Ten years ago this month, Nike signed Kevin Durant and the skinny teenager almost immediately received his first signature shoe. A decade later, the risk has paid off with Durant and Nike designer Leo Chang writing a new playbook for developing a signature basketball line with authentic innovation and inspirations matching the athlete’s own trajectory.
Within Durant’s course is a consistent, subtle refinement of pure basketball efficiencies and mechanics. This same path is mirrored in progression from the KD9 to the KD10. For one, the Flyknit construction is the best yet on a basketball shoe — engineered precisely for flexibility, breathability and support just where needed.
Flyknit advancements allow designer Leo Chang and his Flyknit engineers to create the most advanced Flyknit ever produced for basketball; a tour de force of the technological capacity mixing low stretch, high-tenacity (think seat belt) yarn at stress points and a high stretch yarn at the collar and across the forefoot. This blend yields a perfect balance of basketball-specific support and a sock-like hug.
The unconventional lacing system is designed to keep the foot snugly supported to the midsole. Durant “loves the laces” explaining “they are big and stand out from a mile away. It is one element Leo and I talk about when working designs — one thing that goes under the radar is the laces. To have Flyknit and a unique lacing pattern was key for us,” he says. Look closely at the knit structure of the gusset too — the ribs create perfect gullies for the laces to lie.
Underfoot lies the full-length Nike Zoom Air unit debuted in the KD9, enhanced for durability and tuned for maximum impact cushioning. It’s taken on the reputation as Nike’s best basketball air bag.