New Kobe XI – this is it

Here it is, the end of an era.  Today Nike announced the final on-court Kobe shoe.  The colorway is titled, Achilles Heel, and is a stunning red, black, and gold.  This model looks a lot like the Kobe 8 & 9 and in my book, that isn’t a bad thing.  We are also hearing rumors that there won’t be an Elite or High Top version of the Kobe.  That probably means they are going to push out a ton of colorways.  I hope they revisit some of the classic colorways for this final release.

The upper is made of an enhanced fly-knit which they are claiming is perfect for hoops as it has a plastic yarn woven in for flexibility and strength.  As long as it isn’t rigid like the Kobe X, it should be just fine.

The cushioning is a full-length Lunarlon insole with a drop-in zoom bag which should work well.  The forefoot section of the Lunarlon has grooves in it to increase flexibility.

The traction pattern is new with a multi-dimensional pattern that looks decent but we need some more info before we can judge the effectiveness.

All in all it looks great and yes, I’m more sad about the shoe line ending than Kobe’s career ending.  I think they will still push out shoes under the Kobe brand but like we saw with Jordan, it isn’t the same.

We have also seen a few other colorways release today which look promising.  This Kobe XI model – Achilles Heel – is scheduled for release on Jan 9, 2015.  I haven’t seen a price point yet but I imagine they will be $199.

Kobe 11

Kobe 11

kobe-11-black-white-03

Nike Kobe 11 Purple | Sole Collector

First look at the Kobe 11 low [UPDATE: this is GS version].  First impressions… looks like the Kobe 9  & 8… not a bad thing.  That outsole looks kind of bizarre as I’m not sure what type of cushion system they are using.  The upper looks like an engineered mesh or possibly a tight woven material.  Not a bad shoe but based on reports that Tinker was taking this one and that Kobe’s career is winding down,  I might have expected something more unique.

It’s finally here.

Source: Nike Kobe 11 Purple | Sole Collector

Nike Kobe 11 Release Date – Sneaker Bar Detroit

Kobe 11 is around the corner…

The Nike Kobe 11 release date is set to debut this January 2016 in a Red, Gold, and Black colorway, followed by a Kobe 11 Bruce Lee, Easter, and Lakers pair

Nike Kobe 11 Release Date

Nike Kobe 11
University Red/Metallic Gold-Black
January 9, 2016
$200

Nike Kobe 11 “Home”
White/Black-Court Purple
January 30, 2016
$200

Nike Kobe 11
Hyper Grape/White-Black-University Gold-Bright Crimson
February 27, 2016
$200

Nike Kobe 11 “Bruce Lee”
University Gold/Black-University Red
March 19, 2016
$200

Nike Kobe 11 “Easter”
Dark Grey/Volt-Bright Mango-Court Purple-Black
March 25, 2016
$200

Source: Nike Kobe 11 Release Date – Sneaker Bar Detroit

kobe X elite low Chester

Kobe X – Remaining Colorways Droppin

kobe2Remaining Drops for X are:

2 Elite Low:

-010 // BLACK/WOLF GREY/PINK FLASH/BLACK

-515 // COURT PURPLE/VIVID PURPLE/CAVE PURPLE/WHITE

$200

1 Elite Low – XMAS cw // 802560-076  // BLACK/BRIGHT CRIMSON//METALLIC GOLD // $250

1 Elite High – More Than Likely “WTK” // 802762-707 // TOUR YELLOW/VOLT//BLACK // $225

3 EM Low: 

-305 // EMERALD GLOW/COURT PURPLE//REFLECT SILVER

-402 // SOAR/DEEP ROYAL BLUE//METALLIC SILVER

-002 // BLACK/RADIANT EMERALD/DARK GREY/METALLIC SILVER

$180

2 Elite High:

-004 // BLACK/BLUE LAGOON/VOLT/METALLIC SILVER
-614 // UNIVERSITY RED/OBSIDIAN/BRIGHT CRIMSON/WHITE
$225

Then its
KOBE XI ELITE LOW// UNIVERSITY RED/BLACK/BRIGHT CRIMSON/METALLIC GOLD // 822675-670 // 01/09/15 // $200

Nike Kobe 10 USA Independence Day – Sneaker Bar Detroit

I told myself no more Kobe 10 until the flyknit low comes out but the “Independence Day” colorway is looking good.  I need a shot of that sole… gold ice?

The Nike Kobe 10 USA Independence Day, or commonly known as the 4th of July is set to release as part of the Nike Basketball 2015 USA Pack. The Kobe 10 USA

Source: Nike Kobe 10 USA Independence Day – Sneaker Bar Detroit

Best Players by Number : Mitchell & Ness

Check out the full article on Mitchell & Ness below but being a sports fan and uniform geek, this is a great read.  They have selected a top player who wore a particular jersey number in the NBA, 1-100.  For example, 23 Michael Jordan, 33 Larry Bird, 76 Shawn Bradley… you get the idea.

There are 14 numbers that have never been worn in the NBA so if you want to make a list like this in the future, this might help you find the number for you.

