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Nike Kevin Durant Basketball Shoes

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THE HISTORY OF


Nike KD Basketball Shoes

  • KD I
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  • KD II
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  • KD III
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  • KD IV
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  • KD V
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  • KD VI
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  • KD VII
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  • KD VIII
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KEVIN DURANT IS A BALL PLAYER’S BALL PLAYER. HUMBLE AND TRUE TO HIS ROOTS, HE’S A GOOD EXAMPLE OF SOMEONE WHO MADE IT SOLELY BASED ON HARD WORK, AND ALSO OF SOMEONE WHO WILL NEVER FORGET WHERE HE CAME FROM. WHILE HE WAS A VERY HEAVILY RECRUITED HIGH SCHOOL PROSPECT, HE ATTENDED THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS FOR ONE SEASON OF COLLEGE BASKETBALL BEFORE GETTING SNATCHED UP IN THE 2007 NBA DRAFT. HE WAS THE SECOND CHOICE OVERALL FOR THE SONIC, WHO RENAMED THEMSELVES THE THUNDER SHORTLY AFTERWARDS WHEN THEY MOVED TO OKLAHOMA CITY. DURANT HAS PLAYED SMALL FORWARD AND POWER FORWARD, AND EXCELLED AT BOTH.



Nike Air Zoom kd I
Durant’s first shoe, the Nike KD1, was released in 2009 for a humble retail price of $88. Instead of going the flashy route, they gave him a high performance but well-priced basketball shoe that everyone could really get behind. The strong leather upper is adorned with the KD logo and a prominent Swoosh, and is mixed with a mesh tongue which bears his signature. A Cushlon midsole works together with forefoot Zoom Air cushioning to make the KD1 safe for balling. The outsole is covered in a herringbone tread pattern for excellent traction, and is also home to many personal details pertaining to his life. Leo Chang, the designer behind the shoe, knew that Durant wanted to pay homage to the things that helped him become a star, so he let the outsole do some storytelling. This is done in many ways, but the first is through a series of etched numbers that shout out key addresses in his life. The number “108” represents his Grandmother’s house number, “5026” was the house he struggled to grow up in, “5720” is the rec center where he learned how to play ball, and “20746” is the post office where his mother worked. Under the numbers they added the intersection of the hill he would train on daily, “L & Balsamtree,” surrounded by a pattern similar to the manhole cover at the top. Going even further, a small portion of the outsole features a geometrical grip pattern that is similar to the rafters in his old gym. Finally, the inside of the tongue has the “WP” initials of both his parents.
Kevin Durant II
Nike released a second pair of signature kicks for Durant in the spring of the next year, dubbing them the Zoom KD2. Bearing an $85 price tag, these actually retailed for even less than his debut. Again these were marketed as affordable performance shoes rather than for fashion, but hype increased as he wore them during his third season to win the 2010 NBA Scoring Title. Characteristically this shoe takes much from its predecessor, most notably the profile which combines a mesh tongue with a durable leather upper. Zoom Air technology is again featured throughout the forefoot to cater to bigger men who play on their toes, like KD himself, and works in conjunction with a Phylon midsole to add platform support. One major change from his last effort is the addition of a KD logo-clad midfoot strap for a snug lockdown fit. This made them even more court-ready than last time, which is saying a lot.
Kevin Durant III
December 2010 saw the release of the Nike Zoom KD III, again running customers a modest $85. The silhouette underwent some pretty serious changes from last time, most notably shedding the midfoot strap that helped make his second shoe a success, and donning a much lower profile. Not one to change a winning formula, the protection was again comprised of a forefoot Zoom Air unit and a Phylon midsole. The real changes were found throughout the upper, with the inclusion of Flywire on the leather and synthetic upper. They strategically added this technology on the high flex areas, which added durability and support on this light and speedy model. Speaking of light, it only weighs 13.5 oz, the lightest shoe in Durant’s line up until this point. The high tongue bears his signature logo, which by this point was quickly becoming iconic. This was actually the first Durant model available on Nike ID, so there are quite a few custom colors floating around out there.
Kevin Durant IV
2011’s Durant release, the Nike Zoom KD IV, brought with it quite a few new technical advancements and a $10 increase in price. One of the foremost changes this time around was the addition of Hyperfuse technology. Hyperfuse uses a hotmelt process to fuse together a synthetic supportive base layer, a lightweight and breathable mesh layer, and a durable TPU-film layer. This, when compared to the previous leather construction, offers a far more ventilated and durable shoe that can take way more abuse but still keep you cool. Nike decided to revisit the idea of a midfoot strap, but knew they could improve upon their old formula. In the place of the old KD2 strap is the new Adaptive Fit System, which features synthetic straps at the forefoot and arch that attach to the midsole and laces for an interconnected lockdown fit. Again Durant went with his forefoot Zoom Air and Phylon midsole combination for protection, as he had on all previous efforts.
