Sneaker Update: What’s Kobe Rockin’ This Season?
Media Day didn’t only update us on what we should expect from a basketball standpoint, but also what we should expect from a sneaker standpoint. Judging from the photos below, it looks like Nike and Kobe have agreed to wear some Laker colorways of the already classic Nike Hyperdunk for the rest of the calendar year. Since they are Los Angeles exclusive colorways and/or Player Exclusive colorways, they might only be available in the Greater Los Angeles Area.
Kobe is wearing the Home version of the Laker Hyperdunk (below).
Here are some pictures of the Away version of the Laker Hyperdunk.
Now those were basically General Release kicks that someone in LA could get at a local Footlocker. However, some may even be more limited in release. The type of limited release where you have to sleep in line outside a store for a week to get. The type of release where people will actually use their “sick days” to cop a pair either to enjoy or flip on the internet.
The shoes below will be available in very limited numbers at the new House of Hoops by Footlocker at the Beverly Center. It is set to open in early October sometime and will finally give eager Californians a chance to cop exclusive shit without having to go to the only other House of Hoops in existence in Harlem. I know the rest of the world is sick of being ripped off by New Yorkers on ebay just because of lucky proximity. Now we Californians can do the same.
The “Snake Pool” Hyperdunk
The “Making History” Hyperdunk
The “Ronaldinho” Hyperdunk
The “Lower Merion Aces” Hyperdunk
So what next? The shoes above will probably stop being worn by Kobe himself at the end of 2008. The business model of releasing one model, but in a million different colorways is basically just a ploy by Nike to milk everything they can with this Kobe/Hyperdunk connection. Remember, this is not a signature Kobe shoe. Nike did an excellent job of breaking this new shoe’s technology to the world by using the image of the best basketball player in the world. Pat on the back to the retards over at adidas who let Kobe get away from them because of the rape case. Even Charles Barkley agrees that “KobBryanisbesplayerindaworl.” While most sneakers have one storyline that lasts for a few months, the Hyperdunk has had many lives.
It exploded on the scene with the Aston Martin video. Nike quickly released limited Kobe versions of the Hyperdunk at the House of Hoops in Harlem. These were quickly snatched up and sold on ebay for upwards of $3,000. Then, Nike rode the “Olympic Game wave” to market the Hyperdunk the shoe on a global scale. Numerous colorways could now be purchased at local sneaker shops, while fans could see other Nike athletes like Deron Williams and Yi Jianlian wear their versions of the shoe. Now, it looks like Nike is using the first part of the NBA season to market more colorways of the same shoe. I’m sure at some point next year during the playoffs, they will release the Hyperdunk 2 and continue this cycle.
Starting in 2009, Kobe will unveil his next actual signature sneaker: The Nike Zoom Kobe IV (below).
The shoe is a drastic departure from past Kobe models because of the low-cut and its cheaper price at $120. The Zoom Kobe II and III were both priced at $130. Nike has gone the same route with the Lebrons this year as well. Therefore, I would assume that Nike is trying to hit a more broader market this year due to lackluster sales of both the Lebrons and Kobes, their two biggest signature lines. The Kobe III looked almost alien, while the Lebron V looked and felt about as bulky as a cement block. Perhaps Nike is trying to promote these shoes to be worn in a more casual setting with jeans and shorts on. In any case, I cannot imagine Kobe wearing these shoes in a game setting because of the lack of ankle support. However, nimble players like Steve Nash can do it, so perhaps Kobe has okayed Nike that he will give it a shot.