Nike to release what is assumed to be Kobe Bryant’s 11th and final signature shoe come January
Every year Kobe Bryant and Nike release a brand new signature shoe, usually alongside other side models, and this year is no different.
Since switching over from Adidas to Nike in 2003, Kobe Bryant has released 10 signature shoes and will release his 11th and final shoe come January 9, 2016.
Straight from Kobe himself, the shoe will utilize an improved, stronger flyknit material and a combination of technologies including Nike Free, Zoom and Lunar.
The shoe is always an extension of the athlete, in this case, you know for the years I’ve been with Nike, it’s an extension of myself. The shoe must be something that is going to help me perform better. If it doesn’t do that we’re not going to create the shoe.
Much like his other shoes, the Kobe XI features a low-top, soccer-styled silhouette and continues to push the boundaries in the basketball world.
Growing up I played a lot of soccer . . . I remember watching a game on TV, it’s a Champion’s League match, and saying ‘Man, they put a lot of torque on their ankles, actually more than we do. Why can’t I create a low basketball shoe, it doesn’t make any sense.’
Kobe went onto reveal how involved he is with the design aspect of the shoe.
So then I started doing a little more research and figuring out how the ankle actually benefits from being able to move freely in space, you put less stress on your knee joints, and things of that nature…
But now we really have to lock in that heel. Right, because you can’t have the heel sliding around because it puts the athlete in jeopardy, makes them more susceptible to ankle sprains and things like that.
It’s interesting to see Kobe’s deep connection with the shoe and how much he actually cares about the performance and how it assists the athletes who wear it.
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The first scheduled colorway of the shoe, dubbed the “Achilles Heel,” features a red and black upper with the helmet of Achilles on the right heel tab and four stripes paying homage to Kobe’s Achilles surgery on the left.
If you’ve followed the timeline of Kobe Bryant’s sneakers, it’s easy to realize how closely the last five or so models resemble each other.
That said, some fans were disappointed by Nike’s lack of creativity, considering the fact that this might ultimately be Kobe’s last signature sneaker.
At the end of the day, it’s the performance of the shoe that matters, and having tried a multitude of Kobe’s sneakers, I can say with certainty that these shoes will continue to impress consumers.
See more images of the Nike Kobe 11 “Achilles Heel,” here and stay tuned for an in-depth performance review once we’re able to get our hands on a pair.