Nike KD9 VS Adidas D Lillard 2
With the highly anticipated release of the Nike KD9 and the incredible performance it offers, the only sensible thing to do is to bring you another entry into our VS series, this time pitting the new KD on the block (see what I did there?) up against the knockout king, the Adidas D Lillard 2. Sammy tested the KD9 for the Sole Brothers, and both Don and Sammy have tested the D Lillard 2. You can cop both of these shoes using the following links: Nike KD9 and Adidas D Lillard 2. Get ready for another showdown as the Sole Brothers break down the matchup of Nike KD9 VS Adidas D Lillard 2.
The D Lillard 2 features a storytelling traction pattern using a soft rubber compound with some color ways utilizing Adidas’s Continental rubber. The D Lillard 2’s traction performs very well on the court, the major issue being that it attracts a lot of dust so you will have to wipe frequently. After wiping, the D Lillard 2 gives you the traction you need to cross some fools up. The Nike KD9 features a honeycomb traction pattern that also uses a soft rubber compound and picks up about as much dust as the D Lillard 2. So the only way to determine a winner here is to evaluate which one stops harder on a clean court/after a wipe, and when it comes to raw stopping power, the D Lillard 2 edges out the KD9.
Winner: D Lillard 2
These cushions are both very very good, and this is where the duel between the two becomes very intense. The Nike KD9 features a full length, articulated Zoom Air unit with a then Phylon midsole on top. The Zoom unit is tapered from 16mm in the heel to 10mm in the forefoot. The forefoot area is completely segmented, providing unprecedented flexibility for a full length Zoom unit. The outer part of the heel area does not compress very much, but the area directly under the heel compresses quite a lot and feels very nice, and Sammy could feel the Zoom unit in the forefoot area (specifically the ball of the foot) which was nice. The KD9’s full length Zoom setup feels very bouncy, provides good impact protection, and good court feel. The Adidas D Lillard 2 features a thick full length Bounce cushion, and is one of the Sole Brothers’s favorite cushions this year. The heel area feels very bouncy and the Bounce midsole provides excellent impact protection, bounciness, responsiveness, and court feel. The KD9, according to Sammy, definitely wins in the forefoot area since it is bouncy and still provides good impact protection, where the D Lillard 2 is not very bouncy in the forefoot. The D Lillard 2, however, is better in the heel area than the KD9 since it is very bouncy and the cushion feels a bit more protective and responsive. Overall, there can be only one winner, and since Sammy prefers to have a bouncy, responsive, and protective forefoot, the Nike KD9 takes the win for the cushion category, though the D Lillard 2 is no less amazing despite losing here.
The D Lillard 2 utilizes various materials on its upper and those material combinations vary depending upon the colorway. When doing a VS discussion involving the D Lillard 2, we always discuss the jacquard upper with synthetic leather accents, since that is the best variation of the shoe to date. The jacquard upper is soft and pliable, yet strong and supportive. The D Lillard 2 also features a full one bootie upper made out of a neoprene material that feels very soft and comfortable. The KD9 uses Nike’s Flyknit for the front half of the shoe, and the flyknit feels very pliable and comfortable. The back half of the KD9 is a mesh construction backed with foam. These two uppers are both very solid, so the Sole Brothers are calling this a tie.
The KD9 is a very narrow shoe with no dead space in the toe area, generally it fits true to size unless you have a wide foot. The D Lillard 2 fits a bit long so you should go down 1/2 of a size and it is also a little too roomy in the toe area.
The Nike KD9 wins the support category since there is little to no stretch during cuts or crossovers, whereas the D Lillard 2 stretches a little bit.
Neither of these shoes have any problems with lockdown for Sammy, but Don has mentioned some heel slipping in the D Lillard 2 in the past.
Neither of these shoes feel particularly hot, but neither of them are particularly cool either.
The KD9 is probably going to end up being the more durable of the two shoes, but Sammy hasn’t had them long enough to be absolutely certain. The D Lillard 2 is showing some signs of wear, the neoprene bootie has stretched out and is not as snug as before and the KD9’s materials feel more well made and strong.
The Adidas D Lillard 2 is a very good looking silhouette. Adidas has made some dope colorways of the shoe as well as some flat out stupid ones (hello Easter colorway). The Nike KD9 is a slightly better looking silhouette, and every colorway that we have seen so far has been mouth watering, so it seems reasonable to conclude that the KD9 is the better looking shoe.
The KD9 retails at a price of $150, which is a good deal for the amount of top notch technology the shoe implements. The D Lillard 2 retails at $105 and up for certain uppers, and considering how good it is, it is still the king of value for money. If you do not have a tight budget, Sammy recommends going with the KD9 without a second thought, but if you do have a tight budget, Adidas has the next best thing with the D Lillard 2. The KD9 would be nearly a perfect shoe if the traction wasn’t so frustrating, but it is definitely worth the money. The winner of this Nike KD9 VS Adidas D Lillard 2 match is the KD9. Let us know what you think in the comments below, check out the scorecard below, and be sure to watch Don and Sammy discuss the Nike KD9 VS Adidas D Lillard 2.
Nike KD9 VS Adidas D Lillard 2 Breakdown