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Nike KD V (5) Performance Review


They got it right on the money this time. Leo Chang deserves a round of applause for this one.


Traction – While these perform great on clean courts – as most shoes do – they were surprisingly good on dusty floors as well even with the story telling pattern. Luckily they went with a much more pliable rubber compound with the KD V versus the KD IV so you have plenty of friction between your foot and the hardwood. As a fast paced PG… I thought these were fantastic.


Cushion – Give them time to break-in and you’ll eventually fall in love with them. I personally would have liked to have fallen in love with them right from the start but impressing me each and every time I finished running in them was actually something I enjoyed as well.

The 10mm forefoot Zoom unit was a nice change of pace – usually the KD signature has a much thinner Zoom unit – and the heel Air unit was a nice addition as well. What I thought was most important was their choice in foam as that can make or break almost any cushion source since it rest directly under foot. This foam breaks in nicely and feels better with each and every wear… not something I experienced with the KD IV.


Material – Fuse is placed along the upper – a very thin layer by the way – and feels great as it wraps around the foot nicely. It still retains its shape better than any other material that we’ve seen placed on a performance sneaker and can withstand heavy beatings. You really can’t go wrong with Nike’s modern Fuse base… it’s probably one of the best synthetics around for performance footwear.


Fit – You like wearing socks right? That’s how these feel on your feet. Like I noted above, the upper wraps your foot up perfectly and once the break-in period is complete you have a sneaker that will last and feel great on foot. I personal feel going ½ size down was appropriate but try them on yourself if possible just to be sure you get the correct size.

Lockdown isn’t an issue in any area of the shoe. Midfoot lockdown is perfect, there is zero dead space at the forefoot and the heel fits perfectly and keeps you secured in place. I didn’t even have to use all the eyelets in order to achieve perfect lockdown so it felt as if I was wearing a low top even though these are mids/ highs.


Ventilation – There isn’t much ventilation but with the materials used and the superb fit, their performance isn’t hindered one bit. Basically, if you feel your ‘feet get too hot’ when playing, you either should look at something else entirely or take care of that athletes foot.


Support – Because the fit and lockdown are so great, the support is awesome. Keeping you secure in the shoe without movement provides you with all the support one would need without adding extra material. Having a lateral outrigger and stable base just improve the support by giving you some additional stability.


Overall – This is one hell of a shoe. Talk about bang for your buck too… at $115 these are a steal. Just make sure you can handle the break-in process and you will love these the way you do your favorite pair of jeans.


First Impression
Performance Teaser Pt. 1
Performance Teaser Pt. 2

Revisiting the NIKE KD 5

    1. No, the 3 was probably the least narrow. These fit narrow at the midfoot but run a bit long so its hard to recommend a size for people given that info. Its best to try them on in store when they release.

      1. Prefer the Lebron X and hyperposites in terms of comfort, but if these really feel great after some break-in time, I can’t find a reason to ignore these especially at $115.

      2. Hey night wing how much do these weigh? If you don’t know could you compare the weight to like the kobe 7 or some shoe where I could find the weight? Thanks

      1. LOL, don’t you just love that if people paid more attention to your website they would see the answer to their question glaring right at them and wouldn’t need to ask you?

        Been collecting and wearing bball shoes for probably 16 years now, great seeing someone take a hobby like this and using it to inform others.

  1. Nice review bro.

    Does this play like the Hyperdunk 2011? They look similar to me.

    But of course except for the horrendous traction. lol

  2. My only hesitation is the max bag in the back. I’ve just never had luck with durability and have always felt a guard shoe shouldn’t have an exposed bag-with all the heel to toe movement stepping into jumpers etc.

  3. Leo chang is a hit or miss type of designer, of course most are but for leo, eithere a complete hit or complete miss, like the hyperfuse line, 1st was the best but the others did’nt evolve like tge hyperdunk line. Cool review these are much better than the kd iv lMO.

    1. and btw, if they could have change the Air Max unit to a Max Zoom unit and put some thick Fuse on the lateral side….. this shoe might beaten the Lebron X but that’s just what I personally think! Thank You once again Nightwing

  4. When do you expect to come out with YOUR favorite 5 shoes of the year video? I’m really curious to see where these are going to rank with rose 3.0 and soldier VI.

  5. Why do you think that this years nike signature shoes are such a upgrade from last years in every way? Was it just Nike trying new things last year and being a let down or is this years lineup that much better.

