Different shoe, different feel

February 9, 2024 — by Bill Huang
Kyrie 3 Mac and Cheese
Reviewing the performance and looks from the different basketball shoes I have worn.

On Dec. 15, Nike released the reverse Kobe Grinches, bright red color shoes sponsored by the late Kobe Bryant, which sell for over $300. Despite this outrageous price, many elite basketball players are still buying them for their decorative look and cushiony feel. 

Basketball shoes like the Kobe Grinches are a crucial factor in a player’s performance, affecting balance, speed and jumping ability. Since I started playing the sport, I have worn many NBA star players’ shoes, and I can say each provides a different feel and style.

1. Nike’s Kyrie 3 Mac and Cheese ($100) — 5/5 Falcons 

These were my first basketball shoes. Having bought multiple pairs of Kyries after my first pair in 2017, they have easily been one of my favorite shoes to wear. Although Kyrie Irving, an American basketball player for whom the shoes are named after, ended his deal with Nike in October, millions of athletes still own his shoes. The Kyrie shoe has helped Nike earn over $2.6 billion in revenue after starting sales in 2014. 

Kyries are much lighter than other shoes, allowing for more explosive play and higher jumps. The shoes also have good traction on the court, helping players become faster and shiftier. 

2. Anta’s Klay Thompson 8 Platinums ($139) — 4.5/5 Falcons

A relatively unknown yet high quality pair of shoes I wear are the Klay Thompson 8 Platinums, which were created by  Anta, a basketball brand from China. I have always wanted these shoes because Thompson was my favorite childhood NBA player, so when I saw them this past summer in China, I had to buy them. 

It was one of the best shoe decisions I’ve ever made. Although the all-white look may not be as appealing as some others, their  traction makes up for it. The grip of the shoe is the best out of all the shoes I have ever worn. Even on slippery courts, the shoes still prevented me from falling. 

3. Nike’s Kevin Durant 8’s ($90) — 4/5 Falcons

Another notable pair of shoes I enjoyed were Nike’s Kevin Durant (KD) 8’s. These shoes are a bit bigger and heavier than the Kyries, slowing down my speed a bit, but they have better support, allowing for a good balance on shots and layups. 

Wearing these shoes allowed me to shoot more on target from both up close and long range. I also really enjoyed the bottom design on these shoes, which included a light mocha color surface with a specific patterned design to reduce slipping. 

4. Nike’s Lebron Witness 6 Easters ($95) — 3/5 Falcons

The last pair of shoes worth mentioning are Nike’s Lebron Witness 6 Easters. The color combination of a peach top with the mismatched blue and pink on the bottom help these shoes stand out. Besides the looks, though, the shoes are much heavier than most other shoes and feel weird at your ankles when wearing them tightly. When I first started wearing them, the tongue of the shoe often poked at my foot, causing some pain. 

My experiences with different basketball shoes over the years have helped me understand which shoes fit me the best and help me perform the greatest on the basketball court. With hundreds of shoes being released every year, I highly look forward to new brands and designs I can try out in the future.

Tags: Nike, shoes
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