Of all the athletes who get to work on signature product, none may be as involved as Kobe Bryant, This is both a gift and a curse to the designers, who - while they get plenty of input - might get a 3 a.m. phone call about why an outsole wasn't made a millimeter lower. For his fourth signature shoe from Nike, Bryant wanted designer Eric Avar to come up with something closer to a soccer boot, far lower than he'd worn in the past. And while the IV wasn't a true lowtop - not nearly as much as the shoes that would follow - it set a whole new standard for basketball shoes.