Thinking about owning a pair of Kobe Nike shoes? If style and performance are your priorities, you are absolutely on the right track.
It is difficult to think of a more influential athlete in the 21st century than Kobe Bryant. From his prowess on the basketball court to his magnetic persona off it, the Black Mamba is an eternal legend.
His collaboration with Nike has given us a sneaker line right up there with those of Michael Jordan and LeBron James. However, did you know that the Mamba started with Adidas? (Check out Michael Jordan Rookie Cards to make money long-term).
As a 17-year-old freshman out of high school, Kobe signed an incredible six-year deal worth $48 million with Adidas. About a month later, he went on to become the 13th overall pick by the Hornets before the Lakers got him in a trade soon afterward.
The 2000-01 NBA season was the one that saw what a point-scoring machine Kobe could be. He simply took his game and the fame of his Adidas sneakers to the next level. But this relationship wasn’t to last, especially after the Lakers legend was reportedly unhappy with the TWO! Would you rather have a Kobe rookie card or a Steph Curry Rookie Card with an Autograph?
Therefore, the next logical step was signing with Nike, which is exactly what Kobe did once his Adidas contract ended in 2022. The rest, of course, is history.
Just like MJ’s Air Jordan colorways, Kobe’s Nike shoe line features enough design diversity to appeal to all kinds of people. Whether you are into straightforward blacks or funky pink and greens, there is something for you in our list of must-have Kobe Nike shoes!
Top Kobe Nike Shoes You Need
I know, I know; choosing the best Kobe Nike shoes is like nailing a buzzer-beating 3-pointer. It’s not easy! However, I will round up the seven best kicks you can slide your feet into to make your day better.
#1. Nike Kobe 9 Elite “HTM”
When Nike first announced the Kobe 9 Elite to the world, there was a ton of expectation riding on it.
For one, it was the first pair of performance kicks from the brand to feature the revolutionary Flyknit technology. For another, it was ready to take the basketball shoe market by storm with its homage to the Black Mamba. The HTM collaboration, however, took things to a different level altogether.
This particular pair of Kobe Nike shoes features a sleek, low-top silhouette with the innovative Flyknit technology on the upper. A large white Nike swoosh logo gracefully sweeps over the side, contrasting sharply against the backdrop.
The shoe’s forefoot is designed for flexibility, with the Flyknit providing a breathable, second-skin fit. Moving to the heel, you’ll notice a sturdy, contoured design with carbon fiber accents that offer stability and support.
Additionally, design details like reflective flecked laces, anodized HTM aglets, and embossed snake scales make these kicks stand out.
The Kobe 9 Elite HTM comes in four striking colorways, ranging from heather white/gum to black/marble.
In case you were wondering, “HTM” is a design collaboration between three titans of the sneaker world!
Fragment Design founder Hiroshi Fujiwara, legendary Nike designer Tinker Hatfield, and CEO Mark Parker set out to raise the bar. The collaboration brought Flyknit to the low-top Kobe 9 variant for the first time, as well as Lunarlon cushioning and Flywire supports.
#2. Nike Zoom Kobe 6 “Grinch”
There is no better way to “steal” the Christmas spotlight than with a vibrant pair of Kobe Nike shoes that pay homage to an iconic character.
The Nike Zoom Kobe 6 ‘Grinch’ is an eye-catching sneaker in a vibrant lime green colorway that just screams at you. Its unique textured upper mimics snake scales, paying homage to Kobe Bryant’s “Black Mamba” persona on the court.
However, the design is not just all about aesthetics. With its tactile grip offering, it is pretty functional as well.
A darker, contrasting Nike swoosh sits on the sides, adding to the shoe’s distinctive look. The ‘Zoom’ branding on the midsole highlights the advanced cushioning technology that offers responsive comfort. The heel counter gives a glossy finish, enhancing support and adding to the overall aesthetic.
Initially entering the market in 2010 as part of the Nike Basketball Christmas Day Collection, the Grinch colorway has a legion of fans. Its popping green color and functionality make it one of the slickest pairs of Kobe Nike shoes to own!
#3. Nike Zoom Kobe 5 “Bruce Lee”
There was no way the Nike Zoom Kobe 5 “Bruce Lee” wasn’t making it on this list. These Kobe Nike shoes pay homage to legendary martial artist Bruce Lee and his iconic yellow jumpsuit. Inspired by Game of Death and Enter the Dragon, this pair combines performance and aesthetics for basketball and movie buffs alike!
