Words & Images by Juan Carrillo 

Nike hooked us up with an early pair of the Nike Kyrie 4 Ankletaker to give you guys an inside look at Kyrie Irving’s newest Nike signature model.

Following up the release of the bold and loud Nike Kyrie 4 Confetti, Nike hits us with the Ankletaker colorway which is definitely a much more subtle and muted option. When it comes to the materials used on this pair, the Kyrie 4 uses engineered mesh on the front portion of the shoe, while opting for suede and leather on the rear portion. The choice to do that insinfluenced by Kyrie Irving and Ben Nethongkome’s (designer of the Kyrie 4) interest in vintage Nike and Jordan silhouettes. This results in the shoe having a bit of modern (engineered mesh) and vintage Nike/Jordan (suede and leather) flair to them. Other standout features include Kyrie’s logo done in two-toned fashion on the leather tongue tag, the raised embroidered White Nike Swoosh on the side panels and the two-toned speckling on the midsole that help give the shoe some nice pop.

Once distinct feature on the shoe that should not be overlooked is the overall design of the sole. The images above show that the outsole actually creeps up to the midsole to create a very unique look. The decision to design the sole like that is not strictly for aesthetic purposes, it’s actually to help Kyrie on the court. A player like Kyrie changes direction and makes sharp cuts on the court all the time. The design of the outsole and decision to placed traction on the midsole aids Kyrie by giving him extra protection whenever his foot folds to the side. Pair the design of the sole with the use of Flywire up top and your foot is locked down nice and tight. Additionally, the zig-zag cut going across the outsole aids in separating it a bit to make it much more flexible. So when you’re cutting left, the left portion of the outsole will cut, rather than the entire outsole. Pretty dope, right?

The early verdict on the Kyrie 4 suggests that it’s quite similar to the design of the Kyrie 3, but when you begin to dissect it piece by piece, you find out that that’s not really the case. Retailing for $120, pick up a pair of the Nike Kyrie 4 Ankletaker tomorrow directly from Nike.com and select Nike retailers.