NBA Best Players by Numbers

Source: Best Players by Number : Mitchell & Ness

Nike iD Kobe 10 Designs | Sole Collector

Some are arguing the greatest Kobe X colorways are those of the Nike iD variety.  Here are a collection of some of the best.  Follow the link below to see all of the designs.  Below are some of my favorites.

Sneakerheads are coming up with better colorways than Nike.

Source: Nike iD Kobe 10 Designs | Sole Collector

KOBE X 'FUNDAMENTALS'

Kobe X ‘Fundamentals’ – Release Date. Nike.com

Is this the best Kobe X colorway so far?  I believe so but the verdict is out until we see the flyknit lows.

Find release dates and info for the Kobe X ‘Fundamentals’ on Nike.com. Follow all new releases with the Nike Launch Calendar.

Source: Kobe X ‘Fundamentals’ – Release Date. Nike.com

Nike Kobe 9 -  Elite Maestro / Allstar / Gumbo

Shoebiz – Nike Kobe 9 Collection

Well the Nike Kobe 9 is upon us and I’d like to chronicle the ins and outs of this new collection which is sure to please.  We are set to see an elite hightop version and two low versions (engineered mesh and flyknit).  Since the Kobe 8 was such a huge success, I sure hope Nike can top it with the Nike Kobe 9 series.

Nike Kobe 9 Collection

BACKGROUND – Behind the Nike Kobe 9 shoe design (from Nike):

The provocative KOBE 9 Elite embodies Nike’s singular focus on delivering innovation that makes athletes better.  Evidence of Nike’s passion to simultaneously push the limits of design is best proven in the details.  In this exclusive look at the KOBE 9 Elite Masterpiece we decode the creation of this striking shoe by sharing nine design details from Nike designer Eric Avar.  More than two years in the making, Avar worked closely with Kobe Bryant on the design and development process and estimates the two met in person 15 times, spending hours obsessing details to create The Masterpiece:

KOBE INSIGHT #1:  I WANT TO FEEL THE COURT.

Eric Avar:  “We created a thin web outsole less than 3 millimeters thick, combined with a responsive Lunarlon insert.“

Performance result:  This combination puts the foot in close contact with the court surface, allowing agile cuts, quick response and tremendous court feel.

KOBE INSIGHT #2:  I’M LOOKING FOR A HIGH-TOP THAT FEELS LIKE A LOW-TOP.

Eric Avar: “Let’s integrate lightweight ankle support with a Flyknit collar that is barely noticeable.”

Performance result:  Allows a natural range of motion, proprioception and an intuitive fit with the lightweight feel of a low-top.  The collar is high, but there are zero distractions or restrictions.

KOBE INSIGHT #3:  MAKE IT PERSONAL.

Eric Avar: “We’ll incorporate nine red sutures stitched up the back of the shoe.”

Performance result:  Toughness. These sutures represent Bryant’s commitment to recover from a torn Achilles.

KOBE INSIGHT #4:  I WANT TO MOVE WITH THE QUICKNESS OF A BOXER.

Eric Avar: “Create a design that acts as a second skin and locks in the foot.”

Performance result: A natural feel of the upper, combined with sole that “moves with you,” allows basketball movements that mimic the footwork you see in a boxing ring.

KOBE INSIGHT #5:  USE THE BEST MATERIALS.

Eric Avar: “Flyknit, Flywire, Lunarlon and carbon fiber are outstanding for performance.”

Performance result: The combination of high-performance materials are lightweight, responsive, strong and durable.  For a player like Bryant who runs more than four miles in the average game, shedding weight without compromising strength makes a significant impact.

KOBE INSIGHT #6:  COMFORT IS KEY.

Eric Avar: “A quilted tongue and padded inner-sleeve will provide a great feel, with aero mesh in the inner sleeve for comfort and breathability.”

Performance result:  In tandem with the Flyknit, the quilted tongue and inner bootie provide a comfortable, glove-like fit.

KOBE INSIGHT #7:  INJECT SOME CHAOS.

Eric Avar: “Evolve the Chaos colorway and feature four distinct shades in the Flyknit’s four threads: red, purple, green and black.  The Chaos colorway began with the Kobe IV in 2008 as a tribute to Kobe’s intrigue with the joker – let’s parlay that into the ‘Masterpiece’ colorway.”

Performance result: Distinction on the court.  Absolutely no pair of the Masterpiece colorway are the same, they are all unique – like snowflakes. The Flyknit creation process weaves a one-of-a-kind upper so that no shoe is the same; the color blend is different on each shoe.

KOBE INSIGHT #8:  I WANT TO STOP AND CUT ON A DIME.

Eric Avar: “An evolved herringbone traction pattern that mimics the foot’s natural pressure mapping – what nature intended.”

Performance result: With an outsole traction pattern that provides maximum grip, no slipping and sliding on the court.

KOBE INSIGHT #9:  KEEP PEOPLE GUESSING.

Eric Avar: “Let’s include the Kobe code.”

Performance result: Small details matter, both in basketball and design. The Kobe code is featured on each shoe, both on the lateral (outside) and medial (inside) sides of the midsole.  Code on lateral side translates to: ‘Masterpiece.’ Code on medial side translates to ‘Veni, vidi, vici,’ an inspirational Latin phrase that translates to “I came, I saw, I conquered.”

