12.22.16

Family First: A Look At The Inspiration Behind The Kyrie 3

At first glance, you might miss the personal touches that make the new Nike Kyrie 3 so special to the superstar point guard. It’s a clean look with the Kyrie logo on the tongue and a speckled midsole, but it’s so much more than that.

If you dig deeper, you’ll find subtle references to Irving’s late mother, Elizabeth, such as the roman numerals VIII and XIII on each sockliner. Irving also has the Roman numerals tattooed on his wrists. They represent his mother’s August 13 birthday, and he sees them each and every time he laces up the shoe.

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The shoe also pays tribute to his daughter, Azurie, with her name being written on a small frame around the visible Zoom Air unit in the heel. For Irving, it’s always been family first.

There are also design elements that reference Irving’s own personality. The letters “JBY” and “H+H” are written on the tongue with his logo sandwiched in between. JBY stands for Irving’s personal motto: just be you. It’s an idea that celebrates individuality and embraces the things that make him unique. H+H stands for hungry and humble, something his dad passed on to him and something he hopes to one day pass down to his daughter.

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The design subtleties are focused on his family, but the technology behind the shoe is geared specifically for Kyrie Irving’s game. He needs a shoe that can match his speed and agility, so the Kyrie 3 focuses on court response and traction specifically tailored to Irving’s deadly crossover.

The shoe is lightweight and comfortable while still providing a locked-down feel. Traction pods on the forefoot enhance his traction during hard cuts, allowing him to stop on a dime and quickly head the opposite direction.  It was hard to stay in front of Irving’s crossover before, but with the Kyrie 3, it just might be impossible. It drops 12/26 at eastbay.com.

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