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Nike Zoom Kobe VII (7) Performance Review


For full written review hit the jump…

Buy Nike Zoom Kobe VII (7)

Traction – 9.5/10

Cushion – 7.5/10

Material – 10/10

Fit – 5/10

Ventilation – 7.5/10

Support – 7/10

Overall – 7.75/10


Traction – The combination between the herringbone and triangular pattern worked very well… almost too well. Whether you needed to quickly change direction make a sudden stop, these kept up from a traction standpoint.


Cushion – The Cushlon was my personal favorite of the two as far as feeling and ride is concerned however, the midsole’s construction was heavily flawed. If you have not done so yet, feel free to check out the Performance Teasers for the Zoom Kobe VII; Pt. 1, Pt. 2 & Pt. 3 for additional information.


Material – This was another aspect of the shoe that I loved. The outer shell is just as strong as last year’s ZKVI yet they don’t show the wear and tear you receive from games. These would be a good choice if you need something to play on-court with and walk around casual in afterward.

Fit – They are true to size and you have a slightly more snug fit with the Play Strong system. The heel did not offer enough lockdown with the lip around the midsole which counteracts the implemented heel cup and sculpted heel padding. While there are midfoot sleeves, they just couldn’t keep the foot perfectly in place and my foot ended up moving too much inside the shoe from a side to side standpoint which eventually caused me to roll my foot inside the shoe and resulted in injury. Again, some of this information is in full detail in my previous Performance Teaser posts.


Ventilation – Not much of any is present except for the perforations found on the sleeves. Not horrible by any means but could have been better.


Support – The carbon fiber plate does its job very well, allowing the forefoot range of motion while keeping the rest of the foot intact. Even though there is a heel cup, they didn’t offer enough heel lockdown as the lip of the midsoles pushed your heel past the sculpted padding and basically contradicted the implemented support system.

Overall… you can find something that not only plays much better than this shoe but you can do so while saving at least $40-60. Even if you opt for the basic $150 Kobe VII, which only comes with the Play Fast system, you will still have some of these issues and simply put; it’s not worth the amount spent. If I pay for a luxurious high performance shoe then I expect to receive a luxurious high performance shoe… unfortunately that isn’t quite what you get this time around.

I loved the Zoom Kobe IV, V & VI but the VII is a disappointment.

Buy Nike Zoom Kobe VII (7)
    1. I wrote many posts on issues both good and bad. Please read them and when i say i dont recommend something that usually means i dont recommend it. If certain things were not present they would have been much better but they still arent a great shoe… Potential but not quite as good as either of the previous three models.

  1. Good review, feel sorry for your feet and Kobe. Have you seen the new foamposite option for lebron 9 on NikeID? I feel like it could add some support to the shoe.

    1. I have, they dont really need more support but i think its cool. They might end up being more restrictive though.

  2. Good stuff as always wing,
    While they look good with jeans casually and the look, midsole, heel cup, colorways have been dope, in the performance department their a let down, I feel. It feels as if they rushed the concept and i really disliked the interchangeable idea. Even though i love the feel of the play strong more than the play fast having it actually incorporated as the primary midsole and relinquishing the interchangeable midsole idea would of worked so much better. I know earlier samples had torch technology and an actual attached tongue much like the 6’s don’t know why nike went a different way. Im really afraid that they might do what they did with the jordan 2k12 for the kobe elites lets see where they go with these. i do hope they drop this idea and on the elites make one complete shoe that doesn’t have the interchangeable midsole concept.

    1. Thanks! I will remain hopeful the Elite version is an upgrade but for $200 they better be the best shoe of the year.

  3. The teasers definitely said it all, but great review. I had pretty much all the same problems, but there are still good things. The price is just my biggest gripe. For something so expensive, there are far too many flaws, especially with shoes that perform very well right out of the box for half the price. I still like them, but definitely disappointing.
    Let us know if you decide to cut out that back rim to test the heel lockdown.

    1. I agree 100%. many areas i did actually like but for the price there were more issues than one should have to deal with. They should be ready to go once out the box if they cost this much from now on.

  4. Great review. I’m dissappointed in the Lebron 9 and Kobe VII performance too. They look great but dont play that way. Such a shame

  5. I understand this is a ‘performance’ review, but I’m more interested in this sneaker for casual wear. I have other Kobes and those are great, but I’m not sure about this model as a casual sneaker. Thoughts anyone?

