Today, Nike unveiled the Kobe X, Kobe Bryant’s 10th signature shoe.
Continuing the low-cut style implemented back in ’09, the new Kobe shoe has a minimal, seamless, breathable upper and hybrid cushioning that combines Nike’s Lunarlon foam and siping grooves for additional mobility.
Nike says the shoe incorporates its most advanced traction system to date, which the brand introduced only after extensive research on different rubber makeups, outsole surface ratios and design patterns on different indoor and outdoor surfaces. The outsole has hundreds of “nodules” that grip the court at high speeds, and along with midsole hybrid cushioning, allow for responsiveness with the foot’s natural motion as it hits and leaves the ground.
The midsole and outsole are finished with a translucent rubber exterior, through which you can see the shoe’s interior. Such transparency was inspired by Bryant’s “recent willingness to personally open up and reveal more of himself at deeper levels without reservation,” according to Nike’s official release.
The outsole also features a gold Roman numeral X, just beneath an Air Zoom unit in the heel. The tongue is made of Nubuck fabric and decorated with a “Mamba” snake-scale pattern. The graphic on the underside of the tongue varies with each colorway. Kobe’s logo graces the right heel. Four red lines on the left heel represent the four feet of stitching thread Bryant endured during his return from an Achilles tendon injury.
The 5 AM Flight colorway was inspired by a symbolic 40-foot dive into a pool on an early morning in August to celebrate the end of Bryant’s first stage of recovery. The seamless knit upper is supposed to represent the pool water and the strength of shark skin.
The Kobe X 5 AM Flight colorway will be available beginning February 7th at Nike.com and retail locations, with four other colorways to be released in the coming weeks.