Kobe Bryant and the talented people who work on his signature sneaker line with Nike are renowned for the way they push the envelope and consistently try to one-up the competition. We were so in love with last year’s version, the Kobe VII, that we rated it the No. 1 sneaker to come out during the NBA season. It was that good, and helped (once again) redefine the low-cut sneaker in basketball. Now, thanks to counterkicks.com, we have our first look at the upcoming Nike Kobe VIII.
While Bryant’s aim never seemed to be making a casual sneaker, this one looks like it could be strictly a performance-based shoe. Coming from the guy who just dropped 68 points in 15 minutes of a charity game, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The shoe will feature a new Engineered Mesh (EM) footwear construction, which is designed to create a lighter weight body while also providing support throughout the upper. This tech is slightly ahead of its time; currently, Nike is experimenting with it in many of its other releases, and it could become the industry’s hot new material once 2013 hits.
Also, while the shoe doesn’t feature any Flywire, it is a “System” in the same regard as the Kobe VII. Depending on your style of play, you’ll be able to adjust the ankle sock structure.
But, while most of the sneaker’s technology and materials are already set, there is one area going through a bit of a change. As counterkicks.com notes, the Nike Swoosh is loud on this sneaker (at least in this photo). Very loud, and it is eerily reminiscent of the new Nike Hyperdunks. Reportedly, the designers are scrapping the idea – this is still officially a prototype – and moving the Swoosh back to its familiar place on Kobe’s sneaker: centered at the midfoot. This will keep with the existing pattern of the Kobe line that’s been in place for almost four years, and will help to differentiate it from some of the competitors.
What do you think?
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