There has always been doubt, amongst basketball players, with regards to playing in a low-cut basketball shoe. However, the Nike Kobe V’s serve to eliminate any fear that a player may have about sprained or broken ankles. As a matter of fact, there are many players who have found this shoe to be the ideal fit; even after a foot injury. The reason for this is that there are key areas in this Nike Masterpiece that allow for optimum performance on the hardwood, by creating the feelings of comfort and security.
Less material does not necessarily mean a weaker or less durable shoe. Although the 5’s are 10.6 ounces, and currently the lightest basketball shoe ever, this does not take away from their ability to support the foot in various ways. Firstly, the flywire technology, which has been used in other Nike products, is a very innovative way of securing the foot into the foot bed while reducing the overall weight of the shoe. In this particular shoe the flywire acts as a fibre, to support the foot from sliding side to side as well as acting as a strong wall to prevent the foot from rolling.
Another element that aids in stabilizing the foot is the outrigger, located on the outside of the shoe. Without noticing, every player will make between 15-20 cuts on each possession. Depending on the force that is exerted through these movements, there is a lot of strain put on the muscles and bones of the foot and even the leg; especially when a player is switching direction. This is where the outrigger comes into play. When a player cuts in the direction on the outside of the foot, it absorbs the impact by first, stopping the ankle from rolling and simultaneously gives the foot a push in the opposite direction. Furthermore, the heel is locked down by a sculpted plastic which has been used in other Nike basketball shoes such as the hyperdunk and hyperize to increase stability.
Aside from feeling safe while performing and training in this shoe, one will also notice a great difference in the freedom that the ankle has to maneuver in all directions. This freedom is credited to the low-cut shape, which Kobe himself asked Performance Shoe Designer, Eric Avar to include. Kobe saw no reason as to why basketball players should not play in low-cut performance shoes; since soccer players and football players perform similar moves, cuts and pivots as basketball players. The difference in these three sports is that basketball players, due to the nature of the sport, tend to jump a lot more than other athletes; which requires more cushioning in the shoe. The two zoom air bags found in the heel and under the toes, serve to protect an athlete from the toll that is taken on the joints and muscles in the leg and foot, through the force produced while per
Although this product is not your typical basketball shoe, in terms of design, it far exceeds the expectations that one may have of a low-cut shoe and erases all doubt of playing in one. There has been extensive research put in to this project by the folks at Nike Sports Research Lab (NSRL) in order to prevent injury and assure a great ride while playing in the V’s. After lacing up a pair, you will feel the comfort and freedom that these kicks offer on the hardwood.
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(Photo courtesy: sneakermaniac.com)