A Look Back At Kobe’s Signature Shoes
When you think of a name like Kobe Bryant, you think of many things. Greatness, one of the greatest players to ever grace the hardwood. Legendary, in his career he was so dominant from beginning to end. Unstoppable, being known as one of the clutch players in the NBA with a immense will to win. Simply put, he’s one of the best basketball players of all time, and arguably the greatest Los Angeles Laker of all time. Throughout his illustrious career Kobe had shoes with two companies. Adidas had first claimed the Black Mamba’s feet with shoes like the Crazy 8’s and the Crazy 1’s. Then in 2003, Kobe signed with Nike, which is where he is represented currently. With the Nike deal we have seen the releases of the Kobe Zoom 1’s all the way to the recently released Kobe 11’s. Within that time, he had a shoe that revolutionized the world of basketball. That shoe is the Kobe System 8’s.
After debuting this color-way in 2012 in Madison Square Garden, the Kobe System 8’s nicknamed “Black Sulfur” caught my eye more than that game had. I remember getting my hands on these, and how they instantly became my favorite pair of Kobe’s. The design details and the smooth blend of the the yellow and black just seemed perfect.
Performance – 9.5/10
I have played in the Kobe System 8’s for over two and a half years. These shoes are simply one of the greatest shoes I have ever played in. As bold as that may sound, as a guard these shoes have done me wonders on the court. The Kobe’s are extremely light(9.6 oz) which help increase maximum speed for any guard. The shoe has amazing traction and with every step it feels like you are sticking to the ground. Compared to many other shoes i’ve tested these had top notch grip. The shoe has a thin build with amazing traction and a strong material in the back. The good fit of the shoe and traction creates a feeling of explosiveness while playing. I still use it to this day as my go to basketball shoe. The Kobe System 8’s came out over three and a half years ago and are still a top notch performance shoe and one of my favorites. Here’s what WearTesters had to say about this shoe,
“Overall – Traction – awesome. Cushion- amazing. Materials – innovative beyond belief. Fit- pretty much perfect. Ventilation – the best it’s ever been on a Kobe signature. Support- plenty… Light done right… and better than the other guys.”
Visual Appeal – 9.5/10
Now let’s just start off with the build of the Kobe System 8’s. The shoe has a slim build that makes your feet look narrow. The designs on the Kobe System 8’s are remarkable. The “Black Sulfur” were the first Kobe System 8’s released to the public, and after seeing numerous new Kobe signature shoes released(most recently the Kobe 11’s), it’s clear that the Kobe System 8’s were the design peak. This shoe has had many unique variants which appealed to the masses. Also, a small detail that probably makes Kobe fans happy is his signature on the back heal of the shoe. These shoes are lows, so it can be worn easily with many types of pants and shorts. The shoe design is one of the best in Kobe’s Signature shoe line, and one of the best overall shoe designs.
Comfort – 9/10
While talking a casual walk in these shoes you will feel like you are walking on clouds. The insole is made out of a special cushion by Nike called Lunarlon. This material over time molds to your feet. This is awesome because it is a unique cushioning feature, and it helps make the shoe a viable option over long term use. Even though 99% of the time running in the shoes feel great there are times when I have some slight pain in my feet due to the narrowness of the shoe. This issue happens with many narrow shoes, but it isn’t a big enough issue for me to hurt my comfort rating. These shoes stay true to size so you shouldn’t have any issues in finding the right size. Once the shoes are broken in you will know what ultimate foot comfort feels like.
Final Verdict – 9/10
Considering the aspects of the shoe i’ve already described and the other features of the shoe I had to take into account, I rate this shoe a 9/10. These shoes are great for basketball because of their great functional design. If you’re not a basketball player these shoes are still great because of the multitude of color ways that will catch your eye, and the supreme comfort it offers. You will not be disappointed if you get a pair of these, and I can attest to that from my extended time using these shoes. These shoes have tons of life in them and I repeat, you will not be disappointed when getting a pair of the Kobe System 8’s.
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