Who says it's OK to wear low-top basketball shoes? LA Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, that's who. And you don't want to challenge Kobe.
Fresh off an MVP season, the first in his career, Kobe is switching up his style. The question is: if it ain't broke, why fix it? "You're always looking to get better," Kobe says. "You can have a good season and rest on your laurels, or you can continue to push the envelope and continue to get better.
"We're going to continue to evolve," he continues. "That's my goal, to create the perfect basketball shoe."
Kobe's vision for the perfect shoe has been realized, and it's a low-topthe Zoom Kobe IV. The lightest basketball shoe ever made by Nike (11.6 ounces), the Kobe IV helps the foot move in its natural state while increasing mobility and movement.
"My vision for the shoe is to have it be one and the same as the foot," Kobe says. "Normally, in a basketball shoe, when you cut, you can feel your foot slide in the shoe. If your foot is sliding, you're losing valuable seconds."
The Kobe IV allows the foot to move as it's intended to move. Flywire technology provides lightweight support and comfort while also strengthening the shoe. LunarLite foam embedded in the shoe's forefront offers lightweight cushioning; and Nike's Heel Lock system keeps your foot from sliding on the footbed during cuts.
"As soon as you put this shoe on, you will feel the difference," Kobe says. "It feels like you're running on pillowcases."
Like Kobe's multifaceted game, the Zoom Kobe IV was inspired by multiple sources, including soccer. An avid futbol fan, Kobe noticed the amount of torque soccer players place on their ankleseven more than basketball players, and even while wearing lower cut shoes. So, Nike and Kobe went to the drawing board to collaborate on developing the perfect basketball shoe.
The Zoom Kobe IV, available early February 2009, will retail for $120.
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock