Designer Leo Chang and Kevin Durant introduced two new features never before seen on any basketball shoe: a Flyweave upper and an articulated full-length Zoom Air unit. These elements work in tandem to provide Durant with a versatility, fit and responsiveness engineered for basketball’s most dynamic player.
Born from the design principals of woven textiles engineered for spacesuits, Flyweave technology was just over two years in development when Chang and fellow Nike designer Thomas Bell singled it out for the KD8 upper.
The KD8 is the first Nike Basketball shoe to bring high-strength woven textile that can be designed in high resolution, down to the pixel, for the rigors of basketball footwork. Combined with Flywire cables in the forefoot, Flyweave locks you in like a seatbelt, but moves and feels like a second skin.
The articulated, full-length Nike Zoom Air unit specifically designed for the KD8 provides responsive cushioning that moves naturally with Durant’s foot. Thousands of high-strength fibers connect the top and bottom of this Zoom Air unit, which runs the foot’s entire length. For the first time in basketball, this Zoom Air unit is designed with strategically placed notches in the forefoot and heel to intuitively flex with the foot’s movement.
The sabertooth is a legendary big cat that Durant adopted in the form of a tattoo above his right ankle. He connected with the ice age cat’s unique predatory instincts, ferocity and prehistoric old soul.
Building athlete insight into the KD8, Chang created a one-of-a-kind heel design for the KD8 that mimics a sabertooth’s fangs. This high wrapping midsole detail also serves a functional benefit – keeping Durant’s foot locked in and stable.
all images courtesy of NIKE