June 13, 2012 BY John Kim
The prices of sneakers have risen to amazing heights over the last two years, with Nike making a courageous effort to tag a shoe with a $250 asking price in the LeBron 9 Elite. So what could we expect with a shoe roughly a third of that price? Nike proved that at a low-tier pricepoint, an amazing shoe could be made – just look toward the KD IV, which has become the defining sleeper hit of the year. Working closely with Kevin Durant, designer Leo Chang created the Nike Zoom KD IV using the all-new Adaptive Fit lockdown system on a low-cut construction and a fore-foot Zoom-padded outsole, giving the shoe some design appeal with the strap and pointed tongue, but what really lit the spark were the introductory high-energy colorways in the ‘Nerf’ and ‘Weatherman’. What followed was a continual string of sure-fire hits like the ‘Galaxy’, ‘Easter’, the N7 release, and Nike iD, and quickly the Zoom KD IV rose to becoming the ‘it’ shoe for the first-half of 2012.
The success of the KD IV has Durant’s signature line on unfamiliar ground – that is, because the expectations are astoundingly high. Quite frankly, the Zoom KD III didn’t make that much noise and the exciting releases were rather limited, so the KD IV’s popularity arrived so suddenly simply because it didn’t rank too high on the list of must-watch items on our radar. Fortunately for KD, Leo, and Nike, there’s a mounting anticipation around the Nike Zoom KD V and the expectations are much higher, and this first look at a catalog shot shows that the Zoom KD isn’t just a ‘bargain’ purchase, but a headlining release.
Some details worth pointing out: Obviously, the lack of the strap is the most daunting feature (or subtraction), but the addition of visible Max Air on the heel, a pronounced heel counter, a rising ankle peak (note the heel is still relatively low), and a unique tongue construction and lacing system. The overall profile of the shoe can be compared to Nike’s current non-signature flagship models like the Hyperdunk and Hyperfuse, and it certainly draws comparisons to Durant’s physical build – slender yet sleek. Of course, this catalog shot isn’t enough to lay down a verdict, but expect more in every definition of the word as the Zoom KD is slated to break the $100 barrier with some interesting structural advances. Your thoughts? The Zoom KD IV saga isn’t quite over yet, but let us know what you think of this first look at the next KD shoe, and stay tuned to Sneaker News for more. Photos: infam0usP on NT
Nike Zoom KD V