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Nike once again spoils the basketball world with another low-cut ultra fit shoe. This is the third low-cut shoe from the Kobe line of basketball products that has continued to gain popularity amongst many feet on the hardwood. At first there was naturally a lot of skepticism about playing in these kicks because of the lack of heightened material around the ankle, but those who trained and played in the Nike Zoom Kobe III for a season were likely to also buy a pair of the model that would follow.
The IV’s were th
e shoe to catapult this innovative structure; and although they were a top notch shoe, their heel to toe, hour glass shape caused them to be a little roomy in the toe box. The V’s were a little tighter all around and the VI’s seem to be the one that molds best to the foot thus far. Who knows what designers, Eric Avar and Tom Luedecke, have in store for us next.
Two key features to look into when selecting a shoe are cushioning and superior traction. The mamba scale pattern that details the bottom of the shoe travels up the medial wall to help grip the floor during a transfer of energy from one direction to the other. Some people who have tested this shoe claimed that the rubber takes about a week of play for it to reach its potential. I would somewhat agree with this statement since it feels as if the rubber gains a little elasticity the more it is used. Anyway, a shoe with this much “sole” is even capable of providing good grip on a dusty court.
One of the main attributes that evolved from the previous model is the shape of the TPU externalheel which has been strategically designed to wrap around and lock down the heel. Thisplays an important role for the overall comfort level of these kicks. The cushioning that surrounds the Achilles works with the external heel to provide a tighter fit then the V’s did at the back end of the shoe. Working our way to the inside of the shoe, thedesigners have implemented a two layer memory foam that molds to the precise shape of the individual’s foot to form a custom fit.
Not to sound ungrateful for what Nike has done with this particular line of production, but even though the VI’s have once again exceeded expectation, there are still key areas that could use improvements. The phylon mid-sole has definitely been improved from what it was in the V’s, as the tip that meets at the pinky toe allows for more pressure while supporting a lateral movement. What a lot of people would like to feel in the VII’s is a wider Zoom air bag, such as the ones found in the Nike Zoom Hyperfuse. The reason that the air bag is not incorporated in this project is because Kobe specifically asked for more of a firm feel in the forefoot for quicker reaction time.
Whether you are a guard, small forward or even an agile power forward you will find that this pair of Nikes is the final fit for this season. Overall, this shoe is at the top of its industry in terms of quality, performance and fit. Be prepared for the next time that the mamba strikes with a new venomous project.
Comfort – 10
Cushoning – 8.5
Ankle Support – 10
Breathability – 9.5
Traction – 10
Weight – 10
NPH Rating : 9.5