Summary

We spent 8.4 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what basketball players think:

8 reasons to buy

  • The Lunarlon in the midsole of the Kobe 9 Low receives plenty of praises due to the superb comfort it brings.
  • The vibrant colorways of the Nike Kobe 9 Low are enjoyed by many buyers.
  • The foot shape traction pattern has a good grip on the court, earning praises from wearers.
  • Most users find the upper durable after playing in it for several months.
  • Some are amazed with the support that the Kobe 9 Low gives despite being a low-top.
  • The removable insole of the shoe gives wearers a chance to replace it with an insole of their choice.
  • The engineered mesh on the uppers of these Kobe basketball shoes provides comfort and breathability, say a lot of users.
  • The high price of these low-top basketball sneakers is ok with the majority of the buyers because of the premium materials used.

3 reasons not to buy

  • A small number of testers say that these shoes from Nike’s basketball division are not for buyers with wide feet.
  • A handful of wearers complain about the dead space in the toe box.
  • Some find the outsole flimsy.

Bottom line

The Nike Kobe 9 Low is not just your average shoe. This shoe model replaces the current rotation shoe of most basketball athletes. The support that the shoe provides defies the myth that low-top shoes cannot provide enough support. The shoe may be expensive for most but you get what you pay for.

Facts

Expert Reviews

90 / 100 based on 4 expert reviews

  • 90 / 100 | WearTesters | | Level 5 expert

    I personally enjoyed the fit in this shoe a little more due to the material change as they feature very little Fuse and they were missing the really high collar but overall you get the same experience.

  • 90 / 100 | WearTesters | | Level 5 expert

    I personally enjoyed the fit in this shoe a little more due to the material change as they feature very little Fuse and they were missing the really high collar but overall you get the same experience.

  • 90 / 100 | TheGymRatReview | | Level 4 expert

    I loved the way the Kobe IX felt on foot in terms of fit. It was a 1:1 type fit throughout the upper, nearly as good as the Kobe VI – one of the hallmarks in terms of fit and the best fitting low top I’ve ever owned.

  • 96 / 100 | AminoApps | | Level 1 expert

    Overall, the Kobe 9 EM is the best Kobe shoe for me, beating the 10s, 8s, 7s, and 6s.

  • First look |

  • First look |

Become an expert

Nike released two versions of the Kobe 9 Low. The first is the Elite version with a Flyknit upper and a carbon fiber shank on the rear panel. The second is the engineered mesh (EM) version. This shoe model features a TPU shank on the lateral side for support and containment. The shoe was released in March 2014 with a price lower than its Elite version.

The Kobe 9 series is the first in the signature athlete’s line to have the symbol of the stitches he had from tearing his Achilles’ tendon. Bryant says it reminds him of where he is today and all his achievements after 18 years of being a professional basketball player.

Another low-top sneaker to celebrate is Kobe Bryant’s AD 2018 model from Nike. Instead of Lunarlon, these shoes comes with a Phylon midsole and a huge Zoom unit at the heel. The setup provides enough impact absorption and comfort.

Cushion. The midsole of the Kobe 9 Low is entirely made of Lunarlon. As per Nike’s website, it is a light, soft, and resilient foam that evenly distributes impact and weight and gives a responsive feel. The setup of the midsole also gives a nice court feel.

Traction. The outsole of the Nike Kobe 9 Low is usually made of icy, translucent, and flexible outsole. It has a pressure-mapped traction pattern that delivers a good court grip on any surface, making it so supportive of multidirectional footwork. However, this type of rubber is preferably for indoor use only.

Still, there are Kobe 9 Lows with XDR or Extra Durable Rubber outsoles. This version is the one that’s suitable for outdoor playing

Length and Width. The Nike Kobe 9 Low comes in the average length and width. Reviewers have different assessments of the fit. Some mention it is true to size. A few have reported that the shoe fits fairly tight at the midfoot. Still, for those with normal-sized feet, it is best to go true to size. For wearers with wider feet, it is best to fit the shoe first before buying or go for slightly bigger sizes.

Lockdown. The Kobe 9 Low has Flywire technology to keep the foot in place. The upper setup provides great foot containment, hence, foot slippage is avoided. Both sides of the shoe boast TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) shanks to give it a firmer structure. The shoe uses the standard lacing system with flat shoelaces.

The upper of the Nike Kobe 9 Low is made of thick engineered mesh with fuse overlays on the forefoot. The fuse keeps the shoe durable even with toe drags and prolonged use. The engineered mesh keeps the foot comfortable and ventilated. The inside of the mesh upper is lined with nylon for reinforcement.

The low-top construction of the Nike Kobe 9 Low comes in numerous colorways. Buyers will have an option to choose from the lightest to the darkest of hues, whichever colorway best fits their personality.

Both sides of the shoe have the Swoosh logo. Depending on the colorway, the Swoosh may have a chrome effect. The tongue, heel counter, and outsole have the famous logo of Kobe Bryant. Bryant’s signature is embossed on the lateral sides of the shoe. Like his previous signature shoes, the heel counter has the nine stitches he had after tearing his Achilles’ tendon.

Kobe Bryant’s signature shoes are releases in plenty of ordinary and special colorways. The following are some of the basic ones:

  • Purple/Black/White
  • Red/Black/White
  • White/Black/White

Nike Kobe 9 Premium “Barangay”

The Nike Kobe 9 Premium "Barangay" is a Philippine exclusive on its first release in May 2014. It is inspired by the love of the Filipinos for basketball. The inspiration of the design is from a public utility vehicle in the Philippines called Jeepney. It is designed by Eric Goto, who himself has Filipino blood.

The upper has an interesting mix of blue, red, and yellow that forms the pattern usually found on “banig,” which is a type of indigenous mat that Filipinos in the rural areas sleep on. Overlapped by the Swoosh logo, the number “24” is on the lateral side. The icy outsole has the “tsinelas” design with a crimson Kobe logo on the heel. “Tsinelas” is the Filipino term for flip flops, which some Filipinos use when playing basketball.

Author
Dimitrije Curcic
Dimitrije Curcic

Dimitrije Curcic has been playing basketball for over 22 years. Like Manu Ginobili, he’s a left-hander whose moves led him to a better career-shooting percentage than the Argentine himself. After playing professionally for 10 years, Dimitrije moved to coaching for two seasons before he became a basketball statistician for StatScore, and FanSided contributor for the San Antonio Spurs. Dimitrije loves to tell hoop stories through numbers and graphics and has been featured on Fansided, FiveThirtyEight, Eurohoops, and TalkBasket among the others.

dimitrije@runrepeat.com