This is not going to be a corny celebration of Kobe or some regular sneaker site pics and release date. The Kobe A.D. makes sense. As Kobe transitions into his Jordan retro phase Nike will have to decide if Kobe will have his own line of endorsers, but they also have the ability to capitalize on Kobe’s elements of running and soccer and try to recapture some of the magic in basketball.
There is no secret that basketball shoe purchases are on the decline. As people begin to treasure comfort over performance, style over function and price over desire adidas and Under Armour have taken noticeable share from Nike. Nike’s dominance still exists, but the Kobe A.D. is a direct reflection of Nike’s response to the stagnant state of its basketball division.
Looking at the shoe it looks like all other Kobe releases and appears to be a natural development, but there is a real difference here. In previous Kobe models the midsole was hidden and not as pronounced. Doing this actually alienates people who perceive a shoe to have less cushioning. The stance of this shoe with its visible midsole is a running a comfort inspired decision. The pricepoint of the shoe will be 160.00. I think at 140.00 the shoe would literally fly off the shelves, but 160.00 is a manageable price that places it between adidas top performers NMD (120-130.00) and UltraBoost (180.00). In terms of basketball design, the shoe looks much better than the Curry 3, but lags behind the design styling of the Lillard (which I think will be the best performing basketball release of the season. Will the Kobe A.D. put basketball back in play? No, but I do think a combination of the redesign and pricepoint of the KD9, the pricepoint of the Curry 3 and added drama of the Warriors season, the Lillard 3 and the Kobe show that the big guns are listening and trying to adapt.