Want speed, precision, and mobility? If that’s what you’re all about, you’re gonna love today’s comprehensive Kyrie Low 4 review. I’ve been playing in the shoe (along with a few other pairs) for about a couple of months. Mostly outdoors but I did jam a few sessions in the gym.
In case you’re confused, I’ll spill it for you. Kyrie Irving has 4 shoe lines as of 2022. Yeah, it can get messy.
- Kyrie: flagship/main line
- Kyrie Low: takedown version of the flagship model in a low-top variant
- Kyrie Flytrap: the cheapest line
- Kyrie Hybrid: a mix of the last 3 shoes in the main line
I’ve never properly played in any of the Low shoes, so we’ll be getting going with the 4th shoe. And for a better perspective, I’ve also put some hours into the Kyrie 7 before starting out with the Kyrie Low 4 to see how these compare since they’re very similarly built. Let’s go!
SHOW TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. SPEC SHEET
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II. 1-MIN REVIEW 🕒
In a hurry? Here’s the short Kyrie Low 4 review: the shoe offers more of the same Kyrie-style qualities that you’ll find on most of his shoes.
They fit me even snugger than the Kyrie 7 did but regular/narrow footers will still want to stick with their usual size. Wide footers – skip these or go half a size up.
Traction was solid on all surfaces but the rubber used will burn off quite quick if you’ll be playing solely outdoors.
I found the cushion to be the least enjoyable part of the shoe but that’s because it’s just not my preferred style of setup. Low-profile guards that are quick & light – you might find these ideal.
Support wasn’t an issue though but the sneaker resembles some of the questionable torsional coverage the Kyrie 7 brought to the table. It’s harder to bend these torsionally if we had to compare though.
For $110 – the build you’re getting isn’t bad. The fabrics used are very thin but they’re also strong.
> The full review is below
III. FIT & COMFORT
True to size or should you deviate from your usual choice? How comfy are these? Anything else to know comfort-wise or fit-wise?
Even though the Kyrie Low 4 felt slightly different for me compared to the main flagship model, my recommendations for sizing will be pretty much the same as for the Kyrie 7.
These look AND feel even snugger, compact, suffocating, or whichever synonym you could think of. Not an ideal shoe for wide footers like myself but doable, so don’t stop reading yet.
Regular/narrow footers: true to size will be your best bet but you can still expect a snug, near one-to-one fit.
Wide footers: going up half a size should be good but not ideal (depends on how wide your feet are of course).
I actually had the chance to try these on at a sports retailer when I was out of town. Trying my usual size 10 US (44 EU) was an immediate no-go. Waaaay too tight, especially in the forefoot area despite being quite easy to put on (which deceived me at first).
Size 10.5 is what I ended up with and even though they’re not terrible, the end experience after 1-2 weeks of action was still less than desirable. The suffocation from the plastic caging at the forefoot went away for me with the Kyrie 7.
Not the case with the Kyrie Low 4. While better than initially, certain quick movements (mainly lateral and medial, obviously) cause those plastic fins to uncomfortably collide with the sides of my feet resulting in slight pain at times.
I could still keep playing but after a good two-hour session, I would start thinking about how much I wanted to take these things off my feet when I get home.
I didn’t have any heel slippage though and length-wise, things were perfect, so we’re good there. Just give these time to break in and expect a less-than-ideal experience if you’re a prominent wide footer like myself.
If we would take sizing completely out of the formula, things are solid comfort-wise. Just as light as the Kyrie 7, plenty of smooth and soft padding around the ankle & heel area and they’re super easy to put on due to that large heel pull tab which almost acts as a shoehorn for your foot.
It’s got a very smooth finish so any performance sock will slide in very nicely.
The tongue is not as profoundly padded as it was on the Kyrie 7 but still enough for me to not think about it. There’s plenty of flex in the forefoot portion upon movements too, so I wasn’t restricted in any way.
Pulling on the laces evenly applies pressure throughout the whole foot, and the plastic caging at the front is the icing on the cake. A bit of pain along with the icing for me but you get the idea.
Overall, a package that’s nothing out of the ordinary for a Kyrie model. Lightweight, fast, compact, and to the point.
Does it bite multiple surfaces well? What about different conditions? How long will the outsoles last?
Put both the Kyrie 7 and the Kyrie Low 4 against each other and you’ll see no differences in their outsole design. Zero. That doesn’t always mean performance will also be identical but this time – it is.
The shoe utilizes a computer-generated traction pattern and all of the colorways will offer you solid rubber outsoles. The EP version of the shoe is also available which features slightly more durable XDR rubber.
This pattern actually comes up medially and laterally at the forefoot area, giving you that extra coverage in case you’d find yourself planting your foot at a more aggressive angle. We’re not all Kyrie but hey, it’s there for you.
Indoors, I played in a high school gym with a rubber surface that mimics hardwood. It’s definitely not an abrasive surface, so certain outsoles tend to expose themselves here. I didn’t have issues with the Kyrie Low 4.
It’s not the most aggressive traction in the world but not that anyone critically needs it to play effectively. I had enough to complement my movements properly and that’s all I require.
