Nike has announced the KD8, Kevin Durant's 8th signature shoe, and this one appears to be a technical doozy. In a boundary-pushing move, designer Leo Chang (Nike's Basketball Footwear Design Director) and team opted for a low-top form, at least visually; but stretching upwards, past the upper, is a sort of upper-upper in the form of a crew-length compression sock. It is this sock that provides the ankle support required of a basketball shoe, rather than the traditional uppers.
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This new sock-sneaker hybrid was presumably created for the sake of greater comfort and lighter weight. While the current press release has Chang stating, somewhat vaguely, that "Transitioning from a low to high is a decision we made with confidence based on our ongoing feedback from Durant to always push the limit on innovative design," we dug up a High Snobiety 2015 interview with Chang--who has been assigned to Durant's kicks ever since Durant signed with Nike--where he provides more detail on the star's preferences:
[Durant] has always loved a really lightweight shoe and he has always wanted a shoe that is tight around his foot so there is very little movement. He's got narrow feet so he wants to make sure he's not sliding around. The solution changes each time – from the technologies to how we construct it. It just gets better every time.
Here's what the unusual sneaker looks like on video:
Durant will be wearing them for the rest of the season, but you mere mortals will have to wait until April 14th to get your hands on a pair.