Nike KD Trey 5 VIII Review: My 8-Month Performance Breakdown

Here’s another cheap option for those still looking to ball on a budget, but comfortably. 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, build quality, versatility, and value for the price. I’ll also give you some alternative options at the end. Can a 90 dollar model outwork the more expensive competition? Let’s find out!



click for a full-sized sheet

KD Trey 5 VIII Review: Spec SheetPin






For those in a hurry: the Nike KD Trey 5 VIII won’t exactly blow anyone away but for a budget-friendly price, this is a solid performer.

The shoe fits similarly to most KD silhuettes (slighly long and narrow) but as a wide footer, I got away with my regular size.

Traction is great and they sport some of the deadliest looking outsoles that will get you through a few seasons, even outside.

Renew cushion does bottom out quickly but even after that, I enjoyed the ride the shoe provided. Support is pretty good too, though the heaviest & most explosive of players will want to be aware of questionable foot containment.

The knit & fabric build is super minimal and feels nice on-foot. This never felt like a cheap shoe when actually playing.

For alternatives, take a look at Nikey’s Renew Elevate if you’re looking to save even more cash and the KD 14 if you want a high-end option with a similar feel.

> The full review is below


Do they fit true to size or should you adjust? How comfy are they? Anything else to know?

KD Trey 5 VIII Review: TopPin
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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. They’re playable is what I’m saying.

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.

KD Trey 5 VIII Review: Side 1Pin
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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 other than to achieve a certain aesthetic.

I’m rambling too much about it though – it’s not that bad and it’s just an ankle collar. Onto the next.


Does it bite various surfaces & handle different conditions well? How long will these grip well outdoors?

KD Trey 5 VIII Review: OutsolePin
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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 the angle 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. And other reviews seem to report just that – so no worries if you’re planning on hooping in a gym!

Here’s a look at one of the more recent colorways – as you can see, all of ’em sport a multi-colored outsole design consisting of solid rubber. All good there.

KD Trey 5 VIII Review: Outsole 2Pin
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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 definitely 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.


How’s the impact protection and bounce? What about step comfort, heel-to-toe transitions, and stability?

KD Trey 5 VIII Review: HeelPin
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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 noticeably 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 quicker, fairly low to the ground, and the ride just feels more “energetic” 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 personally.

But you know what? I actually like the end result I’ve got with the shoe. It feels 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 explosive, and stick closer 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.

If you are in fact looking for that beefy, cushy ride a LeBron shoe provides – this won’t be your cup of tea. If balance is key for you though – this is fantastic stuff for 90 bucks.


How much all-around support does it provide? What about stability and lockdown? Any trade-offs?

KD Trey 5 VIII Review: BackPin
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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 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.

KD Trey 5 VIII Review: Side 2Pin
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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. I didn’t notice this at first but putting a few longer games together in a row made me notice the minimalistic build.

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 with a lot of drives, cuts, and jumps to the rim, 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 or you’re considerably heavier than an average recreational hooper.


What are the materials choices and how do they perform on the court? How’s the reliability of the build?

KD Trey 5 VIII Review: ForefootPin
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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 thin 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 you see at this price range.

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. It’s cheap and basic but doesn’t do performance a disservice.

If someone says it does – they probably haven’t played in the KD Trey 5 VIII.

Ventilation is decent too – never thought about my feet getting overly hot while playing, so that’s a pass for me. And I’m playing solely outdoors & under the scorching sun most of the time.

All in all – the actual performance of this upper was not too shabby and I never once thought I’m hooping in a cheaply made shoe. Believe me, that can and DOES happen.


As for overall longevity – this isn’t bad. While the materials might not do foot containment a lot of justice for certain players, the shoe still holds its own 8 months in from a durability perspective.

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.


Concluding the KD Trey 5 VIII review. Are they versatile? Is it a good deal among other competitors?

KD Trey 5 VIII Review: PairPin
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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.


This is a great outdoor option and a solid all-around option for just about any player. Minus the heavy/especially explosive players since foot containment is rather questionable with these provided the circumstances.

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 if we’re talking about the outsoles.

The KD 14 and the KD Trey 5 IX are next. Both are out and I’ve now fully tested them both out. Check out the reviews!

The scores of the shoe are below!







Not sure on the KD Trey 5 VIII? Check out these potential alternatives

KD Trey 5 VIII Review: AlternativesPin
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Sporting a similar build and the same Renew setup but even $10 CHEAPER, the Nike Renew Elevate is a very attractive option that doesn’t break the bank. I’ve recently put it to the test – check out the review!

You’ll get similar outdoor durability, and save a tad bit of cash as well.

And if you’re ready to spend more and receive a higher-end package that does the things that the KD Trey 5 VIII did but better, definitely take a look at the KD 14.

Those don’t have such durable outsoles for long-term outdoor play (they’re fine for occasional play though) but the rest is nothing short of fantastic. I had a blast in the KD 14, no other way around it.


Share your opinions and add value to the future buyer!

KD Trey 5 VIII Review: Your ThoughtsPin
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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 range 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 foot containment? Have you played in the previous KD Trey 5 VII? I haven’t played in those so it would be interesting to hear your experiences.

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 quickly as I can! I reply within the same day, so will be waiting for your hot takes and opinions!







My final scores, takeaways, and recommendations

Nike KD Trey 5 VIII


Fit & Comfort


On-Court Performance


Value for the Price




Main Takeaways

  • True to size is optimal for most
  • Cushion bottoms out rather quickly
  • Questionable containment for heavy/explosive players
  • A quality knit for $90

Recommended For

  • Positions 1-3
  • Low-profile players
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