NIKE, Inc. (NYSE: NKE), the world’s leading basketball brand, today unveiled the much-anticipated KOBE 9 Elite shoe at an event held at The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles. The KOBE 9 Elite redefines the aesthetics and performance of a basketball shoe and was designed using Nike Flyknit according to NIKE’s “Nature Amplified” design ethos, an approach focused on designing for the body in motion and fueled by scientific data and athlete insights.
“We are just scratching the surface of the potential of Nike Flyknit to transform the way we design shoes to meet athletes’ needs," said Mark Parker, President & CEO of NIKE, Inc. “The KOBE 9 Elite redefines the basketball shoe by combining power, strength, and flexibility with lightweight materials and a whole new method of manufacturing.”
Designed with Kobe's tech insights and design inspirations, the KOBE 9 Elite features three key technologies: Nike Flyknit, Flywire and Lunarlon, giving the shoe superior lightweight performance. (Photo: Business Wire)
Designed with Kobe’s tech insights and design inspirations, the KOBE 9 Elite 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.
"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," Kobe reflected when asked about the inspiration for his latest shoes and about getting back into the game. "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."
Nike Flyknit – which was first used in Nike Running shoes in 2012 – defies conventional shoe manufacturing processes by creating a one-piece engineered upper made from single strands of yarns. Lightweight yet incredibly strong, it has redefined sports shoe technology and comes to basketball for the first time in the KOBE 9 Elite.
“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
,” said Eric Avar, NIKE Creative Director and VP of Innovation, who has worked closely with Kobe on his shoe designs for a decade.
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.