Check out Dribble Media’s Nike KD 15 performance review below.
Recent news revealed that the drama surrounding Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant has finally ended. This was after the 12-time All-Star and his agent, Rich Kleiman, met with Nets head coach Steve Nash and team owners, Joe Tsai and Clara Wu Tsai, to move forward together, rescinding the superstar’s trade request.
The 2013-14 MVP will banner the black jerseys of Brooklyn in the upcoming season while donning his latest signature sneaker, the Nike KD 15, which the 33-year-old forward debuted during the 2022 NBA playoffs.
As Durant’s latest signature pair gains more attention, people also have to see what it can actually do on the hard court. With that said, Dribble Media brings you the Nike KD 15 performance review.
The mesh material of the Nike KD 15 offers better breathability than the Nike KD14.
The Nike KD 15 is infused with mesh material which supersedes its predecessor when it comes to ventilation. While the Nike KD14 boasted a thick mesh upper which amasses plenty of heat, the KD 15 offers a soft yet durable upper that provides better breathability and airflow.
In addition, the tongue is infused with perforated mesh screen to ensure the pair’s top-tier ventilation. The KD 15 doesn’t accumulate heat, bringing a higher level of comfort when you play.
Moreover, after the successful return of the strap in the Nike KD 14, Nike opted not to bring back that design to the latest KD shoes. Instead, they leaned on implementing a new design without compromising the pair’s performance.
The Nike KD 15’s mid portion is caged with TPU to bolster its lockdown, containment, and stability. The Nike KD 15’s appearance is a bit similar to the Nike Air Presto, though it does not actually give any nod to the latter.
Lastly, the heel counter is infused with nubuck material. While it is primarily for aesthetic purposes, its unique shape has a very crucial function for the shoe, which will be discussed later on.
The Nike KD 15’s traction is an absolute beast on the court.
The Nike KD 15’s solid rubber outsole is infused with omnidirectional traction pattern, which is very aggressive and grippy whether playing indoors or in blacktops. Regardless of the direction — dashing forward, backpedalling, or doing lateral movements — there won’t be any issues.
In addition, the omnidirectional traction pattern is not too narrow, in fact, the lines are wide enough to prevent dust and dirt from accumulating. Thus, even on a dusty surface, the Nike KD 15’s traction is still at best condition.
Furthermore, the outsole’s soft and pliable rubber compound is durable enough to last longer even on rough surface. However, if there is even an ounce of doubt when it comes to the outsole’s durability, especially if the player’s usual routine is playing outdoors, then the EP version is the best choice.
Another key feature of the Nike KD 15 is the perforated outsole. The KD 15’s perforated outsole adds compression, giving the rubber more room to stretch so it will not be worn out overtime.
CUSHION AND SUPPORT
The Nike KD 15 boasts one feature that other basketball shoes may lack: an Achilles tendon support.
In 2019, Durant, who was then part of the Golden State Warriors, sustained an Achilles injury which jeopardized the team’s chances to win another ring. The two-time NBA champion was able to return at full strength, but the risk of sustaining another Achilles injury may always be there.
Thus, it makes much sense that Nike developed a feature to the KD 15 that provides support to the Achilles tendon. This explains the curve-shaped space on the heel counter in the interior. The drawback of this innovation is it compromises this KD 15’s heel lockdown and stability, an issue that could also be experienced with Nike PG 4 and Adidas D.O.N Issue 3.
In return, the Nike KD 15 gives more room and protection to the Achilles tendon. Players may think that this feature may decrease the KD 15’s overall protection. Fortunately, Nike made sure that other features will compensate for such drawback.
Granted that there is heel instability, the ankle collar and the tongue are infused with enough padding to provide better overall stability. Along with the internal TPU infused in the heel counter, the KD 15’s ankle collar and tongue do a great job of stabilizing your foot.
Most importanty, the TPU cage and lace lock reinforce the pair’s lackluster heel containment by increasing its overall lockdown and protection. The swooped ankle collar is also designed as such to give more freedom to the user’s movements.
The Nike KD 15 is also infused with a full-length Zoom Strobel and a full-bed Cushlon for better impact protection and compression, especially on the heel portion. There is almost no issue when it comes to the pair’s bounciness and responsiveness. However, the Nike KD 15 is stiffer and lower to the ground compared to the KD 14.
Nike also integrated a bottom-loaded shank in the KD 15 midfoot, which is opposite of the top-loaded shank in the Nike KD 14. This setup allows the KD 15 to be more flexible, benefiting players with arch issues.
In addition, the forefoot has good flex and heel-to-toe transition. The fuse overlaying the KD 15’s mesh uppers, along with the wide base, supports the midsole to produce better lateral containment. These features allow players to quickly shift momentum and movements without worrying much about strains.
Heel instability issues aside, the Nike KD 15 is built with superb impact protection and compression without compromising the court feel. The KD 15 also provides exceptional support, especially in the Achilles area.
SIZE AND FITTING
The Nike KD 15 runs true to size for players with narrow to medium fit.
The Nike KD 15 is snug and slender. However, players may still go true to size for the best fit. But do note that for players with flat or wide feet, going up half or even a full size may be the best option.
There’s no doubt that the Nike KD 15 is an excellent shoe. It may also be a solid candidate for the “Sneaker of the Year” plum. With its innovative feature and design, it can cater to players with foot issues.
The only downside of the pair is that it lacks heel containment, which may backfire in the long run. But when it comes to responsiveness, bounciness, impact protection, freedom of movements, and traction, the Nike KD 15 is undoubtedly a beast on the court.
Nonetheless, Nike still have plenty of time to regroup and address this issue without compromising in return. We may be able to see that when the Nike KD 16 appears.
The Nike KD 15 nets an overall rating of 4.8 out of 5.
WHERE TO BUY
The Nike KD 15 is already available at selected Nike stores and other retail outlets for US$150. With cutting-edge technologies and awesome features, the pair is definitely a bang for the buck.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
Overall, the Nike KD14 has better playability, stability, and cushioning than the Nike KD15. However, the latest KD signature pair offers better breathability and airflow, which could be an important factor for some players.
Yes, the Nike KD15 is considered as a low-to-the-ground basketball shoe. Some players comment that the Nike KD14 is too soft and bouncy that it compromises court feel, which is opposite to what Nike KD15 offers. The KD15 may be stiffer, but it gives excellent impact protection and responsiveness without taking away the court feel.
Hence, players who love high to the ground sneakers may stick with Nike KD14, while those who prefer sneakers with better court feel may switch to the Nike KD15. It just depends on your preference.
The Nike KD15 is probably one of the most flexible basketball sneakers this year. While it seems that it only caters smaller frame and shifty players due to its design and choice of materials, it is also suitable for big men.
The KD15 has an adequate amount of support and cushion, and it boasts an Achilles support that will be very beneficial for shifty, hybrid, and even heavy and bulky centers.
Yes. Despite the KD15’s snugness, flat-footed players do not have to think twice about its capability. It is because the bottom-loaded shank infused in the midfoot is designed to give more support and flexibility.
We hope that our Nike KD15 performance review will help you in deciding if this is a suitable shoe for your playing style. Stay tuned for more basketball sneaker performance reviews!