Nethongkome’s ideas for the Nike Kyrie 4, which are based on Irving’s desire to improve underfoot cushioning (solved with the application of Cushlon midsole Zoom Air heel unit) while simultaneously making him quicker on the corner, are most overtly realized in the outsole’s zig-zag flex grove. Effectively decoupling the sole, this feature enhances traction and response from side to side, forming more seamless transitions. Once again, the outsole wraps up and around the foot, this time forming a fanged sidewall that emphasizes that the shoe was built for speed.
Secondarily, the material choices and blocking are influenced by Irving’s interest in vintage Nike and Jordan silhouettes — a passion shared with Nethongkome.
The Kyrie 4’s blocking follows suit. The forefoot is built of a zonally engineered mesh, an upgrade from previous KYRIE silhouettes and one that provides both containment and a softer feel. The transition to the heel introduces more classic materials — many versions of the Nike Kyrie 4 will carry a suede or leather — which not only feel great but offer opportunity against a new challenge: how people watch the game today.
Irving carries around a piece of confetti from the last game of the 2017 NBA Finals as a constant reminder of how it felt to fall short of victory. The Confetti colorway honors Kyrie’s win-or-learn mentality.