Nike’s Flyknit technology is not a new concept. The KOBE 11 however, the latest signature line shoe for 17-time All-Star Kobe Bryant debuts a progressive technology using thermoplastic polyurethane threads, announcing a stronger iteration of Nike Flyknit.
The partnership between Nike designer Eric Avar and Kobe Bryant first began in 2004 with the Nike Huarache 2K4. Together they have repeatedly introduced technical breakthroughs to basketball, including Flywire, Nike Free-inspired natural motion, and Flyknit. The union of these values has radically altered expectations for performance basketball footwear, a practice that continues with the KOBE 11, Bryant’s final on-court shoe.
The launch colourway of the KOBE 11, Achilles Heel, features subtle nods to the Greek hero Achilles, and Bryant’s own career arch. Achilles was known to be invulnerable in all of his body except for his heel, consequently, the term “Achilles heel,” was born. The KOBE 11 Achilles Heel features a graphic representation of the hero on the right heel, while the left features four-stitch marks representing the four feet of thread used in Bryant’s 2013 Achilles surgery.