As another year passes, we get to recognize one of the greatest basketball players ever. On 8/24 we’ll again break out our Kobe signatures to pay homage to the Black Mamba, Kobe Bryant. While Kobe has many noteworthy signature sneaker models (in my opinion the best performance line as a whole to date), I want to take a look at the Zoom Kobe V (my personal favorite!).
Introduced in 2009, a season after Bryant secured his fourth NBA Championship, Eric Avar’s designed a sneaker that proved to be the most innovative yet.
The design of the Zoom Kobe V was inspired by soccer boots. Being one of the Mamba’s favorite sports, he believed that if soccer players could make similar cuts and motions in a low-cut shoe, a basketball player can do the same. Bringing this thought into the design process made this the lowest cut basketball sneaker to date.
This iteration of the Kobe signature ditched traditional stitching on the uppers and replaced them with heat-bonded overlays. This particular upper ended up being the lightest and most durable than anything on the market at the same time. To ensure you received medial and lateral support the sneaker utilized flywire. This combination helped in this sneaker weight of only 10.6oz per shoe.
Since this sneaker was composed of a plastic-like man-made upper, the design team used perforations on the tongue, vamp, and upper to keep the sneaker breathable.
The midfoot shank, composed of a carbon fiber weave, provides control while complementing the lockdown.
Lockdown was not skipped on at all in this low-cut model. The heel counter was constructed to increase lockdown when making explosive basketball movements. Again, very similar to the construction of a soccer boot.
Clearly, from its namesake, the Kobe V utilizes Zoom cushioning in the heel and forefoot. Along with the Zoom units, the mid-sole was made of injected phylon to provide top of the line cushioning and support.
Moving on to the outsole, this Kobe was built to have an enhanced outrigger and decoupled heel to optimize both motion and stability.
The unique traction pattern was based on how much heart Kobe put into every aspect of the game. This out of the box traction pattern offered top of the line grip on the court while utilizing fewer materials.
Some of the Most Iconic Colorways
To top off the the the amazing design of the Zoom Kobe V, this was the sneaker that Kobe beat the Celtics in, cementing his place in history with his fifth and final NBA Championship.