The first glimpse of the upcoming Kobe VIII has finally been released on an unsuspecting public thanks to Counterkicks.

nike-kobe-viii-1 nike-kobe-viii-system-1


This is an early sample so as always we will reserve judgment until the final specs release as both tech and design can change.  If we have learned anything from the preview pics of the last few Kobe’s its that this designed pictured above is likely far from final.  What we have though is an obvious evolution of design that we have seen from the Kobe IV-VII.  The big buzz word with this release is “Engineered Mesh”.  While it doesn’t quite roll off the tongue quite like hyperfuse or flywire this new mesh technique promises performance maneuvered manufacturing for a lighter weight body, maximum ventilation in function, and a sport specific upper.

As you can see the shoe also is once again going to be part of a “system” ala the VII as seen by the ankle sock structure.  Just exactly what options will be part of this system are yet to be seen.

Perhaps one of the most shocking elements of this shoe, or rather the most shocking absence, is the lack of flywire.  Flywire has of course been a staple of the Kobe line since the IV.  Perhaps the most obvious design element of the shoe pictured above is one that perhaps will not be staying.  The Swoosh, which gives a bit of a dynamic feel by being placed so far forward towards the toe box, will instead be returned to a more traditional position along the side of the shoe from everything I have read.

As is the norm, the internet at large seems to be crapping all over the early design of the VIII but for once I like what I see at this early stage.  Lets hope that continues…