Nike debuts Kobe 8 System

Nike’s newest installment of the Kobe shoe, the Kobe 8, is a departure from the Oregon-based company’s normal basketball offerings. In truth, it’s a different beast entirely. The Kobe 8 System seems to take its cues more from cross-trainers like the Nike Free rather than the traditional hardwood sneaker, developing it as a shoe based on agility and speed. The lightweight mesh material works well with the snake motif that Nike is pressing, and it will be interesting to see if the new direction signals a quantum shift in basketball shoe design. The shoe will be available in China mid-January and North America in early February. Watch Nike designer Eric Avar explain the new Kobe 8 System in this short video offering. –Kade Krichko