionable torsional support
- Positions 1-3
- Shifty/low-profile guards