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Kobe Bryants 20 Year Sneaker Legacy Part 3: The Early Nike Years
Where we last left off in the story of Kobe Bryant’s 20 Year Sneaker Legacy, the Black Mamba had just completed his year of legendary sneaker free agency, signing a deal with Nike during the summer of 2003. Thirteen years later, we all know how important this deal was, as the partnership between Kobe and designer Eric Avar would change the way most basketball sneakers are designed and constructed today. The most revolutionary model to date in the Nike Kobe line would obviously be the Zoom Kobe IV, which re-introduced the low-top as a formidable option on the basketball court. But before we get to the low-tops, let’s take a look at the first chapter of Kobe’s tenure with Nike.
Much like his sneaker free agency, Kobe’s early Nike days were filled with PE colorways of some already existing Nike models. It wouldn’t be until his third season with Nike that his first signature sneaker was released, the Nike Zoom Kobe I. In this look back at Kobe Bryant’s monumental sneaker career, we’ll recap the early Nike years and pre-low-top era, documenting every model he wore in the first five seasons of one of the most crucial partnerships in sneaker history.
adidas Hoops Unveils Easter Collection For Harden, Lillard, And Wiggins
adidas Hoops is back with a festive collection for this upcoming Easter season. Designed for the top trio of James Harden, Damian Lillard, and Andrew Wiggins, the trio of footwear pieces takes aim at the tradition of dying eggs on Easter Sunday. James Harden’s adidas Crazylight Boost 2.5 PE exudes a vibrant appearance thanks to shades of salmon and a multi-layered upper with light pink hints throughout. Harden will lace up this offering during a March 27th matchup against the Indiana Pacers. Damian Lillard’s incredible season will continue with the adidas D Lillard 2 dyed with a traditional Easter egg graphic on the upper. Mesh paneling benefits from pastel hues. Andrew Wiggins will also benefit from an upcoming adidas Crazylight Boost 2.5 PE, only his dons a gradient fade throughout while a glossy finish adds a premium touch. Both the D Lillard 2 and Wiggins’ Crazylight Boost will be available for purchase on March 27th from adidas.com. More photos below.
ASICS Is Ready For Vacation With The Maldives Pack
Looking towards tropical climates, ASICS is ready for summer vacation with the “Maldives” pack. Containing vibrant new colorways and materials treatments for the GEL-Lyte III and GEL-Lyte V, the duo of sneakers feature looks inspired by the beaches and coral reef life of The Maldives, a tropical chain of islands in the Indian Ocean. For a look above the water, the GEL-Lyte III features a sandy suede upper with bright teal accents, while the GEL-Lyte V goes below the surface with a dark blue suede and crackle-textured leather upper. Each is also accented with glow-in-the-dark speckling on the side stripes and midsole. Get in the tropical mood with Maldives pack, arriving at select ASICS Tiger retailers like Sneaker Politics now.
Usually digging deep into their archives to re-introduce a vintage model, adidas Originals reaches shallower than usual to pull out the relatively new Climacool. The ventilated 2000’s running shoe that’s turned into a cult classic?especially overseas?is back already for a round of retros, featured in three stylish tonal colorways this spring. Climacool fans can anticipate the shoe’s return on April 2nd at select adidas Originals retailers globally.
With plenty of time to grab a pair before the hottest months hit, the summer-friendly Jordan Reveal is now available. The latest Roshe-esque sneaker from Jordan Brand uses the same sole unit of last year’s Eclipse, but opts for a mid-top cut for the breathable mesh upper. In your pick of crisp white with metallic silver accents or a simple black and white look, the Reveal is hitting Jordan Brand retailers like Oneness right now.
Clash Of The Kicks: 5 Reasons Batman Vs Superman Is Not A Fair Fight
So the reviews for Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice have not been great. It’s tough follow up a movie like Man of Steel that was so devoid of the heart and humor that we have come to expect and love from our comic book movies with a total about face, so it seems like Dawn of Justice is more of the same. There’s nothing wrong with making a “serious” superhero movie that understands there are serious consequences to people in spandex blowing up an entire city, but the best of its genre also gets that all of this is kinda crazy and ridiculous. What isn’t ridiculous though is hopefully Batman gets to whup on Superman in the movie because that would stay true to the source material.
