In His Own Words:
Kyrie Irving on the Kyrie 5
How I would describe this shoe to my 17-year-old self is to sum it up in a single line, “look how far we've come." It's remarkable to see what can be created based upon having technology that is beneficial for the player.
When you first start out as a signature athlete, when you have your first shoe, you're just so excited. You're appreciative. You're grateful! I still have those same beliefs.
Nike has always done a great job of wanting to be better, wanting to do things, especially for their signature athletes, to separate them. The KYRIE 5 has been a step in the right direction. The performance evolution from a KYRIE 1 to a KYRIE 5 is incredible.
I try to integrate who I am and the principles I live by into my signature line and make a great, great shoe.
But watching it evolve to where it has now, I’m more enriched with the cultural aspects that make fashion and ideas move forward. I’ve become more involved with what's going on in the outside world. Before, I was just trying to get a shoe out. I was just trying to have something that looks hot, looks good. Now I’m trying to have something that is driven from who I am.
In that, I’m just a normal person with a vision. I want to have everyone be included in it.
With the colorways, and the stories these relay, I'm trying to be more honest. Whether people pass judgment on the stories or not, it's going to happen. The importance is making these relatable. And at times, I want to support others in sharing their stories. People sometimes feel like they're alone or they feel like they can't connect to anyone. I want to come in and bridge that gap for them — that's part of the great potential of this whole thing.
How the KYRIE 5 Works
Why the Shoe Is So Special
The KYRIE 5’s design and lifespan — every colorway through the season — all bare Irving’s stamp of approval.
Some of the changes from early prototypes include a shifting of the Swoosh placement and a re-sculpting of the collar. Beyond that, and as Irving stresses above, he is beginning to embrace the value of using his signature line as a platform for more diverse storytelling.
He's also become more vocal about creating what he wants in terms of driving color and overall design, regularly noting thoughts and sharing them with Nethongkome.
To find the right balance of honesty and style, Irving asks himself a series of questions: "What are you willing to try? What are you willing to push forward? What are you willing to go see? What are you willing to bring into the influence of what you're creating?"
These questions will be answered throughout the season. Look out for a series of special edition KYRIE 5 colorways that tap into both Irving’s past passions and the contemporary creative forces that are inspiring him today.
The KYRIE 5 launches November 22 in the Blk Mgc colorway. The shoe will release December 6 in China.