Any type of definitive information about the Nike Kobe 9 is still ways away. But to follow up our initial preview of Kobe Bryant’s next signature Swoosh-branded sneaker, today we get a look at a wear-test sample one of the most highly anticipated basketball shoes in recent years.

Now, before you form one opinion or another about the design of the test sample (seen above), just know that it’s hardly the final product. As with any shoe in the works, it will likely go through plenty of tweaks before we see the finished silhouette.

From the looks it, some of the notable features on the Kobe 8—like Engineered Mesh on the upper and a carbon heel counter—seem to also be present in the 9. Also expected to be in the mix is Flywire technology, though it’s not so visible on the above image.

The Kobe 9 looks to have a mid-top construction almost reminiscent of the iconic Vans Half Cab skate shoe. If Nike decides to stick with the design, it should equate to better ankle support for the Black Mamba.

[Image via ill4eva]

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