Nike has really teased us with the KD 12 last year of what we can except for the upcoming feature. That time has come. The Nike KD 13 is finally out for the consumers. And I’m ready to drop my thoughts about these potential bad boys.
I agree the silhouette is something that they could have done better. But that tech sheet is looking like 15-16 Warriors rooster – stacked.
WEIGHT: 408 g. / 14.39 oz (size 11.5)
TECH: ZOOM AIR
FIT: TRUE TO SIZE
RETAIL PRICE: $150
BD RATING: 8.1/10
Last year’s model let us know that the Quad Axial Flyknit contraption implemented inside two-layered mesh tooling is surely something worth ending up on one of the most popular signature sneakers. Yeah, for the most it’s more of marketing a fancy name than the actual product being ground-breaking. But I’m not a marketing specialist. I care about how the stuff works. And that Fyknit thing did vastly complement my whole KD 12 experience.
Keeping parts that do their job great while upgrading things that didn’t make a lot of sense, right?. Unfortunately, not for Nike in this case.
So they must go back to using Flyknit, am I right? Nope. The KD 13 does feature a full-length textile. The one you can find on most budget-friendly models or on the latest Kyrie Kybrid S2 if that makes you feel better. Well, it should.
Exactly like in the Kyrie Kybrid S2’s, I didn’t feel anything that would bother me or I would miss as far as comfort goes. The break-in process will take longer due to this type of tooling (approximately it took for me a week or so). But after all set and done, you should end up with quite pliable upper, and close to your foot sensation. A traditionally narrow construction definitely made it easier to get a more precise fit even with lowe tear materials.
Thank God Nike did not turn its back on easily the most mind-blowing Zoom Air tooling ever made. That full-length Zoom Air setup boosted by an extra standard Air pillow shall not be touched! But can be tweaked. That’s exactly what they did in the KD13.
The heel section was limited to full-length Zoom Air with a relatively fat chunk of foam underneath. While that additional Zoom unit ended up taking its place in the forefoot. Now that’s how you successfully execute an upgrade. Not taking away stuff like in the Zoom Freak 2.
The KD 13 takes that already freaking amazing cushion setup and bumps it a notch higher. It puts a huge smile every time I lace them up for a run. These things are crazy. Not crazy crazy as the LeBron 17. But damn close more than ever before.
Straight out of the box, the midsole gives you that sensational feel of bounce which does not feel sluggish or any of that nature. It was the opposite. Despite the forefoot being fully loaded with cushioning, I did feel fast, responsive, and forefoot agile.
The main traction pattern for the KD 13 takes heavy inspiration from the PG 3’s outsole. The same could be said about its performance – straight-up glue. On any day of the weak. On any surface. With every move you make. It’s money. Cha-ching…
Right in the toe section, you do have some octopus tentacle-like nubs that are here to help improve upon both vertical and horizontal moves or stops.
More so, a widely spaced pattern creates areas for dust to channel through – keeping the KD 13 from becoming ice skates once dust is present. Little to no wiping is required.
Rubber is fairly rigid so they should hold their own once taken outdoors. But knowing this is a modern performance model, you shouldn’t expect them to last more than a season.
The KD 13 follows it’s deep roots for having a quite narrow construction, mainly going from the midfoot to toe box. Therefore, the most optimal option for true wide footers would be going half a size up. Opting for a whole size up might leave you with too much extra space up in front. Whereas for others going true to size should do the trick just fine.
As I mentioned at the beginning, you do get that sophisticating fit after a short break-in period. But it far from perfect nonetheless.
There’re a few issues that I did experience and think worth mentioning. Heat is one of them. It’s something that won’t make you take off a shoe. But after putting in some intense or long hours in them it does hit you. The other one has to do with support. Read on.
I did have some love/hate relationship when things go about support. You can literally cut the shoe in half, and it would be like night and day.
Then heel portion, even without adequately expressed heel sculpting and lackluster heel padding, has managed to offer really solid heel lockdown. Those wings on the sides in conjunction with heavy midsole overlay around the sides do a great job pushing the whole foot back once laces are cranked up. No errors there.
The front end is where that cheaper materials hit you in your face. Or I should say make things loose upon lateral moves.
This is the exact same disease inherited from the KD 12. Only the difference is that Quad Axial flyknit tooling was able to keep it under control better than things are in the successor.
Like in the predecessor, the KD 13 does not feature an outrigger. Add this to already containment lacking midfoot, and you will end up with a point short of slipping out of footbed type of sensation in intense moments.
That didn’t happen to me. But I see more explosive players making it happen.
The sickest cushion setup in the Zoom Air family is the only aspect KD 13 is winning over its predecessor.
Killer multi-surface traction – 12 got it. More containment-based upper materials – 12 got it. Still, one of the most impact protection/bounce loaded cushioning – 12 got it. Lower price tag – yep, 12 got it.
I can only see spot-up shooters or paint protectors who don’t do some extreme court movements actually enjoying the heck out of the 13. That’s quite a hit for me, and I know for quite some of you too. But hey, them 12’s are still easy to cop.