After Kobe Bryant retired following a 20th season with the Los Angeles Lakers, his Nike signature line transitioned into a new phase but continued with releases in full earnest. To signify Bryant entering a new chapter of his life, Nike gave his shoes an ‘AD’ moniker.
A Nike Kobe AD has been released in multiple iterations, including in a three-quarter and more traditional mid-top versions, then taken down to a true low top with the AD NXT 360.
Next for Bryant’s signature line is a revamped version of the Nike Kobe AD NXT, which has been officially unveiled by the brand in a predominantly black colorway that features hints of red and neon green.
Bryant’s latest shoe brings together Nike FastFit, QuadFit and REACT technology and arguably is the most innovate model from his line.
“It is our most technologically advanced basketball shoe we’ve done in the KOBE line, due to the combination of complex components,” senior creative director for Nike basketball footwear Ross Klein said.
“We wanted to show the heart and soul of Nike — our capacity to put together systems. The design of this shoe shows off all the pieces; the ingredients are critical. We want people to see the elements that work together within the machine.”
The Kobe AD NXT features a drop-in, full REACT midsole that gives a low and soft stack height with a cat’s claw-like grip to the playing surface. Nike FastFit allows a broad range of athletes the opportunity to engage with the shoe, and Nike QuadFit supports containment without compromising movement.
The combination of the three technologies is meant to give the feel of a sports car seat, with comfort and fit not sacrificed for speed of play.
FastFit technology was first introduced on a basketball shoe with the Air Jordan 33. Loops on the tongue and heel allow easier entry, and the tightening system activates its cables with a single tug of the forefoot strap, creating a full 360-lockdown.
Shoes with FastFit can be easily removed by by pulling the side loops to release the cables.
“Applying FastFit allowed for a balance of art and science in the design,” designer Tate Kuerbis said when the Jordan 33 was unveiled. “We were inspired by how space suits look and function.
“It’s all very utilitarian, and the various elements and what they do are all clearly called out. Thinking about this led us to highlight the pull cord, eject cord and the inner workings of FastFit, and make the function integral to the aesthetic and graphic integrity of the design.”
The Nike Kobe AD NXT releases Aug. 24 at select retailers.