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First Look: Nike Kobe 8 Protro “Mambacita”

Dedicated to Gianna "Gigi" Bryant.

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More Protro releases from the late Kobe Bryant’s roster of signature models continue to be rumored, with the latest being a butterfly-covered Nike Kobe 8 Performance Retro.

Back in August, Vanessa Bryant and the Swoosh unveiled and launched the Nike Kobe 8 Protro “Halo,” an all-white makeover of #24’s eighth sneaker with the brand. According to both parties, the pair would kick off an ongoing “Halo” collection, which is reportedly landing on the Kobe 9 in 2024. Before that, however, it seems the partnership will drop the Kobe 8 “Mambacita.” While yet to be confirmed by either the Kobe Bryant Estate or Nike, Inc., the shoe has recently made the rounds across social media courtesy of leakers with a reliable track record.

Clad in simple black and white, the unreleased Kobe 8 Protro reprises all of its design cues from 2012, the year in which it debuted. As with the rest of Bryant’s “Performance Retro” series, however, the pair is expected to feature some modifications to accommodate modern athletes. Visually, the biggest standouts on the newly-surfaced Nike Kobe sneaker are golden profile swooshes and butterfly graphics printed across the mesh upper. A nod to Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, whom also passed away in January 2020, the pair introduces yet another new makeover to the beloved basketball silhouette from the early 2010s, creating a healthy mix of OG and modern offerings of the Kobe 8.

Firm Nike SNKRS release details haven’t been confirmed by the brand as of this writing, but that’s likely to change as Spring 2024 rolls around. While you wait for updates on the Kobe 8 “Mambacita,” check out the Air Jordan 4 “Bred Reimagined” set to release in February 2024.

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