A lot of people don’t realize during the 18 month development period, Kobe was practicing in a hybrid version of the Kobe IV also. He loved the concept shoe so much that he had the Research lab team develop someone of a mix of a Nike Hyperdunk (2008 – which he wore during the 2008 USA OLYMPICS – Which I’ve also product tested prior to the Olympic team wear) and a Herringbone traction of the prototype Kobe IV. The reason for the hybrid version in the meantime was that the R&D team was trying to make the materials that was able to hold the shoe together with the usage of NASA-type Flywire cabling system. The Swoosh team also wanted to make sure the overlay material used to hold the cabling system held up during high intense stretch movements so the materials didn’t break apart. They took some of the creativity also from the Hyperdunk 2k4/2k5 to create a proper heel counter lockdown that can handle heavy medial and lateral cuts without having stability concerns.
When you have the current best player in the league wanting to be the pilot for a super performance shoe, you better make sure you damn well get it right. Not only were all eyes on Kobe, but all eyes would be on his shoes.