You can say a lot about Nike, but one thing you can’t say is that they’re not willing to take chances and try something new. Be it new technologies or new designs, they’re always willing to give something a shot, and that’s one of the things that’s kept them at the forefront of sneaker innovation for years.
Along their path, they’ve had hits and misses (just like any major brand does), but they just announced one of their biggest misses yet, and that’s the KD 8 Elite pictured above. If there was a dictionary of sneaker designs, these would be right under “horrible”, next to any Derrick Rose shoe, and the Kobe 9 EXT’s.
They’re going to tell you that the supportive, built-in sock is great for playing basketball in, and it probably is. It’s just so damn ugly. Most hoopers don’t want to look like they’re wearing half-leg compression tights when they hit the court, and no matter how dope these are performance-wise, a lot of people will be passing on them simply because they don’t like the aesthetic.
When Nike Basketball was at their peak of popularity and cranking out dope designs left and right (older LeBron and KD models), they understood that a shoe had to look good as well as perform good to fly off the shelves. There’s likely no issue with performance on these…but there definitely is with looks. How are you going to wear these casually? With capri pants?? For a shoe to become really ingrained in sneaker culture it needs to be just as fresh off the court as on the court. Why do you think Jordans have remained so popular?
So we’ll be taking an easy pass on these goofy-looking shoes in the first week of April. We’re interested to see what they’re like performance-wise, but we wouldn’t be at all surprised if they make it to the outlets with the quickness.
What do you think of the KD 8 Elites? Are they trash, or would you actually rock them? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter, check our Facebook page for daily updates, and, as always, be sure to follow us on Instagram for all the fire sneaker pictures you can handle.