The Brooklyn Nets’ very own Uncle Drew has dropped his 8th signature sneaker with Nikey and after about 60 days of action both indoors and outdoors, here’s my comprehensive Kyrie Infinity review, giving you as many details as I possibly could. Yes, the new Kyrie isn’t the Kyrie 8 – it’s now the Infinity.
I’ll give you a sizing guide, break down the fit & comfort, performance, build quality & value for the money you’re paying, versatility and decide if it’s worth upgrading from any of the previous models.
SHOW TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Spec Sheet
- 1-Min Review
- Fit & Comfort
- The Build
- Alternative Options
- Do YOU Prefer the New Shoe?
- Kyrie Infinity Review: The Verdict
I. SPEC SHEET
click to enlarge the full specs
GRAB THE KYRIE INFINITY HERE
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II. 1-MIN REVIEW ?
For those in a hurry: the Nike Kyrie Infinity is now a solid all-around hoop shoe despite the controversies initially.
I found it to be likely the most comfortable Kyrie sneaker EVER – many thanks to lots of padding, awesome sculpting, and high-quality materials.
The cushion underwent major changes too: a large forefoot Zoom Strobel now offers a ton of bounce and impact protection.
Traction was fine but make sure not to worry about it being questionable at first. I recommend breaking it in outdoors to achieve good bite faster.
Support was just as good as on any of the previous Kyrie models but mediocre torsional coverage also returned. Those with flat feet might want to skip these.
The upper now features genuine suede & leather and it worked beautifully once broken-in. The shoe still felt light despite beefing up the cushion and the materials.
Bottom line: get these if you’re looking for a solid all-around sneaker. Outdoor hoopers or wide footers: you might want to find the EP version just in case.
> The full review is below
III. FIT & COMFORT
TTS or should you change up the size? What about the fit & comfort level?
Owners of the previous two Kyrie shoes shouldn’t have trouble picking the size for the Kyrie Infinity – just stick with the same size. Though expect things just a little bit roomier this time.
As for newcomers trying a Kyrie silhouette for the first time: most should get away with their usual size. Fairly typical for a Kyrie sneaker, the fit will be very snug and quite narrow at the midfoot & forefoot areas.
I personally went up a half size since I’m a prominent wide footer. I’d say the Kyrie Infinity is a slightly better option for wide footers when compared to the 7. I didn’t feel as suffocated as I did with the Kyrie 7 right out of the box.
While both shoes still aren’t exactly a wide footer’s dream – trying these on in a store or just going up a half size should do the trick for those guys.
Going up a half size from my typical choice resulted in about a half-inch (~1.3 cm) of space length-wise but for me, that’s completely okay.
I should mention I own the regular US release of the shoe and not the EP which has a slightly wider fit & XDR rubber outsoles slapped on. I wasn’t able to find an EP pair from where I live.
If you don’t want any extra room and prefer your hoop shoes to fit one-to-one with your foot: true to size is the go for normal/narrow footers, while seeking out the EP version of the Kyrie Infinity is the best option for wide footers in that case.
Although experiences with this one are mixed online – some even say their true size was too snug for a non-wide foot. Fit is very subjective, so trying a shoe live if you can is always the safest bet.
This is where the noticeable changes start getting into play.
I never had any major complaints with any of the previous Kyrie kicks feeling uncomfortable but the latest iteration seemed like it wanted to step things up even further. And it sure did.
There’s a TON of foam padding around the ankle and heel, the tongue is absolutely massive and plush, and the mix of well-implemented genuine and synthetic materials hugged my foot as well as anything on the market today.
I seriously don’t know why brands don’t offer as much padding and sculpting more consistently as there are quite literally no downsides to this. I doubt it affects the weight in a noticeable way.
This large tongue cups the front of the ankle like a pillow, the lining around the ankle gives me a secure and cozy feeling all around, and if you think that all of this added awesomeness resulted in the shoe feeling bulky – think again.
These are still among the lightest Kyrie hoop shoes and they play exactly like it. Don’t let the looks fool you.
This is probably the most comfortable Kyrie basketball sneaker EVER and I love that the comfort aspect is getting more love in the performance footwear market now.
Does it grip various surfaces/floors well? How sensitive are the outsoles to dust/debris? What about durability?
I started my journey with the Kyrie Infinity inside on a medium-condition high school gym floor. It’s a soft rubberized surface, not real hardwood. I played there for about a week.
I’ll tell you what – this isn’t the optimal floor to hoop on if a shoe’s traction needs some break-in time. That’s exactly what this shoe needed before it could provide sufficient grip no matter the movement.
The traction at first was pretty wonky. I had decent bite overall but quickly changing directions or stopping on a dirtier spot or where some moisture is present resulted in slight delays.
Wiping the outsoles down didn’t help because it wasn’t even needed in the first place – this rubber was fast to push most of the dust out of the pattern before it became a problem.
