Anta KT 9
The Anta KT 9 is Klay Thompson’s 9th signature model with the brand, and it just might be the best KT model yet.
Colorway: Black white red
Release Date: 2023
Anta may be riding high with the Kyrie signing this summer, but the Klay Thompson line has been killer for almost 10 years. After playing in the KT 9 for the last month, it’s amazing more players aren’t jumping on board. What’s so good? Well, you know how we do it…
Anta KT 9 Performance Review
Anta KT 9 Tech Specs
Anta KT 9 Traction
Wavy parquet. That’s what it looks like to me – someone turned the tuner on a Celtics game and altered the floor. However, I have read it’s inspired by the oak trees in Auckland, New Zealand. Does it work? Hell yeah it does. Some of the best traction I have played in in the last few years. You can see the nastiness that is my 24 Hour Fitness court (which just got refinished and seems dirtier than ever) and I barely had to wipe. The pattern does pick up dust but pushes MOST of it out and away from the shoe, but even looking like it does I was still getting that stopping power – on a dime.
Anti-lock and turn and go – with the pattern being so multi-directional I was locked in for lateral and straightforward movements and changes of direction were smoooooth and clean. Coming off screens and curls was near perfect, which makes sense because of Klay’s game, and defense, well, I’m getting older and slower but I was still able to stay in front of most.
Outdoors? Not a chance. Even being a Chinese brand (most are made for outdoors), the pattern is too thin and the rubber is too soft – these will get shredded in a couple of wears.
Anta KT 9 Cushioning
My absolute favorite part of the shoe, even though EVERY part was my favorite part. The KT 9 uses a full-length nitrogen-infused foam, much like the KT 8 and the Shock Wave 5 (the shoe Kyrie is wearing), and a SMART S.A.M. insert in the heel (the green seen in the TRACTION picture). What does it feel like? This is the closest a foam has come to Zoom that I’ve tried. It’s caged on the lateral side for stability and support but the medial side, under the arch, shows what we are getting.
Small pellets, fused together to make a bouncy, responsive ride – sounds really familiar. however, this isn’t that – this midsole is all about quick, reaction, go go go. The last KT model I tried (KT 6 Low) felt a little dead and absorbed well but had no spring. The KT 9 has spring for days and honestly might possibly may be my favorite foam this year. As for the S.A.M. insert – I have been fighting plantar fasciitis for over a year (I don’t listen to doctors) and the impact protection in the heel had me feeling good, even after 4-5 games in a row. If you have impact issues you NEED to try these.
Anta KT 9 Materials
Textile, but not your normal knit feel. The upper is, as you can tell, ribbed. The good thing about the upper is there is absolute containment – no stretch at all while still being flexible in transition. The bad thing is, you guessed it – no stretch. It does feel fantastic on foot and is holding shape really well. The heel is double-padded with an extra Achilles pillow and the rest of the ankle is thick and plush. The tongue is a full-length inner bootie with the cable lacing rolling into the midsole.
The tongue itself is not super-thick and the padding isn’t dense, so you may get lace pressure on the top of your foot if you lace tight tight (I do). Flat laces would have helped but they wouldn’t have looked as good, so…
Anta KT 9 Fit
Super one-to-one. One of the best fits I have tried this year. Like Snow White said – “not too narrow, not too wide – just right”. I myself am a slightly wide but not-quite-wide-enough footer and these fit me perfect after about 30 minutes in the house breaking them in. Going back to the materials, these still fit the same after two months of playing, so don’t expect them to widen much at all. If you are a wide footer you better go up half. If you are a really wide footer buy a pair of 361 Degrees – avoid these.
Lengthwise – perfect in my size 10.5. I have about a finger-width extra length on my big toe, just the way I like it. Heel slip? Nope nope nope…
Anta KT 9 Support
Seeing as how Klay is one of the best shooters the NBA has ever seen, and knowing how much solid platforms help in shooting (if you read or watch our reviews you already know), you would expect the KT 9 to have a super-stable base. You would be correct. One of the widest outsole-to-upper ratios I’ve ever tested, the lateral side has an almost full-length outrigger (visible above on the bottom of the shoe). This outrigger runs into a side rail system along the outside of the footbed, holding you in even more.
Add the stretchless upper and the cable laces and there may not be better containment on the market. While it looks like the ankle collar and heel are wide open, there’s enough internal padding to really lock your heel down. The top lace works like a runner’s loop and pulls you into the heel and footbed. You are absolutely not going anywhere once you’re in.
Anta KT 9 Overall
As you can probably guess, the Anta KT 9 is one of my top shoes this year. Actually, there’s only one shoe I reached for more, and while that shoe was for maximum cushioning when my legs needed help, the KT 9 was a more fun ride.
If you are looking for springy cushioning, the best stability underfoot, enough impact to help your knees and back, and fit and traction that are both All-Star (maybe even Hall of Fame) level, look no further.
The KT 9 should work for ANY position, from the shiftiest guards to the big boys. Priced at $130, it’d be a value at $30-$40 more. Duane and the team at Anta ran the floor with the KT 9 and left me wanting to see what they do next.