Who should buy the Nike KD 15

Given its strengths and weaknesses, the Nike KD 15 is apparently for the following:

  • basketball players who have narrow to normal-sized feet
  • hoopers who play mostly indoors


Who should NOT buy this basketball shoe from Nike

The Nike KD 15 is not for those who love to play outdoors. The rough asphalt and unforgiving concrete only put a lot of strain on the relatively soft outsole rubber. Outdoor players are better off using the Nike Cosmic Unity

Those with wide feet are also not expected to enjoy the KD 15 or any shoe from the KD line for that matter. Kevin Durant's feet, the obvious bases for the shoe's design, are known for being narrow. The Cosmic Unity is a good alternative. Other reasonable options are the Nike LeBron 19 and most of the shoes from LeBron James's multiple shoe lines with Nike.


The KD 15 offers a great bite anytime, anywhere

An expert reviewer happily reports that the 15th KD signature shoe from Nike is "gripping super well" on different surfaces.


Another says further that dust pickup is "not that much of a problem," and that a little to no wiping is necessary to maintain the outsole's beastly grip.

Many experts and basketball enthusiasts say that this shoe has really good traction. One of them even says that this has a "ton of grip" on the indoor hardwood and the rougher outdoor courts.

Not the best bet for outdoors

Outdoor use of the KD 15 is not recommended because there is not that much rubber in the outsole. This means that the sturdiness and overall quality of the outsole rubber compound are questionable.

Fact check

We measured outsole thickness at 4.2 mm which is actually thicker than on some of the other Nike basketball shoes, like the Cosmic Unity 2 (3.0 mm). The latter is actually considered to be OK for outdoors. Thus, the KD 15 may not be such a disaster if you play outdoors occasionally.


Fact check

We also tested how stiff the rubber is. It turns out to be on the firmer side actually, which is also a good sign for durability. Softer shoes tend to be grippier but don't last as long.


Disclaimer: We take the durometer measurement 5 times to ensure accuracy.

Totally breathable figure-hugging upper

Straight out of the box, players observe that the Nike KD 15 feels a bit softer than the KD 14 and that it needs very little to no break-in time.


The 15's upper generally feels minimal and is able to conform well to the shape of the foot. Because of this, comfort and a good deal of breathability are ensured.

Fact check

However, as you can see, the smoke is only coming through the tongue area of the shoe. There is not much ventilation happening in the toebox.

Underfoot comfort is a priority for the Nike KD 15

Compared to the Nike KD 14, players feel that the 15 has more cushioning, so impact protection is also more pronounced. The harshness of aggressive heel strikes and hard landings are mitigated, so pain is not felt by them.

Fact check

The heel stack of the KD 15 is 26.7 mm, while the forefoot is 20.5 mm. This is right at the average of our lab-tested basketball shoes. So, there is indeed a good amount of cushioning.


Disclaimer: We also measure the midsole stack with the insole included.

At 5.1 mm, the insole on the KD 15 is thicker than the average (4.2 mm) which definitely contributes to underfoot protection and comfort.


Bounce is pronounced

An expert lauds Nike for coming up with an efficient design for the midsole. He says, as confirmed by two more experts, that the whole midsole setup delivers more spring back.

One of those who agreed feels "super bouncy and responsive" while wearing this KD shoe. He says that it's because of the Nike Strobel, and there is "nothing like it in the market today."

One of the factors that contribute to the bouncy experience is the cushioning softness.

Fact check

Having checked the shoe's midsole with a durometer, we discovered that it is softer than many other Nike shoes. It is 9% softer than the average


Not so flexible

The KD 15 has got to be one of the stiffest basketball shoes ever produced by Nike.

Fact check

Based on our flexibility measurement, it is 12% stiffer than our lab-tested basketball shoes on average.

Support is not a problem with the 15th KD

An expert admits that support is not the best initially. Fortunately, the cushion eventually softens so some material comes up the sides of the foot, hugging it so it stays in place. The laces are also secure and well-mounted enough to keep the shoe securely on even during aggressive movements.

But what caught the reviewers' attention is the conclave-shaped heel counter of the KD 15. According to one expert, it is a "super ergonomic and anatomic design element."


What it does is allow the foot to sit back into the shoe, locking it securely even if the collar isn't that high to cover a good part of the ankle.

Comfortable for non-wide-footers

The minimal-feeling upper delivers comfort only to those whose feet are not wide. Though an expert is surprised that the KD 15 is "a lot roomier than the previous KDs", it is still on the narrower side.


Wide-footers are advised to make size adjustments or just avoid this KD shoe altogether.

The Nike KD 15 FEELS light

An expert feels that this Kevin Durant shoe is "more streamlined" and "much quicker," making him conclude that Nike is able to make an "absolute home run" with this one. Another reviewer seems to agree, and he says that indeed, the Nike KD 15 "feels like the lightest KD ever" even if it is not what the shoe's actual weight shows.

The KD 15 is at 12.6 oz (357 g), which is way above the average weight of Nike KD shoes which we peg at 12.1 oz (344 g). It is also 20-22 g heavier than the Nike Cosmic Unity 2 and the Air Deldon.

Complete lab-specs overview


  Nike KD 15 Average
Whole shoe
Weight (g) 375 360
Drop (mm) 6.2 6.9
Flexibility of the shoe (N) 62.2 54.9
Flexibility of the shoe (Freezer 20 min) (N) 77.9 77.8
Flexibility of the shoe (% of change) 25.2 43.4
Longitudinal flexibility (1-5 scale, 5 being the stiffest) 4 4.2
Torsional flexibility (1-5 scale, 5 being the stiffest) 5 4.5
Thickness - Tongue (mm) 10.0 9.8
Width Upper - Forefoot (mm) 97.0 97.5
Width Upper - Heel (mm) 82.0 77.0
Flexibility of the heel counter (1-5 scale, 5 being the stiffest) 4 4.3
Tongue: gusset type both sides (semi-gusseted) -
Heel: pull tab finger loop -
Width Midsole - Forefoot (mm) 107.8 109.5
Width Midsole - Heel (mm) 91.4 86.7
Stack - Forefoot with insole (mm) 20.5 20.5
Stack - Heel with insole (mm) 26.7 27.5
Durometer Midsole Heel (Room temperature) (HA) 24.5 26.9
Durometer Midsole - Heel (Freezer 20 minutes) 35.5 39.3
Durometer Midsole - Heel (% of change) (TEST) 44.9 46.0
Outsole thickness (Heel) (mm) 4.1 3.5
Durometer Outsole Heel (Room temperature) (HC) 83.0 81.4
Insole Heel Thickness (mm) 5.1 4.2
Insole: removable yes -

Facts / Specs

Weight: 12.6oz
Top: Low
Signature: Kevin Durant
Lockdown: Lace-Up
Collection: Nike Kd
Colorways: Green / Black / Red / Pink / Grey / White / Blue / Gold / Brown
SKUs: DC1975003 / DC1975005 / DC1975700 / DO9825900 / DO9825902 / DO9826001 / DO9826100 / DQ3851600 / DV1199100 / DV1682900

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Dimitrije Curcic
Dimitrije Curcic

Dimitrije Curcic has been playing basketball for over 22 years. Like Manu Ginobili, he’s a left-hander whose moves led him to a better career-shooting percentage than the Argentine himself. After playing professionally for 10 years, Dimitrije moved to coaching for two seasons before he became a basketball statistician for StatScore, and FanSided contributor for the San Antonio Spurs. Dimitrije loves to tell hoop stories through numbers and graphics and has been featured on Fansided, FiveThirtyEight, Eurohoops, and TalkBasket among the others.