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Nike Kobe Bryant Basketball Shoes

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2 Item(s)

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THE HISTORY OF


Nike Kobe Basketball Shoes

  • Kobe I
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  • Kobe II
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  • Kobe III
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  • Kobe IV
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  • Kobe V
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  • Kobe VI
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  • Kobe VII
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  • Kobe VIII
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  • Kobe IX
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  • Kobe X
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ONE NAME THAT EVERYBODY KNOWS IS KOBE BRYANT, THE BLACK MAMBA. BORN RIGHT HERE IN PHILADELPHIA, KOBE BEAN GRADUATED FROM LOWER MERION HIGH SCHOOL AND WENT STRAIGHT TO THE NBA. HE BECAME FAMOUS FOR HIS GAME WHICH FAVORS A LOT OF CUTTING, SLASHING, DODGING, AND GETTING UP TO THE HOOP. STABILITY AND SUPPORT ARE KEY IN KOBE'S SNEAKERS SO HE TEAMED UP WITH NIKE BASKETBALL TO CREATE A LINE OF MODERN AND GROUND-BREAKING BASKETBALL SHOES, RELEASING A NEW EDITION EVERY YEAR.



Nike Air Zoom Kobe I
Kicking off his signature line, the Nike Air Zoom Kobe I debuted in 2006. Putting in two-a-days and weighing in at 225 pounds in the off-season, Kobe was in prime shape and the goal for the Zoom Kobe collection was to create top of the line basketball sneakers geared towards high-performing athletes, like Kobe. This first shoe weighed slightly more than the other Kobe signature kicks but it did not fail in providing the needed support and protection. The Zoom Kobe I featured a big outrigger on the lateral side for the needed stability and the molded Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) wrap held the heel down and provided the solid framework. The shoe's outsole enjoyed a multi-directional pattern for superior traction. His first signature shoe saw him through an amazing 2005-2006 season with 35.4 points per game, a career-high, and 5.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists. The Zoom Kobe I's abilities were on display during his game on January 22, 2006 when Kobe infamously dropped a total of 81 points versus the Toronto Raptors as Kobe, single-handedly one of the greatest scoring displays in basketball history. Needless to say, the ride of these shoes met Kobe's needs to a fault.
Nike Zoom Kobe II
The very next year brought the Nike Zoom Kobe II's as Kobe slimmed and toned down after that incredible season. Working again with Nike Basketball designer Ken Link, Kobe and Nike released a shoe that was slightly modeled after the successful Huarache 2K4 that was not strictly part of the Kobe collection but soon became synonymous with Kobe's name, nonetheless. The Kobe II donned a single-layer construction system that allowed for a lighter and considerably more flexible sneaker, while still offering accurate support via the series of panels. With Kobe's request for a low profile shoe, Nike Basketball built-in the Nike Free and Nike Considered concepts to the shoe. These also created a shoe with maximum flexibility. With the single-layer formation, the Kobe II was the first Nike Basketball shoe to be stitched together completely rather than being chemically bonded. The stitching reduced waste and eliminated the use of the toxic chemicals from the process. The midsole of the Kobe II was enlarged for more lateral support and protection and the Zoom Air units were embedded into the insole on the heel and forefoot. Bryant wore these during the next 2006-2007 season where he averaged 31.6 points per game, 5.7 rebounds, and 5.4 assists.
Nike Zoom Kobe III
For the Nike Zoom Kobe III's, designer Eric Avar took over and the change in designers significantly changed the path of the signature shoe line. Using the black mamba snake as a foundational inspiration, the Kobe III pulled on a very unique look and is distinctly unique from its brothers in the Zoom Kobe line. Kobe wanted a "sleek and deadly" concept in this next installment going off of the snake known for its kiss of death. Ultimately, the Kobe III featured a distinctive waffle-like, one-piece mesh upper with an injected molded pattern that proved lightweight and very stable. This diamond pattern of the upper and the outsole was a tribute to Kobe's daughter, Diamante. The protruding outrigger was continued in this shoe and did not fail in providing superior stability and support. Complete with the Zoom Air in the heel and forefoot, the ride in the Zoom Kobe III was comfortable and very cushioned. Despite the mixed response from sneaker enthusiasts and Kobe fans, the shoe was built to be as sleek and deadly as Kobe requested, adding attributes that made the shoe conforming, responsive, and breathable. This showed as Kobe won his first League MVP award and led the LA Lakers to the Finals during the 2007-2008 season, wearing the III.
Nike Zoom Kobe IV
