Nike Zoom Kobe IV, 2008
Somewhere down the line, someone assumed that excess height and plenty of padding was the only way to protect players from themselves. That assumption became a certainty, until the myth was shattered. The Nike Zoom Kobe IV proved that a low-cut profile and superior support could work in unison — even for one of the most versatile players in basketball history. Kobe, a fan of the “beautiful game,” global football, noticed how athletes in a sport that stopped and started as abruptly as basketball weren’t asking for high top shoes. In fact, some of the world’s greatest goal scorers opt for the most minimal boots that can be designed.
Nike Flywire’s innate minimalism with an iconic outrigger, twinned with the reptilian Black Mamba upper and comic book villain inspiration, all added up to a look that stood alone. Bringing all this style in a performance low top further shaped the Nike Kobe series aesthetic moving forward, but more importantly the Nike Zoom Kobe IV changed a convention forever.