Nike has officially unveiled Kevin Durant’s latest signature sneaker, the KD 12. The brand is calling the shoe its most technically advanced sneaker to date, featuring a full length Nike Air Zoom cushioning stitched directly into the upper—a first for Nike Basketball. This new design allows the foot to be closer to the air bag for responsive play, which should provide the broken-in feel Durant desires from the first time he puts on the sneaker.
A lightweight, flexible upper is interlaced with four-way directional Flywire cables to provide targeted stability and on-the-fly lockdown. The cables relax when the foot is not in motion but engage when needed. With movement, the cables go to work, locking the foot over the responsive, bouncy foot bed. Lightweight, multilayer mesh upper uses minimal backing material for less stiffness and provides a broken-in feel. A flyknit-constructed tongue covers the top foot in comfort and adds loft while padding around the collar hugs the ankle to provide stability.
“He loved lows but he has had problems popping out of his shoes a lot,” said Leo Chang, lead designer at Nike Basketball, on a conference call. “He wants to be locked in and we wanted to make sure he stays in the shoe. The sneaker is a little bit higher than normal.”
The first colorway of the sneaker, is called ’90s Kid—which is inspired by Nike’s ’90s era which experimented with colors such as neon/volt green and splattered sneakers. Chang explained that Durant, as a millennial, loves and has respect for the ’90s era.
“We wanted to showcase everything from that era, from basketball, shoes, and music,” said Chang. “We wanted the shoe to revolve around the principles from some of the Nike products from the ’90s. We put a mix on the products and put a modern twist on it.”
For inspiration, Durant spoke to Chang about some of his favorite sneakers growing up from Nike pitchmen Charles Barkley, Penny Hardaway and Michael Jordan. He wanted to catch the essence of the ’90s.
“He is not like Kobe, who wanted to be consistent with his shoes,” says Chang. “He wanted to push us to change and create a new aesthetic to switch it up.”
Durant started to test the sneaker out in October and will debut them on Saturday, when the Warriors play the Thunder. He is slated to wear a PE colorway.
The ’90s Kid colorway releases on April 1 and the black and white colorway is slated to release April 6. The sneakers will sell for $150.