I’m not going to lie. When I saw the early samples of the Nike Zoom Kobe V, I was disappointed and thought that perhaps the task of actually improving upon the Nike Zoom Kobe V might be too daunting for Avar and Kobe to conquer.
Kobe, I’m sorry that I ever doubted you.
Simply put, the Nike Zoom Kobe V is flawless. Kobe challenged Avar to make the shoe even lighter than its immediate predecessor, the Zoom Kobe IV, which weighed in at a feathery 12 ounces (size 9) as it was. If you want to know what 10.6 ounces of sneaker magic feels like, try on the Kobe V.
The upper is even simpler and lighter than the Kobe IV with the Flywire, which also underwent an upgrade into an even lighter wire material, embedded within the side panel skin. The arch of the shoe is definitely deeper and provides a slightly narrower and tighter fit around the foot. The heel counter and reinforced plastic heel wrap securely lock your heel in place during play, a level of stability that I myself was shocked to experience. The protruding outrigger and herringbone traction pattern allows for more explosive movements with greater speed and balance. The comfort, stability, and weight of the shoe are quite honestly so incredible that you don’t think about your ankle at all.
Where I really noticed an enhancement with the Kobe V kicks on my feet was on defense. Every time I had to get back and help deter a fast break, my feet were flowing laterally in perfect unison with my hips. This allowed me to guard the ball without wasting movement or giving up my positioning. This really just took the cake for me because I just couldn’t believe how much faster my feet were moving in general. Very few basketball sneakers can actually deliver on the claim, “these shoes will make you a better player”, but the Kobe V has arguably the best player in the world himself saying that they’ve made him better. The man is not lying.
Like the Zoom Kobe IV, Nike has upped the ante with a bevy of exclusive colorways. So far we’ve seen the Chaos, Bruce Lee, Inline Home, Away, and Del Sol colorways on the Mamba’s feet. There are other special edition colorways such as Dark Knight, USC, Rice, Duke, and Lower Merion with only more on the way.
How Nike is going to surpass the Kobe V through the Kobe VI, I will not even dare to imagine. All I know is that I am never going to doubt Kobe and Nike ever again. But really, I don’t see how they can make a better product than the Kobe V.
Don’t forget to watch MVPuppet Kobe show just how hot the Kobe V is!
[Original Release: 2009; Weight: 10.6 oz.; Players: Kobe Bryant / Lamar Odom / Shannon Brown / Derek Fisher / Josh Powell / Ronny Turiaf / J.R. Smith / Demar Derozan / Nick Young / Chris Duhon / Channing Frye; Retail: $130]