Kevin Durant’s thirteenth signature basketball shoe with the Swoosh made its official retail debut in April, and now it’s time to see how they have held up for us on the basketball court with our Nike KD 13 Performance Review.
The KD 13 arrives arrives with a full length Phylon foam midsole, paired with a full length Zoom strobel unit, in addition to a double stacked forefoot Zoom Air bag at the forefoot, which is all atop a tacky and pliable multi-directional nub grooved outsole. The build features a canvas textile mesh upper, foam backed mesh tongues and heel panels, along with medial and lateral lockdown wings, a standard lacing enclosure, and oversized Nike swooshes medially and laterally to complete the shoe.
The KD 13 was a complete disaster for myself on the court. The shoe had so many flaws, with its biggest being the stability, which was the dealbreaker for me not to play basketball in them anymore. While the shoe excelled in some areas: cushion and traction, even those departments still had their flaws as the traction pattern is nowhere near remotely durable, and although the Zoom strobel provides excellent impact protection, the heel is quite bulky and clunky on foot due to it being unnecessarily caged by rubber.
Stability was definitely the dealbreaker in this shoe for me. When a shoe has fantastic gripping traction and good lockdown and containment on foot, you’d expect it to have good stability. While the traction was actually quite superb with this model, the stability just wasn’t there. This is due to the fact that they sit very high off the ground and the tooling is very thick, and lacks an overly pronounced outrigger, which led to me rolling my ankle and falling on the blacktop quickly into play.
While the stability was my biggest gripe with the KD 13, the nub traction pattern just isn’t acceptable to be featured on a $150 signature that is attached to one of the best athletes in the world. When other companies such as ANTA, PEAK, Li-Ning, adidas, and Under Armour all add very durable soles on their performance basketball shoes at a more affordable option, it’s more than blatantly obvious Nike purposely has been using nub grooved soles on their basketball shoes in recent memory, for the soles to wear down faster, so customers come back even faster and purchase more shoes.
In my opinion, the KD 13 has to be the worst basketball shoe of 2020 thus far, nearly tied with the PG 4. I didn’t even publish a PG 4 Performance Review due to the fact that those were dangerous to play in as well, and the KD 13 is extremely close to the level of mediocrity the PG 4 stands performance wise. However, I still ended up deciding to publish this performance review since the KD 13 is such a popular sneaker.
Let us know if you have a pair of the KD 13 and how they have been holding up for you in the comments below. Oh, and if you couldn’t tell already, we would not recommend purchasing a pair of the KD 13, no matter the price. Keep it locked to the site as more colorways of the Nike KD 13 release in the near future.