`Kyrie Irving joined the the elite club of NBA players with Nike deals in 2014. His shoe, the Kyrie 1 quickly garnered a lot of attention for its style and wearability on and off the court compared to more technical athletic shoes.
Designer Leo Chang supplied the magic touch and packed in a ton of details. The lightweight material is breathable and durable and the design pops. The Kyrie 2 came out the following year with several additional features, including an elastic strap over the laces for a snug fit. The colorways of the Kyrie 2 are even bolder. We’re now on the fourth generation of the Kyrie signature line, and every year they get more and more eye-catching.
The Kyrie 1 and Kyrie 2 have a low price-point and a solid resale value, making them an excellent flip opportunity for aspiring shoe plugs.
The Hypemaster Playbook breaks down all the finer details of how to turn the Nike Kyries into cold, hard cash.
Irving, otherwise known as our beloved “Uncle Drew,” the inspiration behind the shoe that’s been setting the sneaker world on fire and is arguably the highest-performing pair out all the other Nike basketball models.
You heard right, the Nike Kyries are even hotter than the Lebrons.
We’ll break down reasons why the above is all true as well as some of the most valuable shoes to release to date at the very end of this guide.
A Truly Unique Design
Kyrie was determined to put out a genuinely authentic, fresh take on the basketball shoe. Although Nike opened the doors for him to consult with LeBron and Kobe about the design process, Kyrie refused to ask for advice. When it came to designing the sneaker, “It has to be what I wanted to wear, but I also gave input on what I think the younger generation and the other generation ahead of me would respond to,” Kyrie said in an interview. Lead designer Leo Chang consulted with the Nike LeBron line designer, Jason Petrie, and designer of the the Hyperdunk, Peter Fogg, to get a fresh take on the shoe. The Kyrie 1 became the brainchild of the sickest sneaker designers in the industry.
About Kyrie Irving the Basketball Player
Kyrie Irving has elite-level sauce. His crossover is projectile vomit-level sick and ends up putting defenders on their asses half of the time. Even “The Chef” himself, Steph Curry, told NBA TV’s Steve Smith in an interview that Irving is on his “Mt. Rushmore” of NBA ball handlers, along with himself, “Pistol” Pete Maravich, and Magic Johnson.
In the words of NBA Hall-of-Famer Isiah Thomas,
“Kyrie got that stuff that makes you go home and cry to your momma. He’s got the stuff that will embarrass you.”
Thomas would know. He broke his own share of ankles during his time with the Detroit Pistons.
Kyrie entered the draft in 2011 after just one injury-ridden season under Coach K at Duke University. He healed-up just in time to lead his team to the Sweet 16 and was picked number 1 by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA draft.
By the time the Kyrie 1 came out in 2014, the kid had barely been out of high school for four years! He was named the NBA All-Star Game’s Most Valuable Player in 2014.
Two years later he won the 2016 NBA championship alongside Lebron James while rocking the Kyrie 2’s. Kyrie is one of four current and former NBA players to have a signature line of Nike shoes alongside LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Kobe Bryant.
Talk about a classy club.
With his deadly ability to finesse around defenders, combined with his shooting, Kyrie Irving is a pure scoring machine. He created a die-hard fanbase in Cleveland before moving to the Boston Celtics.
Irving dropped 37 points the first time he wore the Kyrie 1 while playing at Madison Square Garden against the New York Knicks. That year he averaged 21.7 points, 5.2 assists, and 3.2 rebounds, all at the tender age of 22.
The Kyrie Is Arguably Nike’s Most Important Signature Shoe
Only 19 basketball players have had their feet knighted by Nike in the company’s 42-year history, so the Nike Kyrie is in a small batch of special shoes.
Irving was the first Nike athlete to get a signature sneaker in six years.
The last athlete to get the call was Kevin Durant. Kyrie’s swaggy, dominant performance on the court combined with the shoe’s digestible price point has helped propel his shoes to the front of the Nike’s basketball category sales.
According to Matt Powell, senior industry advisor to sports with the NPD Group, “LeBron still captures tremendous imagination on the part of the consumer, but Kyrie has driven more sales than any other marquee [basketball] athletes in the last 12 to 18 months.”
While athletic shoe sales for many brands remain lukewarm, the Kyrie line keeps heating up.
