Nike Basketball was determined to improve on comfortability for the 12th signature shoe in Kevin Durant’s line. The swoosh feel they accomplished this goal by re-inventing the construction of shoes with Nike’s signature Zoom Air cushioning. Almost every sneaker features a strobel; a thin piece of fabric stitched between the upper and sole to provide support and help shape the shoe.
Lead designer Leo Chang has been designing performance footwear for Kevin Durant since the KD 1, and has utilized the conventional strobel for all 11 sneakers up until the KD 12. The latest in the Durant line instead features a full-length Zoom Air bag stitched to the upper in place of the strobel. This means the bouncy comfort of Zoom Air can be felt directly under the foot.
Full-length Zoom units typically are rigid with little movement, so ridges needed to be welded in order to provide the flex needed under foot. A smaller Zoom Air unit is also strategically placed in the heel, providing double the bounce when landing in that portion of the shoe. The midsole noticeably is cored out into little circles, which in theory allows the Phylon foam to compress for added comfort. For added durability, Flywire strands are woven into the textile upper in multiple directions to add the strength needed to all the cuts and stops of athletes like Durant.
You can expect the Nike KD 12 to debut in the multicolor “90s Kid” version on April 1, and will retail for $150. The black and white “Day One” colorway will release on April 6.