1. The Zoom Kobe VII’s are not sneakers; they are classified as a “System.” Scoff if you want, but I love it. Basketball footwear reverting to performance and function first are good for the industry. As I’ve stated previously, I’m a holdover from the mid-90s “straps and crap” era where designers threw the whole kitchen sink into a shoe’s makeup and tailored them specifically for players, not cats sitting in the bleachers.
With that said, the kicks are still a solid off-court shoe since keep the low-cut silhouette seen on the ZKVI’s and other previous models. Regardless of what Dom Kennedy says, wearing basketball shoes to the club and elsewhere get my thumbs up. I don’t take style cues from rappers anyway. Part of the reason why I favor bball kicks is because they usually get the best brand’s have to offer in terms of cushioning and support. For the ZKVII’s, we’re treated to…
2. …Two different inserts: “Attack Fast” and “Attack Strong,” which takes the idea seen on the Air Jordan 2011′s “Quick/Explosive” interchangeable insoles and ramps things up another notch. Again, function first as each insert is geared towards different styles of play and wearers (more info in the video below). TC and I differed hugely on the Kobe VI’s. He felt they didn’t do enough to protect the ankles during play and I thought their only drawback was they had to be laced tight in order to get a lockdown feel. With the adjustments on the VII’s, both of our wants should be addressed. And Nike Basketball didn’t totally leave style out of the mix because color-coordinating consumers have the option to buy additional inserts in several different shades and customize the look of the sneakers.
4. The colorway pictured above is actually a Supreme version and the ones Kobe wore on Christmas Day. They don’t outdo last year’s Grinch’s but I don’t think Nike Basketball set out to match them so it’s unfair to compare. Dubbed as the “Cheetahs,” the purple hues matched with a searing volt do more than enough to create a strong identity for this season’s Christmas shoe. But…
5. …The red laces don’t do much for me. I understand relationship to the holiday and that’s cool and all, so they make sense. Still, purple and/or volt laces should’ve been included. In fact, I’m considering starting a campaign aimed at sneaker companies. Any shoe that retails at $150 or better should come with extra laces, not me going out tracking down laces in the correct shades and lengths.
6. A few of the upcoming colorways – Volts, “Sharks,” and the black/grey joints – have already been budgeted in and the system being on Nike iD will do nothing towards saving me from myself. While I was writing this entry, the black/tour yellow (or the referred to as the “Del Sol” version by most) arrived at the door as a belated Christmas gift. Thanks to B. Strong, C. Ham and Nike Basketball for saving me one expense.
7. In the first clip below, Kobe takes a lighthearted approach towards selling the shoe by mentioning how the shoes will change your life. The second video is geared to those interested in the tech specs as Bryant and Nike Creative Director Eric Avar talk about what inspired the design of the Kobe 7 System.