Here’s another cheap option for those still looking to ball at ease. Forget about $150+ signatures for now – I present you my 8-month outdoor KD Trey 5 VIII review. Clocked at just $90, KD’s takedown model from Nikey looks VERY promising.
As a 6’1 two-guard at ~175 lbs, I’ll break down the shoe’s fit & comfort aspects, on-court performance, versatility, and value for the price. Can a 90 dollar model outwork the more expensive competition? Let’s find out!
Model: Nike KD Trey 5 VIII
Weight: 12.03 oz / 341 g. (size 10 US)
Retail Price: $90
Cushion: full-length Renew
I. FIT & COMFORT
Let’s start with the sizing situation. KD likes his shoes long and narrow and that’s probably his foot shape. The KD Trey 5 VIII may run a little long & snug for most people but if you’ve had a KD model in the past, you’re already used to this.
Regular/narrow footers will be okay with their regular size but expect a compact fit. I don’t recommend stepping a half size down just because there’s a tiny bit of wiggle room at the front. That’s just the nature of most KD sneakers and opting for a smaller size will likely result in a suffocating fit and a nightmare for your toes.
For wide footers like myself – it’ll depend on the foot of course. I personally went true to size and despite feeling a little suffocated for the first week or so, the shoe feels fine now.
I don’t mind the extra space at the forefoot and after stretching out the fabrics, it’s completely acceptable width-wise as well. A little tight, sure, but not overly tight which would compromise comfort.
I do have a dedicated shoe list for wide footers though, so if you’re looking for that ideal shoe and you’ve got a foot like a boat – this one’s for you.
Sizing aside, the KD Trey 5 VIII is a comfortable shoe that never got in my way. Really damn light, smooth stepping motions, no pinching or hotspots that would form annoying distractions we’re so used to seeing on a cheaper model.
The materials used are nice and soft, and the sculpting of the shoe encourages quick, efficient multi-directional movements & plants. The outsole has some curvature to it, so if you’re pulling off those Kyrie moves, you should feel just as good as a classic 6’5 wingman would in these.
Lastly, the shoe does have a relatively high ankle collar design. I’m personally not a huge fan of extra material going over my ankle but as long as it doesn’t get in the way too much – I’m good. This foam-backed mesh around the ankle isn’t that stiff and can move with my foot, so I can’t complain too much.
Still though, I don’t see a good reason for such a collar – either go all out and make a low-top, stick with a traditional mid-top or just wing it with a true high-top. This in-between stuff doesn’t really pose any benefits. I’m rambling too much about it though – it’s not that bad and it’s just an ankle collar. Onto the next.
Take a look at that crazy pattern. That’s multi-directional traction for you in full glory. Thick & deep grooves, proper spacing between the knobs, and the pattern coming up all the way to the medial & lateral sides to hold off any foot plant, no matter how awkward it might be.
If you know a thing or two about Nikey products – their budget models have a knack for beating the pricier top dogs when it comes to traction. Ironic, but I’ll take it.
The KD Trey 5 VIII gripped the concrete and a synthetic rubber surface equally as well for me, no major slide-outs or dust issues getting in my way. Just hoops and nothing else.
I’ve only wiped a handful of times during a multi-hour session and even then it was more out of habit than anything else. Fantastic traction that lives up to how it looks. I haven’t yet played with these indoors but I don’t have a lot of reasons to believe these wouldn’t bite just as well on traditional hardwood.
Remember what I said about cheaper stuff beating Nikey’s pricier releases in terms of traction? Well, that also applies to the durability of the rubber. This rubber is outdoor-ready, the grooves aren’t shallow, and being over 8 months in, I have NO complaints. That’s proper durability from a 90 dollar “lackey” for ya.
There’s some wear & tear on the outsoles but I’d usually see a similar amount of damage on a $150 signature after a couple of months, so it’s all about perspective. Don’t get caught up in the numbers game. That won’t get you far. Most of the time.
And damage or not, it never impacted the actual performance to a point where I’d want to take ’em off. They’re probably not as tacky as they were 8 months ago but since I’m guessing – that’s a good thing. Still plays fine.
A dual-density foam setup is utilized for the shoe’s cushion setup. Full-length Renew is the point of interest and a firmer compound of foam is present for stability, as Renew can be overly mushy, causing all kinds of issues all by itself.
Now, it is known that Nikey’s Lunarlon-based foam compounds tend to degrade and bottom out quicker than, say, Zoom Air or Max Air would. You already know where I’m going with this.
The ride on the KD Trey 5 VIII actually felt super cool. Initially. Renew is some seriously fun stuff to hoop in – it’s comfortable, yields a lot of full-length impact protection, and provides that pillowy feel underfoot if you like that sorta thing.
So I initially thought I’m strapped in for a fun ride that kind of felt tailored for a big guy.
However, about a month in, things got much quicker and lower to the ground. At first, I thought I just got used to this setup but no-no. Bottoming out is real and this shoe is one hell of an example.
I quickly found myself feeling like in a different setup – the shoe now feels quick, fairly low to the ground, and much more responsive than it initially was.
