First Impression: Nike Zoom KD V Elite+

It’s been a while since I’ve done an actual first impression so here we go… a first impression on the Nike Zoom KD V Elite.


Traction – I can only speak for this particular pair and not any of the other colorways since I haven’t seen or held them personal but the rubber used on these is the same as the KD IV. Basically, it’s hard and not pliable. Not sure how well it will translate onto typical court conditions but on clean floors you should stick like glue. One good thing about a more dense rubber being used is that all of you outdoor hoopers finally have something to take with you to the blacktop.


Cushion – They have removed the heel Max Air unit and replaced it with a Caged Zoom Air system. It feels good from a try on standpoint but Caged Zoom needs pressure applied in order for it to really work so if you were expecting a typical bouncy feel from the unit then you won’t get that unless you start running around. With the Zoom unit being so large and practically exposed, the cage is appropriate. I assume the forefoot still has the thin 10mm Zoom unit but I can’t take out this insole to confirm. It feels very firm just like the KD V did so I’m hoping it’ll break-in nicely as the KD V’s had otherwise I’ll end up with another Hyperdisruptor experience.


Material – Fuse is gone and replaced with a one-piece Flywire upper. It’s a little thicker than the original KD V’s but still pliable and wraps the foot nicely while remaining durable. Break-in time is going to suck though… oh, how I remember how painful the KD V’s were to break-in… and I get to do it all over again. Whoo. Hoo.


Fit – These actually fit true to size. I wasn’t sure how they would fit and since HesKicks was the one to grab these for me, I just winged it and went with my usual size 9… good thing because they fit narrow and true to size so going down ½ size would’ve made these unbearable for me to wear. I’ve heard that the heel lockdown isn’t great but I didn’t notice it from trying them on at all. Maybe that will change once I play in them but for now they feel fine.


Ventilation – These are a slight upgrade in the ventilation department. For one, they’re a low top so your ankle won’t have restricted air flow by default… but we won’t count that as ventilation. The tongue on the other hand is ventilated pretty nicely. It’s a thin tongue which will reduce a bit of comfort but if ventilation is your thing… it might be a nice trade-off.


Support – The fit will bring the most support. There is a Carbon Fiber plate glued into the heel where the Phylon heel cup once was but let’s be honest here… that isn’t going to do much of anything. It’s not a clip or a cup… it’s just a piece floating in the middle of the heel… creativity at its best. In addition to the fit and the glued on Carbon Fiber plate, there is the Caged Zoom Air. This encases a Carbon Fiber shank and runs nearly full-length across the base of the foot so movement is very restricted but supportive.


Overall, these will be a hit or a miss. There are things I love and then there are things that make me scratch my head – glued on Carbon Fiber??? – but we’ll see how it goes. I am actually excited to play in them so that is a good thing.



  1. said it before, but you might as well just play in the Nike Zoom Vapor 9 Tour tennis shoe instead. It’s the same exact look, even the bottom shank plate is placed in the exact same position. Also, its $100 when on sale.

    1. Interesting, never thought of using a tennis shoe. How’s the forefoot cushioning on the Vapor 9’s? I play a lot on the balls of my feet. — I already have the KD V Hulks. They’re pretty good…just a tad on the heavy side for me, and I can only wear it twice a week because in contains moisture too much. LOL

      1. on the vapor 9. zoom is featured in the heel and lunarlon runs throughout the midsole.

        most nike tennis shoes are a hybrid between a basketball & soccer shoe

        1. Thanks for the input bro. I’m honestly not a fan of lunarlon for performance because it’s not as responsive as I’d like. It’s very comfortable but doesn’t really fit my style of play. I might try the Vapor 9 just for workouts and kick around in tho. I like it’s look. Thanks again.

    2. You know what? You are exactly right lol. Just added a touch of Kevlar and carbon fiber to increase the price.
      Nightwing I’m curious if the Kevlar makes a difference for you play in them?

      1. Its supposed to be tighter and be able to withstand more weight without loosing strength. Tensile strength is what they call it I think… not really anything that makes a huge difference IMO.

  2. Nightwing–

    Played in these for a couple hours yesterday and they definitely will take some time to break in. I was pretty impressed though and I’m sure they will only get better.

    As for the heel lockdown, I used the “runner’s loop” technique to get them a little tighter at the top. This worked really well and I had no problems staying locked in.

    Just wanted to share my thoughts! Looking forward the review.

  3. Will any of the elite shoes NOT have nike plus compatibility? Not even needs the sensors…

  4. Speaking of vapor 9 tour, nightwing do you think it’s okay for people to wear tennis shoes while playing basketball since they are a lot lower???

  5. Looking forward to the review. I’ve tried these on and the cushioning set up felt better in the store than the regular KD Vs. It sure seems like the forefoot bag is bigger and springier. I’m curious how these compare to the XX8s.

    Still struggling to see paying 2 bills for these if the break in is painful and the performance is not noticeably better than other performance shoes in the market.

  6. JR was wearing the other color last night playing against the C’s, but switched back to hyperdunk 2012 lows at the 2nd half, so im assuming it wasn’t that comfortable.

  7. Good thing to know I’m not the only about how outsole is as I went to niketown to check them out.

  8. hey nightwing!

    The glued on carbon fiber i would expect would help keep the shape of the heel. I have trouble with shoes digging into my heel when it bends, because often a thin plastic heel cup flattens out a little on heel strikes.

    If this heel cup keeps that area curved nicely, it would help players with curvy heels like myself

  9. will the gold elites version only release the nike+ enabled?
    or will there any normal nike elites for the gold CW’s?thanks


  11. That plastic fused flywire stuff almost looks like the same upper material used in the Lebron 8 V2.

  12. If you have some alcohol wipes during games you can clean the shoes off the dust will come off and the oils will get taken off and its great for your shoes.

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