Earlier this week photos leaked of Kevin Durant’s latest signature shoe, the KD11. So far shoe purchasers (I’ll call us that, for now) have responded to Durant’s new look positively. The KD line’s longtime designer, Leo Chang, departed from what we’ve seen in recent years from the Durant line (it’s hard to deny that the KD IX and X were very similar in tooling and design). It’s felt like KDs have been building upon the design from the year before, more so than developing new creations; I like to call this shoe modularity. We are surely in new territory with the KD11 though, it’ll feature an all new Zoom Air unit in a React Foam chassis. Like almost every modern basketball shoe, the KD11 will continue to use a Flyknit bootie. Aspects like the heel counter and upper will be open to interoperation from an aesthetic standpoint; expect to see Nike release a bunch of colorways and styles utilizing their interchangeability.
Kevin has two sides to his personality; the simple, unassuming, off the court demeanor and his flashy, dynamic, on the court alter-ego. The KD1’s design hints at this duality by splitting the shoe’s design characteristics (literally) in half. Nubuck or leather on the lateral panel and patent leather on the medial. In another clever design move, the shoe’s lateral Swoosh appears to extend around the heel with the help of line trickery (see photo below). Kevin’s quickness results in him playing most of the game on the balls of his feet so Chang put Zoom Air in the forefoot (and nowhere else) to incentivize players to move like KD does on the court. Also, you can notice the ‘KD’ logo looks slightly different than it does now, this was the original KD branding.
Above: Durant’s Sonics PE. Below: OKC ‘Home’
NBA young guns… Here’s a better view of the KD1 All-Star though he was be relegated to the Rising Stars Challenge and not Sunday Night’s festivities. KD would win MVP of the night though. Tonal orange covered shoes would go on to be a theme with KD up to the KDV nicknamed ‘creamsicle.’
KD didn’t start the ‘on shoe’ storytelling trend but he and Leo definitely built upon what the LeBron line had been doing for years. Commemorative insignias and numbers representing his parents, the neighborhood Kevin grew up in, the court he played on and other prominent figures in his life (among other things) can be seen throughout the shoe.
A high degree of thoughtfulness was applied to the colorways Nike released on Kevin’s first shoe throughout 2009. Six separate renditions of the KD1 released in a pack honoring each step of his basketball journey from the Boys & Girls Club to his HS, Montrose Christian, and beyond (Drew Freeman Middle School, the McDonald’s All-American Game, University of Texas and the Seattle Super Sonics round out the pack). Since it was the Thunder’s (Sonics) first season in OKC Nike still released the KD1 in Seattle friendly colorways… another dagger to the city.
Above: Boys & Girls Club. Below: Montrose Christian Academy
Are you excited for the KD11? Would you cop a retro of the KD1 if released? Tell us on IG!
Las Vegas native living in Portland, OR. Interests include: shoes, sports, music, video games and food. Extremely passionate about Nike and the Lakers. I’ve been collecting shoes for over 15 years! Follow me on IG & Twitter to see my personal collection and if you have questions. #rahbeekicksit