This morning, Nike added another chapter to its glorious sneaker history with the unveiling of Kobe Bryant's latest signature model, the Kobe X.

Over 10 years in the making, the Kobe X features a plethora of Nike's latest technology made to compliment one of the game's all-time greats. Designed once again by one of the greatest designers in sneaker history and current Nike Creative Director and VP of Innovation Design, Eric Avar, this years Kobe model makes use of the latest in Nike technology and innovation. Amongst the features of this year's model are three key elements - hybrid cushioning, advanced traction system, and a seamless textile upper.

The hybrid cushioning incorporates a Zoom Air Unit in the heel along with Lunarlon and siping grooves inspired by the Nike Free to give the Kobe X greater natural movement. The three elements are housed in a translucent oustole to give the wearer a view of the inner tech and metaphorically speaking, was inspired by Kobe wanting to be more open with his fans and the general public.  "Firm, soft, and flexible" are the characteristics used to describe this package of Nike technology.

The outsole features an advanced traction system that Nike considers to be "the most effective traction system in the 43-year history of Nike's basketball shoes." Considering the amount of iconic models and signature silhouettes for some of the game's greatest players over the years, this is a pretty bold and impressive statement. The herringbone outsole for the Kobe X makes use of hundreds of "nodules" whose grip of the court is likened to the performance of a racecare tires. While the outsole reeks of innovation, a hand-drawn, Avar designed roman numeral "X" captures the viewer's attention as it sits beneath the Zoom Air Unit.

Move over "Great White" and make room for the "Great Mamba." Last year's Kobe 9s featured Flyknit and Engineered Mesh heavily, but this year's edition draws its inspiration from the sea. The shark, and its tough, strong skin serve as the inspiration for an all new open-weave textile being used on the Kobe X. Other design features include a mesh bootie and nubuck tongue that features a mamba inspired snake scale pattern. The underside of the tongue will feature graphics that tell the story of each Kobe X colroway. Symoblism also appears on the left heel in the form four red lines that represent his resiliency from returning from his Achilles injury and the four feet of stitching thread used during surgery. 

The storyline for each Kobe X will speak to Bryant's drive and determination. The initial colorway is being dubbed "5 A.M. Flight" and draws its story from a morning in August 2013. During recovery from his ACL injury, Kobe made a 40-foot leap from a diving platform which Nike symbolizes as Kobe's perseverance to overcome obstacles and to face fear head-on. The "Blue Lagoon" is representative of the water from that morning.

Fans won't have to wait long to cop as the shoe is set to hit shelves beginning Saturday, February 7, with a sticker price of $180.


[via Nike]