August 15, 2013 BY John Kim
The Nike Kobe 8 has become wildly popular over the last three months, with plenty of off-beat colorways like the Venice Beach, Mambacurial, and upcoming Spark providing some great selections for Kobe fans to pick from this offseason. It won’t be a while until the Nike Kobe 9 debuts (likely in late 2013 or early 2014), but here we have a first look at a Wear-Test sample of what is called the Nike Kobe IX EM Low. A quick note on Wear-Test samples – more times than not, the sample looks different from the final cut, so what you see here may not be what we’ll get later on. There’s a lot to look at here, like Engineered Mesh, Dynamic Flywire, and carbon fiber plating on the midsole and heel. Some other notable details of this sample are that this model is dubbed a Low, when it is in fact the highest-cut Nike Kobe signature model since the Nike Zoom Kobe III, and the target season is Fall 2014, which means that there are likely changes to be made.
Aside from what is clearly visible in these photos, what is not quite obvious is Flyknit, material which many speculated to be a component of the Kobe 9 build based on a Kobe-centric display that was set up during a Nike Basketball event in China several weeks ago. Is the Kobe 9 headed back to a mid-cut design? We did see Kobe in a mid-cut version of the Kobe 8 recently, and in light of his injury, Nike may have mocked up this mid-cut sample to provide better ankle protection (the Fall 2014 target season may also signify that this sample was made very recently). Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments below and be sure to stick with Sneaker News for more updates.