I did notice a slight improvement every day but I’d still find myself wondering if this is the maximum I’m going to get. It wasn’t.
The rubber simply needed some heat and break-in time and what’s the best surface for the fastest results? That’s right, and abrasive one.
Taking these outdoors on concrete for a few hours, cleaning the outsoles out, and then returning to the gym made ALL the difference.
The traction now is excellent and feels more at home with other Kyrie releases: it bites the floor very well, doesn’t get troubled by dust/debris too much and the extra thread that comes up to the sides of the midsole allows for just about any angle to be covered by excellent grip.
Not that I needed that but if you’re even remotely close to the shiftiness of Uncle Drew himself – you’ll find it welcome on the Infinity.
There’s very little chance that a shoe’s traction is weaker outdoors than it is indoors.
Playing on a more abrasive surface means more friction will be generated upon every step and even weaker traction patterns can be somewhat saved by a more harsh surface.
No surprises with the Kyrie Infinity here – traction was even deadlier on the two surfaces I hooped on outside (a rubberized court and classic asphalt).
I didn’t have the chance to play on the hardwood with the shoe but I’d expect these outsoles to perform somewhere on the level right between the high school gym floor and an outdoor surface.
In other words, you shouldn’t have any major issues.
And if you’re mainly an outdoor hooper like I am – don’t worry about the grip being iffy initially. Even outside.
Nikey tends to use a thin layer of coating all over the outsoles sometimes (not usually visible to the naked eye) that needs to be burned off. Once you do that – the rubber only needs some heat in order to start moving better and cover more ground. Patience is key.
I played in the Kyrie Infinity a little less than I did in the Kyrie 7 before putting out a review, so it’s pretty tough to compare the durability between the two sneakers.
2 months in, I’m not seeing as much visual damage to the thread as I did on the Kyrie 7 three months in, so there’s that.
However, performance-wise, there isn’t a meaningful difference. Traction is still fine, consistency is still there as long as I clean my outsoles after every few sessions.
There’s quite a bit of damage on the forefoot portions and along the lateral portions of the outsole, so just as with the Kyrie 7, it’s a matter of time before that visual damage catches up to actual traction received on the court.
I would love to pick a winner in terms of durability between this year’s and last year’s model but practically speaking – there’s really no reason to.
It would make more sense if the differences in performance would be clear right now, or if I’d played in both sneakers for a much longer period of time. All I’ll say here is you should be good to go for at least a season of outdoor hoops with the Infinity.
If you’d like to be sure that you’ll be set for potentially longer – I highly encourage you to find the EP version of the shoe or at least put on XDR outsoles on Nike By You while customizing your pair.
The real EP release will still provide better outsoles than the option you’d get via Nike By You though. But hey, grab what you can and live with it.
And lastly, if you’re not able to grab either the EP or the Nike By You pair – going with the gum rubber outsole colorway might be the safest option for outdoors.
The evidence on this is anecdotal but based on my and other hoopers’ experience – gum rubber outsoles can be more durable and tackier than others.
How’s the impact absorption and feedback? What about step comfort, ride height, and stability?
The cushion system has been completely reworked from last year’s model.
The Kyrie Infinity now features the most cushion you’ll find on a Kyrie sneaker: a Zoom Air unit in the heel, a large Zoom Strobel at the forefoot, and a foam midsole (likely Phylon) to accompany the ride.
This is INSANE to see on a flagship Kyrie sneaker. The typical minimal feel is now replaced with a super bouncy forefoot and an all-around plush ride from heel to toe.
Step transitions felt smooth as butter, and even though the smaller heel Zoom unit wasn’t really doing much in terms of feedback (maybe except on harder heel strikes), the overall feel of the underfoot sensation is nothing short of awesome.
Don’t get it twisted though – a properly implemented Zoom Strobel is a threat to any other competitor. Here, it’s soft and springy since there’s a lot of it but I felt extremely low to the ground nonetheless.
It’s an unusual combination but all for the better – we’ve really come far in the technology of basketball shoes. This low-profile feel combined with plush cushion first reminded me of the Nikey Cosmic Unity.
The difference in how “fast” I felt was marginal at most. Or a better way to describe it – I just hooped. Comfortably. Nothing got in my way nor did I ever think that I was lacking in responsiveness.
I feel like almost every type of player would find the cushioning sufficient and enjoyable. Quick guards will appreciate the low-profile setup, while anyone who’s a bit more athletic or heavier will find more than enough impact protection here.
I think the only group of people who won’t enjoy this setup are those who strictly prefer a minimal experience with less-to-no cushion underfoot.
If you’re ALL about speed and precision and don’t need any shock absorption to go along with it – sticking with any of the previous Kyrie models will be your best bet.
How’s the all-around security? What about foot containment? Any restrictions?
