They often say, “The sequel is never as good as the first”. While that may be true in many instances, that was not the case with the Adidas KB8 II, Kobe Bryant’s second signature basketball sneaker ever. These fierce looking bad boys were released during the infamous 1998-1999 lockout NBA season.
You know, that season that Phil Jackson says should have an “asterisk” next to the Spurs and their shortened season championship. Yes, the very last season before Phil’s Lakers ran off three straight championships without mercy.
Much like its predecessor, one of the primary draws that the KB8 II had to offer was Feet You Wear technology, which was actually quite popular amongst fans of the shoe. Many claimed that the feature was the best thing to happen to basketball shoes and it also meant that users did not have to “break in” the kicks too much.
With such rave reviews for both the KB8 and KB8 II, it’s a shame that Frampton Ellis, the creater of Feet You Wear and Adidas ended up in a lawsuit when Ellis felt that he was entitled to more compensation. Following the settlement Adidas quickly dumped the popular innovation, which has yet to make a comeback.
Aside from Feet You Wear, the KB8 II also employed Adidas’ very own adiPRENE heel cushion support system, which was developed to counter the shock of constant impact while performing any athletic activity. The Torsion arch system was implemented in the midsole as well. We can see that the midsole looks rather bulky, but people who have actually had the opportunity to play in these kicks agree that the shoe itself is actually not that heavy. Perhaps the mesh tongue and mesh rear collar served as a way for weight to be cut. This shoe was undoubtedly made with support and stability high on the priority list.
With the KB8, I said that it reminded me of dinosaur teeth, but when I see the wavy pattern on the side panel of this shoe, I can only think…crocodile.
During its introductory period of existence, the KB8 II was definitely viewed as a step up from the KB8 and had a strong support network. However, these sequel sneaks have yet to be re-named and re-released – for now that is.
[Original Release: 1998; Player: Kobe Bryant]