There’s still impact protection there for just about anyone who’s not a 7-foot Embiid but I couldn’t feel it as much. But you know what? I actually like the end result I’ve got with the shoe. It feels more balanced now, providing a bit of everything and still keeping me comfortable.
So now, I still get to enjoy my experience with the Trey 5 VIII but they feel more stable, more explosive, and stick lower to the surface. I had a lot of fun while the mushiness lasted but I feel like that wouldn’t have done me any favors since this is a faster setup now that still keeps comfort at bay. I kinda like it.
Not a lot of beefy support features found on the KD Trey 5 VIII but who says they’re missed? Well, maybe a little bit but the overall experience from a security standpoint was fine for me. Not amazing or perfect but fine.
There’s an internal heel counter for heel & ankle lockdown, the robust midsole slightly comes up in the midfoot area for a tad bit of additional containment, the base of the shoe is fairly wide which promotes stability. The upper has some overlays for more structure which also helps hold your foot in.
And of course, the fit. If you get the size right, the snug, secure fit is the foundation of good support and the KD Trey 5 VIII can definitely provide that for you.
But if you think this in-your-face ankle collar does a lot to provide ankle support (click for a support guide & shoe list) – think again. Gone are the days where you should still believe this infamous myth “the higher the cut, the better the support”.
I’d actually prefer this ankle piece to be much lower but regardless, it doesn’t do much for performance.
So, I haven’t experienced any issues with the support of the shoe but some questionable stuff did appear when we’re talking foot containment. There’s simply nothing extra added that would help this paper-thin fabric hold your foot in during quicker lateral motions or just generally more aggressive movements.
There were plenty of times where I could feel my foot beginning to slide out of the footbed and while it never did – it’s a feeling no one appreciates on the court.
I’m an explosive guard and I do like to play athletically, so I did feel the absence of strong containment at times. If would be playing professionally, I’d be afraid to play a full season in these, especially with the constant issues with my right ankle.
For someone who’s even lighter and has a less aggressive playstyle – you would probably be just fine. Just be careful if you’re looking to really push your shoes and play with a lot of force.
V. MATERIALS & BUILD
The upper is your traditional budget ultra-thin knit/fabric but with a twist. The forefoot area is where the bulk of the fabric is utilized which is also backed up with TPU yarn. I don’t think that does a lot for structure but it’s there. The midfoot & back portions are mostly foam-backed screen mesh along with a few synthetic overlays.
The tongue is also foam-backed mesh. There’s a bit of foam padding around the ankle but not too much. The lacing system is traditional, as well as the lace & tongue build construction.
I gotta say, I’m not hating on this setup. Firstly, it’s just 90 bucks. Secondly, you could now get ’em for even cheaper. And thirdly, the forefoot portion actually feels like a proper quality fabric, not your usual cheap stuff.
While it felt a little bubbly at first, not even a week in, this material wrapped around my foot nicely, giving a comfortable feel. And the back area is, well, screen mesh. Cheap & basic but doesn’t do performance a disservice.
Ventilation is decent – never thought about my feet getting overly hot while playing, so that’s a pass for me.
And as for overall reliability – this isn’t bad. While the materials don’t do foot containment a lot of justice and they’re very thin, the shoe still holds its own 8 months in.
There’s some fraying around the toecap, and my right tongue looks to be slightly torn where the shoe flexes but that’s pretty normal since my right foot is larger than my left. And I’m wide-footed. And the shoe is 90 dollars. Give ’em a break.
Seriously, this isn’t a bad package at all and you’ve now got proof these will hold a full outdoor season. I’m more than happy with the price I paid.
The Nike KD Trey 5 VIII is a great option for those looking to keep some of that cash in their wallet and still bang the blacktop. A great outdoor option and a solid all-around option for just about any player. Minus the heavier/more explosive players since foot containment is rather questionable with these.
Solid comfort, deadly traction, a cushion setup that bottoms out quickly but still feels pretty good nonetheless, and decent support. Pair that with a not-so-90-dollar-like upper and this one’s a great package!
This one’s definitely going to arrive in my $100 budget shoe list – that’s for sure!
Is it better than Durant’s flagship KD 13? Depends. Cushion-wise, the KD 13 sports a beefier setup there. But the rest is actually pretty similar and the Trey 5 VIII will yield you much more playtime before breaking down.
The KD 14 and the KD Trey 5 IX are next. Can’t wait!
That’s it for the KD Trey 5 VIII review! I hope you found it useful and I hope I helped you make a decision. I encourage you to dive deeper into the $100 range and check out the absolute best performers for that price today. You’ll be surprised how many awesome shoes can be snatched for this much!
But I want to hear your thoughts on the Nikey KD Trey 5 VIII. Do you also feel the same way about containment? Have you played in the previous KD Trey 5 VII? Or perhaps you’ve got a question I haven’t yet answered in the review?
Leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you as quick as I can! I reply within the same day, so will be waiting for your hot takes and opinions!
Nike KD Trey 5 VIII$90
Fit & Comfort8.0/10
Value for the Price9.0/10
- True to size is optimal for most
- Cushion bottoms out rather quickly
- Questionable containment for heavy/explosive players
- A quality knit for $90
- Positions 1-3
- Low-profile players
- Linear-dominant players