I Tried Sabrina Ionescu’s Latest Shoe For Nike — and It’s a Slam Dunk

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Considering the current state of women’s sports merch — which is, in a word, bleak, as evidenced by a recent report from Klarna and the Sports Innovation Lab — the news that Nike was collaborating with New York Liberty guard and Team USA player Sabrina Ionescu on a second iteration of her signature shoe and apparel line was a breath of fresh air. We love the WNBA, and we love showing that love by wearing our favorite players’ jerseys and sneakers. And Ionescu is always playing in her Sabrinas.

The Nike Sabrina 2 ($130) launched in the US on June 25 and worldwide on June 28, and is coming alongside an apparel collection that includes a reversible bomber, a hoodie, two T-shirts, and shorts. Oh, and there’s a kids’ collection too, made up of a kids’ Sabrina 2 ($100), a hoodie, and shorts, a move that Ionescu and Nike hope will help stoke younger fans’ love of the game.

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I had a chance to try out the Sabrina 2 and some key pieces of apparel during a press event that included a basketball training session. In the interest of full transparency: I had a basketball hoop in my driveway growing up, but I can’t remember the last time I played much more than a game of horse. So I might not be able to speak to all the technical advantages of the sneakers — but as a WNBA fan and an aspiring sneakerhead, I can certainly gush about how they felt on my feet (comfortable and cool).

What I Like About the Nike Sabrina 2

The Nike Sabrina 2 trial event was held in a basketball court at the Nike Headquarters in New York City, and all the participants’ sneakers and clothing were set up on bleachers beside the court. While most of the sneakers set out were in the new purple-and-black “Court Vision” colorway (with a mirror-finish Swoosh), my pair were in the icy blue-and-white “Conductor” colorway, which won’t be released until July 12. “You’re lucky — everyone was taking pictures of those when they first set them out,” a fellow attendee said to me as I checked them out. Hey, I love an exclusive.

The Nike Sabrina 2 Conductor colorway at a Nike event.
PS Photography | Mirel Zaman

The first thing I noticed when I slid on the Nike Sabrina 2 was the way they hugged the middle of my foot, around my arch. Later, I learned that was thanks to an updated band system designed to help the sneakers stay secure while running and jumping on the court.

And stay secure they did. A lot about the training portion of the event tested my personal abilities: the dribbling warm-up, which started off with between-the-leg dribbles (excuse me?); the rapid-fire jump-shot drills; the three-pointer competition. But one thing that didn’t fail me was my shoes. They stayed snug, with nary an awkward hot spot or blister.

The Sabrina 2 also debuts a new kind of plush foam midsole — CushIon 3.0, the first time this midsole is appearing in a Nike basketball shoe — and is 28 grams lighter than the original version. While not many (read: none) of my jump shots actually went through the net, I did jump while attempting them, and the sneakers cushioned my feet on the impact without dragging me down on my ascent.

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Would I wear the Sabrina 2 the next time I hit the basketball court? Of course. Would I also wear them with my athleisure fits, or even a dress (see: the “Wrong Shoe Theory”)? Absolutely. They’re comfortable, chic, and show my love for women’s sports. What more could you want?

What’s Worth Noting About the Nike Sabrina 2

The Sabrina 2 is, first and foremost, a basketball shoe. But embossed on the back of the shoes are the words “Anyone” and “Anywhere” — a nod to the fact that Ionescu wanted “anyone, anywhere” to be able to wear and love her sneakers. So they work as a lifestyle sneaker as well.

PS Photography | Mirel Zaman

That said, if you’re wearing them for basketball, consider going a half-size up from your true size to accommodate for the additional movement.

Also notable is that the Nike product design teams used research and insights from women, including Ionescu, when developing the shoe. While the shoe is designed to be worn by anyone, in a world where women’s unique needs are often overlooked, it’s refreshing to know that the Nike Sabrina 2 was created with women in mind.

Who the Nike Sabrina 2 Is Best For

To steal a term from Ionescu’s shoes: anyone, anywhere. The Sabrina 2 works as a basketball shoe, an athleisure shoe, or a general lifestyle shoe.

Additional Details About the Nike Sabrina 2

  • The Nike Sabrina 2 will be available in two colorways: the purple “Court Vision” (available now) and the blue “Conductor” (available July 12).
  • The adult Sabrina 2 is available in women’s sizes 5 to 19.5, men’s 3.5 to 18.
  • The kids’ Sabrina 2 is available in big kids’ sizes 1Y to 7Y.

Rating

★★★★★

Mirel Zaman is the health and fitness director at PS. She has 15 years of experience working in the health and wellness space, writing and editing articles about fitness, general health, mental health, relationships and sex, food and nutrition, astrology, spirituality, family and parenting, culture, and news.

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