Kobe Bryant is the third leader’s scorer in NBA history. His 81-point game against the Toronto Raptors is the second most points scored in NBA history. He won five NBA titles and two Finals MVPs. With a nickname like the Black Mamba, it is clear why he was one of the most feared players of his era. His killer mentality and willingness to take big shots made for some spectacular highlights over the course of his nearly 20-year career. What most people don’t realize is that Kobe was revolutionary in another way. He was the first player in the new era of big shoe deals to request his shoe be designed as a low top. While Kobe will never grace an NBA court as a player again, many players will be wearing his latest shoe, the Kobe AD NXT 360. Following are 10 things you likely did not know about his shoe.
1. It Has 100 Percent Flyknit Upper
This has to be the first and only basketball shoe in which the entire upper is made out of a mesh-knit material. The shoe has not overlays, no caging, and no backing material — I mean absolutely nothing but Nike’s Flyknit. You can literally ball the shoe up into a ball. It is not clear how much support a shoe like this will give, but I am sure we will find out this season, as it is certain that some rookie will be wearing that shoe.
2. The Upper is Broken Down Into Six Different Panels
Each of these panels is strategically placed and each one has its own density level. This design serves two purposes. First, it has the capacity to stretch and give when and where needed. Second, it provides solid support where necessary. While the traditional design is completely absent here, Nike invested a lot of money into developing a shoe what would support the explosiveness of the most powerful athlete.
3. You Can Literally See Through Some of The Panels
The panels that are very thin can literally be seen through when the shoe is off. For an experienced athlete, there is something not quite right with the design. Although Nike has spent millions developing the shoe, conventional wisdom says you can get hurt really bad in the shoe. The shoe looks nice. I would definitely wear it as a fashion statement, but to hoop in, I am not so sure.
4. The React Technology Lives Up to the Hype
There has been a lot of hype surrounding Nike’s Epic React cushioned support. I have not tried them on a basketball court, and I am not sure that I will. However, they feel good and provide comfort. The shoe definitely gives you the feeling that you can get more lift with the sole and under the support of the shoe.
5. The Shoe is Literally Reactive
The shoe is designed for guards and very quick forward. Guard who are quick like say a Kyrie Irving, the ability to stop and start on a dime means that you will be able to break a lot of ankles. Hopefully one of them will not be your own.
6. The Sole Provides Impact Protection
For explosive athletes that are able to get an exceptional lift when they jump, how you land means everything. The impact protection built into the sole, especially the heel, ensure a soft landing that will not cause as much damage to the joints as a conventional shoe.
7. One-of-a-Kind Traction Pattern
Since Nike and Kobe have been working together, one thing that has been constant in the fact that they change the traction pattern of the show. This model is no different. The bottom of the shoe is designed with hundred of multidirectional nobs that are adequately spaced to provide optimal traction. This will ensure that the player’s foot will not slip.
8. The Design is Not Suited for Wide Feet
This shoe is designed to fit much like a superhero’s suit. When you put it on, it is almost like you are not wearing anything, with the exception of the cushion and supportive sole. The problem is that the shoe is sort of long in the toe area, which makes it a poor fit for people with wide feet.
9. The Least Supportive Kobe Shoe Ever
The Kope lineup has never been in the top five in support. The shoes were designed to be light and comfortable. But the AD NXT 360 is easily the least supportive shoe to ever wear Kobe’s name. What this means is that it will like work best for smaller guards. Heavier players will have problems planting, starting and stopping in this shoe.
10. Multicolor is the New Uni-Color
If this shoe design is any indication, multicolored kicks are going to be rocked in the NBA this year. The Black Ads are also blue, green, and red. There was a time in which the NBA said two colors was the max. They even gave Michael Jordan a hard time about the Air Jordan Ones. Things have changed now, so these multicolored shoes should fit right in.