Nike does it every year.
They say that they’re going to innovate, create, and make things better. They’re not BASF, but with the way that they build on Kobe Bryant’s signature sneakers, it wouldn’t totally surprise me if they were.
Recently, the Swoosh premiered Bryant’s new shoe, the Kobe 8 System, and it is the lightest basketball shoe that the company has ever made across the board.
Nike had a few different approaches last year with the previous Kobe shoe. The Zoom Kobe VII was a departure from its previous old horse of making a snakeskin soccer boot, with Nike initially trying to take the attention off of the fact that the shoe was bulkier in build and emphasizing the science of its engineering, specifically fractal inspiration.
So what’s up with the Kobe 8 System?
Well, there’s always something different, but you can always count on what defines a Kobe shoe from Nike. Lightweight, comfort, low-cut style, and performance. That hasn’t changed, but what has changed is the build. There’s a reason why there are players wearing Bryant’s shoe all across the NBA, and it’s not just the snakeskin.
In the Kobe 8, you have a shoe that’s less than 10 oz. – 9.6 oz. to be exact, so wearing shoes that feel like sandals can be a very real thing (something Nike has been doing for 20 years.) But how exactly can a shoe weigh so little in the first place? Well, if you’re Nike, you make a shoe where the top is basically all mesh. That’s right. All mesh. The first performance footwear product from Nike Basketball featuring its patented Engineered Mesh, the Kobe 8 System drops exactly 4 oz. off of from the Zoom Kobe VII.
So what else is there?
Well, that same mesh-dominant upper is virtually seamless, which means no rub on that pinky toe when you’re making those sharp cuts on the hardwood. You’re saving yourself some blisters, blood, and new socks, fam.
And remember that beautiful weaved plate on the bottom of those favorite Jordans you love? The super hard plate that kept your arches supported and your feet from aching? Guess what – the new Kobe has a version of the same plate that’s bonded with glass for extra strength.
As popular as the Zoom Kobe VII/KobeSystem was, it got a lot of criticism for being bulky and unnecessarily customizable, but it got a lot of love, too. In the Kobe 8 System, the same modularity applies, but it’s smoother. You can buy the full Kobe 8 System, which comes with two main types of midsoles – one has Nike’s LunarFoam with a traditional tongue attached, and the other has an ankle brace socklet that uses Nike’s Zoom Air.
Ultimately, the Kobe 8 System is about specificity, and it isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, but you can check for it on December 20th at nike.com or wait for the world release in February 2013, before the NBA All-Star break.