As far as dust goes, occasional wipe-downs of the outsoles were all I did – the rubber used here isn’t very sticky nor too dense. A recipe for NOT attracting too much debris from the floor, and even more importantly, a recipe for the debris NOT getting stuck inside the pattern like glue.
Most of my time spent in the Kyrie Low 4 was outside. I played mostly on a synthetic rubber surface (like a tennis court pretty much) and I also took these on good ol’ concrete a few times.
Both surfaces are abrasive and traction was excellent on both.
I could pretty much forget about wiping completely since there’s enough friction going on between the outsoles and the ground, so any kind of minor dust buildup didn’t affect my experience.
I did have a few slip-ups during the 2-month period but those happened when I tried to quickly push off and change directions on one spot that has the court finish completely ripped off. It’s naked coating on there and 80% of shoes I play with do catch a hard time there. Nothing out of the ordinary.
Other than that, I had a great time with the Kyrie Low 4 outside if we’re talking grip.
Much like its flagship counterpart, the Kyrie Low 4 isn’t going to be your outdoor beater that lasts forever.
A couple months of playtime was enough for the outsoles to look very weary, especially in the forefoot & sides of the midfoot. Now, most of it is just visual damage as the actual bite hasn’t yet suffered in a way where I could feel a major difference.
Maaaaybe a few slips more here and there but it’s tough to tell if that’s due to the rubber or other factors. However, it’s only a matter of time before performance will start degrading because I won’t be able to play on a naked outsole.
This trend is extremely similar to the Kyrie 7 as those were also looking severely banged up but actual traction started getting a little less consistent only late into the year.
Not that it wouldn’t have sooner since I was only taking those out a select few times for comparison purposes after the initial review.
So, it’s best to grab the EP version of this one if you’re planning to hoop a lot outdoors. Look up overseas retailers OR you can always get an EP pair from GOAT in the US. However, I’d still opt for something more heavy-duty if outdoor hoops are all that I’d have available.
For an occasional session on the blacktop – the Kyrie Low 4 will be just fine though.
How do they absorb impact and what about energy return properties? How’s the step comfort, ride height, and stability?
A Cushlon midsole sits as the core of the shoe’s cushioning setup and there’s a small, rectangular Zoom Air unit in the forefoot to top things off. Sounds nice and a lot of people would even think it’s an upgrade over the regular Kyrie 7.
Well, I hate to break it to you but Nikey is just playing marketing tricks on you. Nothing new here.
Cushlon will never be that awesome, pillowy Cushlon you’d find on a LeBron or KD sneaker when it’s used in such a dense manner.
This almost feels like there’s no cushion here at all. Even after a few weeks of playing time.
If you play on your heels a lot and you’re a heavier player, you might feel some compression but this is far from the potential of Zoom Air or Cushlon.
Even the Kyrie 7 felt a bit nicer and those had regular Phylon as the midsole. Both shoes offer firm setups but the Kyrie Low 4 is even a bit less enjoyable. For me. I’m not a low-profile, shifty guard like Kyrie so this isn’t really my cup of tea.
But if you’re someone who prefers having a very responsive ride that’s low to the ground, ultra-stable, and agile – this setup here is probably as good as you’re going to get.
There’s still some impact protection here so you’re not exactly going to a hospital with your knees blown out after a session, it’s just that there’s no feel of any cushion here. Might be something you prefer, might not.
How much support does it offer & at what cost of mobility/comfort? What about foot containment?
Much like most of Kyrie’s lineup, you’ll rarely find issues with security. The shoes are made with maximum stability in mind, all while keeping the player as quick and mobile as possible. Gotta give credit where it’s due as such intentions are almost always fulfilled with each and every Kyrie model.
The Kyrie Low 4 has internal heel counters for ankle & heel lockdown and my foot gets jammed in there very securely.
The forefoot features the earlier-mentioned plastic fins that go through the laces and pull down on the upper once you apply pressure. Despite killing my wide feet, they do what they’re supposed to do – lock you down.
The rubber of the outsole actually rises up a bit on both sides at the front, somewhat acting as sidewalls for better containment. There are also excellent outriggers placed for stability in the front which makes it seem like the shoe is very wide at the forefoot where it’s really only wide externally.
The lacing system works fine, and the overall sense of security is definitely there.
A pretty big deal was made about the flimsiness of the Kyrie 7 since it had no midfoot shank and you could twist the shoe very easily. The Kyrie Low 4 is similar in this regard but due to a midsole that’s even denser this time, these aren’t as easy to bend now.
Torsional support still isn’t top-tier (so people with flat feet will want to skip these) but for most people, this won’t be an issue.
Nothing really to complain about here – just make sure you get the size that’s ideal for you and don’t go overboard with sizing up, and you’ll be good to go.
VII. THE BUILD
What are the upper materials utilized and how do they perform on-court? Is the build worth the price? Will it last?
The Nike Kyrie Low 4 features extremely thin ripstop style fabrics all throughout the upper. They’re a bit beefier on the forefoot, while even thinner on the back. Don’t get it twisted though – this material is extremely thin all throughout the shoe.
