When one ends, a new era is beginning. The NIKE KOBE XI is the last on-court signature shoe from Kobe Bryant. Mid-season he announced that it will be his very last one, retiring after completing his 20th season in the league. It clearly wasn't the season he imagined it to be. Besides his recent injury history, the Lakers are far from calling themselves a play-off spot contender. Not even Kobe's greatness was able to save the sinking ship – rather the captain himself sank along with it. But still, the Black Mamba leaves the league saluting, adding a rare smile to his mixed emotions. The game will miss Kobe, Kobe will miss the game, that's certain. Almost as certain as Kobe going down as one of the best players to ever play the game of basketball. Does he bid farewell releasing the best basketball shoe ever? No, because that would not fit his desire and will of steadily improvement. His career may be coming to an end, but does that mean his sneaker line has to as well? A guy named Michael would disagree.
To describe the KOBE XI in a nutshell only a few words are needed: pure simplicity combined with a clean and modern design. The upper receives an upgraded Flyknit version which is accompanied by TPU to strengthen sophisticated areas and make sure a stable hold is ensured. Furthermore, a lightweight breathability has been achieved. Through a direct connection between sole and upper, an unique and deep standing leads to the literal witnessing of the drop-in Lunalon foam as well as the Nike Zoom Air in heel. Thanks to the low-top design and a translucent rubber outsole a multidirectional range of motion alongside a multidirectional traction are provided.
Kobe aka Vino aka Black Mamba aka Dark Knight and so on. A man with more nicknames than points per game sure is unique. Reason enough to differentiate from the other „Easter“ shoes Nike released. Where LeBron and Kyrie turn to bright colors and pastel shades, Kobe – as usual – walks his own path. Starting off with bright mango in the heel area it slowly transmutes into a dark grey towards the forefoot area, creating a contrast. To put the icing on the cake, Nike decorated the sneaker's heels individually. On the left heel four red lines illustrate the four threads that were used in his achilles operation back in 2013. A skull is depicted on the right heel. Mamba out!
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