Over the weekend, the team at Nike that developed Kevin Durant’s new shoe, the KD3, hopped onto Facebook to answer some questions from fans of Durant and the new shoe. It was an interesting if disjointed discussion on how the shoe gets developed, and it was very gracious of the team to open up to the fans on Facebook.
Leo Chang – Footwear Designer
Dolores Thompson – Footwear Developer
I’ve excerpted the questions they’ve answered below. I have edited the transcript for readability.
Q: How involved was Durant in the design process?
Leo Chang: KD was very involved in the design process. we started by asking him what he wanted in the 3 before I put pen to paper… even Nick Collison had an influence on the design. A lot of the storytelling details were specifically requested by KD. Controller buttons, something that talked about Team, his family, Seat Pleasant… performance wise… he’s all about lightweight, comfort, sleek conforming fit.
Q: Is Durant easy to work with?
Dolores Thompson: Leo has worked with KD more than I have but the times I’ve been around him he’s super easy to work with.
Leo Chang: Yes, KD is super cool to work with!… nicest, most humble, hard working player in the league.
Q: Will Durant’s shoe always be priced lower than other shoes?
Leo Chang: Under $100? yes, as long KD wants to keep his signature shoe under $100, we will. He wants everyone to be able to afford his shoes!! Something he’s always dreamed of.
Q: Are the KD3 a good shoe for high school sports?
Dolores Thompson: The KD III’s are a great choice for HS players.
Leo Chang: Hey should be great for high school! try em on!
Q: What kinds of colors will be featured on the KD3?
Dolores Thompson: We are always trying to have a good variety of colors available on the KD’s. The special event and player exclusive colors sometimes make it to House of Hoops.
Leo Chang: Some things we make special and exclusive for KD… I think you’ll like some of the KD3 colors. we had more fun with them.
Q: How does KD3 compare to the Hyperfuse?
Leo Chang: Compared to the Hyperfuse… similar cushioning setup… hyperfuse is a mid, so if you prefer more around your ankle… KD3, low top gives you that nice range of motion in the ankle… flywire in the upper. try them both on and see. I designed both, so my feelings won’t be hurt either way;)
Q: Are there any new KD3 videos coming up?
Leo Chang: KD3 video… coming soon. I know i did one… lol.
Q: Will there be a kids’ version of the KD3?
Dolores Thompson: The Nike ID KD III’s should be available in early spring as well.
Q: What are some of the shoe details?
Leo Chang: Tons on new details in the 3… controller buttons: kd is a bit obsessed with gaming!, Piano keys: KD loves to make beats when he’s not hooping and playing games, WP: parents initials, Seat Pleasant: SP rec center is where he lived and breathed basketball as a kid, the 5 thunder bolts: TEAM… he’s so tight with his team I wanted to find a way to symbolize that…
Q: What kinds of colorways will the shoe have? Will there be a creamsicle?
Leo Chang: We’re gonna do a pretty crazy colorway for KD that he will wear Xmas day. it won’t be orange tho. it’s hot! as for the yellow/grey… we’re using the yellow that’s also in the OKC uni as a primary color, instead of always using the blue and orange. Grey is just the neutral that makes it fresh!
Q: What colorways are your favorite?
Leo Chang: Fave colorways… I like simple but bold blocks… hmmm…. Velvet Hoop KD2s!… and the KD3 we’re gonna do for xmas day. stay tuned!
Q: Is it hard to make a shoe for KD’s size 18 feet?
Dolores Thompson: Our designers do a great job of applying the right proportions to the shoe so when we grade it up and down the big sizes don’t look freaky weird…lol
Leo Chang: ha… he does have big feet… KD does have some specific needs that we look out for in his feet, but nothing that is too crazy that would effect everyone else’s needs in a shoe.
See full unedited Facebook Transcript here.