  6. Thanks for a great review. Sounds like a great pair of shoes. Do you prefer the forefoot cushioning of KD V or the Lebron Elite 9? The KD has a 10mm bag, though a little smaller in area, and phylon while the Lebrons have 8mm bag with cushlon. I wonder if that almost makes it a wash for cushioning comfort, court feel, and responsiveness. Your thoughts would be great. Thanks!!!!

  7. hey nightwing great video and review.. i know from ur review u dont like comparing a guards shoe to centers shoe or whatever but the jordan superfly and the nike kd 5 are made for players that play a 3,4 or 5 on the court but which would u recommend me between the kd 5’s and the super.fly in your opinion and not by the overall score if i play either a 4 or 5..ur opinion is much appreciated and would really help me out a bunch…

  8. Long time reader (& viewer), first time commentor.
    I know it would mean extra work, but i would love it see your top 10 list of low cut performance shoes.
    I just can’t function in high tops anymore, and as a 38year old point guard/small forward, I’m looking at moving away from the Kobe’s to the CP3.VI thanks to your review.

  9. Asking anyone who has the shoe: how narrow are these in the midfoot area? I have a really thick midfoot. My foot pushes past through the tongue on shoes with close midfoots like the crazy lights.. Really wanna cop, but don’t want another embarrassing look for my foot.
    Thx in advance!

    1. For me they are a bit narrow in the forefoot area. My right food seemed to be hitting the forefoot area a lot they first 3x I played in mine. Keep in mind I got my pair half a size smaller than my usual size and to be honest I have no regrets doing so. As Nightwing said, they get better over time.

  10. Would you prefer the KD V or the Jordan CP3.VI for a point guard? I’m a pretty fast paced guard and love playing tight d so I move around the court a lot but can’t decide which of the two would benefit me the most.

    1. Also, my foot is a little wide and for some reason I put a lot of pressure on my heels so I use one of those cushions on top of the insole to not destroy the heels of my shoe if that changes which shoe to buy.

  11. The toebox on these in pics seem similar to the hyperdunk 2012 really low to the tops of the toes and a little narrow for wide footers. Any input you could give would greatly help. Great site keep up the awesome work man its appreciated

  12. Hi Nightwing,

    Given that the heel counter is made out of foam and the lockdown system are just small straps sewn in the upper, is durability an issue here? Haven’t inspected the KD’s yet so I wouldn’t know. FYI, I play 2x a week, my position is a 2 or a 3 who jumps a lot.

    Thanks man!

  13. sorry about the which one is better i didnt watch the vid yet but in your personal opinion do you like the drose 3’s more and why did you not rate the fit perfect?

  14. I’ve been getting bad shin splints lately playing in the Kobe VI’s, do these shoes have enough cushion or what shoe would you suggest with better cushioning? I think for $180 the new Lebron’s aren’t worth it

    1. Shin splints are caused my multiple things. Loss of cushion, lack of flexibility of the shoe and too much action and your legs cant handle it. Typically its one of the first two. LeBron Xs lack flex so that may pose an issue unless youre big. Most likely you just need to get some new kicks but look for something with flex at the forefoot.

  15. Nightwing!

    I need some help man. I am a shorter guy who tends to play a point/hybrid guard position.

    I have an extremely wide foot! This has made me shoe selection a nightmare, especially because most hoop shoes run narrow.

    I wore the KD IV and 2011 Hyperdunks last year – and I had major foot issues with both shoes. Most times I played ended in my foot getting crammed inside the toe box and I had multiple bruises or cuts on my toes after playing.

    I wore a size 9 in the KD IV and an 8.5 in the Hyperdunk (neither worked), but I have been looking for something that can give me a wide forefoot, but still looks great. I’m just confused with fit and I figured you would know what would work for me best.

    Some shoes I’m looking into are:

    Adidas Adipower Howard 2
    Lebron 9 Low
    Lebron 10
    KD V
    Nike 2012 Lunar Hyperdunk

    Are ANY of these shoes wide enough for me? Which are the widest? If not fit the bill, do you have some suggestions?

    Thanks a ton!

  16. BTW I want to make a extra question about these

    You did say the fit is nearly the same with Kobe’s 5 and 6 but I have blister issues with all low cut Kobe’s so will these KD5’s give the same issue with the low cut Kobe’s?

  17. nice review i was wondering if the fit is anything like the 2012 hyperdunks or a zoom solider 6 i wanna get a pair of the NikeiD kd 5 but when it comes to picking a size im all over the place so PLEASE HELP ME

  18. Hi dude!

    thats really great review, I tried KD V n Soldier VI they are both great shoes!

