Man oh man… One aspect of the shoe can ruin the entire experience.
I had problems just about everywhere. I took the Kobe 11 to about 6 or 7 gyms and was slipping in almost all of them. There was only one instance where I didn’t have any issues and that was on a perfectly clean floor. They actually performed quite well when there was no dust present. Even if there was the slightest bit of dust, however, the traction pattern clogged up, causing me to wipe at every dead ball. The traction pattern is simply too tight. Whether translucent or solid rubber, dust will fill the grooves and cause issues.
Nike, once again, utilized a drop-in Lunarlon midsole. This time they implemented a Zoom unit in the heel. Unlike the previous renditions of the Kobe series, the midsoles didn’t bottom out. In other words, they didn’t wear down like they did in the Kobe 8 and 9. I was actually very pleased with the cushion. Not only were they comfortable, but the Zoom unit also triggered a smooth heel to toe transition. In my opinion, the drop-in midsole offers a perfect balance between cushion and court feel. If you’re interested in more cushion, then you can NikeID a pair that has a full-length Lunar and Zoom midsole. You can also use full-length lunar (no Zoom) if you prefer more court feel.
Nike didn’t use glue to back the flyknit? These must be amazing! Wrong…sort of. Instead of using glue, they threaded TPU, or plastic, within the flyknit. From the moment that I tried on the shoe, I heard a voice in my head. It was DJ Khaled saying, “Congratulations, you played yourself.” In all seriousness though, there isn’t any upgrade from the Kobe 9 or 10 as far as materials are concerned. Nightwing’s review was spot on. He suggested that they use the TPU only in high-wear areas – I completely agree.
First off, the shoes fit true to size. There is minimal volume in the toe, but that was easily resolved by wearing two socks. I was contained in the mid-foot area thanks to Nike’s flywire technology, which proves its worth time and time again. An external heel counter kept me secure in the rear of the shoe. A wide and stable base helps to prevent ankle rolls along with a natural, low to the ground ride caused by the cushion set-up.
The support on the Kobe 11 is solid and like most shoes, comes from the fit. Wide base, natural ride, external heel counter, and flywire. Same thing that was said in the fit section. Not to mention, the materials add even more support thanks to the TPU that is woven into the flyknit. The materials will be supportive for all types of guards and slashers. (The traction might not though.)
There are two things that could have been improved, traction and materials. It boggles my mind that Nike can release a shoe with such a high retail price ($200) and integrate such an awful traction pattern. Similar to the Kobe 9 and 10, the materials aren’t bad at all. They could (and should) be better, but they aren’t terrible. What do you think of the Nike Kobe 11? Let us know in the comment section below.
You can purchase the Kobe 11 HERE.