Kevin Durant V
Durant’s fifth shoe, the Nike KD V, was released in 2012 and wound up being his first release priced in the three-digit range; at $115. At a quick glance it appears that this shoe ushered in the most changes thus far, and aesthetically this would be correct. However, a closer look at the specs show that not all that much had really changed from the Nike Zoom KD IV as far as the inner-workings went. After the success of the last pair’s Hyperfuse upper, it was implemented this time around as well. Visual differences in the upper include a higher ankle profile and integrated lace system. A heel clip is fused with the midsole to provide extra support and that snug lockdown fit the KD series had become synonymous with. Surprisingly, the biggest change occurred with the cushioning. After running the same Zoom Air and Phylon combination throughout the entire run of the series, it was time to bring in extra help via a sturdy heel Max Air unit. In April of 2013 Nike wasn’t ready to drop a totally new shoe for Durant, but they did update his fifth release with the Nike KD V Elite. He was amongst a select few athletes (Kobe and LeBron) that were given these post-season specific Elite models. Retailing at $180, this was by far his highest price effort yet, mostly due to the use of materials such as Kevlar and Carbon Fiber. Profile wise the first change is the surprisingly low-cut ankle, which was done to optimize its potential as his quickest model to date. Durability is also a huge focus, so the Hyperfuse upper is supported by Kevlar-enforced Flywire cables. Above all, the KD line is about high performance, so they added a heel Carbon Fiber counter to provide unrivaled stability. Again we see forefoot Zoom Air, but Caged Zoom Air replaces the Max Air unit of the standard KDV.
Kevin Durant VI
Just a few months later, in the summer of 2013, Nike was ready to unleash the KD VI upon the world. Its sleek appearance and well crafted features were yet another collaboration between Durant and designer Leo Chang, who were inspired by the precision craftsmanship of a wristwatch. The Hyperfuse construction does its job with durability and ventilation, offering an ultra-thin two layer upper supported by Flywire for that lockdown support. A new tongue construction provides a superior fit to anything else on the market by really hugging the foot. Protection-wise the KD VI follows the KD V by combining Zoom Air in the forefront, Max Air in the heel, and a Phylon midsole. The outsole features data-informed traction patterns, taking the shape of six-sided hexagons. This was actually designed from a pressure map taken from Durant’s foot as it was scientifically analyzed at the Nike Sports Research Lab. A holographic KD logo also adorns the outsole, along with the storytelling details that he’s become known for, explaining just how this humble player reached the top of the world.
Kevin Durant VII
In 2014 Kevin Durant stopped being a just prodigy and became NBA’s Most Valuable Player. Flashback to Durant’s childhood, did he ever dream he would make it this far? Could he predict the amazing things he would achieve? Durant actually predicted he would be a weatherman, studying natural disasters and understanding the earth. Put this information in sneaker designer Leo Chang’s hands and you’ll unlock the story behind the KD VII. Chang is a legendary designer like Durant is a basketball player and when you put them both together you get a sneaker that’s just as fashionable as it is functional. Durant’s game is versatile and that’s why his sneaker needs to be. The KD VII comes with a Zoom bag in the heel for a really fast first step and great bounce, Dynamic Flywire to lock in the forefoot for complete control of movement, and Hyperposite material in the back quarter for maximum durability. The strap makes its way back from the KD II & IV because Durant said he really likes the way it looks and plays. If you take a look at the swoosh you’ll see a design inspired by the man-made lightning we call fireworks. The KD VII tells the story of how they had to get quick like lightning and strong like thunder to fit a player who became the perfect storm.
Kevin Durant VIII
After a not-so stellar year with his 7th signature shoe, Kevin Durant is ready to put the past behind him and look towards the future of his brand with the release of the KD 8 ‘V-8’. The 8th signature silhouette from KD and Nike takes its inspiration from low cut basketball sneakers and Nike’s famous running styles. A bold bright crimson colorway and Air Max unit makes this first edition of the 8s stand out instantly. The “Slim Reaper” is looking to change the game of basketball sneakers with the KD 8, only time will tell.

Overall, we’ve found that Kevin Durant’s personality is illustrated very clearly through his signature shoe line. While we’ve discussed the extensive detailing he adds to showcase his past, it goes far beyond that. The bottom line with the KD series is performance, the kicks work hard so your game can rise to the next level. And as you know, Durant is no stranger to hard work. In his own words, “Basketball is never over for me.” In fact, he has received numerous honors, such as three NBA scoring titles, the NBA Rookie of the Year Award, and even an Olympic gold medal to prove that statement. He may have achieved a crazy amount of success, but he’s still only 25 years old, so there’s no telling what the future holds for this guy.