10 Best Nike Kobe Basketball Shoes (Buyer's Guide)

Author: Dimitrije Curcic. Updated: .

If you are Kobe Bryant, not even retirement or death can stop your shoes from saturating the market. Up to this day, the best Kobe shoes are still being sold like pancakes by both online and offline retailers.

How we come up with the top 10

The best Kobe basketball shoes from Nike are assessed using online inputs from experts, basketball enthusiasts, and ordinary buyers. We then come up with each shoe’s CoreScore, and then rank them accordingly.

Are Kobe shoes right for you?

Nike Kobe shoes are designed to suit the needs of, well, Kobe Bryant. They can be good for those who weigh, stand, and play like him.

Player profile

Tall and relatively slim, Bryant is easily among the league’s most standout players:

Height

6’6”

Weight

205 lbs

Position Played

Shooting Guard

Playing style

Kobe Bryant himself described his playing style this way: “Just mean. Mean. Just very aggressive and very combative and confrontational and cutthroat. And I took a lot of pride in competing that way.” 

Anyone can be as mean and confrontational as Bryant if they have his admirable footwork. Kobe shoes are built for this, that’s why they are characterized by the following:

  • above average traction
  • really pronounced court feel
  • considerably lighter

The different Nike Kobe collections

Bryant has at least four Nike signature shoe series available in the United States.

Collection Description
Nike Kobe Kobe Bryant’s main line of Nike signatures. 
Nike Kobe AD Basically a continuation of the Nike Kobe line; launched after Bryant retired in 2016.
Nike Kobe Protro Another of Bryant’s post-retirement lines; they are basically Nike Kobe retros that are retooled with more recent technologies.
Nike Kobe Venomenon Bryant’s line of outdoor- and blacktop-ready basketball shoes.
Nike Kobe Mamba Bryant’s line of more affordable shoes; usually equipped with proven and tested technologies.

Aside from the ones listed above, Kobe Bryant also has short-lived lines of signature shoes. A good example is the Nike Kobe Mentality line, which stopped on its second release.

Bryant’s main Nike signatures are often as expensive as the Nike LeBrons and Air Jordan sneakers. While the techs used on them are not exclusive to the line, these techs are more effectively implemented. Because of this, many reviewers use Kobe shoes as their benchmarks.

The aesthetics of the best Kobe shoes

Kobe Bryant signature shoes are as pretty as they are beastly on the court. You can actually use them to look fashionable every day.

Low, mid, or high? Pick what you want.

Bryant was widely credited as the one who popularized low-tops in basketball. In fact, star players like Kyrie Irving and James Harden also produce and wear signature low-tops because they have been inspired by him.

Science says that the height of the collar has very little effect, if at all, on performance.  Hence, Kobe shoes are also made available as high- or mid-tops for a wider aesthetic appeal.

Know your color

Given their immense popularity, Nike Kobe shoes are available in hundreds if not thousands of colorways. A few colors stand out, either because they appear regularly, or they were what Bryant was wearing when he made NBA history.

Black Mamba. Kobe Bryant is also referred to as the Black Mamba. Hence, many of his shoes are released in colorways that draw inspiration from the deadly reptile.

Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant had been with the Los Angeles Lakers for the entirety of his career. Unsurprisingly, his shoes almost always appear in Lakers-inspired yellow and purple. 

Grinch. The bright green “Grinch” version of the original Kobe 6 gained wide recognition because it was what Bryant wore in a highly popular Yuletide game against LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and the Miami Heat in 2010. This colorway reappeared in 2020 on the Protro version of the Kobe 6.

The future of the best Kobe shoes

Immediately after Kobe Bryant’s death in January 2020, his shoes and other merchandise became extra hot items. Barely three months later, Nike silently dropped the fairly affordable Nike Mamba Fury.

In April 2021, news broke out that Vanessa Bryant and the rest of Bryant’s estate have decided to part ways with Nike. Like Stephen Curry, they intend to start their new brand of Kobe sneakers. This reportedly was what Kobe himself intended to do before his death. 

Fans, however, can still expect to get two more Nike signatures before the deal is off.

    Now, are you ready to buy nike kobe basketball shoes?

    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.