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.