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Everything You Need To Know About The ANTA KAI 1

Kyrie Irving's newest signature shoe is off to a hot start.

Everything You Need To Know About The ANTA KAI 1

The ANTA KAI 1 is Kyrie Irving’s first ever signature shoe with Chinese sneaker brand ANTA. After signing a 5 year deal with the imprint in 2023, this season brought his signature shoe to the public. Each release of Kyrie Irving’s newest silhouette has sold out almost immediately, showing that his name hasn’t lost much of a beat in terms of moving product. However, that increased demand means increased competition for each successive colorway- below you can find our full breakdown of Irving’s newest kicks including a brief history, release information and the colorways we’ve gotten so far.

FROM NIKE TO ANTA

Nike ended their fruitful partnership with the then Brooklyn Nets superstar in 2022, following public pressure that came as a result of a slew of off the court controversies. Considering his signature performance shoes were a year-in, year-out money printer for the Swoosh, many immediately began wondering who would pick up the sneaker “free agent.” A handful of months later, Irving signed with ANTA, a Chinese sneaker brand that already boasted NBA players like Klay Thompson, Donte DiVincenzo and Gordon Hayward.

After sporting ANTA’s other inline performance shoes to begin the 2023-24 NBA season, Kyrie Irving debuted his new signature during a February game against the Nets in Brooklyn. The influence of Kyrie’s work with Nike was immediately noticeable via the closure strap that runs across the midfoot. However, the Chinese brand also opened the door for Irving’s personality to be tangibly expressed in the shoe’s hardware. Radial patterns and geometric iconography dot the silhouette, a nod to his Native American roots, the Maverick star’s name also appearing in hieroglyphic-like typeface. In all of the editions we’ve seen so far, the flashiness of the superstar’s game is expressed in the chosen palettes, with vivid pinks, purples and greens becoming through line across the silhouette.

ANTA KAI 1 RELEASE INFO

Releases of the ANTA KAI 1 are handled a bit differently than typical Jordan/Nike/adidas drops — typical retailers like Foot Locker or Finish Line do not carry the model. Instead, ANTA.com is your primary source for Kyrie Irving shoes, with an “Early Launch” sign-up opening a few days ahead of time and a standard launch following that. Most colorways have also been available through select ANTA partners: Extra Butter, KicksCrew and Sneaker Politics. For upcoming releases, we recommend keeping the ANTA.com homepage handy. Our “Where To Buy” module, included on every one of our articles, contains direct links to retailers for respective drop days. Each pair has retailed for $125, continuing the cost-effectiveness from Kyrie’s time with the Swoosh.

ALL COLORWAYS SO FAR

The first unveiled in-game, the “Artist On Court” colorway was also the first to be released to the public on March 6th, restocking shortly after on March 23rd on Kyrie Irving’s birthday. Since then, three others have followed up that release: the “Enlightened Warrior” on April 12th and the “Playoffs” pack including a “Home” and “Away” pair just a week later on April 19th. In the name of providing a comprehensive breakdown, we should mention that a grey and orange “KAIVERSE” pair was also released. However, it came in ultra-limited fashion — just 323 pairs were dropped exclusively at ANTA’s Beijing flagship. The latest development in the relationship was the release of the ANTA KAI 1 Slide, a summer offshoot of the mainline basketball model.

While additional editions haven’t yet been announced, ANTA has genuinely struck gold with the KAI 1, so it’s sure to continue to drop as the year plays out. Below you can find a detailed image gallery of the “Artist On Court” version courtesy of Extra Butter, showcasing the finer details you can expect with Kyrie’s newest silo.

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