Nike Kobe 11 Performance Review
Here it is! Kobe Bryant’s 11th signature shoe. We were super excited for this shoe but I guess now it’s… eh..
Let’s start off by saying nope. Nope Nope Nope. For both Don and I the traction was horrible. I know we play on a pretty dirty court which is 24 hour fitness, but no other shoe that I was testing was this bad. I was testing the J crossover 3, the kobe mentality 2, and many other shoes so we can’t say that the court was really dirty while we were just testing the kobe 11. It feels like the traction would be really nice on a clean court but on a dusty court you’ll be sliding all over the place. It attracts so much dust with every step. So if you play in a league on clean courts you’ll be fine but on a slightly dusty court, don’t get these. The traction is really squeaky. The rubber on the outsole is super thin and soft so I wouldn’t recommend playing these outdoors.
The cushion used in the Kobe 11 is a drop in lunarlon midsole with a large volume zoom air unit bottom loaded in the heel. The zoom unit in the heel feels very nice. Super bouncy, responsive and soft. Lunarlon on the other hand is a cushion that I don’t really like. For me, it feels nice and soft at first but it quickly becomes dead feeling after only a few months of play. Also, the cushion in the forefoot was super thin so when landing hard on my toes it hurt a few times. One good thing about the set up is that you get a very good amount of court feel, something that guards want.
So if you want to feel fast and you want a cushion that’s super responsive then this is it. For me personally, I didn’t like the cushion. I like a thicker more bouncier cushion in the forefoot.
The materials used in the Kobe 11 is a new type of flyknit material. In past models like the Kobe 9 and 10, the flyknit was very glued down and stiff. The flyknit in the Kobe 11 is not glued down at all. It is reinforced by TPU strands or just plastic. Although the material is nice, I wish the material in the toe box was a lot softer. The way Adidas uses primeknit in the crazylight boost 2015 is amazing and I wish Nike would implement that in their models. The flyknit in the kobe 11 is super supportive though. It does soften up over time but at first it’s pretty stiff. Overall, the materials are nice but I just wish that the materials were softer.
The fit on these was great. Go TTS on these but maybe you can even go half a size down because it’s a woven upper. I’m not sure on that though. Best way to check size is to go to the store and try it on but what we did is go TTS for the Kobe 11. The width was just right for my foot but if you’re a wide footer, then maybe go up half a size. The tongue is super padded so it’s really comfortable on my foot.
The support was also really nice. Since the flyknit was super stiff, it was really supportive on my foot. My foot didn’t move around in the footbed at all and there was no heel slippage so the lockdown was also very nice. I wish they would make a high top version of the Kobe 11 but they’re not which is a bummer.
The durability of the shoe seems to be very good. It seems to be very well made and the flyknit is supported everywhere so it doesn’t seem like it would rip easily. The only problem is that if you play outdoors with this shoe (which i do not recommend) the rubber will wear down quickly because the rubber is so soft.
Ventilation is very good on the shoe. Not a lot of airflow through the shoe but my foot never really got hot in it.
The Kobe 11 is a nice shoe but the cushion and the traction just ruined it for me. I was sliding all over the place while testing these out and cushion hurt my feet a few times. The Kobe 11 excelled in all of the other categories. If you like thin cushions with a lot of court feel and you play on a super clean court then it should be fine to cop these. Also, is this shoe really worth the $200 price tag? Not in my opinion.