Kevin Durant’s basketball shoes are continuously among the best performing models, will that be the case with the newest version?

The Nike KD 16 could be on the best basketball shoes of 2023

A lot has happened since the last time we were writing about Kevin Durant and his KD15 signature model – that turned out to be one of the best basketball shoes of 2022. Now, it’s time to take a look at the new and equally promising Nike KD 16 which is actually introducing some new features that make this model different from several of its recent predecessors.

Basketball CV

Before we focus on the tech specs, we will look at Easy Money Sniper’s CV since he once again changed teams by leaving Brooklyn to join the Phoenix Suns in February of 2023. Of course, involving one of the best players such as Kevin Durant in a trade meant that four teams had to be included (Suns, Nets, Pacers, Bucks)!

KD seemed to click with his new teammates, especially Devin Booker, but they still got eliminated in the 2nd round of the Playoffs by the future champs Denver Nuggets.

After that, we witnessed yet another significant between the Suns, Wizards and the Pacers with the headline move involving Bradley Beal coming to Phoenix, and Chris Paul moving to Washington, D.C. (CP3 did not stick around the capital city as he was moved again to the Golden State Warriors).

All of this means that the Suns are currently considered one of the top five favorites to bring home the Larry O’Brien trophy. It is obvious that “the Slim Reaper” is still among elite NBA players, so his fans can really be excited about the fact that KD will soon be back on the court!

Oh yeah, another major deal that KD signed this year was a lifetime contract with Nike which is another clear sign of the place that Kevin has in basketball hierarchy.

Off the court

Before his return to action happens, let’s take a moment at the super interesting trend of NBA players hosting their podcasts, and naturally KD wanted to get a piece of that action as well. As this format always brings interesting opinions and experiences fans maybe did not know about before, it was great to hear KD talk about the shoe game and also praise the GOAT – Michael Jordan.

“He had that impact on Nike coming out of college when nobody really had signature shoes; nobody really wasn’t in basketball shoes like that. That’s gonna live on forever. I mean, it’s hard to put into words what that means, although we still know he still is Nike, but you know it’s two separate entities and two separate buildings. Class and luxury, it’s top of the line. 17, 18 of them that are solidified classics,” KD said.


All of this shows how passionately Durant understands sneaker culture, as this is something that can be seen in his signature models, and that is also the case with the KD16.

No more Zoom Strobel

One of the biggest news with this year’s edition of KD’s basketball shoes is the removal of Zoom Strobel that has been a fan favorite ever since it was introduced with the KD12. It is replaced with Air Strobel and forefoot Zoom Air.

It seems that this was made in order to mix things up a little bit and luckily the feeling of comfort is still present and felt. Using cushlon foam in the midsole also helps with this.

Furthermore, the previous two models included side TPU panels and strap as sizeable lockdown features, and this year a smaller solution has been implemented. Of course, it still does an above average job so you can feel safe and ready to fly on the court!

Interestingly, ever since the shoe was first leaked online, many comparisons were made with the Nike Air Penny 2 because of this detail.


Kevin Durant was never afraid to try new things, and one of the biggest eye catching features this year is the sole pattern since it resembles gears of a clock like mechanism. Apart from looking great, these gears are multidirectional meaning that the traction is superb.

It worked so well on our tests that you could technically wear the shoes outside as well, but our recommendation is to use them only indoors. Another advice that we have is about sizing, and you can definitely buy the Nike KD16 in your regular Nike “true-to” size.

There is one more thing that stands out with the shoe and that is the multi-layered mesh upper where breathability has been brought to near perfection. This is especially seen/felt through the perforated tongue. Some synthetic leather is also used and it’s primary role to give the KD16 an even better look and added foot stability.

This covers all the major points so we hope that you will have a chance to visit our stores in Budapest, Ljubljana and Zagreb where you can try these great basketball shoes on our indoor courts and see what we are talking about.