Prose: Finch (@Sir_Stymie)
There are plenty shoes that get released that just naturally fit into my style – but sometimes there is that rare shoe that just gets you, captivates you in a certain way and you just can’t wait to try it on. That shoe for me was the Nike KD VI. Although it’s not a shoe that I would usually get all that excited about (usually I’m into lowkey retro releases), there is something about the minimalistic silhouette that piqued my interest.
Maybe it was the aggressive aesthetics, the bold and somewhat gaudy colorways or the fact that I’m a sucker from the Air Max/Zoom combination – a feature the KD VI provides. Maybe it’s that it has a soccer boot flavor that makes me nostalgic (I was soccer player for the vast majority of my youth until I found basketball). Either way, when I first saw the specs for this shoe, I was in love. I could not wait to get this shoe in to my hands and to experience all it has to offer.
I got the opportunity to see these warlocks a few day before the release at my neighborhood friendly Foot Locker. The first thing that got me was the box which goes beyond the garden variety orange Nike box. Upon further inspection it is a new, custom box complete with KD logo and hexagon pattern throughout. It’s good to see that they are going with a full on brand with the Durant line (Ed. note: Good point, especially with the increase in price).
Opening the box, I noticed right away that these kicks are low and almost Kobe-like, which I hoped for based on the initial pictures. Another aspect of the shoe that you’ll notice is the overall brightness and vibrancy of the colors. (I of course was trying on the “Seat Pleasant” colorway which is my favorite of the colorways I’ve seen.) The Sonic Yellow/Tropical Teal/Midnight Navy flat-out pop together and my mind was racing thinking of gear that would match.
Kim (of whom you know from her in-depth review the Nike Flyknit Lunar 1+) was with me during this endeavor and was also able to try on the kids size. She was not a fan because there was no Zoom bag in the kids model and she found the upper to be stiff and uncomfortable – just a heads up for the youngbloods or the parents of them.
As I slipped the shoes on, I realized right away that the shoe runs long – long enough that I would not feel comfortable playing in them in my usual size 13.
Perhaps because of the combination of the design and overall length in the fit, I didn’t feel great responsiveness from the Zoom bag in the forefoot. I promptly tried on a size 12 and the difference is night and day. Getting the proper size is critical for this shoe – you’ll definitely want to try it on before you buy if you plan to hoop in it.
Although the upper itself has a minimalistic design, the midsole and sole seems to be sophisticated and strategically set up for peak performance. Again, in the size 12 (a full size down from my normal size) the Zoom bag hit me right under the ball of my foot and the unit was as responsive as ever.
I was unable to purchase that day but this shoe is definitely on my must-cop list for this year. Overall, I was very happy with the way the shoe fit initially after I went a size down. Also, I was very happy with the heel to toe transition at least in my initial test – I was aware that there was some concern with slappiness in the KD Elite and it seems that Leo Chang and co. have remedied the problem.
The one concern I do have is the upper – most importantly the tongue – because there really isn’t much to it. It pretty much made of the Hyperfuse material except it has a mesh kind of feel for breathability and is built into the upper of the shoe. In terms of padding though the upper, outside of around ankle collar there isn’t much else. Ultimately, I am a tad bit concerned with the long-term comfort and durability of the shoe, as I am with most shoes of this genre and generations. But I came away happy with my first impression of the “Seat Pleasant” KD VI. When I am able to cop and hoop in these bad boys and put them through the ringer, I’ll make sure I hit you fine folks with an in depth review (possibility a collaborative affair with my homeboy Jake) and maybe an accompanying video? Keep it locked to thegymratreview.com.