This past weekend at a Los Angeles High School, Kobe Bryant unveiled his fourth signature sneaker in the Nike Zoom collection. What sets this shoe apart from the rest is the fact that it's a newly designed low-top for use in a sport traditionally played in high-tops.
Although high-tops help prevent ankle sprains, the fact is most ankle support comes from a sturdy base and heel. Soccer players arguably put more stress on their ankles during play but their cleats are much lower than even this newest sneaker.
Although Kobe is not the first to wear a low-top in basketball—Kareem Abdul Jabbar wore a low and Steve Nash and Gilbert Arenas use one now—the new Zoom IV is definitely the lightest basketball shoe made today. Kobe worked closely with Performance Creative Director Eric Avar to create a fast, lightweight low-top without compromising stability. By dropping the ankle and using Fly Wire and Lunar Foam technologies Nike was able to drop weight by 20% for an 11.6-ounce shoe.
Kobe will make his debut in the Zoom IV vs the Miami Heat on 19 December 2008 but it won't be for sale in China until January 2009 and the rest of the world in February. There will also be a limited edition named Venom available beginning on 20 December 2008. And, last but not least, the Zoom IV will be the first performance sneaker available for customization at Nike ID beginning 25 December 2008 through 31 January 2009. However, only 24 pairs will be available to customize per day for a total of 912 pairs total world wide.