Welcome to the first ever Hoops Analysis on One on One Testers. Replacing our old ‘performance reviews’, our Hoops Analysis will bring you everything our standard performance reviews did, but more in-depth with details, images, and factual, entertaining content. Instead of writing the usual, boring, and structured performance reviews with ‘Traction’, ‘Cushion’, etc… why not do something different?
A Hoops Analysis on kicks we review will be just like a performance review, but better. Instead of boring the audience with cut out sections for each part of the shoe and how it performed, lets make the aspects of the kicks we wear tested more entertaining to read. No one should be bored when reading up on a performance review. Something has to change in the “shoe review” world, so here we are, to make that big change. Lets get into this.
Kyrie 4 | Hoops Analysis
The good ‘ol bottom of the kicks. The Nike Kyrie 4 has a plethora of options to offer. Instead of branching off into the ‘bottom’ categories of the sneaker, which is what we would typically do in a performance review, we’re just going to be blunt and flat out tell you about everything.
As shown in the diagram, the Kyrie 4 features a zig-zag outsole, featuring a whole flex groove cutout (the green portion) for added flexibility, and a feel for a smoother transition on foot. Not only did this flex groove work phenomenally, it works in tandem with the curved sole to provide a super nice transition when playing with these on the hardwood. If you have good flexibility & a smooth transition, what about the traction? Glad you asked, the traction is NUTS.
Enough said. There is a slight residue on the outsole that came with my pair from the factory. After two to three hours of playing with these outdoors, the residue was gone, and the traction was insane. You’ll hear your normal squeak, and the wiping is minimal. The grip was phenomenal, and there’s not much to be said here. Break in the traction for a couple hours, and you’ll be good to go!
One more thing. The cushion. Something that has never been quite premier in the Kyrie signature line. The Kyrie 4 has cushion though, and it’s adequate. For a Kyrie Irving sneaker, I can’t complain. Kyrie needs court feel and needs to feel fast on his feet. That’s what these gave me.
The cushion is super responsive, with literally zero bounce. Despite the fact, it is still pretty thin and sits low to the ground. The Cushlon midsole actually broke in, after feeling somewhat dense. It feels a bit plush underneath my feet, but still always maintained the responsive feeling. It’s not the greatest set-up ever, it just felt adequate impact protection wise on foot. My legs never felt severely sore, and these things got the job done. Surprisingly enough, Nike finally gave us some cushion in a Kyrie model.
The top of the kicks… Well, lets get into this. The materials. As shown in the handy diagram, we have a mesh upper and a synthetic suede overlay around the mud-guard area. The rest of the shoe has a mid-top collar, and from the heel to mid-foot it’s also synthetic suede. In hand feeling wise, not bad. The mesh definitely started off stiff, but broke in. Just like the traction had to. So far, the Kyrie 4 doesn’t have a lot of cons. Break-in time is just a little annoying, but I don’t mind it too much.
The suede is definitely super cheap. It’s ‘synthetic’ for a reason. The mesh is a thick cut, but it still maintained phenomenal support after breaking in, and becoming softer in hand, & on foot. Not bad Nike, not bad. The synthetic suede from the heel to mid-foot is just there. You don’t really notice it, and it really just added some unnecessary weight to the kicks. It’s cheap, but gets the job done. Really no complaints here. It locked down my heel fine, in tandem with the internal heel counter.
The overlay in the mud-guard area gets scuffed up pretty easily, but it’s there for that reason anyway. It’s a cool touch that reminds me of a 90s sneaker. It worked pretty well, and I honestly have no complaints thus far. The support of the materials was fine, and I felt totally locked down after lacing them up, medially and laterally. The only thing I want to say is the laces run a little short, so if you double knot your kicks, beware. They run short in the ‘Venus Flytrap’ colorway at least.
Final thing I want to touch on is the aspects of the fit. Lockdown was pretty good. I had no noticeable heel slippage or any lockdown issues. The laces locked me up pretty good, apart from the laces becoming un-tied sometime, since they run a little short. The fit is SUPER true to size. I went with my true 9.5, and they were super tight. The fit is normal. It’s not really wide, considering there is no formal outrigger, just a curved outsole, and they’re not terribly narrow either. At first try-on, I wish I had went up half a size because of how tight they felt on foot. But, I’m glad I didn’t. The fit is right-on point now. Damn good job with these Nike, very impressed.
Wrap-Up on the Kyrie 4
Nike didn’t do a horrible job with these. In fact, these are tied with my favorite performer, the adidas Dame 4. I hope everyone enjoyed our first ‘Hoops Analysis’. One on One Testers is aiming to be different from the rest of the sneaker sites on the net. Instead of the usual ‘performance review’ everyone tends to do, we are breaking down the kicks we test out in our own way. No more categories or sections, just bluntness, and our straight thoughts on the kicks. This way it’s easier to read for the audience, and is more entertaining.
Kyrie Irving’s fourth signature model Nike exceeded my expectations. You can definitely expect me to keep hooping in these, sitting at the top of my rotation. The Kyrie 4 did everything right, and some things great. They got the job done in a unique way to cater to Kyrie’s needs, and the consumer’s needs. Good job Nike, good job. You can grab the Nike Kyrie 4 down below, make sure to stay tuned to the site as more articles are continuously on the way.
Nick Montesano, born and raised out of New Jersey. High school junior, sneaker fanatic, performance guru. Love to share my passion for sneakers of all kinds, and bring you all daily content. Favorite shoe ever: adidas Harden Vol. 3. Favorite player ever: LeBron James.