      1. Nvrmd. I found that you got narrow feet with high arches. I’m looking for a shoe that supports wider feet on the court. Saw your FW2 review, but I think those might kill my feet around the toe box area where my pinky toes lie. Sucks having hobbit feet in today’s sneaker world.

    1. Probably that is the only use for this thing…however if u go this route the ankle cuff will be hard to work with so just get the basic system.

  6. I have been using kobes as my go to performance sneaker…but after reading your teasers about the 7s…i just lost interest. I was initially excited with the traction..given that herringbone was back…I hope eric avar will do a better job on the 8s though. Great review! Waiting for the teaser on the rose 2.5s. Thanks!

  7. Bro, when can we expect the review for the Adipower Howard 2? Actually leaning on trying the shoe but I want to read some reviews first.

  8. amazing review once again. I was really looking forward to these, the Kobe line is by far my favorite line… and for them to come out with a clunker like this, it is just disappointing.

  9. Great work on the review, really hope to see the Hyperenforcer review next, seriously considering buying those. Big up Nightwing!

  10. is it just me or is anyone else like experiencing squeaking sounds in the play strong? as if there was like space between the bottom of the midsole and the shell? minor thing compared to the major problems, but i just really hate shoes that squeak every time i walk.

  11. Does the Air Jordan 2012/Fly Wade 2/CP3.V beat out KDIV/LBJ9/Kobe7 ? it seems like nike just got caught up in all of their new technologies that JB was able to beat them out this year.

  12. In Basketball line, Nike said they going for innovative stuff while Jordan Brand was going refine direction. Yeah, well see how Elites fare but I think paying in $200 range to get minor upgrades over original versions(already expensive) is not good. Unless they offer top performance.

  13. Hey dude, lovin your vids! I just hit a dead end today though, i bought these shoes today thinking they would be dope and all, but seeing your review makes me regret it… Thing is i bought the shark predator pack version, should i keep them and wait to sell them to get a few couple bucks back or just use them? I actually like them quite a bit though, it fits my style which requires speed and agility, thanks for your time and keep up the great work!

    1. I have ratings in the shoes so you can compare the two in each of the performance categories. I really havent likes any of Nikes signatures this year from a performance standpoint as well so thats something i was surprised with.

  14. So is there any performance-related reason why somebody would choose to ball in the Kobe VII rather than say Hyperdunk 2011 Low ?

    1. i really love the look of the Kobe vii especially the Invisibility Cloak! so i think i might juss buy them for casual where and not play ball in them :/
      though ive been hearing that the durablilty is horrible. is that true? how has ur kobe vii been so far?
      also should i go up half a size because my feet are pretty wide

      and i love you reviews btw! pretty much the only guy i can rely to on shoes 😀

  15. how many estimated hours did you play when the insole started coming undone? thanks and keep up the good work, bro

  16. Thanks for your review. Schould have read it before i bought these. I have the same problem with blisters on both feet. After 4 practice sessions with this shoe (even taping my feet in the last session) i switched back to my old Kobe IV shoes. The heel support is pretty bad too. Looks like the VIIs are going to stay in my closet because i don´t think they will be broken in a lot more. Too bad the shoe is so pretty … but useless. I habe the D Rose 3s comming and can hardly wait.

  17. Nice video.
    I agree that the kobe 7 is very pricy and has a lot of flaws, but i still really like this shoe i’m a size 12 and 1/2 but i got my kobe’s at size 13 for me it was a perfect fit i just laced it super super tight and wore elite socks. And i’ve been wearing this shoe for almost a year now the sockliner starts to mold to your foot and get softer. I also washed it already and i feel like the shell became softer more flexible and more comfortable to my foot too.
    For me the kobe 7 is a great shoe, but you need to wear it ALOT of times first

  18. The Kobe 7’s were a disappointment. They were way too stiff and narrow. I felt like my feet were always getting choked. And when I ran, it felt like I was running on bricks. Loving the Kobe 8 though!

  19. Just picked up a pair for 80 bucks at footlocker WOOT WOOT.
    never again when I grab shoes with 50 million c/ws on the release day, I’ll wait and snipe them for half the price so I can get 2 for 1.


  20. Hey nightwing2303.

    i am having the same midsole problem as you (blisters etc), decided to attempt the cut up like you have done, will be intrigued tomorrow night after training to see how my feet feel (still have sore spots from last week), only just recently got back into basketball but ive had these for about a year.
    hopefully all goes well, !!!!

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