Summary

We spent 7.7 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what basketball players think:

9 reasons to buy

  • Most users advise new buyers to purchase the Nike KD 9 Elite as it is a premium and a better version of the previous release, but it’s still sold at the same price.
  • Plenty of buyers say they enjoy the colorways of the shoe model because they correspond so well to their personal styles.
  • A lot of shoe owners appreciate the no-crease Flyknit technology on the upper of the Nike KD 9 Elite. Other shoes from such as the KT 4 from Chinese brand Anta and the Curry 6 from the celebrated Warrior's Under Armour line have similar knit uppers.
  • Many wearers recommend this shoe for shooting guards because of how flexible and lightweight it is. The same recommendation goes for Nike's third Paul George shoe.
  • Numerous owners value the sophistication of the Flywire and how it is set up.
  • The rubber outsole with visible compressed Zoom Air technology is hailed by a large number of purchasers as an important aesthetic highlight of the shoe.
  • Reviewers are happy with the low-to-the-ground feel of the Nike KD 9 Elite.
  • A good number of testers mention that they do not experience side-to-side movements when they wear these Kevin Durant basketball shoes.
  • The holographic Swoosh of the KD 9 Elite attracts many buyers.

5 reasons not to buy

  • Although a sufficient number of reviewers mention that the shoe has nice traction, they don’t advise to use it on dusty courts because it may become slippery. It is also hard to clean.
  • Some shoe owners imply that the connector between the forefoot outsole and the full-length Zoom outsole can break and rupture the Zoom bag.
  • Most of the reviewers emphasize that the shoe model is for narrow-footed wearers only.
  • A few users complain about the itchiness of the material in the higher part of the upper.
  • Testers do not recommend these Nike basketball shoes for outdoor play. They claim that the outsole rubber easily wears out.

Bottom line

The Nike KD 9 Elite is considered a luxury item despite its regular price. If the shoe will be used for playing as a shooting or point guard, this is perfect. The flexibility, comfortability, and lockdown of the shoe is a total rave.

The Flyknit technology on the upper provides a high level of breathability and lightness to the forefoot. The Flywire lacing technology promises support and stability. Finally, an attractive compression sleeve hugging the ankles of this shoe makes it hard to let pass.

Facts

Base model: Nike KD 9
Top: Mid
Signature: Kevin Durant
Lockdown: Lace-Up, Slip-On
Price: $150
Weight: 11.3oz
Colorways: Black, Grey
Size
Small True to size Large
See more facts

Expert Reviews

Experts are basketball players, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

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83 / 100 based on 10 expert reviews

  • 80 / 100 | The Sole Brothers | | Level 5 expert

    For $150, it’s a great shoe. But it’s a very specific shoe. This is not at the very top of my rotation. But it’s a great performer. Good impact protection.

  • 70 / 100 | Seth Fowler | Level 4 expert

    Overall, it is a solid sneaker, a solid basketball performer and it doesn’t look too bad.

  • 85 / 100 | BasketballDiagnostics | | Level 5 expert

    The Nike KD 9 ELITE is a great performing sneaker if you have a right type of foot.

  • 80 / 100 | LiveforBball | | Level 5 expert

    The only clear improvement that’s made from the regular version is the shoes are now much easier to put on. The back material lets you put it on without trouble, unlike the regular stiff foam-backed mesh back on the standard KD 9.

  • 85 / 100 | WearTesters | | Level 4 expert

    The traction, cushion and materials all bring out the best of Nike’s technology, and the KD 9 Elites best feature is that it’s a shoe that can provide high level performance for all players and play styles.

  • 92 / 100 | Andrew LaBrecque | Level 3 expert

    It kind of just depends on your personality if you're one of those people who has to have the newest things, you want the Elite Series, this is a good look for you, guys. The shoe looks dope.

Become an expert

Kevin Durant and Nike signed a ten-year deal to extend Durant’s expiring seven-year contract that is worth $60 million. The current deal is reportedly worth as much as $300 million, including a $50 million retirement package. Nike has always been Durant’s favorite shoe brand, and he had turned down larger offers from both Adidas Basketball and Under Armour Hooping Division.

Shoe designer Leo Chang’s friendship with Durant resulted in designs that are tailored to the player’s needs on and off court. After the Nike KD 9, the Nike KD 9 Elite is the second shoe model under Kevin Durant’s name to have the Flyknit technology on them. The current version also has the Flywire technology for added support, neoprene for the extended ankle sleeve, phylon for the midsole, and a tapered Zoom Air technology for the outsole.

Cushion. The responsiveness of the Nike KD 9 Elite comes from the phylon in the midsole. It has been considered by Nike as a go-to material for most of their shoe models. It is lightweight and low profile. It is made of ethylene vinyl acetate that is processed using the compression molding technique.

