Starting in 2006 with his first signature shoe, Kobe Bryant has steadily released some of the highest quality basketball shoes on the market. Designed for the player who’s game requires a lot of cutting and slashing, Kobe shoes typically include multi-directional tread patterns on the outsoles, additional targeted lateral support, lightweight flexibility, highly responsive Nike Zoom Air™ units and an over-all lower profile than typical basketball shoes offer.
Although not his lightest shoe, the first Kobe signature shoe, the Zoom Kobe I, provided the support and protection required to keep up with an athlete of Kobe Bryant’s caliber. Focused on stability to accommodate the quick cutting and slashing that Kobe is known for, the Kobe I was on the Black Mamba’s feet when he scored a staggering 81 points against Toronto in 2006.
The follow up Kobe signature shoe, the Zoom Kobe II, was a lighter, more flexible shoe that still offered the required support. Lower to the ground, the Kobe II had a larger midsole to provide lateral support and protection to accommodate Kobe’s style of play.
The Kobe III featured a diamond patterned molded overlay over a one-piece mesh upper which was inspired by Kobe’s daughter Diamante. This lightweight stable upper provided additional support for hard, fast cuts on the hardwood. While wearing this shoe, Kobe was awarded his first league MVP award and led the Los Angeles Lakers to the NBA Finals.
The Zoom Kobe IV was radically different from it’s predecessors in that the development team at Nike performed much research and decided that low-top basketball shoes posed no greater risk of injury. Kobe had requested his next signature shoe be lighter and lower while providing the support required of a professional basketball MVP. The Kobe IV was on Black Mamba’s feet when he collected his fourth championship ring and won his first NBA Finals MVP award.
The sleeker, sharper Zoom Kobe V was introduced as the lightest, lowest basketball shoe available at a mere 10.6 ounces and was met with much fanfare. Lightweight yet extremely durable, this iteration of the Kobe basketball shoe featured Nike’s Flywire technology. Mobility and range-of-motion were not compromised, rather they were enhanced by this supportive yet extremely lightweight construction. Kobe wore these shoes the year he collected his fifth NBA Championship ring.
The Zoom Kobe VI took lightweight basketball shoes to a new level weighing in at just 10.2 ounces. The Black Mamba inspiration for this shoe was immediately apparent with the snake scale-like pattern covering an advanced Flywire technology on the upper. The low-cut design and Black Mamba-inspired traction pattern on the bottom allowed for Kobe to make even more quick, precise cuts when playing.
The seventh edition of the Kobe signature basketball shoe line was a revolutionary take on technologically-advanced performance footwear. Next-generation Flywire offered lightweight support and better lockdown. A Supreme version of this shoe was released that offered interchangeable midsoles called Attack Fast and Attack Strong. The Zoom Kobe VII Supreme shoe allowed a player to select the appropriate responsive cushioning system for their position and style of play.
A predator theme is apparent through most of the Kobe basketball shoe models — inspired by the black mamba himself — which adds to the fashion appeal of these remarkable kicks. With multiple colorways for each model, the Kobe line of performance basketball footwear is now sought after by both players and collectors alike.