It is not often the worlds of basketball and tennis collide. That is precisely situation in Boston Celtics star Kyrie Irving’s latest shoe collaboration with tennis player Nick Kyrgios.
The duo came together to create the Nike Vapor X Kyrie 5 tennis sneaker. The pairing was a natural fit with both standout athletes having been born in Australia.
Irving debuted the player edition of the sneaker during a January 7 home game against the Brooklyn Nets. He set the stage for Kyrgios, who is wearing the Vaper X Kyrie 5 during competition at the first Grand Slam of the year, the Australian Open.
As an avid Celtics and NBA fan, Kyrgios called the shoe creation process “arguably the biggest moment” of his career. He was already attracted to the style of basketball sneakers, making his transition to Kyrie’s kicks an easy one.
Kyrgios’ anti-country club persona also fits with wearing the non-traditional tennis shoe. His personal brand was identified by Nike’s tennis division, Nike Court, last year and led to the new sneaker.
The feature in the Kyrie 5’s that most translated to the design of a tennis shoe was the flytrap containment system. The Vapor X features the flytrap on the upper, while keeping midsole, outsole and foot frame.
Some of the features necessary for the sport include lower collar height and added durability pieces designed for hard court surfaces. There are other accents on the shoe, however, like Irving’s signature and personal logo, that are 100% authentically Kyrie.