Kyrie Irving’s First Anta Signature Sneaker Will Officially Release Next Week

Anta has officially confirmed a March release for its first signature shoe for Kyrie Irving, the Anta Kai 1.

Irving’s Anta debut will launch in the purple and pink “Artist on the Court” colorway that he wore on the court in early-February. Jaylen Brown, who isn’t affiliated with any brand, also wore the Kai 1 while playing in the NBA All-Star Game.

More from Footwear News

Egyptian hieroglyphs, which Irving has long been known to employ, appear throughout the sneaker’s design, while his new signature logo stands out in gold on the tongue. The midsole features TPU foam targeted for stability at the heel, as well as a carbon fiber plate at midfoot. The knit upper features a colorful pattern above the toe and at the lateral midfoot to match the multi-color laces, and a strap goes over the laces at midfoot for added security.

Drawing inspiration form Irving’s Native American and Pan-African heritage, different components of the color scheme are intended to symbolize the disciplines of strength, agility, focus and speed. Strength is represented by silver, red and orange; agility by purple, red, blue and gree; focus by teal; and speed by yellow.

Shaneika Warden, color design director for Anta, said: “The ANTA KAI 1 color is rooted in cultural symbolism, color psychology, and fashion trends. It is meant to celebrate the greatest gifts one can possess within the physical and metaphysical form, for not just one being, but all beings.”

The Kai 1 has been highly anticipated by fans, despite the fraught context that led Irving to sign with Anta after being dropped by Nike. After making eight signature sneakers for Irving, Nike ended its relationship with the player because of his sharing a documentary featuring antisemitic beliefs and initial foot-dragging to denounce them. Irving had already been a controversial figure for wading into conspiracy theories, including in his refusal to be vaccinated and his indulgence of flat Earth theories. But much like Kanye West, now known as Ye, and Adidas, antisemitism proved to be the final straw.

The Anta Kai 1 “Artist on the Court” will release March 6 through Anta’s website and in-store event at Sneaker Politics in Dallas. Further in-store availability will follow March 7 at Extra Butter’s Lower East Side location in New York City and March 9 at Nice Kicks in San Francisco. A restock is also scheduled for March 23 through Anta and Kicks Crew. Pricing is set at $125.

Kyrie Irving Anta Kai 1 Artist on the Court
Kyrie Irving Anta Kai 1 Artist on the Court
Kyrie Irving Anta Kai 1 Artist on the Court
Kyrie Irving Anta Kai 1 Artist on the Court
Kyrie Irving Anta Kai 1 Artist on the Court
Kyrie Irving Anta Kai 1 Artist on the Court
Kyrie Irving Anta Kai 1 Artist on the Court
Kyrie Irving Anta Kai 1 Artist on the Court
Kyrie Irving Anta Kai 1 Artist on the Court
Kyrie Irving Anta Kai 1 Artist on the Court
Kyrie Irving Anta Kai 1 Artist on the Court
Kyrie Irving Anta Kai 1 Artist on the Court
Kyrie Irving Anta Kai 1 Artist on the Court
Kyrie Irving Anta Kai 1 Artist on the Court

About the Author:

Ian Servantes is a Senior Trending News Editor for Footwear News specializing in sneaker coverage. He’s previously reported on streetwear and sneakers at Input and Highsnobiety after beginning his career on the pop culture beat. He subscribes to the idea that “ball is life” and doesn’t fuss over his kicks getting dirty.

Best of Footwear News

Sign up for FN's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.