Kevin Durant Explains Why His Signature Shoes Have Become More Expensive

At the KD9 launch event, Kevin Durant explained why his shoes have become more expensive over the years.

Kevin Durant's latest signature shoe, the Nike KD9, has hit store shelves.

Retailing for $150, the KD9 is $30 less than the initial price tag of the KD8. However, it's still quite a bit more expensive than Durant's earlier offerings.

The KD1, KD2 and KD3 all retailed for $88, and the KDIV sold for $95. When compared with the price tags of LeBrons or Jordans, KD's early signature shoes were a bargain. Durant was a fan of the low price points because he wanted to keep the shoes accessible to a wide audience. He remembers what it was like to grow up in a single-parent household where expensive shoes weren't in the budget. "We couldn't afford the Pennys, the Pippens, the Jordans," Durant told The Oklahoman in 2011. "If they were $125, I wasn't getting them. But $88, that's reasonable."

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At the Nike KD9 launch event in Austin, Texas, Durant was asked why he had to move away from the under-$100 price range.

"As humble as I can say it, I'm not an $88 player. I'm an elite player. You want everything to be affordable, but I knew we had to make sacrifices along the way. I wanted fans of the shoe and the brand to stay patient with who I am as a player and the level I'm trying to get to," Durant said. "As I evolved as a player, I knew that the shoe, to stay on course, would have to come up a little bit."

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As Durant's star has risen, the amount of research, technology and cutting-edge material used in his signature line has increased. "The thing about the [KD9s] is you get it all for a nice price. It's a $250 shoe for $150. You get the latest innovations," Durant said. Those innovations include a heel-to-toe tapered Zoom air bag and a Flyknit upper, technologies that cater to Durant's versatile game.

The "Zero" colorway is available now, while the "Premiere" and "Mic Drop" are set to drop in the coming weeks. Get a closer look at all three below.

KD9 Preheat

KD9 Preheat 2

KD9 Preheat

KD9 Oreo


KD9 Sketch

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock