The Nike KD12 ‘YouTube’ Is the Weirdest Collab of 2019


Nike’s new KD12 ‘YouTube’ shoe will go on sale Oct. 26. (Photo Credit: Nike)

It has been a truly wild year for sneaker collaborations. From steady pop culture landmarks like Marvel and Star Wars collaborating with Adidas to the truly out-of-left-field collaborations Nike has done with Friends and SpongeBob SquarePants, the worlds of sneakers and pop culture effectively exist without barriers anymore. Nike makes uniforms for the Overwatch League. Adidas has officially partnered with streaming juggernaut Ninja. We’re in the final frontier, guys. 

That’s probably why the newest upcoming collab on the Nike KD12 both is and isn’t much of a surprise. It’s coming at us next week as a part of the NBA’s 2019-20 season opening week and features a collaboration with none other than YouTube. 

The shoe features a white upper with a criss-cross netted pattern. The midsole and sole come in that classic YouTube red-orange color with a bright Nike swoosh to match. The tongues come in a detailed print featuring a ton of different YouTube icons, from like/dislike buttons to settings and closed captioning icons. The right shoe features the YouTube logo across the tongue, while the left features the name Kevin Durant in the same font next to the ultra-recognizable Play button. That icon pattern across the tongue also adorns the heel of the shoe, making for a really striking colorway overall.

Photo Credit: Nike

There’s no telling what led to this collaboration. Oftentimes collaborative colorways stem from either licensing deals with brands or the passion of players (most of Kyrie Irving’s pop culture crossovers like the aforementioned Friends and SpongeBob lines stem from his genuine passion for the properties). It feels odd to suggest that Kevin Durant is a big YouTube fan, as it’s kind of like saying someone is really into Google – even if you are, it’s not like everyone else doesn’t use it. 

Still, it’s an interesting dive into the world of web and tech and the shoe is pretty fire. It might even be the best possible holiday gift for the local YouTube Red fan in your life (there are dozens of subscribers, I think). We unfortunately won’t see Durant debuting the shoe on-foot in a game next week as he’s still rehabbing injuries sustained in the NBA Finals earlier this year, but the shoe itself, which retails for $150, will go on sale on Oct. 26 via the Nike SKRS app. Check listings for your local Foot Locker and other retail establishments if you’d rather pick it up in person.

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