The Nike Kobe A.D. Deconstructed

The good people over at fastpass got their hands on the brand new Nike Kobe A.D., and of course, you already know what’s coming next.

With a saw in hand and shoe in the other, fastpass dives right in by chopping up the Nike Kobe A.D. in the ‘Cool Grey’ colorway. In case you were wondering, You can also check out the performance review of the Nike Kobe A.D. by our own WearTesters by clicking on each author.

 NYJumpman23 | Jahronmon | Nightwing2303

All are in agreement that something about the Kobe A.D. seemed off. Looks like it was the lack of effort put into the cushion.

They cut down the breathable mesh to see the Flywire lacing system, exposed the Lunarlon midsole which showcases that they put more effort into faking the Zoom Air on the TPU wrap than they did putting it into the actual shoe, along with giving us a look at the actual Zoom Air cushion used in the heel. Also visible is the true shape of the shiny heel counter featuring the ‘Sheath’ logo.

Thoughts on the Nike Kobe A.D. deconstruction? Anything in particular catch your eye or surprise you? Let us know in the comment section.

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Source: fastpass


  1. Someone can probably answer this, but when flywire is just stitched in the side panels of the shoes instead of wrapping the feet full length from the bottom of the shoes, how does it help the lockdown more than conventional eyelets? Is it just for looks nowadays?

      1. Thanks for clear that up. From the picture it looked like the flywire was only attached to the mid-panel area rather than tovthe bottom of the footbed

    1. From my experience, flywire only works if you have a soft upper. If you have a stiff upper, the flywire isn’t needed since the upper offers more support than the measly strands. Early flywire (think 2008 hyper dunk), the flywire was in plastic, which meant it really offered no support. If the upper is mostly made of mesh or knit, then the flywire does help with lockdown. On flyknit runners, you can feel the strands stopping the soft material from stretching past a certain point.

      1. (Dynamic) Flywire in its most”pure” form would be freely acting as the lace holes themselves. I think the only time it came like that was with the OG HyperRev, but was prone to snapping or stretching too much. From that point it’s only isolated in select lace holes in certain shoes where I guess Nike doesn’t anticipate major stresses to be applied. Otherwise, yeah, the only way Dynamic Flywire could be experience is with softer uppers mostly as a support measure vs true lockdown. The Soldier 9 was an interesting one, though. The front strap effectively pulled the Flywire directly.

  2. I’m usually not a fan of litigation but I really hope Nike gets sued for false advertising for blatantly misleading its customers. This $hit is criminal.

  3. If I didn’t know any better I would say that this was a Kyrie 2/3 with this cushion set up. Guess you’re paying an extra 40 for that “micro tuned” Lunarlon.

  4. I love it. I am no fan of zoom air, especially the current iteration, but Nike is on that other shit in regard to their marketing now. I also love the fact that this has happened in the sig shoe of self nicknamed “black mamba”.

  5. I’m glad I passed on these, and copped the Mamba Instinct instead. Replaced the stocked Lunar insole with Kobe XI Elite Zoom-Lunar insole, and is now part of my indoor rotation.

  6. Stop believing this hype. I’ve been playing in this shoe every day. It’s in my top 2 rotation. Thanks for the deconstructed view. It’s strange that ya’ll think there isn’t zoom in here when you show it. I like the detail indicating the zoom bag even though its internal. By far freshest looking Nike basketball shoe in the past few years.

    1. I’m with you. Shoe works really well for me, and I think it looks great. Too bad so many people are gonna miss out because it didn’t work for NW and Jarron

    2. No one on everest said it didn’t have Zoom. It was obvious from the start that it did. The complaint was the way the built – the window on the heel has FIBERS FROM ZOOM printed on it, leading us, and all consumers, to believe it was a large, heel covering Zoom bag. It isn’t. But I’m really glad you do like them, because i agree, they look great.

    3. No one said there isn’t zoom. It’s the visual implication to view that there is a large zoom when there isn’t. As stated what Duke4005.
      The shoe looks great..however for it’s price range, the shoe should have a much better performance/material aspect. If you like paying $160 for what that shoe gives you, go have at it, but there are many shoes on the market with a lesser price range that give a much more premium material and better feel overall. We are glad you like the shoe, however, for us guys, it didn’t work well one bit on any various aspects.

        1. No, and that is because no low top sneaker made out of plastic, is worth the price Nike is asking. I will not pay top dollar for the crap that Nike has been putting out bearing Kobe Bryant’s name, which is a turn off in itself. There are other shoes on the market that are of much better value, using much more attractive and durable materials. The Weartesters team is pretty reliable, and if they say they suck on court, then they do. Take that back to NikeTalk, then tell’em Coach Hubie sent you.

    1. Kobe AD Elite will retail for $280 if it happens, featuring all the stuff the shoe could’ve had in it for $160.

        1. Flyknit for less than the mesh? I figure the XI mesh was $160, XI flyknit $200… AD flyknit ~$200?

          1. KD9 = $150. but has all that stuff.
            You’re paying for the Namesake of the shoe.
            You can get a Hyperdunk Elite 2016 for about $120 now since it’s on sale and has full-length zoom and flyknit.

  7. The irony is that the Instinct are more of a Kobe-shoe, than the flagship Kobe AD, and it’s only a 100 bucks. The ‘story-telling pricing’ is played out, and should be abandoned, it’s how faux-tech became acceptable, for the ‘story’.

  8. even the forefoot of the midsole is a rip off…
    they are implying through the design that there is “nike free midsole”
    but we can clearly see that instead cutouts / flex groves in the midsole, there’s only imprint on the surface of the midsole being accentuated by the outsole design.

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