Previously dubbed “Blue Lagoon,” which was essentially referencing its official palette, the nickname takes inspiration from Kobe Bryant’s 40-foot leap from a diving platform in August 2013 while recovering from his Achilles tendon surgery, hence the pool of water representing the shoe’s Blue tone during Bryant’s 5 AM flight.
Designed by Nike Creative Director and VP of Innovation, Eric Avar, who has worked with Kobe Bryant for ten years on other models such as the Kobe 9, the new Kobe 10 boasts a seamless open-weave textile upper that offers lightweight strength and breathability unlike its predecessor with Flyknit technology.
In addition, hybrid cushioning, an advanced traction system along with a new Zoom Air unit in the heel leads to a great combination of firmness, softness and flexibility. Further detailed with a mamba-inspired snake scale pattern on the shoes’ tongue, its underside features unique graphic prints, while the left heel is adorned with four red lines representing Bryant’s resilient return from injuring his left Achilles tendon and the right heel bearing Kobe’s sheath logo.
Furthermore, the outsole inherits a new “nodules” system which allows for better grip and cushioning, similar to tires on a racetrack, as it’s topped off by a gold Roman numeral “X” embedded beneath the Zoom unit.
Retailing for $180, the Nike Kobe 10 “5AM Flight” will arrive at Nike retailers starting February 7th alongside complimentary apparel. Full family sizing will also be available, with GS, PS and TD sizes set at $135, $85 and $60 respectively.