Think about some of the most famous comic book stories of the past 30 years involving Batman and Superman throwing down. From “The Dark Knight Returns” to “Hush” and almost everything in between, they all have Batman damn near murdering The Man of Steel. Part of that you might argue is because it’s obviously an unfair fight so writers give Batman every advantage to win, but it’s more than that. As a character, Batman is smarter, innovative and far more ruthless than Superman could ever hope to be. What other “hero” do you know would purposely come up with backup plans just in case his fellow Justice League teammates go crazy? Somebody as forward thinking and totally insane as Batman, that’s who. Superman is the type of guy who lets Joker trick him into killing everybody in Metropolis and becomes an even worse bad guy than even his worst enemies. Yes, that was an actual storyline. Yes, Superman can be that dumb…
But the mismatch doesn’t just apply to the comics. When it comes to sneakers, Batman simply outclasses Superman. The category of kicks doesn’t even matter; it’s a wonder why anyone would even root for Superman. But don’t take my word for it, here is the visual evidence.
Officially Licensed Kicks
Converse has worked with DC in the past, but because those are a little too on the nose with their obviousness, we’re going to highlight these uh, Under Armour Highlight cleats that you might have seen floating around the sneaker blogs a while back. Only one of these cleats won’t get you laughed off the football field. I’ll give you a hint: it ain’t the one Cam Newton likes to wear before he actually has to play football.
Not all custom sneaker artists are created equal and there are more than a fair share of good and awful customs out there attempting to capture the essence of both heroes. So let’s just go with one of the best and most recognizable out there in Mache. His work on recent LeBrons is well-known and he has made both Batman and Superman custom pieces using the LeBron 9 and 10 as his canvas. Once again, it comes down to which one you would rather wear and which is more representative of their respective hero? The choice is clear…
Unofficial Tribute Colorways
Now you’re probably thinking why these are unofficial when this 2007 release was a licensed DC product by Bathing Ape. I was talking about the Bapesta being blatant Air Force 1 rip-offs that there’s no way they can be official anything. Oh, and once again the Batman colorway is way better than Superman. Even their caricatures on the packaging is a mismatch.
Batman has Kobe Bryant. adidas has Dwight Howard. Yeah, ok…
But What About The Doernbecher 4?
Not even Batman can beat the power of Superman Isaiah Scott, the kid who designed one of the most memorable Doernbecher Freestyle shoes ever made. Sure, we could point out that Michael Keaton’s Batman did wear an all-black pair of the Air Jordan 6, but I’m not going to be THAT guy. Supes finally wins, but not because of anything he did…
Advantage: Superman (but really Isaiah Scott)
Bonus: Better “Villain”
The Nike Zoom Kobe 5 “Chaos” alludes to Batman’s greatest enemy The Joker. The Nike Foamposite Lite “Kryptonate” is one of the most creative releases ever because of the circumstances surrounding the shoe (Nate Robinson dunks over alleged Superman Dwight Howard). Many people will probably choose the “Kryptonate” (even I like it slightly better than the “Chaos”) because it’s the rarer and more hyped shoe, but how sad is it that the only way Superman can win a sneaker battle with Batman is with help from a kid or the one thing that can stop him that ohbytheway Batman has a ton of?
Advantage: Superman (but really Nate Robinson)
Bonus: The Stephen Curry Connection
The most popular player in the NBA and arguably its best reps for Batman. Suck it, Supes…
Nike SB serves up a unique new edition of the Dunk High inspired by everybody’s favorite sweet and savory dish, chicken and waffles. The colorway and construction of the Dunk goes quite literal with the the delicious inspiration, featuring a waffle textured upper with “dripping” syrupy Swooshes and a chicken and waffles graphic on the insoles. The tastiest new Dunk colorway we’ve seen in a while will be arriving in early April at select Nike SB stockists.
Fans of the Nike Sock Dart are definitely going to be pleased this spring, as the next wave of one of the hottest sneakers on the market hits the shelves. The newest round of Sock Darts come in an ‘SE’ (Special Edition) construction, featuring a canvas-like textile for the ankle paneling, colored straps, and a speckled midsole. We just saw the Racer Blue colorway earlier this week, and now we get a good look at the eye-catching Total Crimson” version. You can also expect black and green colorways of the Sock Dart SE on the way, all releasing at the end of April at select Nike Sportswear retailers.
Are These The Greatest Nike Air Max Collectors In The World
Nike is definitely going all out for Air Max Day this year, with Air Max Con, a large number of sneakers dropping, and even a documentary featuring some of the biggest Air Max collectors across the globe. Nike presents Masters of Air, a documentary film starring nine of the world’s most Air-Max-obsessed collectors. Meet all of the collectors in the film below, and expect the full documentary to drop online tomorrow, March 25th.