Let me list all of the biggest negatives when it comes to the support of the Kyrie Infinity first. There – done.
On a more serious note, we’ve come to expect great security and support from every Kyrie release and the next iteration isn’t all too different. I had no major issues.
The shoe sports beefy internal heel counters for proper heel & ankle lockdown, midfoot shank plates for additional torsional rigidity, midsole sidewalls that come up at the forefoot & heel, and a criss-cross lockdown system consisting of bands that pull your foot down and back to the heel when you tighten the laces.
The forefoot portion of the shoe is noticeably wide which promotes stability, and you could say there are small outriggers in place for further lateral coverage. Not those plastic fins though – those don’t do anything.
Everything worked properly: I was stable, not overly restricted, and never felt unconfident to pull off a certain move.
Don’t worry about the interesting-looking sculpting of the tooling either. It might look like the shoe will encourage you to roll the foot inward but that simply does not happen on the court. Merely a visual illusion.
THE TORSION DILLEMMA
One little caveat that carried over from the Kyrie 7 is the mediocre torsional rigidity. Despite a midfoot shank in place, these are still flimsier torsionally than an average hoop shoe on the market.
I barely noticed this because I was putting some hours into the Kyrie 7 before testing the new model, so chances are, my feet are now more used to working harder in order to stabilize the joints and tendons torsionally.
But if you’ve got weaker feet (perhaps you’re coming off a foot injury or maybe you haven’t hooped in a while), there’s a good chance you’ll start feeling some fatigue faster than usual.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing since your feet will be more exposed to heavier workloads and as long as you give them enough time to recover in between sessions – you’ll end up in a better place than before.
Of course, some might value being able to play longer hours comfortably over anything else. In that case – choosing a shoe with stronger torsional coverage will be a wiser option.
VII. THE BUILD
What are the materials used? How well do they perform on-court? How’s the quality & reliability of the build?
The Nike Kyrie Infinity utilizes a structured mesh material on the front, a suede panel at the back that’s lined with genuine leather, and also synthetic leather pieces on the tongue, back, and lacing system.
There’s a little bit of everything here and I really do appreciate it.
It looks like Nike “stole” adidas’s concept of material dependency based on the colorway. The debut colorway that I have features a suede ankle portion that’s lined with leather but other colorways seem to use a leather ankle that’s lined with synthetic leather instead.
I think both options are excellent and you really shouldn’t sweat it too much when it’s time to choose. Leather is a bit easier to clean and take care of than suede, so if that matters to you – go for any of the other colorways.
The shoe’s built on a standard lace & tongue construction, so this insanely large tongue is sewed on separately.
While Nike ditched the all-out synthetic & minimal focus of their past models and replaced it with beefier and more premium materials on the Infinity, I feel like performance didn’t suffer at all.
In fact, these awesome materials greatly contribute to how comfortable the shoes felt when the material is sitting next to my feet.
Even the plasticy-feeling mesh at the front broke in quickly and wrapped around my foot very well.
These did feel slightly tight for me at first (mainly due to my wide feet) but all of the materials throughout the build broke in to a point where I don’t feel any major pressure, pinching, suffocation, or anything nasty like that at all.
Well, there’s a little bit of pressure where the leather lining begins on the lateral side of the shoe as that’s where the widest part of my foot is.
It only happens on certain movements but as I’ve said – comfortable materials make these collisions acceptable when they could’ve been annoying.
One thing that does suffer from the more traditional material choices is ventilation. The Fused mesh forefoot doesn’t allow for any airflow, nor does leather, obviously.
I did feel my feet getting pretty damn hot while hooping outside in the sun, and that’s pretty unusual for me since it takes quite a bit for my feet to start sweating.
Or perhaps I should say for me to notice that my feet are getting hot in there. Not a huge downside but something to remember for those under-the-sun sessions.
No shoe will break down on you quickly when genuine compounds like leather or suede dominate the build.
It’s normal for leather to visibly change over time and start looking banged up fairly soon but the actual health of the material will stay intact for a long time. If you take care of it that is.
A couple of months with the Kyrie Infinity resulted in the leather lining looking a little creased, the suede ankle is a bit dirty since debris can easily get stuck in it, and the rest is just small visual dents here and there.
This is definitely one of the most durable Kyrie shoes to date and I expect them to last for multiple seasons (if the outsoles could hang in there).
I’ll update you months later to see if my predictions were true. If I’ll still be hooping in the shoe of course.
Considering that we’re still paying the same $130 at retail, this is definitely a noticeable step-up in the quality of the materials, as well as the quality of their implemenation.
Wrapping up the Kyrie Infinity review: recap, recommendations, and versatility
The Nike Kyrie Infinity is a fantastic all-around basketball sneaker that finally found the courage to change things up from the usual formula. Not everyone will like that but I suspect A LOT of people will.
