Best Sneakers of 2016-17: Nike Kyrie 3

On and off the court, Kyrie Irving‘s a cerebral guy. He reads angles and alleyways better than just about anyone else currently hooping. When he’s not slicing and dicing, Irving studies Osho, a writer who preaches the importance of slowing your mind down and capturing each moment for everything it has to offer. The 25-year-old’s always one step ahead.

That mentality translates to his sneakers, too. Before Nike dropped the Kyrie 3, we caught up with the Cavs point guard and he said that he’s always paid close attention to how sneakers are developed, marketed and released:

“It started with me just being an observant kid, seeing new Nikes come out, new Jordans come out,” the New Jersey raised Irving told us over the phone last month. “Seeing how past players released their old colorways, seeing how from a marketing standpoint guys were releasing shoes. And then also, my artistic background of me being comfortable with pushing the envelope. I’ve tried to put that attitude into the design of the shoes, the colorways.”

He knows how to play the sneaker game and he knows what he wants from his kicks. All three of his signature silhouettes have been used to tell stories. This season, we saw a colorway inspired by Greasea BHM colorway and a player exclusive that featured “For The Fearless Only” on its upper.

The Kyrie 3 went away from the Kyrie 2‘s big midfoot strap but brought its curved outsole. The 3 added traction pods and and Flywire in the forefoot. It had a traditional mid-cut that gave way for lots of room on the upper for text and graphics.

Peep the gallery above for the best Kyrie 3s of the season.

UPDATE: This story has been updated on 12/14/17 to include the best Nike Kyrie 3 colorways from his first few months as a member of the Boston Celtics.

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