I know a lot of you are in need of an extremely budget-friendly shoe to hoop in the park during these tough times. Well, I’ve got a Nike Kyrie Flytrap 2 review for you, as the shoe intends to deliver just that – budget-friendly performance to serve you well in the park.
Things aren’t always that simple, however – so after 2.5 months of playing in these (primarily outdoors), I’ll break it down if an 80 dollar shoe can offer some value for players.
We’ll be examining:
- The fit & comfort experience
- On-court performance
- Overall build quality & value for the price
Model: Nike Kyrie Flytrap II
Retail Price: $80
Cushion: forefoot Hex Zoom Air & Phylon midsole
Best Offer On: Amazon
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I. COMFORT & FIT
I’d like to mention that the fit experience I got with the shoe is heavily affected due to me being a huge wide footer. That wide-wide foot type of wide.
So the shoe simply isn’t my cup of tea in terms of the way they fit, so I’d declare these being a no-go for most wide footers.
I went half up a size, yet after a period of the upper stretching as much as possible, these were still too tight and uncomfortable to wear for any period of time that’s longer than a casual 40 min shooting session in a park.
Wide footers could still try shooting for a full size up and see how that feels – just give ’em at least a week to fully stretch out to the limit.
But then again, possible length issues might occur, as well as additional sloppiness if the fit is not one-to-one. I’m really not sure in that regard as I’ve only tried going up 1/2 size.
So if you’re a wide footer and would really like to check these out, trying them best in a store would be the safest bet, along with ordering a few size pairs online and sending back the unneeded ones. Or just check out my list of the best shoes for wide footers if you’re like me!
Regular/narrow footers can stick with their sizes but expect these to feel snug and condensed. So that’s up to you what type of fit you prefer. Going down half a size is an option if you like a slightly roomier fit with more space to breathe.
From my eyes, it would be difficult to judge how comfortable the Flytrap 2 is as that’s kinda wrecked for me due to them not fitting properly but I suppose guys with non-clown-like feet won’t find the shoe uncomfortable at all.
The upper would normally break in extremely quickly, the frame is light, compact, and feels that way. Everything about the shoe feels fast, precise, and responsive. It’s just that they’re so damn narrow, one of the narrowest ball shoes I’ve seen recently I think.
So bottom line – you’ll appreciate these and find no problem with how the Flytrap 2 feels if you’re not a prominent wide footer.
You can try screwing up the shoe’s traction as much as you want but if it’s based on herringbone – you’ll likely fail.
The Flytrap 2 uses a pretty standard circular pattern at the forefoot area and mostly herringbone at the back and middle. And it works well.
Referring to my traction guide, it’s all about the pattern + the rubber compound. The shoe nails both of those to an extent where it got the job done at all times, no questions asked.
The outsole comes up pretty high (usual for a Kyrie shoe), so you get that multi-directional bite no matter how you place your foot. Always a nice addition.
What about dust? Not that big of a deal, actually. The pattern’s grooves aren’t deep at all, so you could technically say even more bite could’ve been achieved by deepening the pattern.
HOWEVER, a pattern that doesn’t go deep means dust isn’t as much of an issue. Any debris that gets into the outsole usually escapes out of it quickly. I did wipe occasionally but nothing crazy or distracting. Pretty usual for today’s modern outsoles and FANTASTIC for an $80 sneaker.
You could call the Flytrap shoe line outdoor-focused and it shows here. Strong rubber compound is used, a relatively dust-friendly pattern, and good multi-directional bite at all times.
I’ve been playing in these for over 2 months now outside and don’t see any major signs of damage to the pattern, and they grip the concrete just as well as they did out of the box.
Overall, a solid job in the traction department. Good bite, multi-directional coverage, durable rubber. Nothing else to be said.
Listen, we shouldn’t really expect something otherwordly in terms of tech for an 80 dollar price tag. But the stuff that’s offered here just doesn’t cut it. A hex Zoom unit in the forefoot along with a Phylon midsole is the shoe’s cushion setup.
Ever played in the Kyrie 2? Or something like the Kobe Mentality 2?
If so, this will feel right at home. Rocky or dead is the best way to describe it. I just didn’t feel like there was anything in the shoe’s midsole and that’s not a good thing, even for players who are light and need maximum response.
I believe that every single player needs some sort of base amount of impact protection in order to play safely and efficiently. In these, however, I feel like I’m running on a pair of bricks.
Forefoot Zoom? Are you serious? On top of that rocky-ass Phylon midsole, that small unit is far away from being felt or properly utilized. I guess if it wasn’t present at all, the ride would’ve been even firmer, which is hard to imagine.
If I had to really get to my senses, I guess I could feel a minimal amount of give in the heel but only when I intentionally press into it. In most in-game or even shootaround situations, I barely felt any impact absorption, energy return on anything of that nature.
My feet were slightly hurting and felt more fatigued than usual after a couple of full games or 1-2 hours of pickup.
