At the height of his game, Kobe Bryant and Nike Basketball has reintroduced the low-cut performance sneakers for basketball.
Sure, people like Steve Nash and Mike Bibby played in low places, but Kobe was THE MAN in the game at the time and a big man who stood 6: 6 and weighed well over 200 pounds.
Back in the championship hunt, Bryant inspired and challenged the Nike Performance Creative Director Eric Avar by asking why footballers in low shoes were so sharp, fast and efficient. Nevertheless, basketball players still wore high-top / mid-performance shoes.
The Mamba's quest for the next level, coupled with Nike's innovative and groundbreaking technology, created more than just a basketball shoe – it created a work of art.
It comes with an unprecedented 11.6 ounces, the Nike Zoom Kobe 4 Restored the use of a low-cut sneaker and changed not only the signature line of the Black Mamba, but also what players of all shapes and sizes in the league would wear.
The shoe was equipped with Flywire technology to support and secure the foot. The shoe also featured LunarLite foam in the forefoot for ultimate cushioning for better energy return. A Nike Zoom unit was attached to the heel and assembled with a Phylon midsole.
Bryant looked faster and more subtle in his fourth signature shoe: "The flat shoe allowed him to make sharper cuts while improving responsiveness." Avar said,
Not only did the shoe feel great, but its performance spoke for itself.
During the NBA season 2009/2010 Kobe was a very different animal. He scored an average of 26.8 points, almost 5 assists and 1.5 steals per game. The legendary Mamba mentality began in the postseason, scoring an average of 30 points, 5.5 assists and 1.7 steals.
Meanwhile, the league's rising stars caught the wind from Kobes low peaks and showed the same look.
Even the Brodie.
But that's not all, back to the Mamba.
After the Los Angeles Lakers ran aground in the fifth round of the NBA finals by the Orlando Magic, Bryant was crowned MVP Finalist by scoring 32 points and almost 6 assists on average.
During the regular 2018-2019 season and even during the playoffs, the Nike Zoom Kobe 4 and the Nike Zoom Kobe 4 Protro were seen everywhere on the hardwood. DeMar DeRozan, Isaiah Thomas, PJ Tucker and many others wore the Mamba's fourth signature sneaker in both OG and updated styles.
Why? Because it still plays well. The Kobe 4 is a hit in takes # 39 and # 19.
Take a look at some of the best iterations of the Nike Zoom Kobe 4 in OG and Protro during the season 2018-2019 below.
Honorable mention for the WNBA, the Drew League and more that they have recorded in the Nike Zoom Kobe 4.