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Nike KD VI Elite Performance Review

Elite performance or elite price?

Nike KD VI Elite Performance Review 1Traction – The original Nike KD VI had nice traction… when the floor was clean. Dust had a pretty negative affect on their overall traction which could become a distraction while playing. Luckily, Nike reversed the pattern and made it more like the traction featured on the KD V – definitely a good look. Dust, debris… outdoors… the KD VI Elite performed beautifully. Especially in comparison to the original. Not ‘elite’ traction but definitely above average and gets the job done for sure.





Nike KD VI Elite Performance Review 2Cushion – 360 Zoom… Max Zoom… whatever you want to call it, its awesome. Still limits overall flexibility but the slimmed down midsole (in direct comparison to the LeBron X) definitely helped out tremendously. If you’re looking for maximum cushion that doesn’t lack responsiveness then this type of cushion is a great option. However, if you’re the type of player that prefers to be one with the court and remain light on their feet then this type of setup isn’t what you’re looking for.





Nike KD VI Elite Performance Review 3Materials – Similar materials and structure to Nike’s HyperRev but a bit more supportive and durable. The mesh itself is a single layer that is pretty coarse and strong, not sure what its made of – as far as thread/ fiber type – but its strong enough to stay in one piece… at least so far. Nylon backs the interior of the shoe, much like the Kobe 9 EM, which adds additional structure and support plus the nylon offers very little stretch so thats a huge plus; especially when it comes to this low top upper and bulky Air based bottom. Then there is the foam structure in between the mesh and nylon… the amount of structure in place is significantly greater than the HyperRev thus giving the wearer a much more structured and supportive shoe overall. It’s probably not my ideal setup but its works for what it is so I can’t really complain too much.




Nike KD VI Elite Performance Review 4Fit – They fit true to size and lockdown was decent. There was a nice little hot spot right where the dual tongues overlap at the base of the laces during my first few wears (yes, I wear Elite socks and it didn’t help) but it went away the more I wore them. Dynamic Flywire is in place and acts as the lacing structure… this worked fine for the HyperRev but I didn’t enjoy it much with this shoe. I found myself constantly having to readjust the laces after games to achieve the greatest amount of lockdown possible – speaking in terms of lateral lockdown, heel was perfectly fine for me.





Nike KD VI Elite Performance Review 5Ventilation – The KD VI wasn’t the best when it came to ventilation and air flow… they lacked quite a bit with the plastic one piece Fuse upper. These are infinitely better and offer much more air flow. I’d say they were pretty close to the HyperRev so if you enjoyed how they were then its pretty similar.






Nike KD VI Elite Performance Review 6Support – The support is weird. If you were to take the upper and the midsole/ outsole and treat each as their own support pieces then they’d each do fairly well on their own. Put them together and it becomes a little jumbled up. Their base if flat, wide and supportive overall while promoting pretty good stability once you get used to being on the Air unit. With the upper… its more on the minimal side – similar to the HyperRev – and at times a little sloppy until you readjust the laces again. Again, separately… they aren’t bad… but putting them together doesn’t work as fluidly as one would like. If the upper from the KD VI was used on the Elite and the upper from the Elite was used on the KD VI then the midsole/ outsole construction & design would have flowed better while in motion than they do as they are now.

Nike KD VI Elite Performance Review 7Overall – I don’t hate them but I do feel that certain aspects just didn’t flow as smoothly as they could have – or should have – while playing. Like I said above… if the uppers of the KD VI and KD VI Elite were swapped then I think they’d have played a lot better. Some key highlights from the Elite are their traction and cushion… everything else was okay but nothing to write home about. Is the $200 price tag worth it? Thats up to you… as the consumer, it always is. If a product offers you what you want or need then you’re the only one that can make that decision. I know that for me, personally, there are other shoes out there that offer me more of what I want and that has nothing to do with the price point at all. I suppose, if the shoe fits… wear it.

Nike KD VI Elite Performance Review 8

    1. Correct. I like the upper and I like the cushion… just not together. And even though I liked the cushion, I’d rather play in something else entirely… something much more minimal.

      1. Personally I think the hyperrevs did a little better job with the smoothness of all the qualities put together, this was more of a hodge podge of great things

  1. Thanks for the review. Did you happen to try looping the laces through the eyelets and flywire like the Lebron 11 lacing system? If so, did that help with the support/fit at all?