Sure, I’ve got an explosive playstyle, I love driving to the rim and playing above it when I can but I don’t think even light low-profile guards will be able to enjoy these for a long time.
Objectively, I can pinpoint the good things about this setup. It’s very fast and responsive, sure.
It’s precise and you ride extremely low to the ground, which means players that are in need of maximum court feel will get it with the Flytrap 2.
But everything else is anywhere to be found which makes this a poor setup, honestly.
You could save an extra 20 bucks and get the LeBron Witness 4 – another budget tier signature model. The difference in the cushion is night. That kinda makes the Flytrap 2 an out of place model when it comes to bang for your buck tech specs.
Shooters, low-profile players – you can give these a shot. I’m certain you’d have a better experience than I did but I still think it wouldn’t be enough to feel satisfied or even safe.
On to the next one.
If I had nailed down the fit of the shoe, I’d probably tell you the shoe is actually supportive without restrictions or feeling very comfortable.
Well, having those giant wide feet, it’s exactly the opposite for me – the shoe is supportive, and plays well.
But it’s very uncomfortable. So again, wide footers – how about you go ahead and skip these? 🙂
But taking all that to the side, the shoe does provide solid overall support. It all starts with a supportive, snug fit which the Flytrap 2 does offer. There are also internal + external heel counters and the midsole slightly comes up, caging your foot and providing additional lateral & medial stability.
It’s a low top but feels pretty good – I’ve never felt unstable or unconfident to do something due to the shoe.
One thing I would’ve liked changed is the shoe’s base. It’s very narrow. More narrow than what you’d see on today’s average narrow basketball sneaker.
On top of that, I don’t usually like my outsole/tooling to be rounded. The Kyrie line is notorious for doing that but the Flytrap 2 once again seems to be an extreme take.
I’ve never felt super insecure due to this but there were a few moments where my foot rolled awkwardly, causing some concern for aggressive lateral motions.
Once again, nothing crazy or deal-breaking but I never understood why implement in any way?
The only thing it does is promote sub-par stability and even though I wasn’t flying out of the footbed, I believe those occasional lateral awkward foot placements would’ve been gone if not for the rounded tooling of the shoe.
Overall, nothing too crazy but definitely not bad either – solid support, good heel lockdown, no slippage, the ride is low to the ground. The only gripes would be the lack of a wider base and more structured implementation of the tooling, instead of going all circular for no apparent reason.
Perhaps outriggers would’ve fixed the issue?
V. BUILD & MATERIALS
The upper isn’t anything out of the ordinary for 80 bucks but what’s offered here is actually pretty good. This shows you how inconsistent today’s performance basketball market is.
You can get premium Flyknit for $100, yet you can also grab a pair of $140 Nikey’s with scrappy mesh that feels anything other than $140.
The Kyrie Flytrap 2 has a mostly synthetic textile upper with some Fuse in key areas for more structure. Very simple but doesn’t break the bank & works on the court.
It’s a little contradictory to put such a thin and minimal upper if you market the shoe as an outdoor model. But still, the shoe should last a while, even outdoors. It’s not a pure knit with no backing, nor it’s cheap mesh.
Today’s modern synthetics do a solid job in providing performance along with comfort AND moderate durability & minimal break-in time, and the Flytrap 2 is an example of this.
It doesn’t feel premium to the touch or anything, don’t get it twisted. Ventilation is average at best.
Is it the most durable shoe in the world? No. Is it super flimsy and you should stick to indoors only? Not at all.
I think it’s a pretty good build that should last you some time in the park. And remember that you’re only paying $80 for it.
The Kyrie Flytrap 2 is an average shoe at best. I get it, a low budget audience is being targeted, guys that play mostly in the parks.
But you could’ve at least offered something not to blow our knees out.
With that said, the shoe is still not a horrible one. It’s got a very secure & snug fit as long as you’re not a wide footer, it’s got outdoor-ready traction, solid support, and feels light & fast.
The upper isn’t special but sufficient, especially for $80.
Cushion is where the budget price tag really shows, as there’s virtually nothing to absorb the impact there. Add the slight stability issues and you’ve got yourself a head-scratcher.
However, it’s still a viable, extremely budget-friendly outdoor option. Perhaps you’re just looking for something to supplement your casual shootarounds with your buddies? Or you’re playing just occasionally?
I believe there are still audiences that could consider these but I’d be lying if I said there aren’t any much better alternatives out there.
If you’re not sure, I’d highly suggest checking out my list of the best budget ball shoes under $100 – that’s what I’m talking about when I say better alternatives.
Comfort Rating: 8
Performance Rating: 6
Value for the Price Rating: 7.5
Suitable for Outdoors: Yes
Recommended for: light & low-profile players | casual shootarounds
Overall Rating: 7.3
Alright, that’s a wrap for the review! I hope you found it informative!
If you don’t like what you see on the Flytrap 2, once again, I highly encourage you to check THIS out!
Let me know if you have any questions! Perhaps you’re looking to get the Flytrap 2? Or maybe you have it and want to share your experience?