Nike Designer Breaks Down Kevin Durant’s New KD 11

Having just secured a second straight NBA Championship with the Golden State Warriors, it’s safe to say Kevin Durant is living the good life right now. The ‘Slim Reaper’ is probably enjoying his offseason downtime, but we wouldn’t be surprised if he’s kept his KD 11s on foot.

Described by Nike as the ‘ultimate merger of laid-back chill shoe and performance basketball equipment’, the upcoming signature model has Durant’s lofty comfort standards at heart. As Nike explains:

He wants a broken-in feel. He has said that he doesn’t tie his laces too tight, so his cosiness quotient lies somewhere between a sock and a lightweight runner. With this in mind (and specifically with the challenge of translating it through the more traditionally substantial basketball shoe), designer Leo Chang wondered what new technologies would match the feel KD was after?

‘For the tooling, we’ve created a perfect balance of plush ride and bounce,’ explains Chang. ‘This doesn’t always happen; it really needs two materials to make it work.’

The two materials Chang is referring to are the Nike React foam and Nike Zoom Air housed within the rubber cup sole. The React acts as cushioning between court and the shoe, while the Zoom sits under providing response.

For the upper, the Flyknit construction been made plusher, a little more ‘broken-in’ and a thus a lot softer.

‘He likes the feel of the Flyknit Trainer and the Nike Epic React,’ says Chang. ‘Last summer, he loved the Air Sock Racer — that is where the collar of the 11 came from, and all the lofting in the tongue and quarter followed.’

The Nike KD 11 will be available in ‘Paranoid’ (blue) and ‘Still KD’ (black/white) colourways from European retailers like Foot Locker on June 17 and 18. A worldwide release date will follow shortly after, possibly in July.