PINOY sneakerheads have reason to rejoice as Kobe Bryant’s last on-court shoe has dropped in Nike retail and footwear specialty stores in the country on Saturday.
The Kobe Zoom 11 will initially be available in “Achilles Heel” colorway. The low-cut, minimalist sneaker was designed by Nike Innovation Director Eric Avar in collaboration with the five-time NBA champion.
To generate buzz, Nike hid 20 autographed pairs of Kobe Bryant’s latest signature shoe in cities around the world and invited fans to find them based on clues revealed on social media.
With a theme of “innovative simplicity,” Bryant and Avar collaborated on what appears to be a clean, no-frills design compared to previous versions of the Los Angeles Laker star’s shoes.
“I enjoy the design process. I enjoy the storytelling aspect to it. It’s all those little stories that we have in the product that makes it personal. What makes the Kobe 11 special is that we continue to evolve it, we continue to make it better,” Bryant said during the launch last December.
“You’re starting to see us merge some of the greatest technologies that we’ve created over at Nike and putting them into a single product. We believe in just pushing boundaries man and creating things that help athletes be better.”
With a theme of “innovative simplicity”, the Black Mamba’s new signature kicks have a cleaner and simpler look when compared to his previous shoes but the newest edition has a lot of technology built in to improve the wearer’s on-court performance.
The engineered knit Flyknit upper is reinforced with TPU nd is attached to a dynamic outsole. Cushioning has always been a Nike staple, the XI has drop-in midsole composed of Lunarfoam and a Zoom Air cushioning unit in the heel.
“I think the legacy for the Kobe shoe would be first and foremost about true performance, lightweight, responsive and… the essence of simplicity. But I think more than anything where I would hope for would be that the product is a representation of Kobe. Kobe challenged us to distill everything down to the simple essence of simplicity and just super-clean, modern design,” Avar explained.
For the "Achilles Heel" colorway, the back of the sneakers references Bryant’s 2013 Achilles injury with a graphic representing the Greek hero Achilles on the right heel and on the left are four horizontal bars for the four feet of thread used to stitch the Bryant’s Achilles heel.
The Kobe Zoom XI has a retail price of P9,895.