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I’ve put a lot of time these past few weeks into finding a solid outdoor basketball shoe for the coming summer months. And I think I’ve found it. They’re comfy, they’re supportive, they look clean, and they’re not crazy expensive. So here’s my comprehensive KD TREY VIII Review.
My last shoe was the Kyrie Fly Trap IV. The fly trap IV is a fun shoe, but not outdoor worthy. Plus, I have weird heels, so they gave me nasty blisters. This time I wanted durability and comfort. But I play mostly outdoors in the summer, so price is a factor.
So I dug into all of the widely available models, combing through reviews and specs. Then I queued up some pairs in my cart and got a big delivery. I swept the floor, put on some clean socks and walked around in them for awhile.
But I sent em all back. All of them but one. This is the one I couldn’t let go, the KD TREY VIII. And here’s my full review…
The KD TREY VIII Quick Rundown
Let’s just to touch on the main features real quick. Here’s what I love about this shoe…
- It’s comfortable. The stock insole is remarkably good for a shoe in this price range. These don’t give me blisters, even with my weird heels. And I look forward to putting them on. They’re probably the most comfortable shoes I own that aren’t chanklas.
- It feels light. And they actually are quite light as well, in the 350g range.
- They were produced in high numbers and you can still get them on Amazon for a reasonable price. Or check GOAT.
- Rare for American basketball shoes, the tread is not entirely geared towards hardwood.
- They look kinda cool. I don’t think I’d wear them to a nice dinner, but I want to.
- Whatever you think of KD, he’s an incredible basketball player. Does that matter for shoes? Not really, but yeah, a little.
Fit and Comfort
My primary concern is comfort. The more comfortable I am, the more hours I can put in. A good basketball shoe can help you avoid all kinds of injuries and discomfort that will keep you otherwise sidelined.
If you have wide feet, the KD Trey VIII is probably not the shoe for you, but you also probably already know that Nike’s in general are not a great option for wider feet. That being said, you might have some luck with the AF 1, which is another great outdoor basketball shoe.
Otherwise, I love the fit. I’m a big fan of sock shoes in general. I like a shoe that fits snug and feels light, and the KD Trey VIII does just that. Also, it fits true to size. I had no problem with my standard mark.
There’s enough cushion here and a cozy heel cup. If you have foot problems, I recommend an insole, but the stock insole is impressive. And the heel includes a supplementary cushion that I cover a little more in the ‘tread’ section.
If you’re not up on basketball insoles, check out my post on basketball injuries. You’ll see why a good shoe and proper foot support is one of the best things you can do to mitigate basketball injuries.
The high ankle is nice, but the profile is not really prone to ankle tipping, not for my feat at least. The heel cushion compresses well, and I don’t foresee issues with it slipping and snapping out your ankle on a tight direction change.
Durability is crucial for an outdoor basketball shoe. Other than comfort, it’s my main concern. The KD Trey VIII holds up pretty well under pressure.
I haven’t encountered any major issues with build quality, though it’s really impossible to assess without wearing through several pairs at least.
It passes the eye test. The glue to the midsole isn’t bulletproof or anything, but it’s clean and has held up well for me under heavy play. There’s also a patch of sealant for toe drags, if you’re into that sort of thing.
The material is sock-like and it certainly won’t hold up like leather, but it doesn’t tear like mesh either. Unless you’re going to go for the AF 1’s I don’t think you’ll find a shoe that’s going to hold up better on the street in this price range.
And that’s especially true when we look at the tread.
The KD Trey VIII Tread
My favorite part of this shoe is the tread. We hoopers play indoors when we can. But the most accessible courts in the world are outdoors. If I want to play on wood, I have to travel 4-5 miles to a gym I pay for. My outdoor court is across the street.
And this tread just works on the street. It’s kinda disappointing how excited I am about a tread pattern that simply functions on an outdoor court, but the vast majority of American basketball shoes are designed for indoor use. nonetheless, I am excited about this tread.
Just look at it. The typical basketball shoe has fine, fingerprint-like tread of soft rubber. And that style of tread will grip a smooth court like a bare foot or better. But as soon as you put it on rough concrete, it wipes off like dust.
So the KD Trey VIII is something special. While it isn’t the toughest rubber, the pattern is beefy enough to have a little longevity on asphalt.
It’s interesting to note that the little egg-shaped zone on the heel is actually an extra-soft spot of rubber. I don’t love that it’s extra soft, but it has held up well and the idea is really to give your heel a little more cushion on the drop.
There’s also supposedly an EP version out there somewhere. This is Nike’s code for a harder rubber on the tread. If you can find them, they should hold up even better than the standard.
And you know what sucks? They changed the tread on the KD Trey IX, so even though the IX is easier to find and tends to be cheaper, and the X is the latest model, for outdoor use you want to stick to the VIII.
KD Trey VIII Specs
What position is the KD Trey VIII best for?
This shoe is probably going to work best for the 1-3. Vertical players are probably going to want more support and cushion.
How Heavy is the KD Trey VIII?
The size 10 KD Trey VIII weighs in at 341g.
Variations of the KD Trey VIII
There are 3 variations on the KD Trey 5 VIII. There’s the standard GS. The EP model has a tougher rubber for the tread that makes it ideal for street use. And there’s a third model with an ankle strap, known as the PS.
KD Trey VIII Colorways
I was able to find 10 unique colorways.
Takeaways for my Nike KD TREY VIII Review
I’m pretty glowing about this shoe. Partly I’d love any shoe that let me play basketball for hours at a time. But this shoe has just been particularly good to me. I still look forward to putting them on, even after grinding them out for months.
But the biggest takeaway here is just, good luck finding a better outdoor tread for the price. American basketball shoes are designed for hardwood. You have to turn to Chinese brands to find harder rubber and tread patterns that hold up on asphalt. But those brands get expensive, and I don’t really wanna shell out for a shoe I’m trying my best to destroy.
There’s no good reason to not have a pair of the KD Trey VIII in your shoe quiver. Keep an eye out for a good price on the ole Amazon and you should be able to snag a pair for well under the 100$ mark. Even if you don’t love them, you can ride them when you don’t wanna put miles on your real favorites.