May 3, 2013 BY John Kim
The recent surfacing of the Nike Kobe 8 Mambacurial probably has a number of our readers curious as the what the heck a “Mambacurial” really is. The design and colorway is actually directly insipred by the recently launched Nike Mercurial Vapor IX – the most recent installment in the heralded Mercurial Vapor collection. The Nike Mercurial Vapor IX is one of Nike’s best offerings for the sport of international football, with several trim models in the Mercurial family currently ranging in price from $70 for the Victory IV to $235 for the Vapor IX SG. The flagship colorway of Fireberry and Neon Green was again used for the Kobe 8 Mambacurial, that is slated for a release sometime in the coming months. But why Kobe?
Kobe Bryant’s childhood wasn’t that of a typical inner-city phenom who tested his skills at the local parks; his father, Joe Bryant, was also a professional basketball player and spent some time as a pro in Italy, where Kobe spent a bulk of his childhood. In Italy, he learned to speak fluent Italian while honing his skills in soccer; since then, Kobe has always been a fan of the game and is a particular follower of FC Barcelona. The Nike Kobe 8 Mambacurial clearly goes beyond adapting the colorway of the FC Barcelona kit, but instead infuses some of the anatomy of the Nike Mercurial Vapor IX with the forefoot Swoosh, the Mercurial-inspired lettering on the tongue, and the bold NIKE branding on the medial side of the shoe. Now that you know what the origin of the Mambacurial is, check out the official images of the Nike Mercurial Vapor IX as well as a few shots of the Mambacurial to see the similarities for yourself, and if you’re a fan of soccer, see what Mercurial Vapor IXs are available now on eBay.