Both the Nike Kobe IV Prelude and Kobe V Prelude drop tomorrow, 1/4, at select Nike retailers. They will also be available on NikeStore.com at 8am EST on release day.
“I sat down with Kobe and he was very clear — ‘I want the lowest, lightest weight basketball shoe we can make.’”- Eric Avar
Somewhere down the line, someone assumed that excess height and plenty of padding was the only way to protect players from themselves. That assumption became a certainty, until the myth was shattered. The Nike Zoom Kobe IV proved that a low-cut profile and superior support could work in unison — even for one of the most versatile players in basketball history.
Kobe, a fan of the “beautiful game,” global football, noticed how athletes in a sport that stopped and started as abruptly as basketball weren’t asking for high top shoes. In fact, some of the world’s greatest goal scorers opt for the most minimal boots that can be designed.
Kobe went into a meeting with Avar with this on the mind. When it was over, any murmurs about feasibility were moot. “Kobe was adamant. From a functional standpoint, he wanted to prove that you can create a high-performance, low-top basketball shoe.”
Emboldened by the breakthrough Nike Hyperdunk, Eric and the team realized that Nike Flywire’s secure fit could assist this light, low and responsive design to deliver on Kobe’s hefty request for less. Bryant’s open mind was especially helpful. “Kobe is probably one of, if not THE, most progressive players I’ve ever worked with in terms of wanting to push technology and performance technology in design.”
Once the low-cut silhouette, Nike Flywire and outrigger began testing out with Kobe, it was time to develop the visual identity of the shoe. Around this time, Kobe’s Black Mamba persona was becoming a central source of inspiration, so Avar finished off the design with a little comic book villain menace.
“To me the Nike Kobe IV was the start of fully defining the signature formula that works for Kobe. We succeeded in combining his performance needs with his style in a way that challenged conventions, which had always been the goal.”
Celebrating Kobe’s 4th championship and Finals MVP in even more style, Nike created eight pairs of the Nike Zoom Kobe IV Finals MVP Special Edition. Built on the same design concept as the Finals Nike Zoom Kobe IV Away colorway, the Special Edition Finals MVP Nike Zoom Kobe IV adds a lasered Kobe/MVP suitcase with a medal of authenticity inside, wooden Kobe shoe trees, and the Away Finals Nike Zoom Kobe IV with an added Gold Kobe logo hit by the toe.
Unfortunately for all the Kobe/Kobe IV fans out there, only eight pairs of Special Edition Finals MVP Nike Zoom Kobe IV were created.
Click [HERE] for more pics.
The Nike Zoom Kobe IV Gradient Home and Gradient Away are available now on [NikeTown.com]. Part of the last batch of Nike Zoom Kobe IV colorways to drop before the Nike Zoom Kobe V hit retail in a couple months, the Gradient Home and Away Nike Zoom Kobe IVs feature a home and away split White/Purple and Black/Purple colorway.
Both the Home and Away Gradient Nike Zoom Kobe IVs are available now on [NikeTown.com] for the $120 retail.
With his 5th ring already in his sights, Nike is set to release their homage to Kobe Bryant’s 4th cookie with the Four Rings Nike Zoom Kobe IV. The Four Rings Nike Zoom Kobe IV is features a smooth leather and patent leather upper with a dramatic Purple to Yellow gradient from the laces, to the upper, to the midsole. The underside of the tongue features the Kobe puppet’s four fingered hand with a ring on each finger.
The Nike Zoom Kobe IV Four Rings is officially set to release on November 1st at very select Nike accounts including the House of Hoops.
Click [HERE] for more pics.