The 35 Best Nike KD Releases In History
It’s hard to ignore all the chatter going on regarding Kevin Durant’s undecided allegiance to a sneaker brand. It’s still a tug-of-war of sorts between Nike and Under Armour, a brand that has rapidly emerged as a possible front-runner in the KD sweepstakes thanks to their deep pockets and DC headquarters. Nothing regarding Durant’s decision has been confirmed yet, although there are small tidbits of info that may or may not reveal what the defending NBA MVP has his heart set on. Regardless of whether Kevin re-ups with Nike or begins a new era at Under Armour, his tenure with the Swoosh has been a memorable one for many reasons – his sneakers being one of them.
The Nike KD signature line has evolved before our eyes, starting from a relatively bargain-priced selection to perhaps the most popular sig shoe on the planet. The recently unveiled KD 7 only added to the momentum, but soon enough we’ll discover if that forward movement comes to a complete halt or continues strong without skipping a beat. In any case, we’ve decided to take a look back at the Nike KD legacy and pick out the thirty-five best in history, in order since 2007. Check out the list below, and stay tuned to Sneaker News for the very latest developments on the KD saga.
Nike KD 1 “Sonics”
It lasted just one season, but Kevin Durant started his career in Seattle before the franchise switched to OKC. Nike released this Sonics colorway of the KD1, matching his Home jersey.
Nike KD 1 “OKC”
Once the switch was made, Nike introduced this OKC colorway of the KD 1 – one that would be a recurring theme throughout the entire KD line.
Nike KD 2 “Creamsicle”
This all-orange colorway of the KD 2 began the “Creamsicle” legend. What made this sneaker a topic of pop culture was that the entire OKC roster wore these during a nationally televised game.
Nike KD 2 “All-Star”
Durant’s first All-Star Game happened in Dallas, TX, rocking this sick red/black colorway of the KD 2. Despite the low retail price, the sneakers fetch a high amount – if you can find them in new condition.
Nike KD 2 “Scoring Title”
Durant’s scoring prowess became known when he won his first NBA Scoring Title in just his third year as an NBA pro. Nike dropped this limited edition colorway of the KD 2 honoring that fine achievement.
Nike KD 2 “Texas Longhorns”
This House of Hoops exclusive paid homage to Durant’s alma mater of Texas, featuring a Texas tongue label and the signature Longhorns colorway.
Nike KD 3 “Christmas”
Alongside the Kobe 6 and LeBron 8, this bright colorway of the KD 3 comprised the “Christmas” Pack of 2010.
Nike KD 3 “Scoring Title”
Two in a row for Kevin Durant, and Nike certainly paid attention to his second-straight scoring title with this sick colorway that KD wore during the Playoffs.
Nike KD 3 “EA Sports”
This limited edition release dropped exclusively at Nike Santa Monica. The EA Sports KD 3 was supposed to be scrapped because the NBA Elite ’11 game that was connected to the shoe was cancelled as a whole.
Nike KD 4 “Nerf”
The rare Nike Basketball collaboration. This Nerf pair nailed the playful inspiration and even came with a deluxe, nostalgia inducing package complete with the Nerf ball and hoop.
Nike KD 4 “Weatherman”
A small piece of trivia on an alternate career path became a permanent theme and one of Durant’s most sought after shoes. The “Weatherman” Nike KD 4 was a lockout special that immediately established the Nike KD 4 as a powerhouse.
Kevin Durant’s line celebrated that year’s zodiac flip with some wavy graphics for the strap, tongue, and lining and a mean “green abyss” colorway. Don’t forget that the YOTD look hit NIKEiD as well.
Nike KD 4 “BHM”
A dark base and some pixelated tribal graphics made the “Black History Month” KD 4 a hit. This was the first time he participated in the BHM theme and the best KD pair of that sort to date.
Nike KD 4 “Scoring Title”
Grabbing scoring titles has never been a problem for Kevin Durant. This time around his acquisition of that title manifested in the form of a yellow/blue pair with his stats showing on the tongue.
Nike KD 4 “Aunt Pearl”
Have a pair of all-pink sneakers ever been so coveted? The “”Aunt Pear” established a new tradition for Durant’s line featuring a feminine palette and a familial tribute.
Nike KD 4 “Rogue Green”
Nike KD 4 “Easter”
Pastel hits of aqua blue gave this holiday-inspired KD 4 a softer look, but this Easter-centric release was one of the meanest of the entire selection and arguably the best among the three signature shoes that dropped that weekend.
Nike KD 4 “N7”
Durant gives back to his community with the N7 project. For the Nike KD 4 this meant two different colorways that kicked funds back to Native Americans in a show of solidarity.
Nike KD 4 “Gold Medal”
Nike Basketball released a handful of pairs for the 2012 London Olympics that celebrated USAB’s gold medal performance. KD took the cake with this pair that turned up the gold part of the equation.
Nike KD 5 “All-Star”
A solid followup to the highpoint achieved by the previous year’s “All Star” entry. For the KD 5, the shoe went extraterrestrial and placed a spacy fade on the midsole piece.
What the KD 5
The “What the” equation first showed up on the KD 4, but that pair never made it to retail. It happened at last the next time around, and the What the KD 5 remains the toughest pair to grab of Durant’s fifth.
Nike KD 5 “BHM”
The Nike KD 5 “BHM” got quite a bit more graphic than the pair from the year prior. They were also deceptively flashy – the intricate graphics decorating the upper have a reflective sheen to them.
Nike KD 5 Elite “White/Gold”
The Hyperdunk was ditched and Kevin Durant made his way into Nike Basketball’s Elite circle. “Superheros” came first, but this pair managed a cleaner look thanks to its white/gold combination.
What The KD 6
The What The KD 6 served as a two-tier celebration for Kevin Durant, as he locked up another scoring title and his first MVP and the colorway was glorious enough to encompass both. Nearly every previous KD 6 release was referenced in the sneaker as 35 different details referenced what preceded this special release.
Nike KD 6 “Aunt Pearl”
KD’s tradition of honoring his late Aunt Pearl has always been a standout colorway for his signature. The nod received perhaps its best installment with the Nike KD 6 thanks to the culmination of pink floral graphics working with a bright blue on the tongue and medial side while a translucent pink outsole matched perfectly.
Nike KD 6 “Seat Pleasant”
Remember when the initial Seat Pleasant varieties featured a Lakers-centric Purple and Gold? That all changed when KD switched up the colors to a vibrant yellow and teal, but it was an unexpected turn to give the lead off colorway such a bright aesthetic. It blended perfectly with Nike’s Summer is Serious campaign at the time, and emphasized something that’s always been important to KD: home.
Nike KD 6 EXT “Floral”
KD’s always been tied to floral prints thanks to the Aunt Pearl releases, but the Floral EXT look branched out thanks to a Jacquard upper that featured a richer array of flowers for a casual look. Little details like an icy outsole and metal eyelets took this pair to the next level.
Nike KD 6 “DC Pre-Heat”
Honoring his Seat Pleasant roots weren’t enough, so Nike released the DC Pre-Heat colorway, one that had a satellite image of the DMV while all parts of the sneaker were exposed with a hypnotizing array of white lines that helped show off the flywire in red. Bright accents flanked the shoes in lime green and blue leaving fans upset that the sneaker was so limited.
Nike KD 6 “All-Star”
Nike’s Basketball Gumbo League paid tribute to the rich history of voodoo in the Creole South as the array of spectral lines were meant to be an “Illusion” of sorts. There was no mistaking the branding and soles glowed in the dark.
Nike KD 6 “Liger”
The Liger gave KD his own signature print, one that featured a bevy of animal patterns ranging from zebra, cheetah, and tiger skins in a colorway that was hard to miss thanks to green and blue gradients. Add in splashes of orange and this pair stood out on a sneaker that had so many patterned uppers it’s hard to remember them all.
fragment x Nike KD 6 Elite
When Hiroshi Fujiwara teams up with the Swoosh, it’s always something special. The same can be said for the Nike KD 6 “Fragment Design”, a pair that took the Elite iteration to task with premium suede uppers that stood out despite a simple colorway of blue, white, and grey simply based on the materials used.
Nike KD 7 “35K Degrees”
All of the initial releases of the KD 7 revolved around the theme of electricity, and the 35K degrees cleverly called out the temperature when lightning strikes an object with a vibrant scheme. Bright Mango lit up the upper allowing for a subtle grey to separate the volt outsole.
Nike KD 7 “Global Game”
Nike KD 7 “Easy Money”
The Easy Money’s inspiration is fairly obscure, as the colors hinted at the hues used in the new $100 bill. Benjamin Franklin, the man who discovered electricity, rests on the bill so the shoe still manages to fit into the initial releases of the KD 7’s over-lofting theme. A clean gum outsole contrasts from the brighter portions of the sneaker in a release slated for September 6th.