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First Impression: Nike Zoom KD IV (4)


There are a lot of sneakers being talked about right now & the Nike Zoom KD IV may be the most talked about performance model to date. As they say, a first impression could last a lifetime… so here is my first impression on the KD IV.

Hit the jump for more…


Traction – I honestly don’t like it… big surprise right. One thing I can’t stand is storytelling traction, I feel as if it’s a waste of space. Sometimes it does end up working out as it had in the Jordan 2011 Q Flight & Kobe VI, but most of the time it hinders the overall performance. I will say this; the Fly Wade 2 & Rose 2 have similar traction as far as it being a flat surface and they both proved me wrong. So, I still need to learn not to judge a book by its cover, so to speak. But this is my first impression so this is exactly what I’m thinking while looking at the shoe.


Cushion – Forefoot Zoom Air as usual with the KD line. Upon trying them on, I honestly can’t really feel it under foot but it is in there. I’m sure once I start to run around in them I should be able to feel something.


The heel has been greatly improved from the KD3 which had a chunky outsole wrapped up the back of the heel. The Phylon is light in weight and soft so this was one area that I noticed a big difference from last year’s model.


I was surprised with the insole… which is a basic thin piece of foam. No real shape to it at all and it’s not Ortholite as I had anticipated. With a price increase, I expect a bit more from Nike in this area.


Material – Full on Hyperfuse uppers on the KD IV and it’s pretty similar to the Fly Wade as far as feeling is concerned. It feels stiff upon try on and should loosen up overtime. Having Fuse will hold the shape of the shoe better over time which I like. I’m not a huge fan of Fuse but this newer style they’ve been using is more flexible than the original from what I’ve noticed.

Fit – They feel tight… just as the Wade 2 did. Fits true to size but you will need to break them in a bit. The Wade 2 took two nights to really break in, not too bad, and I expect the same here.


The Adaptive Fit strap is kind of cool but when I tied up the shoes and strapped myself in I really didn’t feel too much of a difference. Playing in them may help that.


I do think the straps installation is cool. The medial side of the strap is connected by a small piece of synthetic material with two little buckle looking pieces attached. That small piece of material is then sewn into the shoes base directly under your arch. Again, while I didn’t notice a huge difference in fit while strapped in, playing in them may change that.


Ventilation – There are quite a few useful vents in place, mostly on the lateral side. The medial side has three small vents but they’re being blocked by the strap in certain areas. I forgot to take a shot of the tongue which is mesh, yet not extremely breathable. I was hoping for a similar tongue mesh system seen on the LeBron 9 and Wade 2 but that didn’t happen.


Overall they feel decent… but I am disappointed in certain changes placed on the outsole (traction) and the lack of a proper insole even though the price has increased. Once I start to actually play in them my opinions may end up changing in one direction or another.


  1. Hey, I’m looking for a quick shoe for a guard position. I have trouble locking down my fore- and midfoot in most shoes, because they are too wide, I get blisters underneath the ball of my foot from sliding around…you said on the KD3’s the lockdown was great because of the little strap where you can make the lacing tighter or looser. Do they still have that here or did they change that (7th picture?) When do you think you ll get the performance review in?

    I’m also thinking about getting the Jordan 2011 q flight, would these lock me down good enough? Do you have other recommendations, maybe a thought on the adizero ghost??

    Thanks man, I enjoy your site and reviews!! Greetings from Germany

    1. You may want to look into the Jordan Fly Wade. The fit is perfect and secure without being restricting. The Q Flights will allow your foot to move around a bit inside due to the inner boot so you may want to stay away from a shoe similar to that.

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