Performance Teaser: Nike Kobe 8 SYSTEM Elite

If you want to hoop in these Nike Kobe 8’s then you’re going to have to spend $60 more than the original retail price… wait, what?!?


Look, the tech improvements don’t really improve their performance… they’ve just added a few things to the shoe that cost more money. Yes, the Carbon Fiber will hold up better than plastic… but really… that’s the only real difference.

I do like the inner lining though. Kind of a stupid thing to like so much but I seriously do like it. I like how the entire foot is wrapped in a plush liner and the heel portion features a slightly rougher or more textured material to help prevent heel slippage. Not that heel slippage was an issue but still… it’s a neat little trick. Definitely worth a $60 price increase… sarcasm. Really though… I do like it.


Ah, Zoom Air is back. If you were expecting that added under foot spring-to-your-step type of feel then you’ll be sorely disappointed. Why? Because, this is bottom loaded Zoom. That means that you will not have the responsive cushion that you can feel – it is there and it is working but in terms of that feeling you receive which sends signals to your brain telling you that you have a bouncy cushion under your foot… that isn’t there. The midsole itself is Phylon and is pretty darn firm. They should have used Cushlon…


Every other aspect of their performance is identical to the original. The changes made aren’t drastic enough for the average baller to notice. What you will notice is that you are missing $60 bucks after you buy a pair.




  1. Interesting to note this about the elites. Quick question, once broken in do the KD V’s feel comfortable and springy in the cushion department. After reading and watching the review I gathered tht they were well cushioned, but not if they felt plush and/or springy. Would appreciate a response. Love the reviews.

  2. Thanks for reviewing these. So far these sound like a pass. I’m curious if the KD and Lebron elites are going to be similar – some nice tech but not worth the price increase.

  3. In a video, Leo Chang did an overview of the whole elite series. When he was showing the Kobe 8 Elite, he showed the Nike + midsole that was in the black/gold colorway. It was a full cushlon midsole with a zoom unit in the back. No zoom unit in the forefoot. So even though it is the same shoe, i think that the NIke + models and superhero packs all have slight differences in the cushioning.

  4. Kobe blew out his achilles in the Elite. I’m gonna save the money and my achilles

    1. I hope you know you can blow your achilles walking and it doesn’t matter on the shoe.

    2. I agree with NS. I have a friend and he blew out his achilles while doing a quick sprint up a hill.

  5. I also love that more pronounced inner lining. They did that in last year’s Elites. Too bad we have to pay $60-80 more for that neat little trick.

    I’m surprised that there’s no difference by adding Zoom Air.

  6. The kd v made an improvement tho. Lower cut and better cushion an fit without break in time

  7. I very curious as to why there are only 2 sections of flywire on each side but not through out the shoe? Is it because it would’ve drivin the price up? They just look tacked on

  8. Aren’t you forgetting the kevlar laces? That makes it worth the $60 mark-up right? *sarcasm*

  9. not to hijack this review but I wanna ask about the Hyperfuse line. Since the Hyperfuse line technically stayed consistent from its first model to its latest iteration, where can you rank it in today’s standards? Like lets say we put it in your current top 10, where would it go?

    1. The Top Ten list is based strictly on overall score so the shoe would need to be rated in order to figure out its placement. I do not choose where they are placed until I give everyone my personal top picks at the end of the year. That being said, the Hyperfuse hasnt changed much over the years. Durable upper, well ventilated, forefoot only cushion in the form of Zoom Air and solid traction. They are an all around shoe that is a good buy for the right price, under retail at the Nike Outlet which is where they all end up. Comparing it to ‘elite’ level performance models and it’ll hold its own until the price point gets brought up… unfortunately ppl do factor the price in their choices. If they see the Kobe 8 for $40 bucks more then they will likely go with the Kobe based solely on the fact that a name is involved.

      1. I agree. I would consider getting the Hyperfuse if it was at a discounted price.

        Looking at the full retail price, it is very close to the KD V, so personally, that is why I bought the KD V. Would anyone here buy the Hyperfuse over the KD V at their regular retail prices?

  10. Hey NW did the flywire have any boost to the shoes performance? it looks so minimal it looked a last minute add-on as a pathetic attempt to justify the $60 price hike lol

    1. This would come down to personal preference, can’t really say one is better than the other as they both have pros and cons.

      Lunarlon is lighter, and can distribute the pressure evenly however, Zoom is much more responsive.

      Personally I enjoy Zoom cushioning over Lunarlon

  11. Yeah I’m curious if you could give me a comparison of the feel of the nike+ insert as opposed to the standard lunarlon one?

  12. since Kobe is injured, it will only be a matter of time before these go south. they might cost $115 by June.

  13. yoo, @nightwing2302. i have a pair of kobe 8s that i love. i love the lunarlon cushoning aswell. and i wanted to get the elites , but since you said the midsole is bottom loaded i was wondering if i were to get a lunarlon midsole on nike id and place it in the kobe 8 elites if it would fit and work just as well as the 8s ?

  14. hy @nightwing2303, do you recommend the original kobe 8’s or the adidas crazy quick for a fast and quick point guard?

  15. how do you clean them anyways? mine are sorta dirty and i dont want to use just any soap because the color might fade. any suggestions?

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