Just beneath the phylon is the full-length Zoom technology with a vertical division in the forefoot. Zoom allows for better transitions and mobility. As with phylon, the Zoom cushioning is light, and it promises a bouncy explosive feel. The compressed plastic of the Zoom technology contains synthetic fibers that bring the feet closer to the ground.

Traction. On the outsole, the Nike KD Elite 9 features a multidirectional honeycomb pattern that is said to be a top-tier performer when it comes to tractions. Its translucent, soft, and pliable rubber compound on the sole is not only visually appealing but also built to enhance grip on a variety of surfaces.

Length and Width. The Nike KD Elite 9 comes only in men’s sizes. The versions for men come in sizes 7.5 to 15. The design of the shoe is for wearers with narrow feet. According to wearers, it is not true to size both in terms of length and width. If the wearer’s foot is from quite narrow to normal width, going for half a size bigger will do.

Lockdown. The Flyknit technology on the upper of the KD Elite 9 fits like a glove from the toe to the midfoot. It is significantly soft, thin, and breathable. The lockdown system applied is the Flywire with 5 eyelets. Flywire is made of vectran or nylon, and it aims to minimize the weight of the shoe while maximizing support especially in the forefoot and heel. The laces are designed to wrap around the ankle to provide lockdown, resulting in a dynamic support and containment. To eliminate any possible slippage, the top wires are designed to be pulled to secure the ankle area of the player.

This Kevin Durant signature shoe is a first with a three-quarter high silhouette and a Flyknit construction on the upper, and it provides an ample amount of support and flexibility. The extended ankle area is made of stretchable neoprene. Neoprene is made of artificial rubbers that deliver stability and flexibility, regardless of temperature changes. This material makes it easier for the foot to slip in and out of the shoe, giving the wearer a pliable and more free-flowing experience.

The Nike KD 9 Elite comes in different colorways that range from light to dark hues. On both sides of the shoe is the prestigious Nike Swoosh. The shade of the logo differs depending on the colorway.

The Flyknit technology eliminates the possibility of creasing. The strong woven fabric on the upper screams flexibility, breathability, and comfort. The toe box has a soft texture and fabric holding to the foot. The shoe is a one-piece construction with a Flywire system. The laces come in different colors depending on the colorway.

The name of Kevin Durant is printed on a faux suede tag on the top of the tongue. The back area has a neoprene collar that is accented by the same suede, but this time featuring Durant’s jersey number 35. Below it is the Kevin Durant logo in neon green. On the heel counter is Kevin Durant’s engraved signature. Lastly, the insole is neon green with Kevin Durant’s signature in bright orange.

The Nike KD 9 Elite were released in these colorways:

  • Nike KD 9 Elite Hyper Orange. The KD 9 Elite in the Hyper Orange colorway comes with a white midsole, orange Flywire cables, and an orange Zoom cushion. It also has a black rear panel and an Oreo-like forefoot.
  • Nike KD 9 Elite Ivory. One of the few colorways to have a gum rubber outsole, these elite Kevin Durant basketball shoes come with an ivory, pale grey, and sail upper.
  • Nike KD 9 Elite Multicolor. The forefoot of this Nike KD 9 Elite is bathed in rainbow colors. This multicolor shoe comes with a black rear panel and a volt Zoom cushioning.
  • Nike KD 9 Elite Racer Pink. The Racer Pink colorway of the elite version of the KD 9 has a predominantly pink upper, white midsole, and multicolored forefoot.

Aside from these releases, the Nike KD 9 Elite also comes in special storied colorways. Some are listed below:

Nike KD 9 Elite Aunt Pearl

Kevin Durant is so dedicated to his Aunt Pearl that every shoe that he has, including July 2018’s KD 11, is released in a special colorway that references her.  Also known as the Pink Dust, the Aunt Pearl colorway of the KD 9 Elite has a light pink upper with dust accents on the shoelace, Swoosh logo, and Zoom cushion.

Nike KD 9 Elite Flip the Switch

The colorway is inspired by Kevin Durant’s triumph against his injuries, which failed to deter him from reaching his goals. The Flip the Switch colorway has a mostly black upper with an Oreo-like forefoot. It has a gold Swoosh and other gold accents.

Nike KD 9 Elite Golden State Warriors PE

Of course, the Kevin Durant signature Nike shoe collection will not be complete without a player exclusive for his beloved team. This two-tone shoe is majorly blue with golden yellow accents on the Swoosh, KD logo, Zoom cushion, and forefoot.

Nike KD 9 Elite Time to Shine

Worn by Nike-sponsored schools in the NCAA tournament, the Time to Shine colorway comes with a dark grey Flyknit upper and a red Zoom cushion.

Comparison