Shoebiz – Nike KD 6 collection

History of the KD VI I am a fan of low top hoop shoes… that is really all I collect and wear anymore.  I wore high tops back in the day but a trainer once told me the high top actually weakens your ankle muscles because you aren’t using them as much when they are strapped up.  I don’t know if there is any scientific proof to that notion but it stuck with me and it is what I’m comfortable with.  Now if I try on a pair of high tops, I feel like my ankles are being strangled… no bueno.  Besides, in a casual setting, low top hoop shoes are more versatile and look better with shorts or pants. That leads me to my interest in the Kevin Durant line of shoes for Nike and more specifically, the current line… KD 6.  This is a very unique shoe and to be honest, it surprised me after I tried on the first pair.  The shoe fit my foot very well and was much lighter than I was expecting.  After I saw a few of the rumored colorways with their distinct style, patterns, and colors, I became even more intrigued.  Lastly, I respect Kevin Durant for his skills on and off the court so I decided to collect this line.  My only regret was making this decision after the DC Preheats were released so I ended up missing out on that limited shoe… oh well, on to the next one. Here are few other key insights behind the design of the KD 6:

  • Designer: Leo Chang found inspiration in the precision craftsmanship of a wristwatch.
  • Tongue logo: optical illusion logo revealing the “35” and “6” in negative space.
  • The style of the tongue is somewhat diagonal and lends for a great fit.
  • Ultra-thin two-layer upper with Flywire
  • Nike Zoom in the forefront
  • Max Air in the heel
  • Hexagonal pattern on the sole – paying homage to his sixth shoe.  The pattern is take from a pressure map of Durant’s foot.
  • Depending on the colorway, the logo on the heel of the sole varies.

COLORWAY HISTORY: 

photo credits go to Nike, Simon5302, KicksOnFire (let me know if any of these photos are yours and I’m happy to remove or give credit)

D.C. Preheat June 29, 2013 The upper features a map of Washington, D.C., overlaid with a white graphic pattern inspired by machining lines of a wristwatch, all in a bold, bright color pattern. This shoe pays tribute to Durant’s hometown roots.  Very limited release.  I decided late to collect these and missed out.

Seat Pleasant     July 3, 2013 Durant was born and raised in Seat Pleasant, Md., just outside of Washington, D.C.  He honed his game after spending countless hours at the Seat Pleasant Activity Center, his home away from home. The rec center’s trademark teal and yellow colors, spotted on the center’s doormat by Chang on his first trip to Seat Pleasant in 2008, inspired the lead KD VI colorway.  My first KD in this line… definitely a head turner.

Meteorology     August 3, 2013 If Durant was not playing basketball, his dream occupation would be tracking weather as a meteorologist. Atomic red, olive and black are featured in a custom graphic mimicking Doppler radar mapping.  The Meteorology is my favorite colorway of this line.  This shoe uses the 3M technology which offers a unique reflective visual… take a picture with a flash and you’ll see what I mean.  You’ll see different weather pattern signs, stars, etc.

NYC 66  August 17, 2013 When Durant scorched the Harlem blacktop and scored 66 points on Aug. 1, 2011, the world took notice. Despite the lockout, basketball didn’t stop for a 22-year-old Durant who’d play anyone at any time.  I passed on these initially but when I saw them with jeans and on feet, they looked great and I picked them up.

Flash Lime (aka Sour Patch, Candy) (GS) August 27, 2013 This release somewhat came out of nowhere and nearly went straight to release mode.  Rumored to be KD’s favorite snack the bright colors resemble those used on the packaging of the Sour Patch Kids candy.  Only grade school (GS) sizes available.

Paris – Nike ID September 6, 2013 For Kevin Durant’s first visit to Paris, France, NIKEiD customized a commemorative KD VI to celebrate the US basketball superstar. With a French flag on the customized box, the Nike KD VI iD takes the best of Paris to celebrate Durant in the French capital.  The final Nike KD VI iD design inspired by Paris will be showcased at the Nike Les Halles store in very limited quantities on Sept. 6.

Bamboo September 14, 2013 The power of nature and patience comes to life in Chinese bamboo. Typically after four consecutive years of delicate care, bamboo undergoes a transformation in its fifth year. This story parallels the growth of Durant’s game this past season, his fifth in the league playing for OKC. This special green shoe debuts during a summer when Durant will visit China.  There is a version with a limited wood box.  The medial side of the shoe with the green and brown color is a great contrast.  I also like the bamboo print flowing through the shoe.

