Kevin Durant goes 'California Casual' with new signature sneaker KD 11
ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 13, 2018 06:56 PM
The KD 11 aims to be the perfect merger of a laid-back chill sneaker and performance basketball shoe.
Kevin Durant may have coined the term 'unicorn' to refer to the 7'3" Kristaps Porzingis, after the Latvian's guard-like skillset and finesse on the court, but KD himself may be a unicorn with his same agility and height.
So for the now two-time NBA champion and Finals MVP, his signature shoe should be excellent on one important aspect: comfort.
Containing such a generational player asks a lot in the design of a shoe, but, as the KD 11, his newest sneaker will show, it's totally possible.
KD's 11th signature shoe retains his favorite responsive cushioning, Zoom Air, and marries it with Nike’s latest foam, the React technology, for a perfect balance of broken-in comfort and bounce.
Basically, it's the perfect merger of a laid-back chill sneaker and performance basketball equipment.
The idea comes from Durant’s preference for comfort: He wants a broken-in feel.
He has said that he doesn’t tie his laces too tight, so his coziness quotient lies somewhere between a sock and a lightweight runner, bared Nike.
With that in mind, and the challenge of translating it through the more traditionally substantial basketball shoe, designer Leo Chang had the task to find technologies that would match the feel KD was after.
“For the tooling, we’ve created a perfect balance of plush ride and bounce,” explained Chang. “This doesn’t always happen; it really needs two materials to make it work.”
The shoe itself has a rubber cup sole that houses the brand's React and Zoom cushions.
The former is the barrier between court and body, while the latter sits just under the foot to provide response.
A key component in the resulting system was identifying the correct thickness for the foam element, which Chang notes is taller than in typical basketball shoes.
This would satiate 20-year-old Durant’s desire to ball all day and is simultaneously now well suited to 29-year-old Durant’s current approach to playing and training.
On the KD11, the third consecutive KD signature to feature Flyknit tech gets a little more plush, a little more “broken-in” and a thus a lot softer.
You could describe the KD11 as California casual. Or simply acknowledge it as the ultimate merger of laid-back chill shoe and performance basketball equipment.
The KD11 will be available in June and July in the Paranoid (blue) and Still KD (black/white) colorways.