Home Nike kobe Nike quietly releases Kobe Bryant’s new sneaker

Nike quietly releases Kobe Bryant’s new sneaker

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Shortly after Kobe Bryant‘s tragic passing, all of his merchandise flew off the shelves, especially his legendary shoes. Nike has made the prudent decision to suspend restocking of any Kobe merchandise indefinitely.

Additionally, the sneakers that were scheduled for release in February and March have been postponed. Black Mamba fans had to pay exorbitant resale prices for any clothing or memorabilia they could get their hands on.

In a time when everyone needs good news, Laker Nation just got something to lift their spirits. Nike has quietly released the first new Kobe sneaker since January.

Nike Mamba Fury

The Mamba Fury is a “takedown” model, essentially a budget hoop shoe. It has less technical investment than more expensive shoes (including other Kobe).

This isn’t the first budget shoe to come out of Nike’s Kobe collection. Over the better part of the last decade, Nike has released several affordable shoes designed for Kobe fans; KB Mentality, Kobe Venomenon, Mamba Instinct, Mamba Rage, Mamba Focus.

Each of these shoes was more than capable of performing on the court. However, they often sacrificed the latest Nike technology to have a more affordable price (usually around $100).

These shoes are no different. The Mamba Fury closely resembles the Mamba Focus (released in 2019) in both appearance and technology.

Again, Nike opted to use a phylon midsole with a Nike Zoom bag in the forefoot for added cushioning. The traction pattern on the outsole is the same as its predecessor and will likely deliver similar performance.

The noticeable difference is a newly designed textile “upper” with a barely visible snakeskin pattern knitted into it. The new upper will allow Nike to tinker with different colorways and patterns of the new shoe.

Although Nike has played it safe with this model, there are still several key things you can count on with a Kobe shoe. It’s a lightweight, low profile shoe with minimal setup that allows for maximum feel on the court. For a closer look, you can find a great video from Weartesters on YouTube.

The Kobe logo and branding all over the shoe will make the Mamba Fury highly sought after and likely hard to find at a reasonable price. The Mamba Fury is still hanging around in some sizes on smaller websites. Currently, you cannot find a pair of these shoes on the Nike website or any of the other major retailers.

For a shoe that retails for $99.99, it’s currently over $150 on the GOAT resale app. Disassembled Kobe models never received much hype until January 2020, even now they are resold at an exponential margin.

Story

Any hoops fan and sneakerhead could give you a detailed account of the impact Kobe Bryant had on basketball shoes. After starting his career at Adidas, and a year as a sneaker free agent, the future Hall of Famer signed with Nike in 2003.

Throughout the partnership, Kobe has consistently pushed Nike in a more progressive direction. Gone were the heavy high tops, he opted instead for lightweight shoes that looked more like soccer cleats. His signature line included 11 designs that left an indelible mark on basketball and sneaker culture.

The relationship between Kobe and Nike was a heavenly match. Together they collaborated on some of the most important basketball shoes in history. His overseas fan base matched that of his supporters in the United States. His shoes became the preferred choice of many of his contemporaries in the league.

Following Bryant’s retirement in April 2016, Nike released the Kobe AD in November 2016. Strangely, and perhaps on purpose, the celebration of the first post-retirement shoe felt more like a funeral than a party.

In addition to the AD series, Kobe’s collection featured an even more expensive line of shoes called the “NXT” series, which often debuted the latest technical advancements from Nike. The AD NXT, AD NXT 360, AD NXT Fast Fit came out one after another.

The “NXT” line really pushed the boundaries of what we imagined sneakers could be. Ultralight, minimalist and sometimes without laces.

In 2018, Nike began releasing “Protro” versions of Kobe’s iconic sneakers from his playing days. “Protro” being a combination of the words “performance” and “retro”. The Kobe 1, Kobe 4 and Kobe 5 have been re-released with new upgrades to already stellar models.

Future

Prior to the events of January 26, 2020, Nike had planned to continue the process of releasing upgraded retros with the Kobe 5 Protro. Since then, several colorways of the Kobe 5 Protro that were on the release schedule have been quietly postponed.

Fans who want to get a pair of Kobe have to pay way more than the retail price of the shoes. For example, a pair of Kobe 5 Protros in the “Chaos” colorway are selling for more than double what they were worth four months ago.

As of now, the future of Kobe’s partnership with Nike is still unclear. There’s still no official word on if or when the “AD”, “NXT” or “Protro” lines will return. But with the release of the Nike Mamba Fury, legions of Kobe fans around the world can see a ray of hope.

Demand for Kobe’s shoes will be high for many years to come. If and when Nike and the Bryant family feel it’s appropriate to start mass-producing their gear again, you can count on people from all corners of the globe wanting something, anything with their name on it.

It will be interesting to see how one of the best marketing brands on the planet brings the collection of one of the most popular and influential athletes of all time to life. Kobe Bryant was a force of nature who racked up centuries of accomplishments in 41 years. His fingerprints are all over Nike, the NBA and the next generation of athletes.

Until then, if you’re able to pick up the Nike Mamba Fury online, you’ll be getting a solid, high-performance shoe that stays true to its namesake’s vision.