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Kicking off the Nike KD 8 is the July 4th colorway this weekend followed by a few more that will follow throughout the year.

Each KD 8 is inspired by different events in Kevin Durant’s life like the “Hunts Hill Sunrise” that was themed after KD’s early morning workouts, Nike KD 8 “Hunts Hill Night” inspired by his evening runs and lastly, the Nike KD 8 “Suit” Inspired by the blazer he wore during his MVP speech.

The KD8 features two technical firsts in a Nike 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.

Designer Leo Chang collaborated with Durant while working closely with fellow design colleagues at Nike to create this breakthrough basketball shoe.

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. The introduction of Flyweave along with the Flyknit upper that debuted in the KOBE 9 in 2013, continues Nike Basketball’s leadership in engineered textiles.

“It is the most technically precise shoe we’ve designed for Kevin. Flyweave is optimal for his multidimensional skillset and footwork as he jumps, cuts, jabs and accelerates,” said Chang.

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.

“When I first tested the KD8, I instantly loved the springy response of the Zoom Air combined with the natural feel of the Flyweave. I didn’t want to take it off,” said Durant, a six-time All-Star.

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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.

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Durant’s on- and off-court journey inspired Nike Basketball’s collective design team that spent countless hours collaborating closely with Durant on his signature shoes, apparel and accessories.

The full KD8 Collection fuses technical design with creative narratives reflected in the entire line and available from kids to adults, including: T-shirts, tank tops, hoodies, shorts, pants, hats, socks and backpacks.

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The KD8 July 4th colorway reflects Durant’s love for the holiday with a patriotic red, white and blue palette. Every year Durant spends quality time with friends and family over Independence Day celebrations and backyard barbeques. The holiday is also an important reminder for Durant to continually push himself during the important summer off-season as many of his opponents are resting. He begins each July 4th with an intense early morning workout and this year will be no different. The KD8 July 4th colorway showcases the versatility of Flyweave construction with its explosive firework-inspired pattern that intermixes colors.

The KD8 V8 is the second colorway drop and pulls inspiration from Durant’s Camaro he had customized in 2010. This bold, matte red V8 car attracted Durant with its speed and power, and serves as a lasting memory of hard work paying off.

“How many players can run the floor with the speed and fluidity of a point guard, while posting up with the height and technical footwork of a power forward?” asks Chang. “This hybrid makeup inspired the KD8 performance design and colorways authentic to #35.”

Availability

The KD8 debuts June 23 on NIKEiD for personalized customization. The KD8 July 4th colorway is available on June 27 in limited quantities, followed by the KD8 V8 colorway on July 11.

Third World Born Chicagoan pursuing all things pursuable. Follow me on IG: @oscar_castillo