The shoe flaunts a bold yellow upper with black accents, mirroring Bruce Lee’s jumpsuit. The black Nike swoosh is outlined with a reflective silver trim, adding a sharp contrast. On the forefoot, four red scratch marks evoke imagery of Lee’s battle scars.
Its sleek, low-profile design ensures agility and speed on the court, while the cushioned heel provides support. The mesh tongue and collar offer breathability. Meanwhile, the subtle embossed logos on the heel cap complete this homage with a touch of class.
In terms of performance, let’s just say that both Lee and Kobe would be proud.
The responsive cushioning system offers optimal impact protection and energy return. Particularly, this feature helps with your explosiveness and bounce. Meanwhile, the shoe’s durable outsole offers excellent traction, ensuring superior grip on various court surfaces.
If you have been looking for an extraordinary pair of kicks to elevate your game and style, you will have zero regrets here!
#4. Nike Zoom Kobe 5 “Chaos”
Introduce a bit of chaotic energy to your collection of Kobe Nike shoes with the Zoom Kobe 5 Chaos. Put a smile on that face because these Joker-inspired kicks will be wreaking havoc wherever you go!
This shoe features a striking voltage green Nike swoosh set against a black and white backdrop. The intricate, chaotic patterns create a sense of motion that is fitting for a high-performing athlete. Red speckles across the white midsole add that touch of Joker madness, while crimson laces enhance the visual.
Its low-top silhouette is engineered for swift movements, featuring a padded heel collar for support. The outsole boasts a yellow-to-green gradient, completing a look that’s as dynamic as Kobe’s playing style on the court.
Complete with lizard skin textures and neon branding reminiscent of the villain’s hair, the Chaos is a visual stunner. It was announced to the world in January 2020 as part of the Nike Zoom Kobe 5 Protro’s 10th anniversary.
#5. Nike Kobe 11 Elite “Fade to Black”
The Nike Kobe 11 Elite “Fade to Black” is a refined and sophisticated shoe that is befitting of the Black Mamba. It is dressed entirely in black with a luxurious metallic gold Nike swoosh that radiates class and high performance.
Its engineered mesh upper offers both durability and breathability, while the Flywire cables provide dynamic lockdown. The drop-in midsole acts as a dual cushioning system, and the translucent rubber outsole ensures traction.
Completing the look is the embossed “4.13.16” on the right heel, commemorating Kobe Bryant’s final NBA game. As fans will undeniably remember, this was the game against the Utah Jazz that saw Kobe bag 60 points!
#6. Nike Zoom Kobe 6 “Think Pink”
If you want your footwear to stand for important causes, this pair of Nike Kobe shoes is worth a look. Designed by Eric Avar to raise awareness and support for breast cancer research, the “Think Pink” is a statement maker!
Emblazoned in bright pink, the shoe sports a distinctive snakeskin texture representing Kobe’s “Black Mamba” persona. A crisp white Nike swoosh cuts across the midsection, offering a striking visual contrast, while the same white spans the midsole.
The sneaker’s heel counter and tongue include additional branding elements, while the Zoom Air cushioning further bolsters performance. The rubber outsole with multidirectional traction offers excellent grip and stability, which is helpful for on-court agility.
Aside from symbolizing the resilience of people with breast cancer, the pink colorway is just an exciting differential. Imagine how much these kicks would stand out in a room of boring blacks and greys!
#7. Nike Zoom Kobe 8 “Mambacurial”
Kobe Bryant is a basketball icon, but his influence on soccer was immense, too. Did you know he was good friends with legends like Lionel Messi and Ronaldinho? He even started his own soccer club, Mamba FC, to promote the beautiful game.
Therefore, it only makes sense for Nike to want to honor this soccer-loving aspect of the Black Mamba! This is where the Kobe 8 Mambacurial comes in with its witty blend of the Mercurial brand and the Mamba mentality.
The shoe dons a bold pink and plum colorway, transitioning to a neon green sole, which wraps up to the heel. You will instantly recognize the similarity with the Nike Mercurial Vapor 9 boot!
A white Nike swoosh stretches across the forefoot, mirroring the placement on soccer boots. Meanwhile, the silhouette maintains a sleek, low-profile look optimized for agility.
Additionally, the upper is engineered for breathability, which is especially helpful for long periods on the court. The full-length Zoom Air unit provides responsive cushioning tailored for explosive hooping as well.