3 Best Kobe Shoes in 2023

Dimitrije Curcic
Dimitrije Curcic on
3 Best Kobe Shoes in 2023
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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.

Although Kobe shoes are so hard to get these days, we were able to review some of the most popular models to help you find the best. We procured these shoes just to knock them around to fully understand their potential and shortfall. We executed a number of tests before we put the first-rate ones in a list.

 

Best Nike Koba basketball shoes overall

What makes it the best?

Bringing back the Nike Kobe 6 as a Protro version results in crazy levels of anticipation and eventual reception! Boy, the shoe surely does not disappoint, especially performance-wise! Its amazing traction is usually the target of endless praise, and so is the well-balanced cushioning system. Kobe fans and many other basketball players are understandably happy to get their hands (and feet) on the Kobe 6 again.

Pros

  • Amazing traction
  • Bounce and responsiveness
  • Noticeable impact protection
  • Reliable support and lockdown
  • Flexible upper materials
  • Comfortable tongue
  • True to size
  • Stylish

Cons

  • Break-in needed
  • Dust pickup
  • Not for outdoor use
Full review of Nike Kobe 6 Protro

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Unisex
Any color
600 challenge red/black-white (DH9888600)
Green Apple/Volt-Crimson-Black (CW2190300)
100 white/neutral grey/del sol/bla (CW2190100)

Nike Kobe basketball shoes with the best fit adjustment

Nike Kobe A.D. NXT
93
Superb!

What makes it the best?

After the disappointing release of the Kobe A.D., many are surprised by the Kobe A.D. NXT’s performance. Erasing the memory of its predecessor, the shoe holds its own on-court with its consistent traction, unique lacing system, and fantastic fit. It fixes most of the mishaps of the A.D. and even goes a step further by having new technologies.

Pros

  • Good traction
  • Breathable upper
  • Phenomenal fit
  • Quick, intuitive, secure lockdown
  • Minimal foot fatigue
  • Easy movement
  • Aesthetically beautiful

Cons

  • On the pricey range
  • Not for wide feet
  • Requires longer break-in period
Full review of Nike Kobe A.D. NXT

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Men
Women
Any color
Black/Metallic Silver-White (882049007)
Grey (882049002)
Green (916832710)
College Navy/Igloo (882049400)
Red (882049600)
White/Black (882049100)

Nike Kobe basketball shoes with the best design

What makes it the best?

The Nike Kobe 11 Elite Low is generally a performer. Some think that low-top basketball shoes can cause injuries, but this shoe proves them wrong. It has Zoom technology and Lunarlon in the midsole and Flyknit in the upper. Combined, these three advanced technologies make a perfect shoe for any player. This pair will not only serve you on the court, it will also a part of your lifestyle collection.

Pros

  • Stylish design
  • Multiple colorway options
  • Short break-in period
  • Provides great support
  • Responsive midsole
  • Durable upper
  • Accommodates any playing style

Cons

  • Flimsy adhesive
  • Poor outsole durability
  • Quick dust pickup
  • Over-the-top price
Full review of Nike Kobe 11 Elite Low

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Men
Women
Any color
College navy/university red (844130464)
Green glow/black-prsn violet (822521305)
Grey (822675060)
Multi-Color/White-Game Royal (822522914)
White/Black-Court Purple (822675105)
Black/Black (869459001)
Purple (822675510)
Orange (822675706)
More colors

Comparison of the 3 best Kobe shoes

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Best
CoreScore
Users rating
Experts
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Ranking
Popularity
# of colorways

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.

How we test basketball shoes

As testers, it’s important for us to remain objective and fair. Hence, we commit to the following:

  • Buy our own shoes. When it comes to reviews, we value the truth more than being sponsored.
  • Test shoes in actual basketball games. We use the shoes as you would - from warmup and actual game up until the cool down. We make sure that our basketball games are as varied as possible so we can collect more data. Consequently, we report only as experienced. It’s easy for brands to promise things. However, we only describe what transpired. If we say it’s good, it’s because we actually experienced it.
  • Do rigorous lab testing. We check the different parameters of the shoes, including breathability, flexibility, and more. We also dissect the shoes to literally open them up and assess all of their parts.
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.