It’s been a big week for Kevin Durant: his latest signature model, the Nike Zoom KD VI, officially hit retailers last Wednesday, and his engagement to WNBA star Monica Wright was confirmed on Sunday night. Now, the brains behind his new model, designer Leo Chang, has sat down with Sole Collector to discuss the low-top design. In this in-depth conversation, Chang speaks on the inspiration behind the KD VI, the buzzed-about tongue structure, the nature of the retail price increase, and much more. Check out an excerpt below and head over to Sole Collector for the entire interview.
“The thing I always try and do with his product is focus on the notion of getting closer to the foot. Less layers. The V was a similar idea, where I was trying to reduce layers by basically having a tongue on the outside. The body of the upper sat closer to the foot. We heard some feedback that where the tongue ended, that it was a little tight on some people’s feet.
That was something where production went a little tighter than we wanted to. That notion of reducing layers so that the upper can really hug your foot was the thought behind the tongue. Looking at where the foot is and where it flexes the most, it’s right here, around the ankle.
Typically on a conventional upper, you’d see that there’s ton of layers around where the tongue attaches, and on a shoe like the Air Force 1, you’d even have a big overlay to help reinforce it. Well, get rid of all that. That’s the area where you always have rubbing on the top of your foot, stuff that pinches in and bugs you around your toes. That’s why we have a shift here, and even the laces became more asymmetrical too. We pulled some seams higher and moved things around, and if you feel on the inside, there’s just two overlays now. Comparing that to a conventional tongue, you’ll have quarter panels and a tongue that sits underneath. There’s just more air and more gaps that way.”