An “Elite” version of the already great KD 9 has hit the shelves and today we’re here to examine the shoe’s differences from the standard edition. In this quick Nike KD 9 Elite review, you’ll find out what has changed from the regular and if the Elite is worth purchasing over the regular 9.
So before you read this review, I highly recommend you to check out my regular KD 9 review, so you’ll have an idea of the base shoe since I won’t cover the Elite’s performance in great detail (because a lot is the same).
Let’s take a look at the Nike KD 9 Elite!
WEIGHT: 321 g. / 11.33 oz
TYPE: MID TOP
RETAIL PRICE: $150
TECH: ZOOM AIR & PHYLON, FLYWIRE, FLYKNIT
FIT: HALF A SIZE DOWN/FULL SIZE DOWN
MY RATING: 8/10
BUY ON: AMAZON
ZOOM AIR & PHYLON
The exact same cushion setup – a full-length ZOOM setup with a separated forefoot unit for better transitions and mobility, plus a Phylon midsole on top. Same awesome bouncy ride.
Looks like we really have an aggressive form of Flywire on the Elite version that goes along with the new lacing system.
A very similar (though not identical) Flyknit upper that’s still super soft, smooth and comfortable. More on the upper later.
WINNER: KD 9 ELITE
The fit/comfort aspect hasn’t changed from the regular shoe at all, pretty much. The upper construction is a bit different but the overall feel of the shoe is the same.
The clear positives would be the killer lockdown and a very secure, snug fit.
The clear negatives would be the EXTREMELY narrow and long fit. The same case with the regular version, the shoe just fits way too long and way too narrow in my opinion. Going half a size down still feels a bit long and going a full size down will result in a super, and I mean, SUPER tight fit in the midfoot area.
So just the most narrow footers would enjoy the full potential of this shoe, I guess. That’s how it is with KD’s sneakers.
The only clear improvement that’s made from the regular version is the shoes are now much easier to put on. The back material lets you put it on without trouble, unlike the regular stiff foam-backed mesh back on the standard KD 9.
CUSHION | WINNER: TIE
Like I said, the exact same cushion setup on both shoes, so no changes here. A very soft, bouncy ride that’s really fun and comfy to play in. Offers lots of impact protection, you play a bit higher off the ground and sacrifice a tad bit of stability & court feel.
TRACTION | WINNER: TIE
Once again, an identical outsole is used on the Elite. Same honeycomb traction pattern, same relatively soft rubber compound. Same solid traction on clean courts, you will need to wipe frequently on dusty courts and judging from the shallow rubber, I wouldn’t put these in my outdoor shoe rotation.
SUPPORT | WINNER: KD 9 ELITE
This is the aspect where I could distinguish some differences a bit easier. The KD 9 Elite has a slightly different upper, the extra ankle collar now gives the shoe a mid top look and there’s that completely reworked lacing system with Flywire.
Overall, there was no DRASTIC support improvement but I still felt that the KD 9 Elite provided better lockdown, especially in the heel & ankle areas and just a bit more overall security. The Flyknit on these is a bit softer but from my experience, that didn’t affect support during play.
WINNER: KD 9 ELITE
So this was the biggest change between the two versions, along with that lacing system. The front area of the shoe is now this even softer, lighter and slightly more breathable version of Flyknit.
I gotta say I barely felt any differences but if you really try to get a closer feel & look, this Flyknit definitely is a bit softer to play in and provides some more ventilation because of the different texture with more holes.
The back area is now softer neoprene instead of that firm foam-backed mesh on the regular KD 9. This would a sacrifice in the support aspect but the new Flywire system which goes all the way around the shoe and the heel makes up for that. Plus, the shoe is easier to put on and the back feels a tiny bit lighter, softer.
PRICE VS. QUALITY
Judging from my comparisons above you’d probably think I would recommend the Elite which is at the same price, surprisingly. However, I still think some changes are really a personal preference.
Maybe you like the foam and mesh combo at the back instead of neoprene, maybe you like the more structured Flyknit, maybe the crazy lacing system is too much for you.
I’d personally say the Elite is a better buy (the difference is still minor though) but it’s ultimately up to you to choose what fits YOU better.
If you think the same, pick up the KD 9 Elite over HERE!
VERY SIMILAR SHOES AT THE SAME PRICE
The KD 9 Elite definitely didn’t bring any major tweaks or changes to the table but it still managed to switch things up a little. The differences are mostly minor but I’d say this is by no means a downgrade. And for me personally, it’s a slight upgrade.
If you have a narrow foot and looking for a very bouncy cushion setup, check the KD 9 or KD 9 Elite out.+ GREAT INDOOR TRACTION
+ AN EXCELLENT CUSHION SETUP WITH IMPACT PROTECTION
+ KILLER LOCKDOWN
– A NARROW AND LONG FIT, NOT FOR WIDE FOOTERS AT ALL
– TRACTION WON’T LAST LONG OUTDOORS
– THE UPPER ISN’T SUPPORTIVE BY ITSELF
WHERE DO I GET THEM?
AMAZON AND FINISH LINE
I currently see the biggest variety, sizes and best prices on Amazon. I always order from them and made a cool little summary why. Check this out, if you’re not familiar.
WHY YOU SHOULD BY ON AMAZON
- Extremely fast shipping (1-3 days)
- Free shipping most of the time
- You can return the shoes to get your money back
- Very fast & easy buying process
- Lots of sales and discounts
Okay, that’s it for the review! I hope you found it useful!
I like to hear your thoughts on this. Will you be picking it up? Have a question?