BACKGROUND – Behind the Kobe 9 Flyknit low design:

 

Kobe Bryant demands provocative design innovation. Aesthetics aside, his appetite for the most revolutionary footwear technologies, materials and fit have fueled a special connection with Nike designer Eric Avar.  The two have pushed the limits for a decade, with their vision coming full circle with the KOBE 9 Elite Low and special muses inspiring each colorway.

Reverting to a higher cut for the first time since the KOBE 3 in 2007, Bryant’s ninth shoe challenged convention when it launched last December.  The KOBE 9 Elite Low version debuts in new colorways beginning July 12, with innovation and inspiration that will change summer basketball.

DESIGN GENESIS

The KOBE 9 Elite Low is Bryant’s most innovative shoe to-date, featuring three leading technologies: Flyknit, Flywire and Lunarlon.  Flyknit provides a lightweight, breathable solution for a summer basketball shoe that performs equally well indoors or outdoors.

“Nike Flyknit acts as a super skin, giving athletes articulated strength similar to the engineering of a spider web – tension and strength just where they’re needed,” said Eric Avar, Nike VP of Innovation.

Flyknit and Flywire technologies are a one-two punch, leading to a dynamic fit for intricate, on-court footwork.  Eliminating bulk and distraction was a focus for Avar with disciplined design in a low cut with no distractions.

PURPOSEFUL

Flyknit technology introduces a new way to create a shoe upper out of what is essentially yarns. It drastically reduces waste from the upper with a low cut and efficient production process compared to traditional methods.

INSPIRATION

The KOBE 9 Elite Low brings Bryant’s muses to life.  The artistry of music and its ability to move and inspire people has always intrigued the athlete.  From classical to pop, he has appreciation for multiple genres.

The KOBE 9 Elite Low Hyper Grape is linked to music and its ability to transcend the decades, with artists, songs and dance moves that stand the test of time.  The purple upper pays homage to pop music and includes a moon surface graphic on the outsole.

The KOBE 9 Elite Low Beethoven pays tribute to the German composer and pianist, and more specifically the power of his Ninth Symphony from the early 1800s.  The grey color of this colorway represents Beethoven’s timeless quality.

The KOBE 9 Elite Low Hyper Grape releases on July 12, while the KOBE 9 Elite Low Beethoven debuts August 16; both globally at Nike.com and select retail locations.

 

 

Nike Kobe 8 WTK

Shoebiz – Nike Kobe 8 Collection

The Kobe 8 is one of the best basketball shoes ever made both from a hoop and a casual wear point of view.  I know my opinion is biased because of my appreciation for a low cut hoop shoe but I know I’m not alone.  Nike hit it out of the park with this line which combined performance, innovation, and creativity all into one great shoe.  This was the lightest shoe to date at 9.6 ounces which is always a good thing in my book.  This line also ran for a extended period of time.  The Nike Kobe 8 launched in Dec 20, 2012 and ended around January 2014.

Here is some of the background from Nike on the inspiration for this great line…

The Kobe 8 System is the result of a close collaboration between Nike Performance Footwear Creative Director Eric Avar, his team and Kobe himself. For his latest creation, Kobe wanted a shoe that acted as an extension of his foot, mirroring his quick performance while staying lower to the ground.

“I’m always focused on improving my game, to perform at my best.  I want my shoes to mimic the speed of my game,” Kobe said. “By shaving fractions off the height and weight, it allows me to play faster with more control so I can maneuver across the court – I want to feel like I’m moving at the speed of light.”

In response to athlete feedback, the design team incorporated an innovative textile — Nike Engineered Mesh — for the first time in a basketball shoe. This created a dynamic and ultra-lightweight fit that is 90 percent mesh for 360 degrees of breathability and tightly woven for strength and flexibility to bend naturally with the foot. Additionally, the no-sew, synthetic overlays on the toe and lateral quarter panel provide support for even the toughest games.

“We’re always pushing the limits of Kobe’s shoe to be faster, more precise, and to be modern,” Avar explained. “Kobe’s big on being bold, aggressive, provocative and making an impact. Working together, we’re on a never-ending quest for the perfect shoe for him.

“Nike Engineered Mesh creates a dynamic fit that syncs around Kobe’s foot to mimic the natural biomechanics, delivering security where he needs it. As the design team began working with the mesh, it took on this scale-like snake pattern that really brought the black mamba inspiration to life in compelling way.”

The shoe’s full-length Lunarlon midsole delivers lightweight, low-profile cushioning, and is low to the ground allowing for greater stability.  A one-millimeter rubber outsole – combining classic herringbone with a snake scale-inspired traction pattern – uses less rubber than traditional outsoles for lightweight durability and excellent multi-surface traction. The 3-D anatomical heel counter provides a sleek, locked down fit.

Beginning December 20, 2012, the black/sulfur color of the KOBE 8 SYSTEM will be available in stores globally, on nike.com and through NIKEiD. The python-inspired color launches in Greater China on January 12, 2013, and in North America on February 2, 2013.

Nike Kobe 8 Colorways