Real Athlete Reviews: Nike KD V

Two AAU athletes test the KD V in a game. Get their review to find out if the KD V is the right basketball shoe for you.


This performance review is brought to you by Ryan and Kyle, a two-man team who take a particular interest in basketball shoes, especially their performance on court. We currently play basketball at the high school and AAU level, which gives our reviews a unique perspective, since we play games almost daily and at a high pace.

If you have any questions not answered in this review, feel free to email us at, and we will do our best to give you an answer.

The signature shoe for three-time NBA scoring leader Kevin Durant took on a new silhouette this year. Nike traded the popular low-top design of the KD IV for a high-top in the KD V. The shoe features a number of improvements over the KD IV, making it the best Kevin Durant shoe yet.


The KD V features a "story-telling pattern" throughout the outsole, made up of triangles and pentagons to symbolize Kevin Durant's number (35) and the number of shoes in his line (5). Usually, if a shoe features a full-length story-telling traction pattern, it does not perform well. But we didn't find that to be the case with the KD V. On clean floors, we didn't experience any slippage at all, and even on very dusty floors, slippage was minimal and rare.


The two previous KDs featured a forefoot Zoom cushioning unit, a Phylon midsole cushion and no additional cushioning in the heel. The KD V uses a 10mm Zoom cushion in the forefoot, much larger than the ones in previous models, and a 180-degree Air Max bag in the heel. This combination works together to provide the best cushion system in the KD line.


The KD V has six vents on its inner, the only place on the shoe with any ventilation. The vents do a fine job, but the overall ventilation was not exceptional.


The shoe features a thick tongue for a comfortable feel during play. The tongue and the cushioning work together to create a very enjoyable ride.


Since the KD V is a high top, it has great ankle support. Nike also added tons of padding around the ankle and the upper to help prevent ankle injuries. Also, because the upper is so sturdy, the KD V offers plenty of midfoot support.


Heel lockdown is good, as is to be expected in a high-top shoe. Midfoot lockdown is also exceptional, due to the fuse upper. When testing the shoe, we found that our feet stayed locked into the same place throughout the entire game, even during hard cuts.

Our Take

The KD V is one of the most versatile shoes we've tested. We recommend it for nearly every type of player. At $115, the shoe is less expensive than most signature shoes, making it one of the best values on the market.

Traction: Excellent
Cushioning: Excellent
Breathability: Poor
Comfort: Above Average
Support: Excellent
Lockdown: Above Average

Overall: A

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