While Kevin Durant is chasing his first NBA ring with the new squad – I have something special for you ballers out there.
First of all, little bit of introduction. The KD 9 set the bar on the elite level with its remarkable performance. It was by far the best Nike‘s basketball sneaker of 2016. Of course, don‘t forget the KD 9 ELITE – these joints were phenomenal too and even better in some cases.
That’s been said, let‘s see if the KD 10 can do the impossible and raise the bar even higher?
Welcome to my Nike KD 10 PERFORMANCE REVIEW!
WEIGHT: 342 g. /12.06 oz
TECH: ZOOM AIR, FLYKNIT
TYPE: LOW TOP
FIT: HALF A SIZE DOWN
RETAIL PRICE: $150
BD RATING: 8.5/10
NO LONGER TWO PIECE BOOTIE CONSTRUCTION
This time the KD 10 features pure Flyknit upper going from toe to heel and that is super dope. Of course, this isn’t your daily slippers where comfort is the only thing you appreciate, that’s why Nike coated Flyknit with TPU in high stress areas as well as in the toe area to just create more structure & support for the upper.
If you own a pair of Kobe 11s’ then you probably know what to expect from this kind of setup. I mean, it’s not the exact same experience, but some areas felt pretty similar.
The toecap does feel a bit stiff at first, but it actually softens up after a few sessions, so it’s all good. Other than that, the KD 10 felt exactly how K. Durant himself has described – “When I put them on for the first time, it feels like I’ve played in them for so long”
On top of that, they’re way more durable than the KD 9 which is not a usual thing with Flyknit uppers. IMPRESED
BETTER THAN EVER
Articulated full-length ZOOM Air made the return in the KD 10, but this time with a few tweaks and different feel.
Nike has adjusted the PSI within the ZOOM AIR units, that’s why it does require some break in time. At first, it was one hell of stiff midsole (I was a little bit scared). But after putting some playing hours the ZOOM Air power was unleashed at its best, providing that well known, amazing impact protection & bouncy ride.
It still performs not as soft as the KD 9’s cushioning. You can actually feel improved responsiveness and stiffness from it and you know what? I do prefer this setup over the old one. It’s now even more versatile than before – better response time, more court feel and no clumsy feel or lag while striking from the first step. Just don’t worry, they still provide the best Nike cushioning, it just a bit different from what we used to feel.
SAME OUTSOLE BUT DIFFERENT PETTERN
We have the spiral style multidirectional traction pattern and oh boy it looks promising.
On clean courts it works like a charm – no slippage problems, great move coverage, everything is A+. Of course, on dirty courts everything goes in the different why, like with many Nike models. The traction starts to act inconsistently- sometimes it grips well and sometimes it doesn’t want to grip at all.
Although, it’s not as bad as you’re thinking now. It does require some additional care to keep it from that inconsistency. Just make a few extra wipes every so often and they will keep you on court nicely.
Outdoors? Not even think about it, seriously. The rubber compound is super weak and probably wouldn’t last even a month. Keeping them indoors is the best option.
FLYKNIT GETS THE JOB DONE
I really did enjoy how the ankle collar & tongue felt on foot since these two pieces are made out of 100% Flyknit without any TPU threads. It feels like your grandpa’s pullover – no restrictions, just pure comfort and superb strethability. And that’s the main reason why I so love Flyknit uppers – one-to-one fit all day.
No more pain in the ass trying to get them on properly, talking about the KD 9’s problem. Now you can stretch the ankle collar as much as you need.
Also, it goes without saying that the rest of the upper performed great as well. Those TPU threads add much needed support & foot containment without compromising comfort. Still, containment could be better as my feet felt slightly unsecure in the midfoot. More about this in the next topic.
To wrap things up on a high note, the KD 10 will fit wide footers without any problems. FINNALY! Wide footers should go with whatever your true size is due to stretchy materials and that “famous” longer forefoot. Now for regular/narrow footers I highly recommend going ½ a size down since you really want that tight to capitalize solid support.
STILL THE WEAKEST SPOT OF THE SHOE
The oversized lasing system looks very aggressive and gets the job done well. Unfortunately, it’s just not made for this shoe. Or I should say – it’s not made for this upper. That’s being the case, laces strongly pushes your foot downwards to create that nice connection with the shoe, but leaves some space on both sides for Flyknit to stretch out, causing sloppiness in the midfoot area. It isn’t a major turnoff for me, but they can make some problems for player who is all about the speed.
The internal heel counter performed perfectly – strong heel lockdown, no slippage problems at all. On top of that, the KD 10 has a really wide & flat base underneath which improves court feel, adds more stability for the whole structure and keeps your foot from rolling over the midsole.
The new lacing system was a really nice try to bring something new to the table, unfortunately, it felt short this time. But I’m not bad about that not even a bit. Yes, they could easily but KD 9’s lacing setup with Flywire cables and that would be a 100 times better. However, it’s all about innovations and finding stuff that works to create the ultimate basketball shoe for everyone. So not everything is going to work out of bat – sometimes it’s a hit or sometimes it’s a miss. One thing I know for sure, we’re going to the right direction.
First of all, it was a lot of fun testing these bad boys out – they really have that unique touch & feel despite the fact that they look similar to the KD 9’s ELITE version. With a few weaknesses in the support department, they really made a huge improvement over the KD 9 – wider silhouette, improved cushion setup and premium upper with pure Flyknit hits. At the end of the day, it’s an awesome sneaker for the right price nonetheless.
Of course, if you’re on a budget, then simply cop the KD 9 from Nike outlets or Finish Line. I just checked. They are actually on the sale right now at finish line for under $100 bucks. That’s your ultimate deal right there.
However, if you’re a huge KD fan or you think that the KD 10 offers what you need then grab them without any hesitation, especially if you missed out responsiveness & more solid cushioning in the last year’s model.
Looking forward to see how the elite version will look if it’s going to be one.
GET THEM NOW ON FINISH LINE (40$ OFF!)
Hope you enjoyed my Performance Review on the NIKE KD 10 “Still KD”. Did you cop them already?