20 Years Of Nike Basketball Design: Zoom KD IV (2011)
Nike Basketball’s sensational trio of signature athletes has to get some recognition as part of its 20 Year Retrospective, right? Kevin Durant’s meteoric rise to superstardom is all substance and no filler – an organic humility that designer Leo Chang transferred over to the Nike Zoom KD IV; Chang describes the design of of the KD IV as a “shoe that’s stripped down to his essence – nothing less, nothing more”, so as he heard Durant’s demands of a shoe that’s “light and tight”, Adaptive Fit was created to the lower-cut build, allowing KD to adjust the tightness to his own liking and essentially making the KD IV an all-positions, all-skill shoe. The details in the shoe are worth noting as well, as the many ‘easter eggs’ carved into the design pay tribute to some special figures in KD’s life. More of the KD IV below, so stay tuned for the next and final installment of Nike Basketball: 1992-2012!
“It’s about simply communicating the features of the shoe — everything has a purpose.”- Leo Chang
The signature shoe needs to reflect the athlete’s personality as well as his or her needs. Kevin Durant’s KD line has to encapsulate his remarkable versatility as well as his humble nature — confident without cockiness — resulting in designs made for all-around play and a complete range of motion. The Nike Zoom KD IV’s lead designer Leo Chang has worked with Durant since the start and sums up this shoe as “A shoe that’s stripped down to his essence — nothing more, nothing less.”
Nike is keeping pace with Kevin’s career with an evolving range of shoes that cater to him as he becomes increasingly more powerful and adds new skills to his arsenal. The Nike Zoom KD IV coincided with Durant’s new achievements and MVP status. Kevin’s main needs are simple, though. In an exchange with Leo, Durant exclaimed, “I want it light and I want it tight to my foot. That’s the key thing. Light and tight!”
As part of a silhouette that’s lower than before to give Kevin some extra freedom, versatile lockdown is embodied in the Nike Zoom KD IV’s key feature, the Adaptive Fit strap. Despite Durant’s request to go strap-free for this shoe, one glimpse at Leo’s design elicited a positive response. Functionally, the Adaptive Fit strap conforms to the arch, an area where KD has asked for added support because his arch is flatter.
There’s personal stories told in the Nike Zoom KD IV too. The detailing commemorates Kevin’s relationship with his family, his first coach, Big Chucky, D.C. and his home city, Seat Pleasant, Md. The Nike Zoom KD IV is a shoe that matches the identity of its namesake — perhaps it’s slightly unassuming, but it has earned the right to be mentioned along the game’s greats.