Nike has unveiled Kobe Bryant’s tenth signature shoe, the Nike Kobe X designed by Eric Avar. Driven by superior performance, the KOBE X features hybrid cushioning, an advanced traction system and a seamless textile upper. Superior functionality is often driven by a less-is-more design philosophy where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The KOBE X blends three essential performance elements crafted into a clean, minimalist form.
The KOBE X hybrid cushioning combines Lunarlon with Nike Free-inspired siping to enhance natural movement, along with a new Zoom Air unit in the heel. This trio leads to a responsive ride that is a great combination of firm, soft and flexible.
Both the midsole and outsole are encapsulated in a translucent rubber casing to visually showcase the inner-technology. This transparent approach was also inspired by Bryant’s recent willingness to personally open up and reveal more of himself at deeper levels without reservation.
The outsole features hundreds of “nodules” that grip the court, similar to the intricacy of the treads on performance racecar tires, which grip and splay at high speeds. This new traction system works in tandem with the midsole cushioning to splay, flex and grip the court for zero distractions and maximum grip, similar to tires on a racetrack.
Advanced textiles offer lightweight breathability and are more durable and strong than traditional mesh. The KOBE X introduces a new open-weave textile that is inspired by the pattern and strength of sharkskin. Inside the shoe a mesh bootie enhances ventilation and provides a comfortable, snug fit. Nubuck fabric on the shoe’s tongue features a mamba-inspired snake scale pattern, while the tongue’s underside features unique graphic prints symbolic of each colorway storyline.
The shoe’s blue palette represents the pool water of Bryant’s 5 AM flight. The KOBE X 5 AM Flight is available globally at nike.com and select retail locations on February 7.
all images courtesy of NIKE