Only three NBA athletes have had their signature sneakers extended to 15 models while their career was still ongoing: Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and now Kevin Durant. As the Brooklyn Nets superstar nears the end of his 15th season in the NBA, Nike is has unveiled the 15th iteration of his signature shoe, the KD15 “Beginnings.”
New “beginnings” — Nearly two years in the making, the sneaker moves forward with new technology and a dark but still fun color palette. Durant opted for a lower silhouette than the KD14 with its multi-layer upper with midfoot strap. The strap is now gone with a lower cut enabling a broader range of motion. Sky blue accents break up the primarily black sneaker, as does a graphic tongue with “KD” branding and pale yellow Swoosh.
Starting at the rear, the designers crafted a heel component that uses a 3D-molded technology to fit better on your heel and keep your foot contained. Although the sneaker’s materials are designed to be flexible, its caging system is still there to ensure a snug fit. The upper’s layers are kept lightweight for comfort, but also to provide better ankle mobility and less restriction. Risa Beck, Nike Basketball footwear color designer, said in a release that Durant wanted the KD15’s initial color scheme to emulate the ocean’s serenity as well as older Nike basketball models such as the 2001 Jet Flight.
Down below, a cushioned midsole and Zoom Air Strobel footbed give power and energy return to make sure its performance capabilities last throughout the game. “It’s one of the only models in our line that has full underfoot cushioning that is directly under the foot,” said Kreig Hozalski, Nike Basketball footwear technical developer. Further boosting on-court performance is an outsole fitted with a multi-directional, computer-generated grip pattern that allows for clean execution of any quick pivots or jumps on the hardwood.
A man of the arts — Given that Durant was heavily involved with the making of the sneaker, he wanted the shoe to be a reflection of his capabilities and philosophies. He added his jersey number along the edge of the outsole, a “Quality inspired by Kevin Durant” message, and an “Easy Money” logo on the heel tag. The graphics on the tongue are also a nod to his love of music, visual arts, and basketball. Behind the tongue tags are more illustrations depicting a happy star and a hamburger monster eating a basketball.
Durant’s KD15 will release sometime this summer for $160 via Nike and select retailers. While Durant’s priorities are still focused on making on-court performance shoes, the KD15 may still be an attractive choice for off the court as well.