    Just a few questions that hope you can help me on,

    for the size, KD V’ s forefoot part seem a bit large for me, but other part just perfect. (I usually wear US10) for this cause, would u recommend to have a size down 1/2? (I saw in your review you have mentioned)

    and for KD V n soldier VI, which rank higher?

    thanks in advance, looking forward for your reply 😉

  19. I’m just concerned about the air sole, would you recommend these if sometimes i play on rough floor? Do you think it will last?

  20. Hey nightwing, i was just wondering, what are the best shoes for a dusty floor like the ymca, i have the hyperdunk 2011 low, and im sliding all over the place

  21. Hey Nightwing,
    I love the reviews and look forward to more in the future. I have a slightly wider foot and when i first started playing n these my feet were cramping a bit and they felt a bit narrow. Just curious if these initial pains will be resolved by the great break in you spoke of? Or should I size up or find a different shoe?

    1. Thanks. These run long and narrow, the sizing is up to you to decide after that. If you feel that they could break in nicely then you may want to try it or if you feel its too tight then go up 1/2 size. This is something only you can decide since its not my foot and I cant feel what you are experiencing.

  22. You said it just gets better if you can handle the break in. Do you mean they were uncomfortable at first, until they broke in?

    1. It does get better every game & break-in is grueling. However, I knew with the shoe on my foot that I have the correct size. You should know this as well. This isnt something I can help you with since its your foot. You need to be able to tell whats going on with your own shoe/ body and thats just something someone like me cant do for you.

  23. What would your opinion be on these with the ASO ankle braces? always find it hard to find good fit with the larger braces, torn between these and waiting for the Kobe 8s…..

  24. Hey Nightwing,
    Comparing the ID KD V’s to the regular ones, is there any huge difference in the fit or performance?

  25. Trying to figure something out. These are better than the hyperdunks (2012) according to your review, and I agree with that, but they are 5th on your 2 spots below them on your list. The Hyperdunk upper is the only better thing about it with better ventilation. I have the Hyperdunks and I see the KD 5s as an improvement on them…hence they are newer (doesn’t usually have to work that way). Also…the Lebron X Olympics as far as on court have better technology but as a performance shoe are not as good as the KD 5s. I do wish it to be the other way around since out of the 3 I don’t own the KD 5s. Is your scoring askewed because of the 275$ and 250$ price tags (+ system). These are the flagship shoes if Nike as you know and KDs are usually lesser..ie…1-4. Or is it a generalization the top 10 and it just happens to fit that way with the scoring scale? I guess u could have given it 1 more shoe on ventilation if u wanted to bump it up. Not very important and obviously it depends on what u like in a shoe, your position, your body weight and your speed…also how your muscles and genetics work and your flexibility. Still these reviews are for the overall community and not a 5’7 guard such as yourself. But still I don’t see how a clunky Lebron X made for a 6’8 260 lbs top of the food chain athlete like Lebron can be rated number 1 for the average chucker or decent Baller? Yes yes yes it overall categories but 99% of the general public would not use the Lebron X as their favorite shoe. So.. it’s a bit misleading. I mean if you wanted to really pick the best all around shoe it would be those funky 2012 Jordan year of the Dragon things. Anyone from a 1-5 can wear them and they appeal to the widest audience (besides the price which is not factored in and shouldn’t be in a performance review). Whoooo…that’s long.

    1. The list is based on the scores. Theyre ranked in the orders they are because those shoes not only rate the highest, they all have an overall of 9.5 or more, but also because they each offer the most out of the respective attributes – traction, cushion etc. It isnt misleading bc its telling you which shoes offer you the most. Price isnt a factor nor is weight. I cant add more lists, it will look sloppy and confuse people even more. My top picks are my personal choices and i give detailed reasons why i like them and why i think theyre good shoes. For comparisons all you have to do is look at their score cards and compare attributes. If the KD had more ventilation then it would have brought up the overall score however, if ventilation isnt an attribute that you care about then why bother paying any attention to it. When picking a shoe you should be going over every detail and understanding what it is you are looking for in the first place. Its my job to get you that info and your job to sift through it to determine the best one for you. Otherwise id just be setting you up with what i like and that wont help anyone at all since all youd be doing is gaining a shoe with my preferences instead of yours. Hopefully that makes sense. Think of it like choosing a wife… You want to pick and choose until you find the right one or would you rather have your mom pick your spouse for you?

