KOBE 9 elite flyknit high-top basketball shoe by NIKE KOBE 9 elite flyknit high-top basketball shoe by NIKE
dec 05, 2013

KOBE 9 elite flyknit high-top basketball shoe by NIKE

KOBE 9 elite basketball shoe by NIKE
photo © designboom



the new NIKE KOBE 9 sneaker designed by eric avar introduces flyknit to the basketball world as the signature shoe returns to a high-top.


‘NIKE flyknit acts as a second skin for KOBE, giving him engineered strength similar to the design of a spider web – tension and strength just where it’s needed’ eric avar, NIKE creative director and VP of innovation


designed with kobe’s insights and design inspirations, the KOBE 9 features three key technologies: NIKE flyknit, flywire and lunarlon, giving the shoe superior lightweight performance. the innovative design enhances the foot’s natural movements while providing KOBE with strength, durability and speed, plus all the benefits of natural motion where he needs it most.



kobe bryant talks about his new ‘KOBE 9 elite’ basketball shoe
eric avar the designer of the KOBE 9 shoe, kobe bryant and mark parker (president & CEO of NIKE inc.)
video © designboom



eric avar with the kobe 9 elite shoe
photo © designboom



‘we are just scratching the surface of the potential of NIKE flyknit to transform the way we design shoes to meet athletes’ needs. the KOBE 9 redefines the basketball shoe by combining power, strength, and flexibility with lightweight materials and a whole new method of manufacturing.’ said mark parker, president & CEO of NIKE inc. at the museum of contemporary art (MoCA) in los angeles on december 4th, 2013.



eric avar the designer of the KOBE 9 shoe, kobe bryant and mark parker (president & CEO of NIKE inc.)
photo © designboom



‘I draw inspiration from where I am as a player, as a person, and where my career is at this moment.  I’m trying to do something that the majority of people think is impossible to do. I let my emotions out when I step on the basketball floor, it’s always been my escape, and these shoes will touch a nerve on the court in the same way I do.’ – kobe bryant



the KOBE 9 elite basketball shoe is the first in the line to be a high-top since 2008
photo © designboom



reverting back to a higher cut for the first time since his third signature shoe in 2007, KOBE’s ninth signature shoe features a knit collar for the proprioceptive feel of a low-top with the support of a mid-top. with the lead colorway dubbed ‘masterpiece,’ the KOBE 9 elite uses the intriguing visual patterns allowed by NIKE flyknit to create a piece of art on the upper, nine red embroidered details on the heel give a nod to KOBE’s achilles sutures. the design on the outsole is based on the pressure mapping of KOBE’s own foot, creating a beautiful pattern while providing traction on court.




KOBE 9 elite basketball shoe and sketch
photo © designboom



key facts


• NIKE flyknit and flywire technologies are a one-two punch, leading to a dynamic fit for KOBE’s intricate footwork.


• the single layer NIKE flyknit creates a seamless engineered upper that is the ultimate in superior lightweight performance integrating areas of high breathability, stretch and support where it’s needed most.


• NIKE flywire technology is strong yet dynamic for lockdown through the midfoot; its cables loosen and tighten with the natural motion of the foot.


• the carbon fiber heel counter provides strong and lightweight lateral stability when moving from side to side, while the heel remains stable.


• eliminating bulk and distraction was a focus for avar. the idea of ‘simplifying without compromise’ helped shape the design of the KOBE 9 elite.


• NIKE lunarlon cushioning insert provides responsive cushioning that keeps the foot connected to the court.


• the pressure mapping designed, minimal rubber outsole delivers durable traction and mimics the natural contours of the foot.



detail of the flyknit + flywire upper
photo © designboom



working prototypes of the shoe designed by eric avar
photo © designboom



sketch by eric avar
photo © designboom



sketch by eric avar
photo © designboom



sketch by eric avar
photo © designboom



KOBE 9 elite basketball shoe by NIKE



KOBE 9 elite basketball shoe by NIKE



KOBE 9 elite – front view



back of the KOBE 9 shoes – the 9th being a reference to classical music scores



kobe with his latest signature shoe


the KOBE 9 elite releases globally on feburary 8th 2014, at NIKE.com and select global retail locations.


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