02/27/2020 ~ Robby Anderson

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In lieu of the tragic news of the legendary Laker and NBA Five-Time-Champion, Kobe Bryant, Six Figure Sneakerhead finds it appropriate to do our part in a tribute to his all-time best sneakers and share his impact towards the sneaker community.

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Kobe Bryant in Bulls Jersey via Pinterest

The future first-ballot Hall-of-Famer’s sneaker line has been featured on the blog numerous times and they will surely be featured again.

Although it has been a couple of weeks since the news broke of the destroyed helicopter that resulted in Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna’s passing, the incident seems like it happened just yesterday.

It’s still hard to come face with the fact. 

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Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant via WHDH

The news of the icon’s death brought tears and heartache around the world, as Kobe Bryant was a monumental figure internationally.

Many athletes, celebrities and fans expressed their gratitude for the joys and inspiration he brought them through various media outlets.

Frankly, as it pertains to Kobe’s shoes, they will undoubtedly live on forever.

Kobe Bryant’s signature sneakers will forever immortalize the 18-Time-All-Star and this piece will be devoted towards celebrating his life through his most popular and vital sneakers.

kobe bryant’s signature sneakers

After deciding to skip college to pursue the NBA after high school, all eyes were on the daring Kobe Bryant and his basketball excellence.

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Kobe Bryant in High School via USA Today

Kobe was drafted in 1996 as the 13th pick and it wasn’t a surprise that athletic-wear giant Nike approached him with a deal, however, it took them until the year 2003 for Bryant to sign on the dotted line.

Two years later, Kobe Bryant and the Nike team released their first shoe, the Zoom Kobe 1.

The shoe featured an all-black Nike swoosh on a white upper, purple heel collar, and outsole.

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Nike Zoom Kobe 1 (2005) via HypeBeast. Check prices for the Kobe  Zoom 1 on StockX here.

The successor to the Nike Zoom Kobe 1 was pivotal in Kobe’s sneaker line due to the designer who came on board, Eric Avar.

Although the Kobe Zoom 1 will always be the first shoe between the Nike and Kobe partnership, the All-Time great yearned for a shoe that would meet the needs of athletes.

This was in regards to setting a high bar for performance shoes in the market.

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NIKE ZOOM KOBE 2 (2006) via Fight Club

Enter the Nike Zoom Kobe 2, which was the result of a shoe that was made for performance and aesthetics.

A strap was added to assist the wear by harnessing an athlete’s ankle for all their cross-over and jumping needs. In addition, a dark navy Nike swoosh complimented the rear panel, with Kobe branding in the rear.

The prior two sneakers set the base for the shoe that pushed Kobe’s line into its pinnacle and allows one to appreciate the Nike Zoom Kobe 4.

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Nike Zoom Kobe 4 (2008) via Land of Basketball. Check out the recent Carpe Diem price and availability on StockX here.

The illustrious Nike Zoom Kobe 4 entered the sneaker field in 2008, and it was, unfortunately, the year Kobe and the Lakers lost in the finals to a Paul Pierce led Boston Celtics team.

The Nike Kobe 4 changed the landscape of how people viewed basketball sneakers due to its low top construction; At the time, many players opted for high-tops sneakers.

The reason being, many athletes believed low-top sneakers would lead to injury, however, seeing the great Kobe Bryant entertaining the audience with his talent in low-tops made people question their belief.

As a result, many other NBA stars followed in his footsteps as low-tops allow athletes to perform better than their high-top construction counterparts.

nike and kobe collaboration

Not only did Kobe shake the sneaker wear culture in the basketball performance department, streetwear also benefited from the basketball superstar.

The Nike Kobe 4 Protro is undoubtedly Kobe and Nike’s best work when it comes to their sneaker line. With that being said, it’s no surprise the collaboration with quality streetwear brand Undefeated would be with the Nike Kobe 4.

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Kobe Bryant and Undefeated Collaboration via Footwear News

The UNDFTD x Nike Kobe 4 Protro released on Kobe’s Birthday, August 23rd. It was dubbed the “Black Mamba” sneaker and carries a simplistic beauty.

The upper construction is doused with an all-black hue with a Nike Swoosh white outlining to complement the contrasting.

Furthermore, the outsole carries a pale white hue, while the toe and mudguard consist of a darker black.

As we move up to the tongue, we can find the branding of both Undefeated and The Black Mamba on their respective shoe.

Moreover, something special about this shoe is the shoe’s rear. The left shoe is an imprint of his former number, the number 8, while the right shoe carries the number 24, the number he retired with.

Thus, encapsulating his transition from his younger days with his iconic fro in the number 8 jersey, to the older 24 number wearing Kobe.

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Kobe Bryant Nike 4 Undefeated via Sole Collector. Check out the price and availability for this “Spurs” colorway here on StockX.

The Undefeated x Black Mamba pack had other colorways, and Demar Derozen of the San Antonio Spurs wore one of the sleeker colorways in a game, as did other players.

Thus, a testament to how many players idolized the future Hall-of-Famer.

nike zoom kobe grinch 6

The Nike Zoom Kobe Grinch 6 is one of the more coveted Kobe sneakers. In fact, as of right now, it will require you to have deep wallets for a pair.

The Kobe 6 Grinch was going for a high amount on StockX in February, but the price may have dropped–you can check it here.

Many athletes have a penchant for wearing shoes that are loud in hue while they play, and along with it being a signature Kobe Bryant shoe, it checks all the boxes.

Although not a collaboration, it pays deep homage for the Christmas character everyone loves to hate.

The scales on the shoe is to represent him further, in addition to the all-green hue, black Nike Swoosh, and the red Kobe Bryant branding.

nike zoom kobe 5 protros chaos

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Last year’s Kobe 5 “Protro chaos”

The Zoom Kobe 5 Protro Chaos (you can check the current price on StockX here–it might have dropped a bit)., to represent the Joker, got the retro treatment a full ten years after its original release.

That begs the question, why the Joker?

While off the hardwood, it was easy to see that people adored the international superstar, however, it was different on the court.

Kobe Bryant had a reputation on the court as a Villan, although a Hero to most of his fans, a Villan to the competition.

The shoe is to imitate that characteristic by embodying the Batman series Hero-Villain’s lime green and red colors.

Although the legendary Laker has passed in one of the most heartbreaking ways possible, he will be forever remembered as one of the best players to ever step on an NBA court.

In addition, he was a nurturing father to his daughters and a loving husband to his wife.

Not to mention, he has left his mark within the sneaker community in streetwear and performance wear.

We will always remember Kobe Bryant for the memories and inspiration he radiated from his talent to his empathetic deeds.

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-Rob