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.