KD 8 Elite REVIEW: Is It Any Good for Basketball?

Now that is what I call unexpected. I mean look at that thing, would you consider getting it judging from the looks? I wouldn’t, but we’re not here because of that today. Welcome to the KD 8 Elite review – we will be taking a look at the shoe’s appearance, tech, performance and price aspects.

So before you continue, I suggest you check out my original KD 8 review. This will give you an idea of the changes. Alright, the KD 8 Elite review is live NOW!


Shoes: Nike KD 8 Elite

Type: High Top Sneaker

Technologies: Nike ZOOM AIR, Nike FLYWIRE, Kevlar

Fit: True To Size

My Rating: 7/10



  • Full-length ZOOM AIR cushioning

  • Phylon midsole

  • Mesh & Foam, Synthetic Upper

  • Herringbone traction pattern

  • Quarter length compression sleeve

  • Available in 2 colors


So before you freak aout about the looks, let’s take a minute to compare it to the regular version.

KD 8 Elite

KD 8

So the only major difference is the hilarious compression sleeve on the Elite version. All the rest is visually almost the same.The KD 8 Elite comes in two colorways at the moment: white and grey.

Just keep these for basketball only, I’m sure you wouldn’t want to walk around with that crazy looking sleeve.


So the whole tech setup is very similar, but there are some welcoming changes.

Nike ZOOM AIR – the whole cushion setup is excatly the same, with a full-length ZOOM AIR unit and a Phylon midsole. And it plays pretty much the same, but I can say that they’re a little bit stiffer and less bouncy.

FLYWIRE – we got an enhanced setup. And the main reason for that is a kevlar layer is holding those FLYWIRE cables for extra durability and lockdown. Definitely a cool addition. And if you didn’t know what FLYWIRE is, it’s basically a layer under the upper connected to the laces for support and lockdown.

Kevlar – so like I said, there’s a kevlar layer in the midfoot section to hold those FLYWIRE cables better.



They fit true to size. And honestly, I gotta say this isn’t an extremely comfortable shoe to wear. I’m a slight wide footer, but it still feels too tight and stiff. Not a lot of mobility or stretch. You will need to break them in to get the best experience (2-3 days).

And that long compression sleeve is basically just compression. Nothing more than that. No extra support or anything. Just some added compression for the legs to keep the muscles warm.


The same ZOOM AIR setup is here on the Elite version. Now this is the setup I actually prefer over the standard version – it’s a bit firmer, more responsive and less pliable. This means more court feel, more stability and a better fit for guards.


Now the traction is very disappointing. It’s a straight downgrade. The main reason is probably the translucent outsole. The traction pattern looks pretty promising visually, but it’s just too sensitive to dust/dirt. You’ll need to wipe A LOT and taking these outdoors is not an option.

Slipping could happen from time to time and you just generally won’t feel stable or confident while doing hard movements. Even the KD 8 original’s translucent outsoles played better than these.


Support is probably the biggest upgrade, BUT it’s not going to be for everyone. The upper is a lot stiffer and more sturdy and the fit is much tighter. This is going to come down to preference, but it felt like too stiff for a guard. Too much retrictions. Not an option for wide footers.

However for bigger players (like Kevin Durant) this could work pretty well. And if you could get used to it I guess, but it’s definitely not everyone’s cup of tea.


The original KD 8’s upper was Flyweave, which was very soft and stretchy. The Elite version has the opposite. It’s a pretty unique hybrid – foam layers, mesh on spots with a need of stretch and some hard synthetic overlays for support & durability.

It sounds great on paper, but it’s honestly not a very comfortable setup. The upper feels like a light brick with barely any stretch, but again, some people could like that.

KD 8 Elite Review: FINAL VERDICT

Decent. That’s the best word to describe the KD 8 Elite. It might just be a good option for some people, but you’re gonna have to try them out to find out.

A good guard’s cushion setup, pretty weak traction, great support and a weird, relatively uncomfortable fit.

I’d say stay away from it. Seriously, there are much better options for $200 and less.


  • Responsive cushioning setup

  • Lots of support in every way

  • Durable


  • Weak traction, not for outdoors

  • Weird fit, questionable comfort

  • A nightmare to put on at first



Now that’s a proper KD shoe at a more reasonable price. Killer all-around performance with one of the best cushion setups to date. If you’re looking for a KD shoe, I think you should get this one first.

Full-length unlocked ZOOM AIR cushioning and a pure Flyknit upper for $150.


I hope you enjoyed this review and found it helpful!