The next in the Zoom Kobe line came out the next year with significant changes. The Kobe IV's silhouette was lowered to feature a low-top basketball shoe. Bryant wanted the lightest, lowest shoe possible without sacrificing any support. With extensive research, it was found that the low-top posed no greater threat or risk of injury for basketball players. The controversy of the decision yielded a famous Kobe Bryant commercial about guarding against broken ankles. Besides the silhouette of the Kobe IV, the shoe continued to feature characteristic traits that helped Kobe's game, including the protruding outrigger for stability and the carbon fiber midfoot shank for increased spring and to keep the shoe from twisting when making cuts. The upper of the shoe featured Nike Flywire technology for a lightweight but very supportive minimalistic upper and the inner collar was lined with foam for a snug fit. The Lunar Foam midsole and Zoom Air technology created a responsive but cushioned ride and the external heel counter guaranteed a secure lockdown. Traditional herringbone pattern and a creative, venom-inspired graphic proved to provide excellent traction. Wearing the Kobe IV in the 2008-2009 season, Kobe Bryant earned his fourth Championship ring and won his first NBA Finals MVP Award.
Nike Zoom Kobe V
The Kobe V continued on the super-low, super-light trajectory of the Zoom Kobe IV. Eric Avar pulled through again with Nike Basketball team to deliver another original style. The sleek and sharp Zoom Kobe V greeted the world at a never-before-heard-of 10.6 ounces, the lightest and lowest basketball sneaker to date. The thin upper was made of a minimal and lightweight skin with Flywire technology. Flywire technology is an ultra-strong material for a secure lockdown. The individual cables target support areas and they ultimately replaced the heavier overlays found in older models. The Flywire dramatically helped in the reduction of weight in the Zoom V which gave way to Kobe's maximum mobility while still allowing for his feet to reach a full range of motion. The ride of the V continued to be well-cushioned and comfortable for Bryant with the Nike Zoom Air in the heel and the forefoot. A heartbeat-inspired outsole has a herringbone-like traction pattern but was strategically carved out to help reduce the weight of the shoe. The shoe was precise, looked great, and played even better because Kobe collected his fifth NBA Championship ring wearing the Nike Zoom Kobe V.
Nike Zoom Kobe VI
Six came out in 2011 with a few modifications to the V. Like the previous two models, it was low-cut and lightweight, weighing in at 10.2 ounces in men's size 9 but for this one, the designers were challenged by Kobe to create a shoe that was engineered specifically and only for basketball players. This required a total inside-out breakdown. The Kobe VI features a dual-density sockliner to mold to the shape of each player's foot. This form-fitting sockliner extended higher up on the ankle than most for a cradle effect on the foot and for a better fit. It worked with the heel counter for an even tighter, more supportive boost in the heel. The Kobe VI also added an Achilles notch for greater comfort, a higher heel construction for a slimmer profile collar, and a higher density, full-length injected Phylon midsole specifically designed for basketball. Again, the Kobe VI sports the Nike Zoom unit in the heel for superior responsive cushioning. Taking further inspiration from the black mamba, the upper of the Kobe VI flaunts a texture similar to the snake's scales on the upper and outsole of the shoe. Advanced Nike Flywire technology is still incorporated into the upper for support but remains subtler than the others in the collection. Another black mamba-esque feature is in the traction which features a pattern and flex grooves designed for agile moves and quick and precise cues. As always, the tongue badge sports Kobe's signature "dagger" logo. Designed for mobility during those quick cuts and defensive guard plays, The Zoom Kobe VI did not fail to deliver.
Nike Zoom Kobe VII
The seventh edition of the collection was launched the next year with an "Attack Fast." theme, the way the All-Star Lakers guard played the game. Because of the incredible way he was known to play, Kobe Bryant became known as one of the best finishers, or "the clutch" player, in the game's history. So the theme for the Zoom Kobe VII was to capture the essence of the "hunt or be hunted" state of mind he played in. With that in mind, the VII embraced the predator themes throughout the shoe. A removable sock liner was incorporated and the responsive low-cut upper style continued, as was started from the Zoom Kobe IV. The power-stretch cuff sock liner offered increased stability and a sock-like fit, eliminating the unnecessary weight of the traditional tongue and inner-sleeve. The Zoom Air units were again placed in the heel and forefoot for the low-profile responsiveness that was expected from Kobe's signature shoe. Later, the Zoom Kobe VII Supreme was released with interchangeable midsoles in two styles, The Attack Fast and the Attack Strong. The Attack Fast insert featured a Phylon midsole for a game based on speed. The Cushlon midsole in the Attack Strong came with an ankle cuff for a plush ride with superior support. These were designed to protect the players that like to get intense and physical in the paint. The Flywire upper told the story of predators in the wild with life-like "skin" cast in polyurethane, like the Leopard, Great White Shark, Grey Wolf, and Black Mamba. This predator concept came from a trip to South Africa where Bryant realized that he wanted to go into a profession, similar to predators, where you've got to go after something, "you hunt or be hunted."
