The Nike KD 16 presents a bunch of changes from the Nike KD 15, but it still might become one of the best basketball shoes of 2023-24.
Colorway: Crimson Red
Release Date: 2023
Kevin Durant’s signature line has been churning out bangers since the Nike KD 12 and the introduction of the full-length Zoom Air Strobel. The KD 12, 13, 14, and 15 have all been great all-around basketball shoes, that level up thanks to the plush yet responsive cushioning that the great Zoom Air Strobel provides.
Well, the Nike KD 16 is switching things up in a big way. Instead of the setup that we have come to know and love in the past years, we have something very comfortable, but very different. In any case, the KD 16 looks like it could be one of the best basketball shoes of the year, so let’s dive into the review and see everything the Nike KD 16 has to offer.
Nike KD 16 Review
Nike KD 16 Tech Specs:
Nike KD 16 Traction
In terms of traction, the KD 16 comes equipped with a translucent outsole (at least in this colorway) with a very interesting traction pattern, that looks like gears or cogs. As weird as it might be, it should work well on court because in terms of performance what that pattern ends up being is a radial traction pattern with great multidirectional coverage.
The translucent rubber Nike has used in this model is rather tough, but the traction pattern itself isn’t very deep, which means the KD 16 won’t be a great outdoor option. However, you can always try to get your hands on an overseas edition that features XDR rubber if you’re interested in using these outdoors.
Nike KD 16 Cushion
Here is where we have all of the major changes in the KD 16. Instead of a full-length Zoom Air Strobel what we have is a dual-density setup. From the midfoot to the heel we have an AIR Strobel, very similar to the one that was featured in the Jordan Zion 2. In the forefoot, we have a large Zoom Air unit that covers most of that area.
These two units are housed within a Cushlon foam midsole. This is a very different setup to the KD 15, but still a very comfortable one.
But why the change? The KD 16 design seems to be inspired loosely by the Nike Air Penny 2, and this change in the cushioning might be to mimic the setup in that shoe. Whatever the case may be, it’s comfortable and will give you a well-balanced ride on court.
Nike KD 16 Materials
The Materials on the Nike KD 16 are what we have come to expect from a KD shoe. We have a combination of a textile mesh and “leather”, all of which are synthetic. The build flexes well, it conforms and contains your foot, it’s very well-ventilated, and requires little to no break-in time. Nothing is premium on the shoe but everything should perform well.
Nike KD 16 Support
The most prominent support feature is the Nike Air Max 1 The Bay–esque TPU panel on either side of the shoe. These two pieces should offer all the lateral containment you need while making moves. On top of that, we have a TPU spring plate that goes from the midfoot all the way to the forefoot. This should provide torsional support and a nice springy feeling as you run.
The KD 16 also provides a very wide and stable base, with slightly rounded edges for added mobility. And, lastly, we have a decent heel counter to keep your heel locked down. This package should be more than enough to keep most players stable and secure on court.
Nike KD 16 Fit
The KD 16 fits true to size, but it’s a very snug “true to size”. This is optimal for performance but may be uncomfortable for some. If you have had issues with this type of fit in the past, we suggest trying these on in-store.
Nike KD 16 Overall
Even though the KD 16 is a very different shoe from what we have been accustomed to in recent years, it should still be an excellent performance model and should easily make our list of the best basketball shoes of the year.
What you can expect from the KD 16 is great indoor traction, a well-balanced cushioning system that will offer both impact protection and reactiveness on court, and a secure feeling shoe that will fit like a glove.