The wait is over, the Nike Kobe 11 is here…
I was very fortunate enough to get my hands on these early thanks to a friend and I got to say, I was impressed. Nike Basketball isn’t bringing any new technology to the table this time around, but they don’t really have to. In short, Nike perfected their already existing technologies and applied it to the last on court sneaker for Kobe Bryant.
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I’m not going to lie, at first, I was let down by the initial leaked images. It was the same silhouette that we’re familiar with, however, I wasn’t surprised. Knowing lead designer, Eric Avar, they stuck with the existing formula that ‘simply worked’. For the last several years, the Kobe signature sneaker has been the staple in performance basketball. Whether it’s in the NBA, College or High School level, the ratio of Kobe sneakers on court are quite large.
The Kobe XI model looks to continue that tradition with an all-new reinforced Flynit upper and the return of a Lunarlon Zoom Air combination. Similar to the Lebron 11, a Lunarlon insert encases Zoom Air technology providing ultimate responsiveness for on court feel and comfort. Kobe’s are always comfortable for me (minus the Kobe 7), but these are right up there with the Kobe 4 and 5. You can really feel the Flyknit upper move with your foot without hotspots or pinching whatsoever. Unlike the previous model, the Kobe 10, Nike got rid of the heavy glue backing reinforcement and used TPU threads instead. This gives the upper flexibility without adding weight or stiffness. Now THAT’s perfecting your craft.
Nike iD is rumored to have an alternate insert option with Full-Length Nike Zoom Air as pictured here.
Fit is true to size, although you might want to try these on in-store as it is an all-new material. But if you had to choose, I would say go with your true size or your normal size in Kobe’s. Also, my only negative about the shoe would be it’s traction. The rubber outsole is quite thin so the longevity of the grip may not last long, even indoors. I definitely would not recommend these outdoors (for obvious reasons). I wish Nike would have given them a better tread, but we’ll see how it plays out on court in our performance review.
For more information, make sure to check out the video above as I go in depth with lace pressure and materials on the Kobe 11. Keep it locked here on Kicksologists for all the latest Kobe 11 sneaker news.