by Abe Schwadron / @abe_squad
Thursday in Seat Pleasant, Maryland, Kevin Durant and Nike officially introduced the Nike Zoom KD VI, Durant’s sixth signature sneaker. KD strolled into the Seat Pleasant Activity Center, where he honed his skills as a young player (and the inspiration for the VI’s original colorway), and discussed his new shoe with ESPN personality Michael Wilbon, who hosted a Q+A with the Thunder superstar.
What’s new with the shoe?
“I want to feel as quick as a point guard and I want to feel as firm as a center,” KD told the assembled audience.
After Durant and Nike basketball designer Leo Chang covered the finer points of the shoe’s tech specs—including an ultra-thin two layer upper with Flywire for lockdown support, optical illusion logo on the tongue revealing “35” and “6” in negative space, tongue construction like you’ve never seen, and multi-layered hexagon traction pattern on the sole—the entire Durant family set out on a guided tour of Seat Pleasant landmarks.
At stops at Durant’s grandmother’s home and the local outdoor courts, among others, KD stopped to shake hands, hug neighbors and describe what each place meant to his development as a person and a basketball player. The KD VI captures the love that Durant holds for his home town, and its surrounding areas. And, more importantly, for the people who live there and have guided his career from the jump.
Of course, Durant likes to be creative with his kicks, too. Here’s what Nike says about each of the initial four colorways of the KD VI, including release dates:
KD VI “D.C. Preheat”: The upper features a map of Washington, D.C., overlayed with a white graphic pattern inspired by machining lines of a wristwatch, all in a bold, bright color pattern. This shoe pays tribute to Durant’s hometown roots. Launch: June 29.
KD VI “Meteorology”: If Durant was not playing basketball, his dream occupation would be tracking weather as a meteorologist. Atomic red, olive and black are featured in a custom graphic mimicking Doppler radar mapping. Launch: Aug. 3.
KD VI “NYC 66″: When Durant scorched the Harlem blacktop and scored 66 points on Aug. 2, 2011, the world took notice. Despite the lockout, basketball didn’t stop for a 22-year-old Durant who’d play anyone at anytime. Launch: Aug. 17.
KD VI “Bamboo”: The power of nature and patience comes to life in Chinese bamboo. Typically after four consecutive years of delicate care, bamboo undergoes a transformation in its fifth year. This story parallels the growth of Durant’s game this past season, his fifth in the league. This special green shoe debuts during a summer when Durant will visit China. Launch: Sept. 14.
The KD VI will also be available to order custom at NIKEiD starting today, with 16 colors to choose from. At retail, you can find the KD VI on June 29 in the DC area, and at select global retailers starting July 3.
Images via Nike