2016 marks the third annual Air Max Day, the holiday created by Nike to honor all-things visible Air. In its third year, Nike Air Max Day is celebrating in the biggest way with the Air Max Vote, which allows Nike+ members to vote on 1 of 100 classic Air Max shoes for a re-release, the HTM iD experience, which unlocks some unique design options on the Air Max, Air Max 95, and Flyknit Air Max, and Air Max Con, a three-day celebration that Sneaker News got to preview last night. Inside Air Max Con NYC is all that’s listed above, and much more; not only can you vote for your favorite Air Max on site, purchase the latest Air Max product, and design your HTM iD, you can experience some unique art installations, get exclusive NYC goodies such as posters, tees, and more, and get a pair of Air Max 90s lasered with NYC-specific graphics. Air Max Con officially opens its doors tonight to those who registered for the event through Nike.com. It remains open through Saturday, March 26th and spots are still open for reservation or wait list options here.
adidas is stepping on fresh Air Max toes this Saturday with the release of a super-clean “Triple White” colorway of the adidas NMD Runner. Similar in color-blocking to the Monochrome Pack that dropped last week, this all-white Saturday release opts for basic white/white composition, only you won’t find Primeknit uppers on the shoe. These mesh-based versions of the all-white adidas NMDs are priced at $120 each and will drop at adidas retailers worldwide including Foot Locker, so stay tuned for a detailed look.
Scottie Pippens Most Popular Sneaker, The Air More Uptempo, Is Back In Bulls Form
Scottie Pippen’s Nike signature shoe line was fairly underwhelming (and we’ll forget the Pippen 6 ever existed), but the Air More Uptempo, despite never being Scottie’s official shoe, has been powerful enough to keep Scottie’s name in the Nike mix for years. 2016 will see a huge influx of the big AIR model (and just yesterday a bunch of stores dropped the OG black/white colorway), and it appears that new colorways like this classic “Bulls” make-up will be in the works. We first caught a preview of this colorway almost a year ago, but the wait is considerably shorter now that official images are now in the mix. Stay tuned for more updates on the Air More Uptempo and we’ll hit you with a release date once it arrives.
adidas Skateboarding Transforms The Matchcourt Into A Slip-On Shoe
Last December, adidas Skateboarding added a contemporary touch to the Matchcourt by adding a rubberized toe-cap on the shoe – a direct response to the desires of the athletes on its skate team. For the Summer, adidas is making yet another transformation to the silhouette by cutting it down into a slip-on style; the slip-on aesthetic is already established within Summer trends, but adidas’ take on it combines sport-ready features like the toe-box as well as the proper cushioning needed for skating. Cop any of the three available colorways at adidas Skateboarding retailers in-store and online beginning on April 1st; each pair retails for just $60.
The 13th and final sneaker from the Nike Kobe Black Mamba Pack will be Kobe Bryant’s newest and current signature sneaker, the Nike Kobe 11.
As you can see, the Kobe 11 represents the end of Kobe’s basketball career and uses an all-black colorway on the Flyknit upper to go along with the “Fade To Black” theme of the pack. What also stands out are the gold accents on the Swoosh, heel and the date “4.13.16” on the right heel which is the date that Kobe will be playing in his final NBA game against the Utah Jazz.
Take a look at the official images below and remember that you’ll have your opportunity to pick up the Nike Kobe 11 Black Mamba when it releases on April 13th for $200. Also make sure to visit our Nike Kobe Black Mamba Pack launch page for additional images, release information and other updates on the entire pack.
I like how Nike decided to not make this colorway just all black. The gold accents give the shoe a really nice pop and the date on the heel makes this a must-have colorway for any Kobe fans. This is definitely in my top 3 out of the entire pack.
Is The Nike Air Max LD-Zero H The Best Release On Air Max Day?
It feels like it was only a couple of weeks ago when we were still seeing new colorways release of the Nike Kobe 10.
Now we’ll see the Kobe 10 as a part of the Nike Kobe Black Mamba Pack that signifies the culmination of Kobe’s NBA career. Having just released last year and many stores still carrying the Kobe 10, I’m sure that most people are very familiar with the shoe. This colorway of the Kobe 10 features a full Dark Obsidian Flyknit upper with what looks to be a dark blue translucent outsole.
Check out the official images above of the Nike Kobe 10 Black Mamba and look for them to release on April 11th for $200. You can also check in with our Nike Kobe Black Mamba Pack launch page for the latest updates on the entire pack.