SLAM SNEAKER REVIEW: NIKE KOBE 9 ELITE

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What’s up SLAMFam! This week’s Sneaker Review is the Nike Kobe 9 Elite. We have the Maestro aka All-Star aka Gumbo colorway for you guys.

Inspired by Nawlins’ own Jazz musicians, the KB Ninth (Gumbo) has everyone talking. From the Flyknit chatter to the Glow in the Dark Yeezy-inspired sole.

The improvisation and improvement on these compared to the Kobe 4 to 8 has totally changed the game once again. When everyone has been donning lows, Mamba decided to shake things up once again.

Different players have different needs. These Kobe’s tho veering away from the low top that they sparked in 2007-2008, still keeps the Mamba identity and is still very much Kobe-esque. With the Kobe 1-3 being mid tops, Nike goes back to the root of the signature series and then some by going highhhh.

FIT

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The Ninth is true to size. It felt a bit awkward at first running in a high top with the similar feeling to the Air Jordan XX ‘s strap as well as the XX8 but after a few up and downs you are good to go.

Little to no break in needed. Scratch that. No break in needed period.

The Dynamic Fit combo of Flyknit and Flywire on these channels a Shaq and Kobe dominating 1-2 punch.

The lockdown on the mid foot is great. It basically is an extension of your foot for real. It’s a hi top that feels like a low and you feel that it is lower to the ground, great for guys who are fond of jab steps and crossovers.

When you aren’t moving there’s that comfort factor but when you get going and do your laterals you get that snug fit. “May kapit eh’.

WEIGHT

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It honestly looks heavy since it’s a hi top but it feels like a second skin/ layer of protection for your foot. The ability to make a light yet stable shoe makes the Kobe 9 a perfect choice.

The comfort on this shoe, I definitely haven’t seen in a while. The feeling inside is like when you see the strength of a spider web (Damn had to say it even if I have Arachnophobia) very precisely tugged at all ends. Well, in the movies they are. See The Hobbit.

BACKGROUND

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Flyknit upper. GG. This phenomenon started with running shoes in the 2012 London Olympics. A one-piece engineered upper made from single strands of yarns is present on this one. Yikes. You know how it is when everyone hears Flyknit. Shoe-jizz.com.

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Also it is heavily Manny Pacquiao inspired. Kobe and Eric Avar have gone past the realms of imagination by going Futbol before then now Boxing. Limitless. The first hi/mid cut in the Kobe Series since 2007. With upcoming designs leaning towards Art, Culture, Music and of course Basketball, look for some great colorways ahead.

DETAIL

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I really like the padded tongue. Oh and how could I forget, it is one big asspiece of Flyknit. Flyknit, Flywire and Lunarlon. What more do you need?

Eric Avar is known for simplifying without compromise. Also, another cool tidbit is that Flyknit reduces waste so it is also environment friendly.

The seamless creation of the Flyknit upper is enough to make you have to get a pair.

STABILITY AND SUPPORT

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External carbon fiber heel counter is the key, which was said to be made to protect Mamba’s Achilles injury but what people don’t know is this shoe was actually developed before the injury.  Protection is better compared to the other TPU and Lunarlon heel units, this one I could say gives you more protection.

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The sock liner inside has massage points to support the under of your foot. Dynamic flywire on midfoot keeps your foot in place and the responsive cushioning, full length lunarlon midsole gives you a better feel for the court.

LOOK AND FEEL

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As Andro Torres, Nike PH’s Ekin always says, this shoe has 0 distractions. You can concentrate on the game but the question is how about the opponent when you blow past by them with these? Another thing noticeable is the forefoot weaves are thicker here than running Flyknits. They are knitted closer to catch greater impact of ballers. All these combined give you that natural motion on the court.

STYLE

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The general consensus is that it’s more of an on court shoe and dudes have been wondering how to rock these off court. Don’t be afraid to use these with some khakis or black skinnys.

OVERALL 

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9.5/10

Some crazy aspects of this shoe are the way it absorbs shock on your landing and while you slide doing those laterals. Secondly, the adaptive lockdown is just great. The carbon fiber heel plate gets me amped tho. Only concern was as a bigger guy, the midsole is too thin so try swapping with the LeBron XI midsole for that Air Max feel and if you prefer not being so low to the ground.

If you are not really into high tops like these 9’s or the Jordan XX8’s then have no fear, the Engineered Mesh Kobe 9 low’s are coming soon for all you low top loyalists.

Get on the next color ways of the Nike Kobe 9 Elite at the nearest Titan and Nike shops.

Photos c/o Marion Rocha
Flickr and Email
Twitter: @MarionR_photos Instagram @marionrochaphotography