With such tremendous success, the Nike Zoom Huarache 2K4 was definitely a tough act to follow, but Nike and Eric Avar seldom fail to live up to expectations as was the case with the Zoom Huarache 2K5. It was actually the 2K4’s popularity that led Avar to focus more on performance issues rather than venture too far from what was already working and you know, as they say, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.
“The 2K5 was coming very much on the heels of the 2K4, and we felt like we had a good thing going and we didn’t want to reinvent the wheel too much with this one”, Avar said about the transition.
Avar aimed at creating a lighter shoe that could better accommodate Kobe’s dynamic game, which was exploding at a torrid pace. He looked to the midsole as an opportunity to shed weight by cutting out grooves, which also made the shoe more flexible. Another change was the more protruding outrigger that was intended for lateral stability. With an improved heel base to provide a softer and more natural landing as well, the Huarache 2K5 was simply an improved version of the 2K4. The upper was also given an almost identical line and collar strap to maintain a similar overall look and feel.
A few more subtle advances came in the form of a wedge in the sole to lessen the severity of rolled ankles, a full carbon fiber spring plate for enhanced vertical movement, and laser etching on the toe and heel. All in all, Avar and Nike developed a shoe that was a clear step up for Kobe to wear while destroying the opposition. The various Lakers themed colorways that were made for him only added to the growing legion of fans that were closely following the evolution of Kobe’s sneaker career with Nike.
Perhaps the most significant element of the Huarache 2K5 series as it pertains to Kobe, is that the Mamba’s world famous Sheath crest began its tour above the heel on these kicks.
[Original Release: 2005; Weight: 14.4 oz.]
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