As I mentioned in a previous post on this blog, the Heat played against the Lakers on Christmas Day 2010. In that game, LeBron wore his Christmas shoe. This article is about a shoe on an opposing team member that day - the Nike Zoom Kobe VI Christmas shoe. Being a Boston Celtics fan, I enjoy the rivalry with the LA Lakers, and hence I despise the team - but it is hard to despise the talent and athleticism of Kobe Bryant.
These are not even the first pair of Kobe signature shoes I have, as I already have a pair of Nike Zoom Kobe Vs. In comparison, these shoes appear to fit tighter, as well as appear to be lower to the ground. From general internet consensus / research, Kobe advised the designers at Nike (in this case, being led by Eric Avar) that he wanted a lower, lighter shoe that "molds to his foot". His ideas came together to make this shoe, and his request was placed in text on the inner footbed.
Cosmetically, the shoe has reptilian scales all over the upper - a reference to Kobe's nickname of "Black Mamba" (a long venomous snake). As I have not worn these shoes very much, I do not know if this is just a visual reference, or if it actually is to protect the shoe. The snake theme is also carried through to the box which the shoes are shipped in, as well as the dot-matrix code on the outside wall of the toebox, which also spells out "BLACK MAMBA". It is interesting that Kobe has taken on this nickname. I'm guessing it is to inspire fear in opponents, but he could have chosen other names. Michael Jordan was known as "Black Cat", and let his actions inspire fear in opponents, instead of his nickname. On court, both Michael and Kobe excelled in the game of basketball. Off the court... well... that's something else that I will not comment on, but I am sure with some research, you can dig out some observations on Michael and Kobe.
I did not like the traction of this shoe when I first wore it, and I think it was due to non-herringbone sole. I can offer a solution to this - wear the shoes a lot, or scuff the soles on some concrete before playing. The sole of this shoe reminds me of leather-soled shoes - they need to be worn in and scuffed before they grip. If you do not scuff the soles of a leather shoe, they will have a slippery surface - same is applied to this shoe, but on a far lesser degree. Traction improves the more you wear it.
Out of all the colours that this shoe came out in, I believe this one captures the reptilian look the best. I will let the images illustrate this point:
My thanks for these sneakers, as well as the LeBron 8 V/2 Christmas shoes, goes to ABCKICKS on Ebay. In this case, I was taking advantage of cheap prices, as well as combined shipping, as the Kobe VI Christmas shoes, and the LeBron 8 V/2 Christmas shoes arrived in the same shipment.