Released back in 2009, the Nike Air Zoom Kobe 4 is a remarkable sneaker for a number of reasons. First of all, the context in which the shoe initially releases is pretty illuminating.
In 2009, the most notable low top basketball sneaker was from adidas, the Gil Zero. Kobe Bryant’s retirement seems well and truly in place. After going a whole season without a Kobe highlight, NBA fans can collectively begin to move on.
But, for us sneakerheads, we will always remember the man known as the Black Mamba for his fascinating array of signature sneakers. Though his line lives on beyond his playing career, it’s the shoe that releases as part of his playing days that are the most fascinating for our purposes. Case in point, the Nike Air Zoom Kobe 4.
Even after the Nike Kobe 4 release and the model’s relative success in stores, basketball as a whole wasn’t quite ready to fully embrace the low top hoop shoe. In steps Kobe Bryant and his obsessive approach to sneaker design.
History of the Nike Air Zoom Kobe 4
Designed by Eric Avar, the shoe featured a lightweight upper and a revolutionary Zoom Air technology cushioning system. It was also the first Nike Basketball sneaker to feature Flywire technology for reduced weight and improved stability.
The Kobe 4 was an instant success among basketball players, and was worn by numerous NBA stars throughout the 2008-2009 season. Kobe himself wore the shoe during his 2008-2009 MVP campaign, and even set a record for most points scored in a single game while wearing it.
For the Nike Air Zoom Kobe 4, Bryant takes inspiration from the low-cut shoes that soccer players wear. What results is a bare-bones piece of function and form.
Design vs Performance:
As low key as the Kobe 4 shoes are, they don’t lack in performance. The traction is serious business, making the outsole a monster even by today’s standards.
Though lightweight, the Zoom bag in the heel is significant in its shock absorption. Then, there’s the use of Flywire to really hold the foot in place.
Basically, this a beast of a sneaker all around. Now that we’ve got the technicals out of the way, let’s consider some more reasons why this shoe is so significant.
First of all, Bryant torched the New York Knicks for 62 points, at Madison Square Garden, while debuting this sneaker. Breaking the MSG scoring record at the time, the Knicks fans were loudly chanting “MVP” for Mamba whenever he scored. That’s right.
The man had perhaps the most loyal fans in basketball rooting for him. Then, we have the impact Bryant had on the following market of performance sneakers.
Superstars like Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard, and more might not have opted for low-cut shoes had the Mamba not taken them on so profoundly. The Nike Air Zoom Kobe IV is as necessary today as it was when it was originally released.
Off the courts and on to the streets:
Perhaps most importantly, the Nike Air Zoom Kobe 4 is part of how Bryant’s shoes are changing the way we view retro’s. The minimalist look of this sneaker makes it easy to wear off the court as well, giving us a good taste of what’s to come when Zoom Air cushioning and Flywire are considered as ancient as rotary phones.
Whether he’s on the court or debuting his latest shoes, Kobe Bryant always seems to make sure he leaves quite the mark.
While you’re here, make sure to also check out all there is to know about the Nike Kyrie 2.
Bonus Tip: Try the Nike Air Zoom Kobe 4 TB (Team Bank) if you want extra cushioning. This special edition features an extra layer of full-length Zoom Air cushioning for maximum protection and comfort on the court. Now, you can experience all of the performance benefits of the Kobe 4 without sacrificing any style.
With its combination of design, performance, style, and multiple variations, there’s no question that the Nike Air Zoom Kobe 4 is a great option for both serious basketball players and sneaker enthusiasts alike. So don’t just take our word for it. Try on a pair of Kobe 4s today and see what all the hype is about!
No matter what type of basketball player you are or which colorway you prefer, the Nike Air Zoom Kobe 4 has something that will go perfectly with your wardrobe. With its iconic design, performance benefits, and style, the Kobe 4 will surely give you an edge on the court and have everyone looking your way. So don’t miss out on this timeless classic – get your pair of Nike Air Zoom Kobe 4s today.
Also Read: 30 Best Nike Sneakers of All Time