I got my hands on the upcoming Elite version of the Kobe X. Just like last years, Nike brings Flyknit back with a new twist. The overall Flyknit pattern has changed as well as the type of materials involved with the upper. Let’s have a look…
First thing I noticed when I had the pair in hand was the weight. The Kobe X Elites are incredibly light. With that said, I’m not saying that the Kobe 9 Elite were heavy in any way, but you could totally tell the difference between the two. So why the difference in weight? Nike decided to go the lightweight route by removing a lot of thickness around the collar and added mesh windows throughout the Flyknit upper for increased ventilation. If you take a look at the image below, you can literally see the mesh in between the Flyknit. It almost reminds me of Spiderman’s webbing; it looks like spiderweb mesh. Without putting them to the test, we currently have no idea what or how it’ll effect the performance of the sneaker, but it should provide a lot more ventilation than last year’s.
I noticed was how THIN the collar and Flyknit is. Early on, I assumed that the price of this years Elite Kobe would rise about $10-20, thankfully, it didn’t. Now physically seeing these, I can see why they might have kept it at $225.00 USD. It feels like we’re getting a lot less of a premium feel than previously. Not only is it lighter, but the thickness of the Flyknit and padding is no longer there.
In the photos above, you can see the difference between the Kobe 9 Elite and Kobe 10 Elite around the collar; judge for yourself. What caught my eye was the added heel/achilles notch and padding in the rear. Nike added some padding to support the achilles which felt great and assuring. I think this addition was smart as it aludes to Kobe’s achilles tear. The tongue felt great with a lot of padding.
As far as the cushion, it is no different than the standard Kobe X model. Personally, I couldn’t enjoy the Kobe X due to the stiffness of the upper and how awkward the shoe would flex onto my feet during my games. For that reason, I’m really looking forward to hoop in these Flyknit Kobe X’s. There is a significant amount of fuse or glue backing behind the Flyknit to provide enough containment for the foot. You can’t just have Nike Flyknit by itself in the sport of basketball.
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