  26. Still think you should have a viewable list for best traction shoe, best ventilation etc. and a list for best guard shoes and best big man shoes (including hi and low top). They are still called Hi/Low “Tops”. (Shortened to Regualar and Low now).

    You have the best reviews out there…just wish it was easier to decipher and sift through to determine the best shoe for myself and others. Obviously the site doesn’t exist without videos and written in depth review. (Oh and money to run it:)

  27. Hey Nightwing, another great performance review! Keep up the great work, you’re doing an amazing service to all basketball players!
    On a side note, how would you compare this cushion to the Hyperdunk 2012? I land on my heels quite often and am a little worried about the Lunarlon bottoming out.

  28. Thanks for the review nightwing. They really help. Although, I’m stuck trying to decide if i should get these or the derrick rose 3? I’ve read and watched both of there reviews and it seems like there kinda even but with a bit of advantage to derrick rose 3 in ventilation. Can you tell me what you think? Thanks and merry christmas.

  29. did u have any problem with the left shoe in the mid area that it hurt? i want to return them but dont know if eveyrone had a problem with this. i want to say i want to break them it. the fitting is fine but once i take the left shoe off it leaves a mark but the right shoe is fine.

  30. So if I had blister problems on the ankles on the first play I should keep wearing it and it will be fine after a couple of times.How should I adjust the laces?

  31. I just ordered a pair of kd v’s from nike id. I’m transitioning from the Kobe 6’s and I’m interested in hearing your opinion on the performance of the id outsole (on the basketball court) since you mentioned the difference your dec.4th unboxing vid. Thanks for the dope info!

  32. For the weight are they light? Do you know exactly how much? I couldn’t find it. If you don’t know could you compare the weight to another shoe?

  33. I have a pair of the Energy’s and they squeak and ive worn them about 6 times since the 31st…. Do you know why they are? And no i havent gotten them wet

    1. Hey brendon! I have d same case with my shoe. I think the squeak is coming from the toe area of the shoe. Have you gotten any explanation why it is that way?

  34. Great job! I love your site. I’m 37 years old and just started hooping again. I played high school, small college, and rec leagues till I was about 24. And that was the last time I bought a pair of kicks and they were a pair of Kobes when he was with Adidas. So I have been out of the loop. Until I found your site. I just grabed the KD v’s after watching your review. My feet are soar after one game. I’m not giving up but would have if I didn’t hear your advice on break in time. I wear a 14 and wish they made a 13 1/2. They do run long. How long might this break in process take? Keep up the good work!!

  35. Hey Nightwing, great review as always. I currently have the hyperdunk 2012’s in size 10 and they are started to get a little tight width wise, so i was wondering if i should get the kd’s in size 10.5 or 11?

  36. Man what you do is a blessing I’m telling you I didn’t know much about some shoes and the guys in the stores don’t give you this kind of detail ever so thanks and keep it up and I will be definitely be getting these and the kobe 8 system.

  37. How did that divot in the IDs effect performance value in the shoe?

    I ID’d a pair of kd 5s and I’m looking forward to playing in them I just don’t want to be disappointed if they come with the same flaw.

    1. You can send them back if they’re flawed, or even if you didn’t like they way they came out. Nike’s pretty good about returns on flaws.

      I’m seriously considering id’ing a pair for myself to play in after trying them on this weekend, but I want to see what we’re getting with the Elites this year first. I can’t believe I slept on these. I think I would have been better off getting a pair of KDV’s over the LBJ X’s to be honest for more flexibility. I didn’t think flexibility would have been so big of an issue at first playing in the X’s, but my shins are starting to complain.

  38. Right out of the box.. How good is the KDVs? Cuz I’m buying a pair this coming january 25.. I’m gonna use them for our game the following day.. How good is the traction right out of the box?

  39. I wore the kd4’s size us15 with one pair of socks and custom (pretty big) insoles and they fit about right, im ordering the 5’s now, should i stay with size 15 then?

  40. Just copped the home ones.. They feel awesome… But with hotspots.. How long did it take you to break in the shoe?

    1. Broke down and picked up a pair of the Aways. Played in them today for 2 hours and loved the cushion out of the box. I’m also experiencing a hot spot on top of my right pinkie toe. Hope this goes away soon with more break in time. Loving the flexibility and fit other than that. This shoe would be perfect with a little more ventilation and a sock liner bootie.

      1. I have experienced this hot spot as well. It’s only on the left shoe, right on the pinky toe. After more than 10 uses, it’s torn up my pink toe. I’m going to have to start wrapping my toe.

