KOBE Bryant’s final on-court shoe was revealed today by Nike Basketball.
“Throughout my time with Nike, I’ve obsessed the details of my shoes. For the Kobe 11, we worked to perfect Flyknit for basketball,” said the five-time NBA champion during a live Periscope event on Monday (Tuesday, Manila time) where he officially unveiled the latest edition of his signature shoe line.
“It’s about as simple we can make a performance basketball shoe,” said Nike designer Eric Avar.
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.
From a technical standpoint, the engineered knit upper is attached to a dynamic outsole. Nike continued to refine the tread of the traction. A drop-in midsole contains the Lunarfoam and Zoom Air cushioning right against the foot.
“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.
Details reveal some aspects of the Black Mamba’s personality. For the "Achilles Heel" colorway, the back of the sneakers referenced 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.
“It’s been a wild ride working with Kobe, no question about it. He’s always pushed us.”