The shoe features a half-bootie construction which basically covers the front portion of the shoe. The tongue is separated and the lacing system is traditional, you’re just getting that internal bootie for your forefoot.
The lockdown pieces on both sides of the forefoot are plastic, the outsoles are traditional rubber and the padding for the tongue & ankle is foam.
I can’t say that I have any major complaints in terms of the build and its feel when I’m playing.
The materials move really well with the foot with plenty of forefoot flex upon each stride, so my gait is nicely propelled forward. Despite the extremely thin upper, foot containment was also solid and I never felt like my foot wants to roll out of the footbed.
This is because of the excellent lockdown the shoe provides and also due to the caging at the front. Don’t underestimate ripstop either – fabrics sewed in such a way can seem extremely minimal but they’re usually very strong and keep stretching to an absolute minimum.
In terms of breathability – nothing special here. The materials used are incredibly thin but airflow isn’t the best. I get some ventilation in the back but if you’re constantly playing under the sun and your skin sweats a lot – you’ll feel it in these.
It’s always very hard to judge a shoe’s long-term durability when you’ve only put a couple of months in them. That’s why I’ll never understand people who make reviews literally a few days after the shoe’s release and make bold statements on its durability or build quality.
All that we can do is make rough estimates depending on the materials used and how they’ve held up so far. The Kyrie Low 4 is holding up well (minus the outsoles) with only a few minor scratches on the toe & ankle.
I suspect those are due to an instance where someone stepped on my foot and also due to a couple of shoe drags when I was playing on a weary concrete surface.
Build quality seems okay: no glue stains, poor cutwork, or nasty seams. We all know Nike’s quality control CAN be subpar at times though, so you won’t necessarily get the exact same quality pair as I did.
If the outsoles rocked more durable rubber, I can absolutely see these holding up a long time even outdoors. I’d still give these at least a year of effective performance even with these outsoles. At least based on my experience with other Kyrie models.
Rounding the Kyrie Low 4 review up: recap, verdict, and their place among the competition
If you think you want such a minimal and fast experience with no distractions, unnecessary weight, or overabundant cushioning – this one’s definitely for you.
The shoe offers a very snug fit that’s also quite narrow, especially due to the forefoot caging. Wide footers – you’ll want to go up half a size.
Traction performed identically to the Kyrie 7 – so no complaints there besides suboptimal outdoor reliability. Grab the EP version if you can (if you plan to hoop outdoors for a long time with these).
The Cushlon + forefoot Zoom Air setup sounds juicy on paper but these felt even firmer than the Kyrie 7. This is an extremely minimal setup.
Support was never an issue with Kyrie’s and this one’s no different. One thing though – you’ll probably want to skip these if you’re a flat footer or you had foot injuries that resulted in weakened muscles & tendons.
For a decent fabric build that’s strong and lightweight, $110 is a pretty standard ask from Nike. It’s definitely not a bad deal amongst others, it’ll just depend if this style of shoe is for you.
BEST DEALS OF THE KYRIE LOW 4 🛒
IX. ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS
If you’re not completely sold on the Kyrie Low 4 but want a similar experience, check out some of the options below
NIKE KYRIE 7, $130FULL REVIEW 🛒 AMAZON
If you mostly want the same ultra-minimal experience but perhaps you would like a bit more cushion – the Kyrie 7 offers just that. The forefoot Zoom Air Turbo unit can actually be felt during harder plants and the Phylon midsole is a tad bit softer.
The upper is slightly beefier too along with the plastic caging that goes all throughout the forefoot. The rest is pretty much the same. If you can afford to lash out an extra $20 for those changes – the shoe should suit your needs.
NIKE RENEW ELEVATE 2, $80FULL REVIEW 🛒 NIKE
For those looking to save some cash but get a fairly well-balanced minimal shoe – the Renew Elevate 2 might help you out.
It’s got a Renew cushion setup which is a bit more than what you’d find on most Kyrie shoes. Overall performance was fine in those, and they’re pretty durable for outdoor play. Just make sure you go half a size up if you’re a wide footer.
X. TIME FOR YOUR OPINION!
Share your thoughts below – let’s get some additional opinions in here!
That’s it for the Kyrie Low 4 review – it’s been interesting to step into a Kyrie shoe again since I don’t normally do so. I hope you found the review useful and informative!
I’ll leave you with a few related posts that might appeal to you. BUT, I’d first love to hear your thoughts on the Kyrie Low 4.
Did you find these as enjoyable as the Kyrie 7? Perhaps you’ve got a question I haven’t answered in the review?
Drop a comment down below and I’ll reply ASAP!
XI. KYRIE LOW 4 REVIEW: THE VERDICT
My final personal ratings, takeaways, and recommendations
Nike Kyrie Low 4$110
Fit & Comfort8.0/10
Value for the Price8.0/10
- True to size for a snug fit
- Wide footers - 1/2 a size up or skip the shoe
- Performance is very similar to the Kyrie 7
- Subpar durability for outdoors. Should last a season
- Shifty and/or low profile players
- Light and/or young hoopers
- Those preferring a minimal ride