WearTesters is reader-supported. When you make purchases using links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Why trust us?

Nike Kobe Mentality 2 Performance Review

The Nike KB Mentality 2 isn’t a significant upgrade from the original, but the changes made were good enough to call them better than the original. Doing things better is never a bad thing. You can check out our full performance review on the Nike Kobe Mentality 2 below and we thank you for the support!


Kobe Mentality 2 - Traction

The outsole tooling on the Mentality 2 is identical to the original Mentality, but it performs at a higher level. How does that even make sense? Easy, they tweaked the rubber compound used in the shoe. Now, it gives you greater traction than it offered before — and they already had really good traction. Dust or not, this shoe’s outsole is one of the most reliable I’ve used in some time. Hall of Fame level reliability? You bet.


Mentality 2 - Cushion 1
Mentality 2 - Cushion 2

They come equipped with what is now a standard Lunarlon drop-in midsole. For the price, full-length Lunarlon is a great cushion source for guards. However, the drop-in midsole setup allows this $100 shoe to be much more than it currently is. If you are a Kobe connoisseur, so to speak, and buy multiple pairs of Kobe’s shoes for on or off-court usage then the Mentality 2 becomes a sneaker that’s capable of being customized to your needs. If you happen to have a pair of Kobe 11’s lying around and you aren’t fond of their traction, or just don’t feel like taking them outdoors, then you can easily drop the midsole from those into the Mentality 2 and receive an instant upgrade. Same thing goes for any previous drop-in midsole you may have lying around as well — except the LeBron 11’s as those are a little too thick and will compromise the heel lockdown and support. The Mentality 2 is already a sound investment with the Lunarlon cushion they come with, but having the ability to customize the shoe to meet your specific needs takes the shoe from being a budget friendly hoop shoe to a valuable piece of equipment.


Mentality 2 - Materials

The materials are the biggest change between the original Nike Kobe Mentality and the 2. Fuse was used on the first generation model while Flyweave is used on this version. There is still plenty of Fuse in high-wear areas and stress zones, but for the most part you receive a shoe that offers the same materials as the KD 8, but for $80 less.

The only area of the materials I can complain about is located at the base of the laces, where the Fuse meets the toe, because it digs into your foot a bit in the beginning. However, the Nike Kobe Mentality 2 breaks in rather quickly and the issue goes away after the first night; it’s just one benefit to utilizing materials such as Flyweave versus a completely Fuse-based upper. Once you’ve completely broken them in they offer a fairly good one-to-one fit. Not perfect, but it’s very close.


Mentality 2 - Fit

In terms of fit, I feel the Mentality 2 fits identical to the original. I wen’t up 1/2 size as they tend to run a little small. However, if you’re familiar with the first Mentality then I’d order the same size.

Lockdown and support have increased with the modified upper compared to the original, all due to the new materials. As stated above in the materials section, the shoe fits closer to your foot and provides more of a one-to-one fit than the first version did. The heel is much better as well. With the original Mentality, the heel structure was adequate, but not impressive. These improve upon that and feel like any other shoe available on the market rather than a “cheap” budget option. Designers also reengineered the rear section, adding more padding that has been sculpted to fit more securely around your heel and ankle.


Mentality 2 - Support

The support is still on the minimal side, but gets the job done perfectly fine. There is an internal TPU heel counter that aids in keeping your foot on the foot-bed rather than rolling over it, as well as a lateral forefoot outrigger that aids in stability. Again, the outsole tooling hasn’t changed from the original model so you’ll receive the flat stable base once again. No, there isn’t a shank plate for torsional support, but with the midsole being of the drop-in variety, it isn’t needed much. Once you begin to wear the shoe the midsole will mold to your foot shape, similar to an aftermarket insole.

Nike Kobe Mentality 2

Mentality 2 - Overall

Initially, I wasn’t interested in testing the Nike Kobe Mentality 2. They looked identical to the original — and they almost are. However, the changes made, while small, were important and helped make the Mentality model a much more well-rounded performer. I prefer this shoe over the Kobe 11 — which I never thought would happen — but I do use the Kobe 11 midsole in my pair of Mentality 2’s as it provides a little more comfort than the “standard” Lunarlon midsole the Mentality 2 comes with.

Coming in at $100, you get a little bit of everything. No frills or gimmicks, unless you count the drop-in midsole; just a performance shoe that comes in under budget without acting like it. If you end up with a pair, I doubt you’ll be disappointed.

