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Nike KD Buyers Guide

Nike KD Buyers Guide
Nike KD Buyers Guide

Nike KD's history and background.

Kevin Durant Showcasing The Nike KD 14 (image via
Kevin Durant Showcasing The Nike KD 14 (image via

Nike Basketball has been the premier destination for NBA athletes to grow their presence on and off the court as we’ve seen the top stars of the league gain even more fame through lineups of signature silhouettes. One of the biggest for Nike? Kevin Durant’s Nike KD line.

Beginning in 2008, Nike introduced the first iteration of a Nike KD with the Zoom KD 1. Modeled after Durant’s favorite sneaker (the Huarache 2K4), we saw nine initial colorways that began the theme of KD adding personal touches to many of his releases. Each year since, we’ve seen a new release aptly named in sequential order. Though not every model was a hit in the beginning, the Nike KD 4 is still considered by many to be one of the best basketball silhouettes of the early 2010s. Three iconic colorways released as a part of the initial run of KD 4s, the highly sought-after “Nerf” collaboration, an All-Star themed "Galaxy" edition, and the beginning of the “Aunt Pearl” line that pays homage to Durant’s Aunt who, unfortunately, lost a battle with cancer in the year 2000.

Going forward we would see a new Nike KD release annually, and follow the numerical naming convention. Not every single KD sneaker was a hit among the masses though some standouts include the KD 6 which saw the model utilize Flywire tech and a thinner upper, as well as the KD 12 which saw an Air Zoom unit combined with a Strobel unit. With the debut of the KD 7, we saw Nike extend its deal with Durant for another 10 years (ending in 2024) for a whopping $300 million and it has paid off with the lineup being one of the most successful for Nike Basketball.

As of this writing, Durant and Nike are set to debut the Nike KD 16 this coming May.

If you’ve been eyeing a pair of Nike KDs for yourself, you’re in luck as the Sole Retriever Nike KD Low Buyers Guide should answer all the questions you have about the Nike KD.

What are the best Nike KD colorways?

Kevin Durant Wearing The Nike KD 4 White Gold (image vis Steve Sisney | Reuters)
Kevin Durant Wearing The Nike KD 4 White Gold (image vis Steve Sisney | Reuters)

With 15 silhouette releases so far, there is a slew of colorways one could think of when it comes to the best KD sneakers of all time, however, we’ll go over a few standouts, classics, and everyday wear colorways. Starting back in 2009, the Nike KD 1 saw both a “Sonics” and “OKC” colorway as the Seattle-based NBA franchise Durant played for relocated to Oklahoma City. Since then, we’ve seen plenty of colorways directly tied to OKC (and now for Brooklyn and possibly for the Phoenix Suns after his recent trade).

On his second sneaker, the Nike KD 2, we would see Nike honor the scoring machine with an aptly named “Scoring Title” colorway and his alma mater with a “Texas Longhorns” colorway. But it was with the KD 4 where things really began to heat up. This silhouette saw (arguably) the most iconic colorways in the entire KD lineup.

Beginning with the iconic “Weatherman,” KDs childhood dream of being a TV weather reporter inspired the colorway that was also utilized on other silhouettes and later releases of the KD line while we also saw the “Nerf” and “Galaxy” releases on this model. As stated at the beginning of this Buyers Guide, the KD 4 began the “Aunt Pearl” theme, truly solidifying the sneaker as a classic for years to come.

Moving past the KD 5, the KD 6 saw the model doused in a “What The?” colorway, combining almost every single KD 6 colorway released up until that point and was crafted in honor of Durant’s MVP season. Some of the pairs that inspired this mashup include the KD 6 “All-Star” and “Liger.”

Looking to the present day and future of the KD line, the KD 15 has appeared in various makeups alongside the retro of the KD 3 “All-Star” for 2023’s NBA All-Star Game. Some standouts amongst the KD 15 include the “Aunt Pearl,” “White Black,” and the recent “Olympic” colorway. When it comes to retros, we can look forward to the KD 3 coming to us for the first time in the “Aunt Pearl” makeup as well as a clean “White Gold” rendition.

What material are Nike KD Sneakers made of?

Nike KD 7 Sketch (image via
Nike KD 7 Sketch (image via

The Nike KD lineup has seen a slew of technologies utilized for the upper and cushioning of the performance basketball silhouette and has evolved over the years. Tech has included the use of Flywire, leather, engineered mesh, and more for the upper while just about every cushioning system for modern-day Nike Basketball sneakers has hit the line. When it comes to the latest release, the Nike KD 15, we see the silhouette covered in engineered mesh and TPU with the sole unit taking on an Air Zoom Strobel unit as well as a full-length foam to create optimal comfort and energy for performance on the court.

How do Nike KD Sneakers fit?

Considering the various versions of the Nike KD, each model has fit slightly differently, though for the most part like many Nike sneakers the KD in its entire history has fit relatively true to size. Depending on your foot, however, you may want to go half a size up if you have wider feet, though the best way to make sure you’re getting the right size is by trying the sneaker on in person. With the KD 15 generally being a GR silhouette, most foot stores like Foot Locker, Champs, Finish Line, and more should carry pairs in-store.

How much do Nike KD Sneakers cost?

Kevin Durant’s line has always been on the more affordable side of Nike’s performance basketball lineup with early iterations costing under $100. Even to this day, the model retails for a reasonable $150 (for most colorways, special versions may cost more). Considering the tech within the sneaker and performance on the court, the model is still one of the best “budget” friendly choices when it comes to lacing up kicks for some 5-on-5.

Where do I buy Nike KD Sneakers?

The Nike KD line is often released in GR colorways with some special versions being limited to select boutiques and Nike itself, though for the most part, you can walk into any local sneaker retailer and pick up a pair. This includes places like Dick’s Sporting Goods, Finish Line, Foot Locker, and more.

What’s the hot take?

Nike Basketball may be in a transition period with many of its stars reaching the twilight years of their careers, however, Kevin Durant has proven himself to be a star not only in the NBA but for Nike. His lineup of sneakers will go down as some of the most popular models in performance basketball, especially the early days with the Nike KD 4. Going forward we should continue to see more and more advanced performance basketball sneakers from Nike and Durant, including the previously mentioned Nike KD 16, so keep it locked to our Twitter and the Sole Retriever mobile app to stay updated on the latest happenings regarding Nike KDs and more in the sneaker and streetwear world.

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