  2. I sent back in my KD 6 ELITE due to the issue w/ the fuse/stitching ripping off the beginning of the front of the tongue. Total disappointment for the construction area on my part. The cushion support fits great. I also had to re-adjust the lacing to fit it tight also like you did also, which is annoying. Thank you for your reviews buddy! keep at it. Total 100% support. (BTW, hope you had fun in NYC via the XX9 EVENT)

  3. I had the lebron 10 previously and loved them. Do you recommend buying these (KD 6 elite), or buy another lebron 10. I am interested in a shoe for outdoor basketball in the summer, so which do think will hold up the best for everyday ball, or do you reccomend a different shoe that will hold up the best?

    1. for outdoor I would recommend the kobe venomenon, the hyperfuse, the get buckets (yes that’s an actual shoe by nike), or maybe the av pro iv. THe LeBron 10 would burn down pretty quick traction wise, its an indoor shoe.

  4. So, from your perspective, the traction isn’t, “elite”, the fit has a hot spot, and the support is, “weird”. Most interestingly, you conclude with, “I don’t hate them but I do feel that certain aspects just didn’t flow as smoothly as they could have – or should have – while playing.”

    Very unclear how that merits a 9. After reading the review, I thought this was going to receive an 8 or 8.25, at best.

    Now compare that review and rating to the Kobe 9 Elite (which has a similar price point). In that conclusion you said, “I love playing in the Nike Kobe 9 Elite. They offer everything I personally want and need. Excellent traction, great cushion, nice materials with a supportive yet mobile fit and support for lateral movements.” Yet that scores an 8.5.

    So, how can a shoe you, “don’t hate” rate higher than a shoe that offers, “everything [you] personally want and need”?

    We’ve traded notes before, so you know I’m not trying to be a jerk here. I’m really trying to get a better handle on the apparent discrepancy between the words and the score.


    1. Ventilation score boosts the overall up on these a bit. Not being mean just going to reiterate a point I’ve had to make since scores were introduced… they are deceiving but something people wanted. Overall score should never be held as anything of value, only the attributes that you require or want.

      1. Good point, and I also get that scores are highly subjective and involve a number of personal factors at the time of the testing/review. That said, I suspect that many people that read your reviews look at the scores for shoe A and shoe B. Then they figure that A got a higher score than B, so it must be better. I think that’s a natural reaction and expectation, right? We’ve been trained: in the Olympics, the athlete that scored a 9 is better than the athlete that scored 8.5, even if athlete B was better in some respects than athlete A.

        That said, in this particular review, my feeling is that somehow the scores don’t line up with the words, so I found that confusing.

        Thanks for the response, though! Much appreciated (and not mean at all). 🙂

        1. Thats true but I also stated that I enjoyed parts of the shoe. So taking each section/ attribute and grading them on their own is one thing… do they work together in tandem is another. In this case, they look good on paper. Nothing unusual… happens from time to time.

    2. he’s just being nice that’s all…
      we should be able to read between the lines for the conclusion 😀

      didn’t watch okc…is KD himself wear this in playoff?

      1. How am I being nice? Not sure whats so hard to understand about an average score accumulated by adding up each category score. Traction was good, got a good grade. Cushion was good, got a good grade. Materials were good, got a good grade. Fit was a little sloppy, got an average grade. Ventilation was good, got a good grade. Support was adequate, got an adequate grade. Add them up and divide by 6 = 9… its not rocket science.

  5. I’m still glad they did this and really tried rather than just slap some carbon fiber and put kevlar in the laces and stuff still up the price $60.

  6. Another great review!! Appreciate for your hard work!

    I was very tempted to cop KD VI elite, and the only factor that had stopped me from doing so is the price.

    I found it difficult to convince myself with this particular purchase, because there’s the $100 Hypre Rev option available, and they will play very similar.

    They scored pretty similarly in your reviews too, it looks like I’ll hold back for a while and wait for the AJ XX9 drop.

  7. I almost picked these up yesterday, but I ended up buying another pair of Rose 4.5’s in a different colorway. Glad I got them instead.

  8. Hi NW we’ve exchanged tweets before i need help again, i was about to buy some Hyperrevs, i was just wondering: Which cushion and support is best between the Hyperrev’s and the KD ‘s? Thank you man, trully appreciate your attention.

      1. I did (sorry if i sound stupid in my next sentence) but it’s the same score, So there’s absolutely no difference in that regard? I get the same cushion and support in both?