  1. Another great shoe for a reasonable price.
    I own the original mentality and I love it!
    Thanks nightwing for the reviews..always watching your reviews before I purchase a pair to ball in

      1. I feel like the mentality perform better but the d lilards have better materials. Overall I’d say mentality a because I care the most about traction.

  2. The subject of being pushed to match the price+performance offerings of other brands is interesting when trying to make sense of Nike signature models now. They seem more on par with being “competition spec” as their practicality kinda dips in more common/mixed situations. I guess the analogy is racing slicks, or track shoes — although you could still wear bball sigs anywhere. There’s that, and being general cash cows.

    I was pretty pleased to find that the Mentality 2’s upper took no shortcuts. Also noticed that slant at the heel for the midsole overlay where it runs higher on the lateral side. Subtle attention to detail?

    1. Yeah, they had due to getting pushed by the competition.
      Keep the traction the same while tweaking the rubber for better performance for a shoe that can used in indoor and outdoor, woven upper and budget friendly, that’s something.

      Thanks for review, Nightwing

  3. I actually find the upper to be mostly thin fuse except for a small zone on the lateral side. You can actually see it and actually sounds like fuse too when you tap it. But it is definitely more flexible than the 1s due to the thinner fuse used.

      1. I actually have it and it is mostly fuse except for a small part of the lateral side. get your facts straight!!!!! jk good review tho

        1. Fuse is plastic. The shoe does not have a fuse based upper. It is flyweave material. Not flyknit, which I’ve seen people get confused about. The fuse is exactly where Nightwing placed it.

      2. I have been playing in this for 2-3 hours a day for 5 days, the fuse that you mentioned that digs into the foot didn’t break in yet in the right foot. Do you have any advise to break it in.

        1. Use a heatgun and flex the part where u want it to break in while your foot is still in the shoe. Where 2 pairs ofsocks while doing it to avoid burning your foot.

      3. Do you think the colorway has a n effect on the traction. I’m going to grab the yellow and black colorway model and just wanted to know if your review will only apply to the colorway you bought. The outsole is still full rubber just instead of being white or black it is yellow.

      1. Not everyone can or has had the chance to watch the video man.. Please don’t be too harsh.

        I would say that they are equally great, these menatilities are outdoor oriented and work super well for this. But when you take the indoos you stop even harder and it is kind of scary (in a good way) lol.

        Only downside as pointed is the support, I also do what nightwing does. Swapping xi s insoles to have better cushion, but IMO regular lunarlon is nice low to the ground feel cushion (while it last).

      2. yo matt get ur roman numerals straight IX is 9 not 11 buddy like dont hate if u dont know it urself dumbass

  4. I am a outdoor player, most of the time, and i want a new pair of shoes, should i get the Kobe IX or Mentality 2 ?

    1. Mentality 1 or 2, these are super hard and the traction is one of the best. Don’t even think about the 9s for outdoor play(soft rubber), indoor they are beast tho.

  5. Have and balled in these shoes. Everything Nightwing says is correct except he forgot to mention heel of shoe digs in your heel. Long socks or your heel will start to hurt. Maybe shoe breaks in later and it’ll dig less but out the box that’s what the shoe does.

    1. Hmm I dont recall that, bug I will try them again later next week to confirm this. My heel is super sensitive to these issues, so I would notice this right away.

  6. Great review man, keep up the great work! Btw, you can find these for 70 bucks some places, that’s a steal. Too bad I’m saving for a few pairs of the Kd 9 lol.

  7. Hey Night Wing. Great video. I like to see that nike did kind of upgrade from the original. One thing I’m confused about is why at the end of the review, you said about the shoe ‘No frills. No gimmicks, UNLESS you count the drop-in midsole.’ In my opinion, I don’t really feel like it’s a gimmick because it works. I have the original Mentality (which I picked up for $50) and the lunarlon works perfectly fine for me. But, like I said, it’s my opinion. Could you explain why you said that? Great vid. Keep up the good work.

  8. Nicely done, Nightwing. It looks like these are one of the best options for people who want their foot to actually function like a foot, instead of being restricted by overly thick midsoles and gimmicky “stability” and “motion control” marketing gimmicks (step forward, every LeBron shoe ever made).

  9. Hi team,

    Thanks for the review NW.
    I am in my first day with shoe and the fuse that you mentioned at the video is very uncomfortable for toes. May it get reasonably softer after a while in breaking up sequence ?
    How was your exprience ?

    Thanks in advance for replying.

  10. Hi team,

    Thanks for the review NW.
    I am in my first day with shoe and the fuse that you mentioned at the video is very uncomfortable for toes. May it get reasonably softer after a while in breaking sequence ?
    How was your exprience ?

    Thanks in advance for replying.

    * I just fixed ( typo ) the old post you can delete it

  11. You gave a starting 5 badge on the cushion… Did you gave it a starting 5 badge because you switched the drop in midsole (kobe11)?

  12. How is the flexibility of the outsold being xdr? Also do you think drop in midsoles will work with an orthodox?

  13. How does the drop in midsole compare to the Kobe 8s? I want to cop a pair to replace the worn one in my 8s! Thanks

  14. I tried ’em on indoor court and use double socks instead of swapping the drop-in midsole. It felt a lot better than wearing single socks. I actually like the pattern on the original mentality 2 drop-in midsole, it has more grip.

  15. Did you grade the cusion department base on the swapped drop in midsole or the “standard” lunarlon drop in midsole? Thanks in advance nw

  16. NW,

    What has your recent experience been with the lunarlon on the more recent models? Do you see it bottoming out eventually? Do you recommend something like zoom (for it’s durability) instead?

    Any thoughts are appreciated!

      1. But is the shoe’s rubber thick/durable enough so that I won’t burn ’em out in a few weeks? Because personally I don’t have the money to spend $100 on sneakers every month.
        Still Thanks!

        1. I play outdoors in the Mentality 1 on a worn out blacktop court. (It used to have that green finish on top, now it’s just concrete) and the traction still looks brand new.. Played in em for about 8 hours in 3 days. The review stated that they improved the rubber compound used in the shoe.. so I’d imagine they would be more durable outdoors. I think your play style will also affect how long they’ll last.

  17. Would you say that the traction is better than the ektio breakaways? And if you had to compare which shoe out of those two would you pick? Thanks in advance for ur answers nightwings

  18. I hope this is not the last Kobe line. Cause it would be sad I want to see the KB Mentality Three look it would be awesome if they mke it next year. Probably is an improvement use hearing bone, storytelling with gum outsoles would be dope for the upper goes like a flyweave with a little bit of natural nit would be awesome. For the lace add an flywire for the secure fit would be dope….. ?

    1. Not much they can do the shoe to improve it besides flywire…why change the traction if it works? You could include 2 midsoles and charge 120, like the Kobe 7! But, instead include zoom, and include lunar…that would be pretty cool

  19. Takes a little breaking in period but after that they fit like a glove, the traction is just out of this world and if you have good ankles the support is just fine! I love Lunarlon too, I find it more responsive than zoom. It does wear out after a whil but you can actually boil the insoles to give them their original form back! I.shit.you.not.

    1. I think it’s more of a personal preference. Me having wide feet, I prefer the venomenon 5s to just about any shoe right now. Something about the shoe that just conforms to my feet so well and comfortably. But I do prefer the durability of the mentality’s rubber more for outdoors.

  20. i used the KB mentality two for the past 6 months and they have been just awesome. my mobility has improved, the traction is great but the material tore last month. The traction is still good but the material above my laces tore. i was pretty disappointed with that.

  21. i used the KB mentality two for the past 6 months and they have been just awesome. my mobiliAty has improved, the traction is great but the material tore last month. The traction is still good but the material above my laces tore. i was pretty disappointed with that.

  22. I recently re-watched Nightwing’s review and thought I’ll give you my thoughts on these. Doubt anyone could find them on the shelves but I think the Mamba Rage are fairly similar.
    I used them quite a lot during the summers of 2016 & 2017. The traction didn’t hold up for as long as I wished it did. Granted I played mainly outdoors and it wasn’t blacktop courts either — over here in my country many basketball courts are made of more rubber-like tartan. I’d say it’s much better for your knees but you slip badly most of the time (that’s why sprinters use spikes, huh?)
    The cushion of course bottomed out, but that isn’t surprising. It was fine while it lasted. Nothing jaw dropping but had nice compression to it initially.
    My main issue is the durability of the materials. The inside of the heel got worn out pretty easily. And then my biggest problem was the forefoot. Even though the upper is jacquard, it kept acting as if it needed break-in. What I mean is, there was no creasing obviously (cause the upper is textile), but in the area where your toes flex holes appeared on the sides after some time. I suspect this may be due to fuse reinforcement of the laces area. This way that part of the shoe doesn’t really bend and forces the forefoot to stretch and, eventually, rip.
    Not a terrible shoe but I imagine there’s better options. Hell, I enjoy playing outdoors in my Zoom Pegasus more.

Add a Comment

Related Posts