Lots of kids grow up dreaming of signature basketball shoes. For anyone who loved or watched basketball as a child, a sleek new pair of sneakers meant they could play like the pros. I’ve heard many stories of NBA players dreaming of wearing Allen Iverson’s Question Reeboks, some iterations of Lebron’s, and of course, Jordan’s. Everybody wanted to be like Mike.
Kobe Bryant entered the NBA in 1996. Soon after, he took the league by storm.
It didn’t take him long to get a signature shoe, which he did with Adidas in 1997. From that point forward, he created 19 signature shoes with the company. If you already know about or own all of those elusive pairs, this article is not for you.
However, if you want to discover more about sneakers, keep reading. The following guide will break down which ones are the best.
Every Kobe shoe offers something unique.
- If you’re a fan of retro shoes, you can go with a pair of Adidas Kobe 1’s, also known as Kobe Crazy 1’s. If you want to stand out on a basketball court or dazzle at an event where basketball footwear is appropriate – you will do precisely that. With long lines and a spacy, futuristic design, the shoes are anything but boring. Kobe also won his first championship while wearing the pair, so you know they’re court ready.
- In contrast, if you want something a bit more modern you can get later installments of the Mamba’s shoes, such as Kobe 10’s or Kobe A.D.
- Then again, if you just want a sneaker that will feel good and perform well, you can opt for some of the fan favorites like the Kobe 4’s or Kobe 6’s.
Who Should Get This?
It does not matter if you’re a sneakerhead who collects basketball shoes in all different colorways, a basketball player looking to step his game up with quality footwear, or just somebody who is looking to find the best shoe for his occasional pickup game, Kobe Bryant has you covered.
Kobe’s collection of high-top, mid-top, and low-top models will fit any feet or game time circumstance. Based on your needs and size, you can pick different Kobe’s that will be suitable for the way you play. Read the rest of the article to find out which ones to buy.
Best Kobe Bryant Shoes: What to Consider?
Design and Esthetics – Nobody wants to wear grandma’s shoes out on the court. Of course, your kicks must be good looking and represent your game in the best possible way. Even Kobe has a bad looking shoe at one point. The Adidas Kobe 2’s, also known as the ‘Toaster.’ were both ugly and uncomfortable. In fact, they got such a bad reputation that Kobe switched over to Nike.
Comfort and Stability – Shoes, sports or otherwise, must be comfortable. Ankle support is essential in basketball shoes. Good stability protects the foot and lowers risk of injury. If you have ankle problems, try to pick high or mid-top designs that offer extra support.
Cushioning is also important in protecting your feet and knees from impacts or hard landings. The fit matters as well. A good mold will prevent blisters and help lock your foot into the shoe.
Performance – Another huge factor to consider when buying basketball kicks is performance. If you are serious about the sport, this should be your main focus when making a purchase. Performance refers to traction, lightness on the feet, the ability to cut and change directions, and of course, jumping. Your basketball shoes should check as many of those boxes as possible.
Best Kobe Bryant Shoes: Our Picks
Kobe Bryant 4’s were the first modern basketball shoes available as a low-top. Kobe grew up playing soccer in Italy. There, he realized that soccer players were playing in low-tops. As soccer needs ankle support as much as basketball does, he and Nike took a leap of faith with a low-top model.
These shoes proved to be a big success, and they separated the Kobe line from everything else on the market. The Kobe 4’s are still one of his most popular shoes to date. Not only did they look great, but they increased performance in every aspect of the game.
There all almost no negatives with these shoes. Though they are a bit retro in today’s day and age, especially because you can buy a newer version named Kobe 4 Protro (stands for performance retro), they still perform well. Nike is revamping and modernizing some of the shoes Kobe wore in the past, such as Kobe Zoom 1’s, which were the first shoes in the Protro line.
Nike Zoom Kobe 6 had an incredible comfort level. They provided more cushion than the 4s and 5s and they slipped onto the foot like a sock. If you are looking for a comfortable shoe that doesn’t cut down on performance, 6s are the way to go.
We don’t like the outside design with the mamba-like scales, and there are better aesthetics within the Kobe line. However, they go above and beyond in every other category.
The final shoes, known as the Nike Kobe 9 Elite Low, are all about performance. They had phenomenal traction, which is key for all courts and playing surfaces. it allows you to hold your ground on defense, explode on offense, and change directions quickly without slipping or hurting your ankle. These were the first basketball shoes that came with Flyknit technology, and that made both light and comfortable to wear.
However, if you are a bigger player who needs more support for their weight, these shoes are the way to go.
When you’re buying new basketball shoes, make sure that you know your priorities. Do you need more ankle support, or more cushion and stability? Do you want to maximize performance, or do you want comfortable kicks that will last a long while?
Only after you’ve answered such questions will you have a good idea of which Kobe’s are best for you.
If you’re a true hooper, you know the feeling of joy and excitement that come with buying new basketball shoes. The smell of the material and the way they look on your feet have you excited to step onto the court.
When you buy signature basketball shoes, you feel like a part of the game. It is as if the player whose shoe you bought transferred some of their ability to you. In that way, it is hard to find a better person to buy from than Kobe Bryant.