First seen on-court at the Mavericks v Nets game, Kyrie Irving’s signature sneaker with ANTA is set to drop this month. As well as signing a five-year endorsement deal, Irving was also appointed Chief Creative Officer of the sportswear label earlier this year, with the debut of the KAI 1 sneaker marking the guard’s first product with the brand.

Designed in collaboration with footwear designer Jared Subawon, the sneaker’s overall design language champions Irving’s “Enlightened Warrior” ethos. The sleek shape, achieved by utilizing innovative VR technology, derives from his unorthodox playmaking style, with each part meticulously crafted with state-of-the-art precision to create a tapestry that is an ode to the guard’s roots.

The silhouette is composed of a fusion of materials that boasts optimal comfort, function, and performance. From a carbon fiber mid-foot plate, responsive cushioning on the midsole, and TPU lateral sidewall for stability, the knitted toebox also adds comfort and flexibility, whilst the subtle ANTA logo features across the lateral sides in TPU that blends seamlessly into the upper.

With various interpretations of the Kyrie Irving x ANTA collaborative branding seen across the shoe and its packaging, the strap stretching across the lacing system features ancient hieroglyphics and Native American iconography that reference regal ancestry. Details include the feather addition to the heel tag, incorporating a unique code that champions both entities’ heritage as well as the inspirational “The Journey is the Reward” maxim engraved into the midsole.

“I’ve woven the essence of my heritage and my heart for basketball into the design of ANTA KAI 1,” Irving says of his debut sneaker. “This is more than a shoe; it embodies our ancestors’ strength and the future we’re building. Every detail, from the hieroglyphics to the aerodynamic shape, tells the story of where we’ve been and where we’re going.”

The sneaker’s bold colorway, conceptualized alongside color design director Shaneika Warden, continues the theme of heritage with symbolisms, patterns, and hues integrated throughout. These are merged with the colors associated with the four key physical and physiological impact disciplines on the human body: Strength is depicted through silver, red, and orange; purple, red, blue, and green accents for Agility; Focus through teal and bright orange; and Speed is manifested through yellow.

The ANTA KAI 1 drops on March 9 and retails for 555 AED (approx. $150 USD).

Commemorating the release of the KAI 1, ANTA’s flagship store in Dubai will be hosting an exclusive launch party on March 9 from 10 a.m. GST. The first 50 people to register and buy the shoe will receive a limited-edition ANTA jersey. Sign up on the brand’s website to be in with the chance to win.

ANTA Sportswear
Dubai Hills Mall
Al Khalil Rd
Dubai, UAE

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