        1. You’d get maximum cushion in one vs the other and slightly diff support as well. Numbers and the reviews themselves should provide most of the info for you. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to sit down and compare shoes to one another.

  9. Great Review Nightwing! I agree they should have used the kd vi upper or used the flywire as secondary support. I’m glad that they are still using Max Zoom since it caters to those players that want more cushioning and are not a fan of courtfeel like myself. I cant wait for the Hyperposite 2s those look like a winner

  10. Hey NW. Do you really think the prices on the elite series are too much? I love the kd series and haven’t missed a KD signature shoe yet. I feel like I want to miss out on these because of the price. May I please have your opinion on the prices of this shoe?

    1. It all depends on the person. There are people willing to pay thousands for a shoe, 200 would seem small in comparison. For me personally, I wouldn’t skip just bc of the price if it was something I really wanted and that price was retail or reasonable. I didnt mind paying $200 for the AJ2009 when those first dropped but I def minded paying $275 for the LeBron 11 Elites.

  11. What kind of player would need 360 zoom max cushioning anyway? I figure it’s more for big men and big athletic players like Lebron, but this shoe doesn’t provide enough support for bigs.

    1. The whole “This shoe are for ____ players” is a myth. It all comes down to preference. D-Fish is wearing the KD6 Elite in the playoffs even though he is a tiny guard. There are bigs wearing the HyperRev and Crusader. There are some guards wearing the Air Max Body U. Isaiah Thomas is wearing Kamikazees. Gerald Green is wearing Shaq Attaqs. All preference.

  12. Glad you are back too work. it has been for a while waiting for your new performance review. Nice review as usual!.

  13. Gr8 review NW!

    Would you recommend this as an outdoor hoop shoe?… Was after something lightweight but with adequate cushioning. Do you feel the traction will hold up? Are the lacing/fit issues too much too much not to over look?


    1. The traction will grind down, not sure how quickly, but I’d wear them outdoors due to their mesh upper and well cushioned midsole. The fit/ lacing wasn’t a huge drawback, just something I didn’t like since I prefer the be contained.

  14. So the KD V had a better performance review score by about .1 lol. Which one did you personally enjoy more?

  15. I think hyperrev and KD6 elite is really same shoes. Just high top and low top. In price tag, KD6 elite is not worth.

    1. I mean by upper is similar and cushion unit is similar. they are mesh and full length zoom. KD 6 is 200 box, because of name of elite.

  16. Hey man! Love your review performances on shoes. I had a question…what do you prefer to wear? KD vi Elites or the Kobe ix em? You and I are about the same height but I am a bit bulkier. So whats your opinion on the two shoes?

  17. I really hope Nike thinks through the elite strategy for next year. Lebron and KD havent been wearing the elites consistently and the reviews have been subpar. A simple black color way with some carbon fiber may be the best strategy in the future. Limiting the release quantities may also help. No need to reinvent the wheel to make more money. Athletes like consistency.

  18. Chris, what shoes got more air flow the Lebron X or Kd VI because they are tied up from the score of : 9 in ventilation…..I’m Just curious … thanks…nice review again

  19. NW you are always on your game. I just picked up these in the platinum metallic gold colorway a couple of hours ago. Thank goodness I tried them on in store because I ended up going down half a size to better achieve lockdown fit. They do feel true to size as mentioned, but you called it on wishing for more of a lockdown fit.

  20. hey Chris, sorry if I’m bugging you with all these questions. I was overseas in Korea when the Lebron X dropped in the states, did not get a chance to try them on. I was just wondering, does the cushion set up on this shoe KD VI Elite feel the same as the Lebron X in regards to the bouncy feeling and simply the “zoom experience”?

  21. Hey NW! I just got these and i plan to use them over the next few semesters of college. I play/workout probably 3 or 4 times a week. How did durability hold up for you on this shoe? Are these the type i can go hard in?

  22. Do you think these would be great for a big man with wide feet? I can’t stand using my Droses anymore due to minimal cushioning.

  23. Bought the shoes and the first day is rough breaking the shoes in and the fact that I bought them larger really killed my left pinky toe as the flywire was pinching it. When it broke in JESUS CAME BACK AND KICKED SATAN’S A** the shoe was amazing but all the points you discussed I agreed on

  24. Actually there the same price at 100 but the kd 6 reg are new and the elite are worn 8-10 times. Is this a good price

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