  41. I got my KD V’S that I ID’d last month and I’ve got to say, I’m really disappointed. The shoe feels great and all but the traction is ridiculously horrible. I bought the shoes based on the reviews and I see that it received a 10/10 for traction. I’m just wondering if anyone else had this problem. The floors I’m playing on aren’t great but I’m sliding around like I’m ice skating. I tried my old flywade 2’s to compare and they are a hell of a lot better. I know there is a break in period with these shoes. Is the break I’m period just for the fit or for the traction also? I would hate to return these shoes. The shoe that I made looks sick. Any would would be greatly appreciated

    1. Right about now, half of those who wear the KD V love the traction and the other half hate it. Ive even had ppl iD a pair with XDR and use them indoor and they said the pattern works great. Not sure if its court conditions or not, i didnt have an issue on any floor i play on.

      1. Thanks for the quick response! I guess I’m gonna have to return them and try something else. I wish they still made the flywade 2’s!

      2. Hi, do you know if the original KD5 uses a solid or translucent outsole? Because I am planning to iD a KD5 and I’m not sure whether to choose the solid outsole or the translucent one. What outsole can you recommend? I usually play on different types of court(indoor/outdoor). It’s my first time to iD so I’m not really that knowledgeable when it comes to outsoles. I also couldn’t find answers on the internet so I decided to ask an expert like you. thank you.

  42. Nightwing, I have been looking everywhere for this DMV color shoe do you know where i can find a pair airknight only carries like 9 and 10 not my size 12

  43. Hey Nightwing, much respect to your reviews man and the knowledge that you spread. I have a quick question. Im a 5”10″ point guard with a 165lb athletic build. Currently ive been using the HD 2012 but i ripped the tread on a crossover so its time to switch up shoes. I was looking at either the kd v or lebron x. Tried them both on and their both great but i do love the cushion in the lebron x. I just have concerns wether the lebron x will be flexible enough to keep up with me on cuts, crossovers, and such. In your opinion which would you choose over the other the kd v or lebron for an athletic pg. Or should i scratch both and just pick up the rose 3.5’s lol

  44. Hey Nightwing.
    Love your website and reviews. Based on them im about to order a pair.
    My game is based on quickness/speed.I rely on my ablity to get past my man or the break game.
    I narrowed my options down to either the 2012 Hyperdunk or the KD V’s.
    I saw both reviews and questions came up:
    The KD 5 has better/equal ratings on everything compared to the hyperdunk but ventilation and its lower on the top 10.Is the ventilation THAT bad?
    Also my current shoe is the 2011 hyperdunk low. Whenever i cut the outer side of my heel hurts(thats where the pressure is on a crossover).I think its because the heel doesn’t have full zoom coverage.
    So the other question is, the kd 5 has the huge heel zoom bag so i shouldn’t have that issue but i never used lunarlon so i dont know what to expect from the hyperdunk.
    Also the h.dunk has flywire,the kd5 great fit and thick fuse so support wise whats my choice?
    I want traction,support and cushion (mostly because of that heel prob).
    Sorry long message. Plz reply. Thank you.

  45. Do there is a difference between the ”nike zoom kd v iD” and the ”nike kd v” or this is only a different name because on the nike us website there is the two names

  46. It would have been great if these came out with unlocked zoom.
    I just love that type of set up. Nice review!

  47. I got the Texas Longhorns colorway. Got some nasty black scuffs on them any ideas on how to remove?

  48. Heeey! need your help man!!
    I have a really wide feet, and my feet size are 9. would this be a problem? is the fit snug and will it hurt my feet?
    i have kobe 8’s, and they fit me just fine. Would there be an issue with this shoe?

  49. Good day sir, just want to ask which is better between kd 5 and hyperfuse 2010? can you compare the strength and weakness of each. thanks. 😀

  50. Damn this shoe is so beastly, besides the ventilation score, this shoe is basically a 10/10 in every score card

  51. Hi !
    i havent bought any basketball shoes for years now and about to buy a pair and im really in love in these KD V
    but i want to know which shoes should i buy which do you recomend (please only shoes from nike)
    is these KD V flexible or do i have to wear them a while to get them to be more flexible?

    Fact about me :

    Height: 6’4
    weight: 150 Pounds
    Position: Point guard/shooting guard

  52. Did the ventahilation effect how you played, was it a big impact or was it just a minor problem ? How long is the break in time ?

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