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Nike unveils Kobe Bryant’s latest signature shoe, the Kobe 9 Elite (PHOTOS)

Dec 5, 2013, 9:28 AM EDT

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Nike held an event at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles to unveil its latest signature shoe for Kobe Bryant, the Kobe 9 Elite. And it’s a huge change from what we’ve seen out of Bryant’s line over the past several seasons.

From the official release:

“Designed with Kobe’s tech insights and design inspirations, the KOBE 9 Elite features three key technologies: Nike Flyknit, Flywire and Lunarlon, giving the shoe superior lightweight performance. The innovative design enhances the foot’s natural movements while providing Kobe with strength, durability and speed, plus all the benefits of natural motion where he needs it most.

“I draw inspiration from where I am as a player, as a person, and where my career is at this moment.  I’m trying to do something that the majority of people think is impossible to do,” Kobe reflected when asked about the inspiration for his latest shoes and about getting back into the game. “I let my emotions out when I step on the basketball floor, it’s always been my escape, and these shoes will touch a nerve on the court in the same way I do.”

“Reverting back to a higher cut for the first time since his third signature shoe in 2007, Kobe’s ninth signature shoe features a knit collar for the proprioceptive feel of a low-top with the support of a mid-top.

“With the lead colorway dubbed ‘Masterpiece,’ the KOBE 9 Elite uses the intriguing visual patterns allowed by Nike Flyknit to create a piece of art on the upper, nine red embroidered details on the heel give a nod to Kobe’s Achilles sutures. The design on the outsole is based on the pressure mapping of Kobe’s own foot, creating a beautiful pattern while providing traction on court.”

Check out the photos below, and don’t worry, you’ve got some time to save up for these — the Kobe 9 Elite officially drops on Saturday, February 8 at a $225 price point.

Kobe 9 

  1. connorchew - Dec 5, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    they’re styled that way to protect his achilles !

    • yahmule - Dec 5, 2013 at 10:17 AM

      Too bad they weren’t styled to protect our eyes.

      • fanofevilempire - Dec 5, 2013 at 11:47 AM

        It’s not the style of the shoe that matters, it is the technology my friends.
        I hope the shoe will prevent him from falling to the worst player in the nba.

    • Brett Pollakoff - Dec 5, 2013 at 1:21 PM

      Actually not true. Designer Eric Avar said in a Twitter Q+A yesterday that these have been in the works for over 2 years — long before Kobe’s injury.

  2. telldatruth - Dec 5, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    Kobe isn’t Elite anymore

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 5, 2013 at 11:42 AM

      that’s funny, the Mamba, the 25th ranked player in the nba.
      funny sheet!

  3. asimonetti88 - Dec 5, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    They’re butt ugly, just like LeBron’s shoe that came out a while ago.

  4. joshm5683 - Dec 5, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    I love Kobe and love the Lakers……..haha but man I can’t get on board with the design of this shoe. I really liked his more low top shoes. The Kobe IV, the 1st of the low top designs is my favorite. I realize these were designed somewhat with Kobe in mind to protect his heel, but for the general public who isn’t playing in the NBA, haha I dunno if this shoe will catch on.

  5. jimsjam33 - Dec 5, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    I wish him the best , but with those shoes and a torn achilles on the mend , I think father time has taken his toll .

  6. antistratfordian - Dec 5, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    “I’m trying to do something that the majority of people think is impossible to do,”

    What is that? Kobe releasing an attractive shoe?

    But this abomination is par for the course from Mamba. His shoe game has never been elite.

  7. skolvikesskol - Dec 5, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    “I’m trying to do something that the majority of people think is impossible to do,”

    Sell basketball shoes without actually being a basketball player?

  8. elnogo - Dec 5, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    Kobe shoes look like the Jordans that Westbrook use.

  9. jammer73 - Dec 5, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    Low tops are lame.

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