Posted on Leave a comment

NIKE KD 16 Performance Review

After Kevin Durant released his 16th signature shoe without warning during the first round of the playoffs, and successfully led his team win the first round with the new shoes in Game 5. In the second round KD continued to play with KD 16, exposing more color schemes of KD16.

KD16 uses the low version design as KD15. Both sides of KD16 has big piece of TPU. The TPU shape of KD16 is similiar with Penny 2. There is only a small Swoosh logo on the outboard ankle position. Although it’s KD’s personal signature shoes, but except the small ESAY mark on the heelpiece, the KD logo on the shoe tongue, and ‘Kevin Durant Sixteen’ mark on the inner side of midsole, it doesn’t have other design to represent that it’s KD’s personal signature shoes.

The colorway that I purchased was ‘Emotional pathways’. The purple on the shoe represents KD’s hard times, while the blue represents his sorting out the ups and downs of the mood, then moving on.

Comfort Level:

KD16 changed to use half-sole Air Strobel with Zoom Air cushion on forefoot sole. It uses Cushlon foam under the Air Strobel. KD15 uses full-length ZOOM Strobel with React foam. The feedback of heelpiece sole is almost the same. The Cushlon of KD16 has good resilience. It can reduce the burden to the knees. The forefoot sole of KD16 only has Zoom Air cushion, so the resilient feedback is not more obvious than KD15. The overall cushion performance of KD16 is great.

The upper is made of mesh fabric. The fitness is great. It’s easy to adapt to the shoes. It’s lightweight and has good air permeability. The texture of the mesh fabric upper is not good, but it’s comfortable.


The shoe tree of KD16 is the same as KD15, narrow and long. It’s squeezing when wearing for the first time. But maybe the TPU on both sides of KD15 is bigger than KD16, I feel that both sides have been oppress by the TPU plate after fastening the shoelaces. Comparing with KD15, the TPU area of KD16 is smaller, although there is a slight squeeze feeling at the beginning, the squeeze feeling will disappear after breaking in, replaced by a good fitness. KD16 uses traditional U shape TPU, with moderate padding, it can fix the ankle well.

The shoe body uses thicker materials in the connection of the midsole to strengthen protection, while the mesh fabric used in the shoe head and ankle position is breathable and has good elasticity, but it is relatively thin and relatively poor protection.

The triangle TPU on both sides of upper can reinforce the fitness and offer good lateral support.

In the middle of the transparent outsole, there is a piece of TPU under the arch, which is used as an anti-torsion plate, which can maintain the stability of the shoes and improve the anti-torsion performance.

Traction performance & Durability:

KD 16 used a watch as design inspiration, it is not the first time KD series use it as inspiration, as early as KD 6 has been used, the difference is that it was more displayed in the shoe body, and KD 16 arranged a gear like the inside of the watch on the transparent outsole. And for the outer position, we use a normal wavy pattern. In the clean indoor court, the traction performance is good, I can stop when I want to, but in recent years too many shoes can provide excellent traction performance, and obviously KD 16 can not provide that top traction performance. Indeed, in the dusty indoor court, its traction performance has declined.

When tested in the outdoor court, its traction performance is good, but the durability of the transparent outsole is not good. After playing basketball games about one hour, it has some obvious abrasion. If you like to play basketball in the outdoor court, it is recommended to choose the color matching with the XDR outsole.


After giving up the mid-sole configuration used for many years, the Zoom Air with better reactivity replaced the Zoom Strobel in the forefoot sole. Although not as comfortable as the full-length Zoom Strobel, but after the KD injury in recent years, the playing style has reduced the impact under the basket, giving up part of the cushion in exchange for better reactivity. However, the traction performance of KD16 has not reached the level of KD15, which makes me a little disappointed. On the whole, KD 16 is also suitable for most players, but if it is mainly outdoor field, choose XDR outsole color matching is better.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *