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Kicks and Colors: KD8 Elite features calf-length compression

The new KD8 Elite sneaker pushes the limit of design with a calf-length compression sock. 

Kicks and Colors spotlights the variety of colorways—and the stories that go with—that brands unveil in key basketball sneakers.

Brand: Nike

Sneaker: KD8 Elite

Signature athlete: Kevin Durant

Colorway: Grey

Story: Kevin Durant will take high top to a new extreme with the unveiling of the KD8 Elite version of his signature sneaker from Nike.

As is customary with Nike signature lines, shortly after the debut an Elite version makes an appearance, often with premium materials and in time for the postseason. The KD8 Elite comes with a calf-length compression sock as the most noticeable addition, even though full-length visible Nike Zoom Air cushioning, Flywire technology and Kevlar aramid fiber offer some added intrigue.

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Sneaker designer Leo Chang says the compression sock improves overall support for the All-Star. “Transitioning from a low to high is a decision we made with confidence based on our ongoing feedback from Durant to always push the limit on innovative design,” Chang says. “The KD8 Elite is conceptually designed to blur the lines between the shoe, sock and tight; seamlessly transitioning between each so you can’t differentiate where one begins and the other ends.”

The KD8 Elite launches in white April 14, and then releases in grey on May 5 and black on May 26. Varied as the releases are, still expect Durant to wear a mixture of KD-specific colors and designs as the Thunder move into the season’s stretch run.


Tim Newcomb covers stadiums, sneakers and design for Sports Illustrated. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb