Verdict from 5 experts and 100+ user reviews

6 reasons to buy

  • These sneakers look nice and go well with jeans and shorts, some note.
  • Several reviewers just love the Nike Kobe Mamba Instinct, commenting that it is a well-built basketball shoe.
  • The traction performs great on both clean and dusty courts, most testers point out.
  • A good number of players appreciate the Lunarlon midsole, saying it provides a decent amount of impact protection and court feel.
  • These Kobe basketball shoes feel secure and supportive for a low top, a small number notice.
  • A few are amazed at how light and comfortable the Mamba Instinct feels on foot. Players report of having a similar experience when playing in Paul George’s third sneaker

4 reasons not to buy

  • Like the CP3 XI, nearly all testers notice that the traction is soft and pliable. They do not advise using these Kobe shoes outdoors.
  • The Nike Kobe Mamba Instinct is just too tight and uncomfortable to wear, several buyers complain.
  • A few are disappointed that these Kobe Bryant basketball shoes are not made to accommodate wide and flat feet.
  • Some wearers claim that the drop-in midsole is too big and the sides dig into their feet, causing pain and blisters.

Bottom line

Priced at $100, the Nike Kobe Mamba Instinct is hard to beat. You’ll get a comfortable, lightweight, and stylish set of kicks that have decent cushioning and great traction. However, getting a pair that fits well is crucial to enjoying its features. Or else, you may experience a lot of pain and discomfort and later regret buying these basketball sneakers.

Tip: see the best basketball shoes.

Good to know

Kobe’s legacy continues with the Nike Kobe Mamba Instinct. Loaded with serious technology, these Nike basketball sneakers are engineered to keep you fast and light on your feet with its Flyweave upper and responsive Lunarlon midsole.

Perfect for speedy guards and forwards, the Mamba Instinct is incredibly lightweight. It allows you to follow your on-court instincts and play like the Black Mamba.

Cushion. The Mamba Instinct features a drop-in Lunarlon midsole that provides springy cushioning during quick jumps and hard landings.

This lightweight and low-to-the-ground foam midsole make your every step responsive while keeping your feet comfortable. It is designed with flex grooves to support more natural movements, making the shoe ideal for quick directional changes.

Traction. Delivering traction is a thin outsole that is precision-engineered for superb multidirectional grip and great court feel.

Length and Width. Users are not happy with how these shoes fit. They are saying it runs very small and narrow unlike other Kobe models. Wide-footers are highly advised to try a pair in-store first before ordering.

Lockdown. The Nike Kobe Mamba Instinct features a unique half-length inner sleeve made of stretch mesh. This internal cleatie construction wraps the foot and provides a snug one-to-one fit that prevents interior slipping.

The Mamba Instinct has a supportive and breathable upper made of Nike’s next generation Flyweave technology.

The Flyweave upper is strengthened with TPU threads for tuned support. The TPU yarn also adds lightweight durability and improves the upper’s overall stability.

Building upon Kobe’s legacy, the Nike Kobe Mamba Instinct comes in a new low-top silhouette that pairs a seamless Flyweave upper with a Jacquard-style weave. These head-turning team sneakers feature a striking graphic made of an intricate geometric design. It also includes a signature Black Mamba branding on the tongue that glows in the dark.

The Mamba Instinct debuted in two colorways; one is bathed in blue and white and the other in red and black. It is now available in an array of different color combinations.

Kobe Bryant has been making waves in the sneaker scene since posting a legendary 60-point performance in his final NBA game. His team lines feature sleek and aggressive designs that are perfect to wear both on and off the court.  

Ushering in a post-retirement era, the Nike Kobe Mentality 3 was launched as the Nike Kobe Mamba Instinct. The Lakers superstar and future Hall of Famer’s sneaker presence live on thru the Mamba Instinct.

Nike launched several colorways of this Kobe team model.

  • Anthracite/University Red/Bright Crimson/Black
  • Black/University Red/Anthracite
  • Black/White
  • Dark Grey/Anthracite/Cool Grey
  • Dust/Electrolime/Pure Platinum/Anthracite
  • Navy Blue Paramount Blue/Blue Tint
  • Pure Platinum/Cool Grey/Wolf Grey/White
  • Team Red/Black/University Red/White
  • Turbo Green/White-Black-Igloo


How Nike Kobe Mamba Instinct ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 30% basketball shoes
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Top 32% Nike basketball shoes
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Bottom 42% kobe bryant basketball shoes
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The current trend of Nike Kobe Mamba Instinct.
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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.