10 Years of Mamba. Man has it really been that long? Prior to his Nike Zoom Kobe 1, Kobe Bryant had worn the Huarache 2K4’s that became instant classics and forever will be regarded as the best basketball shoe during that time. Then he scored 81 points in the Zoom Kobe 1 and also won his first MVP two years later in the Zoom Kobe 3. Fast forward to 2015, we have the most advance Kobe model yet. I say that every year, but this year, it truly is a technical advancement according to Nike Basketball.
First off, prior to the official Kobe X Unveiling from Nike Basketball, I was very iffy at the $180.00 USD price point. I mean, his first wave of shoes started at $120-$140 range. The Zoom Kobe 4 (my favorite) was $120! Since the unveiling, I looked into how much effort the design team led by Eric Avar put into the ten year model. Once again, Nike has put the latest and greatest tech into the most their most successful athlete, Kobe Bryant. The Nike Kobe X emphasizes three main performance features:
- Hybrid Cushioning – Zoom Air in Heel and Lunarlon in the Forefoot
- Advanced Traction System – Outsole features hundreds of “Nodules” that grip the court. Inspired by race car tires that grip the surface at high speeds
- Seamless Textile Upper – The new open-weave textile upper inspired by the pattern and strength of a shark skin
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Now I know you are probably calling this another “Gimmick” but the fact that Nike Basketball had decided to incorporate this into a Kobe model specifically, is pretty damn awesome. The outsole itself is made out of a whole new rubber compound that I have never seen before. For the past couple years, we’ve had Lunarlon for cushion so when I heard Zoom was returning to the Kobe X, I was stoked. And lastly, the upper was disappointing when I first saw them, but now I totally understand why they chose this textile upper over engineered mesh. It all made sense to me. However, don’t take my word or Nike’s word for it as you should make your own judgement upon release.
Avar aimed to have a very simplistic design compared to his past models. He strived for a simple look with lots of transparency to showcase the technology put into the sneaker. Like I mention in the video, it’s like a see through Gameboy where you can see the electric components within the device. Same thing going on with the Kobe X. I really dig the theme a lot. Nike usually goes out of the water with something out of the ordinary, but this year they kept it simple yet functional.
Take a look at my official video and early look at the upcoming Nike Kobe X All-Star Game shoe. One thing I forgot to mention in the video was the carbon fiber clip in the pinky toe area. Not sure what the function is, but I’m pretty sure it’s for extra support and stability for cuts and lateral movements. I really like it cause it’s minimal and they aren’t doing too much. Also there is no carbon fiber shank or TPU in the midfoot area so the shoe does flex pretty well.
The Nike Kobe X All Star Game will retail for $200.00 USD launching on February 14th, 2015.