Nike Zoom Kobe VIII
The Kobe 8 SYSTEM launched in December of 2012. The innovative VIII was, again, a result of a close collaboration between Nike Performance Footwear Creative Director, his team and Kobe. Their efforts created Kobe's lowest and lightest performance basketball shoe to date, weighing in at 9.6 ounces in a men's size 9. Kobe wanted a shoe that would mirror his quick performance and act as an extension of his foot. Avar was quoted saying that he and his team worked to create a product "that works in harmony with the human body" by "pushing the limits of the form to be fast, to be precise, to be modern." The newest edition continued to take inspiration from Bryant's on-court alter ego, the Black Mamba, with a provocative graphic snakeskin print on a the Nike Engineered Mesh. This is the first time the supportive, almost second-skin-like mesh was incorporated onto a basketball shoe. The mesh is an innovative textile that is dynamic and ultra-lightweight. It is 90 percent mesh for 360 degrees of breathability and tightly woven for strength and flexibility to shape and bend with the foot. Working with the Nike Engineered Mesh is a no-sew, synthetic overlay on the toe and lateral quarter panel for added support. All of this allows for the shoe to fit so perfectly that it actually does seem to become a extension of Bryant's foot. With a full-length Lunarlon midsole and a one-millimeter rubber outsole, the shoe delivers lightweight, low-profile cushioning, excellent durability, and greater stability. The outsole combines the classic herringbone traction pattern with an inspired snake scale pattern for added multi-surface traction. Kobe 8 SYSTEM is also offering various performance and style customization options with NIKEiD. Customers can add their name, number and favorite colors, then tailor to their personal specifications by choosing from four cushioning options for comfort and control. Throughout 2013, Nike Basketball and Kobe have released several colorways of the VIII but all sport the reptilian, snake-like feel of the black mamba.
Nike Air Zoom Kobe 9
Designer Eric Avar had big plans for Kobe's ninth signature model with the Swoosh. He put huge emphasis on strength, durability, and speed, but also wanted the kicks to enhance the foot's natural movements. He achieved this by implementing three key technologies: Flyknit, Flywire, and Lunarlon. While each of these have been featured in successful Nike models before, they come together here to create the ultimate basketball machines. The Flyknit creates a seamlessly engineered upper that keeps things as light as possible while eliminating uncomfortable stitched areas. The strong but always dynamic Flywire comes in to offer an exceptional lockdown feeling through the midfoot. The anti-gravity-influenced Lunarlon provides springy and responsive cushioning that works with you and keeps you connected to the court at all times. Aside from the three aforementioned puzzle pieces, the Elite is loaded with a few other elements that make it one of the most technically innovative basketball shoes to hit the court. A carbon fiber heel counter provides serious lateral stability, while still managing to fit the lightweight motif. A pressure map designed minimal rubber outsole sticks to Avar's original goal of playing off the foot's true movements by mimicking its natural contours. All in all, the Kobe 9 Elite is a fitting upgrade for LA's finest PA transplant.
Nike Air Zoom Kobe X
The Kobe X blends three essential performance elements crafted into a clean, minimalist form. Designer Eric Avar’s purposeful design philosophy driving Kobe Bryant’s tenth signature shoe comes alive with hybrid cushioning, an advanced traction system and a seamless textile upper. These technical innovations, combined with an inspirational narrative based on transparency, separates the Kobe X from the competition.
Hybrid cushioning combines Lunarlon, Nike Free-inspired siping grooves and a Zoom Air unit in the heel. The outsole features hundreds of “Nodules” that grip the court. Similar to the intricacy of the treads on performance racecar tires. The new open-weave textile upper is inspired by the pattern and strength of sharskin.

Since the beginning of this collection in 2006, the team at Nike Basketball and Kobe Bryant have worked tirelessly every year to bring something new to the table with each edition. They kept features that were good but changed whatever was necessary for a better, faster, lighter basketball shoe. As Kobe explained in a Nike official release "I'm always focused on improving my game, to perform at my best. [...] By shaving fractions off the height and weight (of the shoe), it allows me to play faster with more control so I can maneuver across the court - I want to feel like I'm moving at the speed of light." Each year, the shoe shocks the sneaker and basketball world, alike, by pushing the limits of the sneaker.