KICKZ Performance Review: Nike Kyrie 7

Photo by Albi Quito (2021)

This is a special one. About a year ago I was given the opportunity to write about my sneaker experiences on the KICKZ Blog and back then, it all started with the Nike Kyrie 6. So it’s kind of coming full circle now as I am here to talk about the next edition in this review. Crazy how fast a year has passed on top of what is going on right now. I hope you are all doing well and have swished more threes than testing swabs lately. We are still #NEVERNOTBALLIN! But enough of this for now, let’s get to it and put the Nike Kyrie 7 under review.


Comparing this one to its direct predecessor, the first thing that is obvious is the absence of the midfoot strap. A subtraction that I personally didn‘t mind too much from a performance standpoint, but which definitely helped with shedding some weight as this version is significantly lighter than the Kyrie 6. The current version stands at 366 g which is a smashing 64 g below Kyrie’s previous signature model. Very good job with that! Designwise, that feature is definitely the highlight of this shoe, as from a visual standpoint, everything else pretty much comes as expected from a Kyrie: mid top basketball silhouette and lots of different colorways. The one I have in hand is called “Samurai Ky”. While it is predominantly navy blue, there are two elements that really stood out to me. Firstly, I think the bright green outsole really makes the whole coloring pop. Secondly, the stitching on the heel counter looks really sophisticated and adds a neat touch to the whole look. 


The upper of the 7 is mostly made out of composite mesh. This comes with two great advantages in my opinion. Number one, the materials did not need too much break-in time. Although, I would recommend some. I will come to that in a later section. Secondly, the materials felt light and comfortable on foot and really moved well with any movements. So no complaints when it comes to performance. The little downside compared to the previous model might be the quality. Remember, the 6 had different materials and even rocked premiums like leathers and suedes. Unfortunately, you won’t find any of that on this one.


Nothing too surprising here. As usual, the Kyries feature a traction pattern that comes up on the medial sides, to complement Kyrie IRVING’s shifty playing style. To further support that, Nike used a data-driven approach to develop a 360-degree traction pattern. And ultimately, the bite was pretty good as long as it did not pick up dust. Once that happened, you basically needed to give it a good wipe every now and then. Bottom line, solid but nowhere near the traction the 6 had in place.


According to Nike’s spec sheet, the Kyrie 7 features an articulated Nike Air Zoom Turbo unit in the forefoot. If you are familiar with the Kyrie line, you will remember this setup from the 6. However, I wouldn’t say it feels one-to-one the same but it really just comes down to nuances. Though maybe a LITTLE bit firmer, it still feels bouncy and provides some really good court feel. If anything actually changed, I would say it’s the impact protection in the heel. Overall, this setup feels really good.


Another Kyrie, another snug shoe. As usual, the forefoot once again feels quite narrow. Not as much as it did last year, but enough to require some break-in time. I already mentioned that it is not really needed to break in the materials. However, I would somewhat recommend it to allow the mesh to stretch in the right sections and take some pressure off the forefoot. Once this was done, the shoe wrapped around my foot really well and gave me a pretty good fit. As usual with this signature line, if you have a wide foot or prefer to go a bit more loose, go up half a size. For me personally, true to size worked quite well.


You won’t slide off the footbed in this one. The snug fit really takes care of lockdown and lateral containment. Once you slide your foot in these, they will stay in position and you will not have to worry about that anymore. If you miss the strap, it basically got replaced with two TPU wings on the medial and lateral sides respectively, which provide the same functionality without adding much weight. When it comes to upgrades, I feel like lateral stability got improved as this one features a wider base and does not have rounded edges, which were sometimes giving me the impression that the shoe could tilt. Overall, I just feel a bit more secure in these and also appreciate the decent feedback around the ankles. Solid.

Bottom Line

Compared to its predecessor, the 7 got rid of premiums, focused on core features and lost some weight while doing so. I am still somewhat amazed about how many grams were shed from one generation to the next, which gave these a very different wearing experience. On top of that, I feel like these have improved in many performance related categories. In many but one, which I think is pretty major to be honest. It’s not like the grip is trash on this one, it is simply not as good as it was on the previous one. And that’s what I would have liked to see again as this aspect was so beastly last year. Talking about value for your money though, these are very fairly priced at EUR 130,- and give you some really good performance elements. If you are looking for a light mid cut shoe, these may be the ones for you!


Got questions about these? Ask me on Instagram or Twitter at @ONEtothe2 or leave a comment below.

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