Our verdict


Overall, the Nike Zoom Kobe 5 is well loved, not only due to its breathtaking performance on-court but also because of the nostalgia that it brings. Although traction and durability are issues for some players, many wearers do not think that these are deal-breakers and continue to stock up on the Vs. For them, the Kobe V has the right balance of elements, making it amazing to wear.


  • Good heel cup support
  • Impressive lockdown
  • Great ankle support
  • Aethetically beautiful
  • Lightweight
  • Flexible
  • Rare find


  • Weak traction
  • Poor wearability
  • Small forefoot midsole

Who should wear the Nike Zoom Kobe 5

The Kobe 5 is considered to be one of the pinnacles of Kobe Bryant’s signature line. Released in 2010, the shoe gets inspiration from low-top soccer cleats–further cementing the use of low-profile sneakers for basketball.

This pair is the perfect option for you if:

  • You're looking for a low-top shoe but could give you great ankle support in your agile performances.
  • You're intrigued by Nike's Skinwire technology that provides a beautiful and strong style.

Nike Zoom Kobe 5 logo

Nike's midsole technology setup

Two Zoom Air units encased in a soft Phylon midsole make up the shoe’s cushioning system. A small unit is located at the ball of the foot, while a bigger unit is under the heel. The Phylon foam at the back of the heel is split. It splays when landing and provides a soft bounce. However, the cushioning is also firm enough to let you feel the ground.

Nike Zoom Kobe 5 midsole

Outsole story and structure of Nike Kobe 5

The Nike Kobe 5 is one of the first few basketball sneakers that has a storytelling outsole. A heartbeat traction pattern is used on the shoe. Also called “flatline,” the tread pattern uses less rubber compared to the previous Kobe 4. Since the grooves are not very thick, the outsole will last longer indoors. Optimal performance is achieved when used on clean courts.

Nike Zoom Kobe 5 outsole

Effective, secure lockdown

The Kobe 5’s secure lockdown is attributed to the shoe’s conforming and second- skin upper. Sitting very close to the foot, the Skinwire molds to its shape. Support is reinforced by an external heel counter.

Nike Zoom Kobe 5 lockdown

Outstanding construction of Kobe 5

An upgrade to the Kobe IV, the upper integrates Flywire into its synthetic material through a heat-bonding process. This creates “Skinwire,” which players describe as lighter and more flexible yet very supportive.

The heel counter of the upper uses ballistic mesh. There is an extra layer of fuse that adds support to high-wear areas of the shoe. The upper has a sock-like fit that makes the wearer feel like the shoe is specifically made for them.

Nike Zoom Kobe 5 backheel

The Nike Torch tongue enhances the shoe’s breathability and comfort. Perforations can also be found in the toe box and the sides.

A carbon fiber shank plate is placed in the midfoot, and it provides a stable base to stand on. Two Zoom Air units are housed within the Phylon cushioning. A huge TPU heel cup prevents slips.

Nike Zoom Kobe 5's strength and style

The Kobe 5’s Skinwire upper mimics the look of synthetic tendons underneath a skin of muscle thereby magnifying the beauty of subtle strength.

Modern touches are added to the shoe through the use of brightly colored fuse and mesh. The Nike swoosh is printed on both sides of the shoe while a Kobe logo is embossed on the tongue.