First Look: Nike KD V
For each signature line, a certain model steps out which serves as a tipping point, bolstering popularity. As one of the star attractions for Nike Basketball, Kevin Durant would see the Zoom KD IV breaking through the mainstream (coincidentally like the Zoom Kobe IV). The KD line was pushed to new heights as fans flocked to pick up all the special color schemes that the IV was outfitted in. As the IV set the bar in terms of design and aesthetics, the V looks to expand on performance. In our last First Look of the year, we put the Nike KD V under the microscope.
The most anticipated in the line, the Nike KD V introduces Max Air cushioning. The features include the following:
- Hyperfuse constructed upper for light weight performance
- Cushioning provided by a forefoot Zoom unit, heel Max Air, and Phylon midsole
- Rubber outsole with special dynamic KD inspired traction pattern
- Mid foot stability plate
- Padded mesh tongue
Aesthetics and Styling
Last season, the IV set the standard for the KD line with respect to aesthetics and style. The sleek look with a Hyperfuse upper and diagonal mid foot strap made the shoe one of the more popular models in the Nike Basketball catalog. For the V, the designers have taken a step back drawing from the very first KD. The shape of the shoe resembles a modern mid cut. New technological features include a heel Max Air unit (the first for the KD line) and a foam molded heel counter. As a true player signature shoe the KD by far has the most discreet personal touches throughout. Playing out a theme of his hometown (Washington DC), the shoe also pays tribute to his career accomplishments, as well as his family members. The consummate team player, the Durant line always releases with a color scheme representing his team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, which is what our First Look will evaluate.
Make no mistake about it, the side profile of the KD V looks very familiar. The mid cut look takes a page from the Hyperfuse/Hyperdunk, but is accentuated with the heel counter, which stems directly from the midsole. A more rounded than sharp look, the design is definitely modern. Keeping the upper clean, most of the signature marks are found on the outsole. A multi-directional traction pattern is made up of pentagons and triangles. The rubber forms a lateral outrigger with the “NIKE ZOOM” logo molded in, while the toe cap is molded with a Durant mock signature and the “WP” logo. DC area codes and scoring averages are found inside the pentagons, while “BIG CHUCKY” and “SEAT PLEASANT’S FINEST” are found within flex grooves. The outsole is complete with a “kd” logo at the mid foot. A thick stacked Phylon midsole adds support to the thin rubber sole. At the heel, the clear Max Air bubble has the signature look, and on the top portion of the midsole, a star pattern gives texture to the foam.
For the upper, the soft, smooth, matte finished Hyperfuse material runs from the toe box to the collar. The collar has a large orange swoosh running on the medial side. At the throat line, the “V” theme is found with a V-shaped cut for the tongue. For the lateral side, a plastic Nike swoosh logo brands the panel. Small nylon openings are cut at the mid foot base for ventilation. On the medial side, the nylon opening is a much larger, as the reinforcement layer behind the nylon can be observed with a diamond pattern.
The rear sees one of the major design additions to the shoe. Extending from the midsole, the foam based heel counter is molded with a 35 star logo. The counter has two small openings on the bottom to lessen weight and add more flexibility. Above the heel counter, the Achilles notch forms another V. Next, the collar rises at a steep angle. Again, the upper protrudes to form more Vs on the sides. Padding is light but soft, and the lining is a smooth, silky synthetic – done in Oklahoma City Thunder blue.
Standard oval laces run through five lace hoops on the upper, and three eyelets on the collar. The lace hoops are cut into the Hyperfuse upper and are reinforced with added material. Underneath the laces, a padded mesh tongue has the V pattern formed down the center. The tongue is lined just as the collar is and is stitched on around the fourth eyelet. On top of the tongue has a plastic kd logo with the star pattern all over the logo. To round out the KD V, a thick stiff insole simply has a kd logo printed on the heel.
A First Look
Although the Zoom KD IV broke ground in the mainstream market, performance left much to be desired. The KD I-III were highlighted by versatility and balance. It can not be denied that the IV was the most aesthetically pleasing, but in some ways, performance did not live up to the preceding models. Now, the designers have added more technological features (namely the heel Max Air unit) to push performance in a new direction. Does the V bring back the high performance of the line to combine with the new look? Next month, our full Performance Review will evaluate one of the most sought after models of the season.
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