Peng Cheng, owner of the West Coast boutique Bait, thinks that the Nike Kyries owe their success to their style-forward design. “It’s more built for kids to just wear,” says Cheng. “It doesn’t look as technical, performanced-based as the other signature shoes.” (from Footwearnews)
It isn’t that sneakerheads don’t care about having ergonomically-designed footwear that helps to cut on a dime and bury defenders, they just care way more about looking damn good while they do it.
Kyrie 1: its release dates, colors, resale value and retail prices
The Nike Kyrie 1 first debuted in North America on December 23rd, 2014. Merry moth’a f*ck’n Christmas! It’s fair to say that designer Leo Chang crushed it. The originally-released shoe came out in the “Dream” colorway, a flashy yet subtle black splashed with bright crimson and tweeter-bird yellow, and had a price-tag of $110.
The affordability is a huge piece of why the Kyrie 1 launched off to such great start. “Premium” versions of the sneaker, such as the “BHM” and “All-Star” retailed for $130. Nike iD offered 19 base colors and 21 accents colors for buyers to craft their own works of art.
The original “Dream” colorway remains one of the most profitable models, with a current resale value of $240 on StockX and a $275 on Flight Club. Aside from promos like the Uncle Drew Edition, three GS versions, and customized pairs form NIKEiD, the Nike Kyrie 1 dropped 16 colorways in men’s sizes.
Skateboarding elements are woven into the design.
Kyrie grew up skateboarding. His love for skating got thrown into the design of the midsole for the Kyrie 1. It was inspired by the clean lines of skate shoes and is a nod to some of the vulc that skate shoes had back in the young Kyrie’s concreted-shredding days.
The shoe is stuffed with Kyrie’s personal touches.
According to Kyrie, all of the Kyrie 1 colorways have a story behind them. He wanted to make a personal connection with his fans through the design choices he made. The jagged accent on the sidewalls reference the time that Irving spent growing up in Australia and are inspired by the outline of the Sydney Opera House. The sharp lines give the Kyrie 1 an aggressive appeal that contrasts against its otherwise smooth look.
Behind every strong NBA player is a strong momma, and Kyrie pays homage to his late mother by putting the birth date and death date of his mother elizabeth on the outsole of the Kyrie 1. The acronym “JBY” sits behind the Kyrie logo and stands for “Just Be You.”
The Kyrie 1 fuses technical innovations with a love for luxury.
The shoe uses a lot more meshes in the composite layering for a softer, lighter feel. Meshes are great because they aren’t heavy like thick synthetics that can feel stiff and crusty on the foot.
Zoom Air technology is featured in the sneaker’s forefoot with a thick zoom bag that gives you that nice bounce off the court.
The studded heel counter was inspired by Kyrie’s appetite for expensive fashion accessories like the rocky back on Christian Louboutins. One of the early variations of the design had even larger spikes than what they ended up settling on.
The ankle support is a little lower than most other high-tops.
The height of the design was influenced by what was already out with the LeBrons and Kobes. Both signature shoes were coming out with noticeably high ankle support. Kyrie wanted to tone it down a bit and give his ankle more freedom to move naturally. The chukka height was a nice sweet spot for that.
Here’s a list of the 16 most iconic Kyrie 1’s to date:
1. Nike Kyrie 1 Medium Berry/Hot Lava-Black-Metallic Silver “Easter”
Release Date: 4/2/2015
Typical resale price: $200 ($90 profit)
2. White/Black-Dove Grey “Infrared”
Release Date: 4/24/2015
Typical resale price: $190 ($80 profit)
3. Tour Yellow/University Gold-Light Retro-Teal “Letterman”
Release Date: 6/13/2015
Typical resale price: $129 ($19 profit)
4. Soar/White-Bright Crimson-Metallic Silver “Independence Day”
Release Date: 6/27/2015
Typical resale price: $275 ($165 profit)
5. LMTD Black/Tour Yellow-Sail-Light Bone “Rise”
Release Date: 8/22/2015
Typical resale price: $175 ($65 profit)
6. Dark Emerald/Metallic Silver-Emerald Green “Fly Trap”
Release Date: 2/26/2015
Typical resale price: $225 ($115 profit)
7. Deep Pewter/Tumbled Grey-Night Silver-Volt “The Dungeon”
Release Date: 7/22/2015
Typical resale price: $165 ($55 profit)
8. Black/Reflect Silver-Dark Grey-Green Glow “Driveway”
Release Date: 9/16/2015
Typical resale price: $170 ($60 profit)
9. Wolf Grey/White-Midnight Navy-Pure “Platinum”