Remember when Kyrie Irving trashed the shoe on his Instagram and refused to wear it right before it launched to the public? I suspect the cushion was part of the problem.
The early reviews of the shoe reported on the cushion being severely unresponsive and not in line with Kyrie’s previous low-profile formula-like setups.
Honestly, I HIGHLY doubt the shoe I played in is the same version of the shoe that he wasn’t a fan of or that the reviewers tested initially.
Performance shoes often get tweaked based on the athlete’s feedback and the new improved versions hit the market later. This is nothing new.
There are versions of certain hoop shoes that are exclusive to their signature athletes, as the regular consumer can only get their hands on a slightly different version.
That’s why this whole Kyrie Infinity situation wasn’t a big surprise for me like it was for some people.
Kyrie later posted a message apologizing to Nikey in a way and pretty much saying all is good now. Well, they probably fixed up the areas of the sneaker he didn’t like.
It could’ve been handled better in my opinion, but all I really care about is the fact that we get to play in a great Kyrie hoop shoe now.
From guards to forwards, from aggressive slashers to all-around players: the Kyrie Infinity should get the job done. Not something I thought I’d say about a Kyrie model.
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IX. ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS
If you’re not entirely sure if the Kyrie Infinity is for you, I’ve got some additional options that’ll feel similar
I figured not all of you will find the Kyrie Infinity perfect. That could be due to several reasons. Perhaps you’d like a shoe that’s a bit wider as you have extremely wide feet? Or you’d appreciate more torsional rigidity?
Whatever the case may be, I racked up a few alternative sneakers that will feel very similar to the Kyrie Infinity overall but will also offer some differences that might feel more appealing to you.
NIKE KYRIE 7, $130
Fans of the more traditional Kyrie shoe formula will appreciate the Kyrie 7 more. It’s a fantastic all-around shoe that puts speed, mobility, and precision as the focal points but I never found the sneaker to be terrible for any other player.
You’ll get a lighter build than the Infinity offers, a super-thin synthetic upper, and a firmer, smaller Zoom Air Turbo unit in the forefoot in place of the beefy Zoom Strobel we’ve got on the 8th model.
NIKE KYRIE LOW 5, $110
I didn’t have the chance to fully test out the new Kyrie Low 5 yet but from the hours I’ve put on so far: it’s a very solid low-top counterpart to the Infinity.
The forefoot Zoom Strobel is stripped down to a more traditional Zoom unit in the forefoot, more synthetic compounds are used on the build and the collar is lowered to barely cover your ankle.
This is basically the Kyrie Infinity, just with a slightly toned-down cushion setup, a less beefy upper, and a low-top form factor.
NIKE KD 14, $150
If you’d like a more all-around sneaker that offers even more uuumph in all areas – check out the brilliant KD 14 from the Swoosh.
A very similar-feeling Air Zoom Strobel is sitting underfoot here but it goes from heel to toe on the KD 14 for even more awesomeness, and torsional support is stronger in comparison to the Kyrie shoe.
The upper is a nice mesh material and all-around performance is fantastic. This is one of the more versatile basketball sneakers of recent years.
NIKE COSMIC UNITY, $150
The Nike Cosmic Unity is what first came to my mind when I was thinking about what the cushion on the Kyrie Infinity reminded me of.
The full-length Air Zoom Strobel here is just as bouncy and also just as low to the ground. Overall performance was fantastic and I had no glaring issues with the shoe.
This one features a knit upper, so wide footers like myself can safely go true to size and forget about foot suffocation.
X. DO YOU PREFER THE NEW SHOE?
I’m looking forward to your thoughts, suggestions, and questions below!
That officially concludes the Kyrie Infinity review! I had a ton of fun putting it together as always. Things were fairly unclear and caused some doubts before getting the shoe.
All this controversy stuff on how Kyrie trashed the shoe, and multiple people reporting that the Kyrie line is now suddenly shifting from performance to lifestyle.
Well, judging from the version I have – it could’ve not been further from the truth.
But I do want to know your thoughts on it. Do you prefer the beefed-up take on the new shoe or do you prefer the usual formula of past releases? Perhaps you’ve got any questions I haven’t answered in the review?
I reply within the same hour on weekdays and within 1-2 days on the weekends. Looking forward to your thoughts!
Drop a comment down below and I’ll get back to you ASAP!
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XI. KYRIE INFINITY REVIEW: THE VERDICT
My final personal ratings, takeaways, and recommendations
Nike Kyrie Infinity$130
Fit & Comfort9.5/10
Value for the Price9.0/10
- True to size for a snug fit
- Wide footers: up half a size or get the EP version
- Allow some time for the traction to break in
- Don't worry about the controversies: the current version of the shoe is great
- Guards, wings
- Nimble footwork
- Regular/narrow footers that seek a one-to-one fit
- Forefoot-heavy players