Sneaker Sunday: KD12 “Don C”

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I’ve already posted a small review of the KD12’s that you can see…. here.  These “Don C” KD12’s were just so nice, I had to post ’em twice.  Since I’ve worn this KD model so much in the past couple of months, I figure I’ve got a little more knowledge and experience with this particular iteration of the KD line.  So with that being said, we’ll call this post an Official Performance Review.  I’ll go over the KD12 in 5 categories: traction, cushion, materials and support with some concluding remarks to wrap it all up.  Check it out….

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  • The traction of a sneaker can have a lot to do with the courts you play on.  For me personally I only play on indoor courts with varying degrees of cleanliness.  They range from clean, immaculately maintained floors to floors that have a thin layer of dust and are not well kept.  Despite the range in cleanliness, the KD12’s seem to stick and grab the floor consistently. Traction is a huge factor for me when choosing my hooping kicks and the KD12’s traction makes them an easy choice.  The only negative aspect I’d like to comment on is the amount of dust that can be collected on the bottom.  I’ve never been one to wipe the bottom of my sneakers but I am one of those guys who spits on the floor to get some grip (I know…gross). I have to do this frequently in dusty gyms and I notice that the KD12’s hold onto a lot of that accumulated dust. In general though, these sneakers have some of the best traction I’ve played with in a couple years.



  • Comfort is the single biggest factor for me when choosing which kicks to hoop in. I constantly have foot pain when I’m playing ball so picking sneakers that can alleviate the pain, are extremely valuable to me.  When slipping the KD12’s on, I feel as comfortable in a pair of basketball sneakers as I ever have.  The first thing I notice is the amount of cushion that hugs my foot.  My achilles area is a point of concern for me and these have plenty of support back there and around the midfoot area.  One I lace them up, I feel totally secure and safe and I can forget about my feet for the remainder of the game. I can’t tell you how many sneakers I’ve played in that just destroy my foot postgame.  Slipping these KD’s on and off is such a nice feeling and I know when my feet are feeling extra sore, these 12’s are gonna be what I choose 9 times out of 10.

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  • The materials on both models I own are pretty nice.  In terms of actual Nike Technology, this sneaker is full of the best the brand can offer. The 12’s offer full length Nike Zoom and it gives the shoe a luxury-car-built-for-a-sneaker type of feel. The Zoom unit also limits the pounding that your foot takes during the course of a game.  The translucent bottom was a great move from a design standpoint as it accentuates the technology within and in my opinion, looks good. As for the upper, it’s pretty standard Nike materials.  Not really much to write home about except that it does offer some exceptional give so the shoe mold to your foot.  One aspect that I think is cool and also adds to the forming around your foot is the Quad Axial Flywire which keeps your foot in place but still allows it that give I mentioned earlier.  All in all, their is a ton of technology packed into these sneakers.



  • The overall look of the KD12 is interesting… I’ll be honest and admit that when I first saw the sneaker, I didn’t like the look of it.  The flared edge on the heel made it look like a strange boot type of sneaker, the enlarged swoosh turned me off and overall I thought the sneaker looked bland and basic.  All that being said…. the colorways really make the difference with almost all of Nike’s basketball sneakers.  I’ve got the 90’s Kid model and the Don C model.  I’ve gone over the 90’s model in my last post so let’s focus on Don C.  The Don C iteration uses a light blue that’s not quite “Carolina” but is more icy.  That icy look is accentuated by the white midsole and translucent bottom.  Adding in the hints of red gives it an actual Icee look that ties the whole sneaker together.  Since these are a Chicago-themed shoe, Don C models them after the alternate Bulls jerseys and they do match perfectly.  Ordinarily, I wouldn’t get a non-Celtics colorway of a sneaker but these looked different enough that I didn’t mind it.  Plus, I love blue sneakers and rocking these with red socks is just too fire.

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Concluding Remarks:

  • Overall, the KD12 has been one of my favorite sneakers to hoop in these past couple of months.  It’s traction is top notch, it’s a comfortable shoe that doesn’t hurt your foot, it’s packed with Nike Zoom technology and it looks good on foot. I play 4 times a week and I wear either one of these colorways in at least one game a week.  They’ve been pretty durable so far but I assume wearing them outside would destroy them rather quickly.  If you play indoors though, they should last you a good amount of time.  I went from feeling lukewarm about these sneakers to thinking these might be one of the best pairs of basketball shoes I’ve ever worn and certainly one of the best shoes I’ve picked up since the summer.  I’ve always been a fan of the KD line with the KD9’s and KD10’s being two of my favorites.  I think I would rank of the 12’s over both of those though.  I highly recommend this sneaker for all hoopers.

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