Texas (aka Mint Glows, Halloween) October 10, 2013 Durant has fond memories of his days playing in Texas. Inspired by the state’s magnificent stars and big sky, the shoe includes a burnt orange, black and mint color palette.  The swoosh and stars glow; although, there have been some who report it isn’t very bright.  I didn’t like this colorway at first and then later Nike tied this to Texas which didn’t make a lot of sense but it grew on me and looks good on foot.

PB & Js October 19, 2013 Aunt Pearl would always bring a young KD his favorite childhood snack, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, when he was away from home. She would drop off the sandwiches at the Seat Pleasant Activity Center while KD was busy developing his game. His appetite for hard work continues to this day, with PB&J as an ongoing reminder.  The PB&J is one of the most controversial colorways of this line.  You either love it or hate it… I’m talking about the jelly swoosh.  Many sneakerheads had hoped it would be textured but it ended up looking like a vinyl transfer and many think it looks like garbage.  I didn’t think I could pull this off so I passed but got a GS version for my boy.

Away (aka Road Thunders) October 31, 2013 The road is where teams are tested. Playing away in hostile arenas is where KD feels his game is tested and perfected. Whether it’s the front row or last row, KD wants all the fans on the road to be able to see his KD VI Away shoe with his black, orange and blue color combination.  This colorway didn’t stand out to me from a collector’s perspective but a decent colorway, especially if you are a Thunder fan.

N7 November 9, 2013 Nike N7 is proud to announce the third collaboration with Kevin Durant on an N7 version of his signature shoe, the KD VI. Playing in Oklahoma City has connected Kevin Durant to the mission of Nike N7 and the impact it has with Native Americans across North America.  The bold Nike N7 KD VI features the repeating pattern of arrows that first launched on the Pendleton Woolen Mills Nike N7 blanket last month. The arrow print  symbolizes energy and forward motion and has reflective built in for a surprise effect when worn in the elements.  The bold colors used on the KD VI have significant meaning in Native communities. Turquoise is used often as a color symbolic of friendship, and red is one of four colors—yellow, red, black and white—featured on the traditional Native America medicine wheel, representing movement and the four directions. The KD logo appears on the heel and the N7 logo is on the tongue.  Durant is expected to debut the KD VI N7 on Nov. 6 at home against Dallas.  The N7 is probably my second favorite colorway.  This shoe also uses the 3M technology which offers a unique reflective visual… take a picture with a flash and you’ll see what I mean.

Maryland Blue Crab November 29, 2013 The state of Maryland is well known for its crab feasts. KD is a big fan of blue crab, which is indigenous to his home state. It is still one of his favorite foods to this day.  With color, graphics and textures mimicking a blue crab indigenous to Maryland, the high performance shoe can double as a showpiece. The details are unmistakable: exact pantone colors matching the legs and pinchers of a blue crab, with textured effects on the shoe’s upper and KD logo matching a crab’s shell. The KD-logo hologram on the outsole brings the theme full circle with crab legs and pinchers.  There was also a variation of this colorway that Nike released in their official pictures which showed a gold KD logo on the heel and outer ridging with more red on the tongue.  However, these haven’t been seen in the public as the “white” logo version was released.

Wheat (aka Gums) December 7, 2013 Reminiscent of a Timberland work boot.  Ready for winter wear.  Gold eyelets.  Introducing the KD VI EXT. This is the first Nike Sportswear extension for Durant adding him to the short list of signature athletes with Sportswear extensions of their performance models. Drawing inspiration from the cold climate of Durant’s hometown in the DMV, the design features metal eyelets and an all-gum rubber upper for a boot-like style. Pops of raspberry red accent the shoe’s outsole outrigger, heel Air-Sole unit, and lining for a vibrant break from the tonal gum rubber colorway. Similar to the recent performance colorway, this KD VI EXT also showcases Durant’s favorite childhood food – Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwiches.

Precision Timing December 7, 2013 Inspired by the precision craftsmanship of a wristwatch, the KD VI includes both performance and aesthetic cues tied to timing and clockwork. Whether it’s the hidden outsole detailing or radial brushed texture marks on the midsole, this special colorway accentuates details with a metallic palette.

Rugrats (GS) December 14, 2013 Inspired by the Rugrats cartoon series from Nickelodeon in the mid ‘90s.

Christmas December 26, 2013 Kevin Durant takes the court in Christmas red with accents of gold and mint. With a twist on traditional Christmas prints, the KD VI features a Fair Isle style Christmas sweater pattern that incorporates trees, stripes, and his number 35. Christmas plaid adorns the collar lining, with decorative detail worked into the metallic red Nike Flywire technology upper and a mint green speckled sole.  It’s the perfect outfit for this year’s festivities.

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