Verdict from 7 experts and 19 user reviews

6 reasons to buy

  • Traction: A noticeable improvement from the OG Kobe 5, the current traction has "more points of contact" and will "stop on a dime."
  • Plush heel: Hoopers enjoy the plushness and sponginess of the Cushlon-equipped heel.
  • Springy forefoot: The Zoom Turbo in the forefoot provides a "nice bounce, responsiveness, and court feel."
  • Support: Players have no complaints here. The lateral outrigger, sturdy heel counter, tight lacing system, and other support features keep the foot securely locked in. 
  • Comfort: The upper material is "thin enough to flex" and "strong enough to keep you contained."
  • Light: At only 10.7 oz (303 g), the Kobe 5 Protro shoes are "ultra lightweight...nothing is even close to these."

4 reasons not to buy

  • Dust-prone outsole: The outsole attracts too much dust, compromising traction. There is a need to "wipe pretty frequently" on dusty courts.
  • Narrow: The Kobe 5 Protro is definitely NOT for widefooters, being described as "super narrow." Those who like a snug fit will love it just fine.
  • Break-in: The traction pattern, cushion setup, and upper materials all need time to work as expected.  
  • Pricey: The Kobe 5 Protro might be too expensive; expert reviewers say that "(the debut price of) $180 is a little steep for the tech you get."

Bottom line

The Nike Kobe 5 Protro addresses the weaknesses and builds upon the strengths of the Kobe V, making it a truly "updated and improved version" of the OG. Wide-footers may have a hard time appreciating this because of its narrow construction.  

Tip: see the best basketball shoes.

Nike Kobe 5 Protro: Once a Legend, always a Legend

When it was first released in 2009, the fifth Kobe shoe under Nike delivered on the court and made waves off it. Fast forward to 2020, the shoe is back not only to honor Kobe's illustrious past but also to serve the current warriors of the court. Specifically, the Nike Kobe 5 Protro delivers the following: 

Updated grip. The 'heartbeat' pattern has a stronger grip on the playing surface, especially when compared to the earlier versions of the fifth Kobe.

Springy cushioning. The updates in the Nike Kobe 5 Protro's cushioning system deliver reliable responsiveness and impact protection  while keeping the shoe low to the ground. 

Supportive fit. The materials that make up this Nike hoop shoe ensure that the foot is reliably supported especially during aggressive movements.

Special colorways of the Nike Kobe 5 Protro

The Nike Kobe 5 Protro comes in a lot of colorways such as the following: 

Big Stage. The Big Stage colorway of this low-top basketball shoe honors the tenth anniversary of Kobe Bryant's fifth championship.

5 Rings. Kobe Bryant won the NBA championship five times, and the '5 Rings' colorway pays homage to this rare achievement.  


How Nike Kobe 5 Protro ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 21% basketball shoes
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Top 22% Nike basketball shoes
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Top 45% kobe bryant basketball shoes
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The current trend of Nike Kobe 5 Protro.
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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.