“You get a $250 shoe for like $150… That’s a great bargain right there.” – Kevin Durant when asked about the price of the KD 9 Flyknit, which will retail for $150.
Basketball never stops for Nike and even though they haven’t used that tagline for a while now, it still applies to this day, especially in an Olympic year. Soon after the curtains falls on the current NBA season, Nike will be dropping the new Nike KD 9 Flyknit onto sneakerheads and ballers with a new Flyknit look and technology that will catch the eyes of a lot of people. Flyknit is quickly becoming the accepted default tech of most new Nike kicks and with Kobe having already used Flyknit for a while now and Jordan Brand implementing their own woven techniques onto their signature shoe, it was only a matter of time before the rest of Nike Basketball caught up. That time is now.
But what will definitely get people talking is the $150 price tag, a huge drop from the current Nike KD 8 that retails for $180. Is this is a response to the lackluster – or what appears to be lackluster judging from the dearth of KD 8s getting huge price drops – sales of the KD 8 and LeBron 13? As Kobe Bryant is set to retire and take his signature line to strange places, Kyrie Irving having a lackluster second year as a signature athlete and Stephen Curry becomes the new face of the NBA while also turning Under Armour into something of a threat to the swoosh, changes needed to be made at the swoosh.
Nike still needs to push the boundaries of design in order to justify dropping a new pair every year, but what KD used to be known for – quality kicks at family-friendly prices – had all been obliterated. At the heart of their company will always be innovation – Nike can’t and won’t stop that train – but if that innovation prices out most of the public, it won’t really matter how great that innovation is. That’s been proven by the KDs – even the beloved Aunt Pearl colorway – sitting on shelves.
Will this course correction be a new trend in Nike as Flyknit becomes more widely accepted and eases manufacturing costs and in turn passes the savings along to the consumer? Time will tell, but the KD 9 Flyknit is hopefully a step in that direction.
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