Anta and Klay must have a lot in store for the consumers if the Anta KT 1 is any sign of what we are to get.
Traction: The Anta KT 1 features a multi-directional herringbone pattern, with an anatomically configured outsole design. The pattern changes direction in each section of the outsole or where there is a flex grove separating the pattern. It’s hard to go wrong with herringbone, and Anta stuck with what works well on court.
I found an issue when cutting around screens; it was as if there was no part of the outsole in contact with the floor, and I found myself on the ground from slipping. This may just be a flaw in my footwork, but I think it needs to be brought up because it may be that issue for some people.
Overall, no problems with the traction unless you are playing on a court that hasn’t been refinished for quite some time (court I play on regularly) or a court that features dust clumps, which can be solved with a wipe of the outsole.
Cushion: This honestly just feels like a Phylon midsole in hand, but it’s either a super soft version of Phylon, or not Phylon at all. When playing around in the KT 1, you receive adequate impact protection at all times thanks to the use of a full length foam. With that being said, you also may find that the KT 1 does not provide enough impact protection for your needs. This can be fixed with a simple insole swap, where the insole focuses on either forefoot, heel, or forefoot and heel cushion.
The cushion setup used in the KT 1 gives a lot of court feel at the same time. If you enjoy court feel while still getting just enough impact protection, the Anta KT 1 is a good choice for you.
Materials: The Anta KT 1 uses a synthetic upper, mostly of Fuse layers with some mesh. It isn’t a stiff Fuse such as models from other brands that use Fuse on a lot of “low budget” shoes. The materials contain your foot while offering support, flexibility, structure, and some comfort as well. Since the Fuse is so soft, it requires little to no break in time.
Fit: The fit was a bit “ehh.” The fit was an overall 1-to-1 fit, which is somewhat rare for an Asian brand (Asian brands tend to fit weirdly, for both apparel and footwear). The KT 1 gives a 1-to-1 fit that really caters towards the audience/consumer from the States. However, if you like a bit of room, or have a wide foot, you may want to consider going up 1/2 size.
It felt like there was a bit of dead space in the ankle collar area, where the shoe didn’t lace up as tight as I thought it would. This could have been because of all of the padding within the ankle area of the shoe or even the fact that my ankles are fairly small.
One final piece to note is that the tongue of the shoe is cut fairly short and slides down when playing in the shoe which can cause some discomfort. It can easily be fixed if you try and lace the shoe a little tighter or maybe an ankle brace to give some more volume behind the tongue and to keep it from sliding.
Lockdown wasn’t something to boast about, but it wasn’t a weak point in the shoe either. The overall fit of the shoe helped to keep you contained at all times, and the materials didn’t give much stretch, if any at all. An asymmetrical ankle collar allows for free range of motion, all while keeping you locked in. Again, I found that there wasn’t a phenomenal amount of feeling contained in the heel and ankle areas, but I definitely knew that my foot wasn’t going to come out of the shoes easily either.
Support: Everything you need, nothing more, nothing less; this perfectly describes the support in the Anta KT 1. The Anta KT 1 utilizes an external TPU heel counter, a TPU midfoot shank for torsional support, and a wide, flat base with a huge outrigger to provide a nice stable platform. The rest of the support comes from the overall fit of the shoe, with that 1-to-1 fit and fuse upper keeping you contained and on the footbed itself. Everything you need, nothing extra, but nothing is missing either.
Overall: Overall, the Anta KT 1 is a great budget-friendly model for someone who isn’t looking to break the bank but still get an outstanding performer on court. Anta did a really good job bringing a great performer to the table, and for a lower price as well. The price isn’t crazy or outrageous like some other brands charge, but it’s also not a super cheap model where you think you won’t get anything good to play in. If you’ve been wanting to try out the Anta KT 1, I hope you do grab a pair and try them out because it’s always good to keep an open mind and try out new things.
I loved the traction and the support of the shoe. The cushion may not be for everybody, especially if you’re looking to get a comfy, plush ride. However, a simple insole swap can add some more comfort and impact protection if you do find you need it. No matter if you’re just a fan of this Splash Brother, or really do want to try out Klay’s first signature shoe, you will be given more than enough of a solid performer from Anta. I look forward to seeing what Anta brings to the table with the KT 2.