words // Brandon Richard
images // Sole Collector China
For the Nike Kobe 8 System, new performance elements were brought together to create Kobe Bryant's lowest and lightest performance model to date. The shoe's graphic snakeskin print was inspired by Kobe's on-court alter ego the Black Mamba, as well as the Chinese Year of the Snake.
Once again meeting with Nike Performance Footwear Creative Director Eric Avar, Kobe requested a shoe that acted as an extension of his foot, complimenting quick performance while staying low.
"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."
The design team responded by implementing Engineered Mesh for the first time in the basketball shoe. No-sew overlays enhanced support, full-length Lunarlon handled the cushioning and a 3D anatomical counter provided a sleek, lockdown fit.
Below, a detailed look at the 'What the Kobe' 8 dropping this Friday.