With the memory of my highly enjoyable review of its extremely well performing predecessor, the Kobe 8, I was eagerly anticipating getting the Kobe 9 on the court.
Like the Kobe 8, and its higher collared big brother, the 9 low makes use of an engineered mesh upper. The mesh on the 9 appears to be woven in a different fashion than that of its predecessor which has givethe 9 low even more flexibility and thanks to the addition of dynamic flywire, still allows gives the shoe lateral support. The upper of the Kobe 9 flexes so smoothly you don’t even realize you’re wearing it. There is no break in time as these are ready to go fresh out of the box.
The fit of the shoe is outstanding. The Kobe 9 low just locks your foot down. There is no, I mean zero,foot movement in any of kind within the shoe. On stop and go, or any other multi-directional movements, my foot stayed in place and never moved an inch. The addition of dynamic flyweight was a welcome addition and it did seem to help by providing lateral support without adding weight. Moving back to the heel, the 9 low locks your heel down completely. As this is a lower collared shoe, heel lock is even more so, a must. The heel has intelligently placed and sculpted padding that works in concert with the lacing system in ensuring your heel stays where it needs to be.
The cushioning is provided by a full-length lunarlon midsole. Just as its predecessors ,the VII and the 8, the midsole is removable. Fortunately the relationship between the midsole is flawless and synergistic, just as it was on the Kobe 8. The lunarlon is ready to go fresh out of the box and requires no break in time. With that being said, the cushioning still seemed to improve over the course of my review. The Kobe 9 Low’s lunarlon provided cushioning without being overly soft and the material compresses and this helps with the shoe’s stability.
Succinctly speaking the traction is is darn good. While its concentric,wavy, foot inspired, traction pattern is a far cry from the total herringbone outsole of the Kobe 8, but the 9 low sticks like glue to the court. The rubber that makes up the outsole is soft and flexible and that allows it to grip the floor extremely well. There is no move that you can make on the basketball court that the grip from the Kobe 9 low cannot keep up with.
Court feel is another strength for the 9 Low. The shoe has a very natural feel underfoot and your foot is fairly close to the court. The 9 Low is a great shoe for players who like to feel close to the court.
In conclusion, the Kobe 9 Low is a wonderful on court performer. It’s tailor made for quick players who always on the attack. Though it’s geared toward perimeter players with its combination of lightweight support, flexibility, and cushioning, the Kobe 9 Low is is suitable for a wide range of players, up to even some lighter, mobile centers.
Weight 13.8 oz
Color Way Reviewed: Black/White-Laser Crimson-Wolf Grey
Total: 92/100 (A)
Pros: Lightweight; provides very good cushioning, support and traction; court feel and feel underfoot are very good.
Cons: some may prefer Zoom Air to Lunarlon.