First off it didn’t take me long to write this review because the only thing I really had to compare was the upper of the shoe. So my apologies to those who wanted me to take a long time to write a review on the exact same shoe with a different upper.
Here is my original review :
So the big and only change between the regular Kobe X and Kobe X Elite is the upper. Moving away from Fuse, Nike used a Flyknit upper and went from a low to a high. I did not purchase last years Kobe IX Elite bc 1) I’m 5’10” so the high cut will make my legs look like 5’3″ 2) the change from mesh to Flyknit wasn’t enough to justify the cost 3) I didn’t like the IX very much anyways and wasn’t going to pay 2 bills for a shoe I didn’t like much.
I prefer mids and don’t mind highs so the cut of the shoe felt great to me. The higher cut really keeps the Achilles area warm (hmm wonder why Kobe ?)
But this isn’t your daddy’s 90 s high top. The higher cut is flexible and doesn’t affect mobility at all. Reminds me of how the Clutchfit mids flexible collar; both the Kobe X Elite and CF Mid/high feature a collar that goes above the ankle but is ultra flexible.
Getting my foot in to these was a pain since the collar is so flexible . Every time I put my foot in the upper would fold so really had to angle my foot in perfectly. When I laced them up I felt like I had put on shoes like this before but couldn’t put my finger on it and then I figured it out. UA Micro G Juke
The plushness of the tongue and how the laces tie up high in ankle feel exactly the same which is a good thing.
One additional benefit of the high cut is that your foot is not only locked in but so is your ankle and calf. If the collar were stiff, it would be awkward and uncomfortable but thanks to the flexibility, it works great.
Same pattern same material same result: quiet but deadly traction
Same set up as the regular X. Caged Zoom in the heel and segmented Lunarlon the rest of the way ( not targeted ) Personally I love it.
FIT: Flyknit vs Fuse
I actually shot around like this to warm up.
Long story short, Flyknit on the Kobe X Elite is awesome. No weird flexing, no break in time, zero dead space anywhere. Fit true to size . Bought my normal sz11 just like the regular Kobe X.
I dont have a problem at all with the regular Kobe X upper at all either but the Elite upper definitely feels and fits better. Does it translate into out of this world better performance ? No , if you’re playing a game you won’t notice the difference and if you do, you should bench yourself. Is it worth $40 more than the regular upper ? That’s a tough call but it does feel more premium than the regular Kobe X. Personally I’d only want to pay $20 more for the upper swap.
If you read my AJ XX9 review, you’d see that I did not really like Flightweb even though it fit like a sock. It felt great as well but the shoe itself didn’t provide adequate support or containment to make up for the flexibility of the upper. The Kobe X Elites upper isn’t quite as socklike but Nike already had additional pieces in place to provide support and containment like the footstay at the forefoot and the heel counter. I really felt that the X Elite gave me that one to one feel we all crave.
Is it worth $225? Not really, but sales have been slacking so get ready for Eastbay discounts / coupon code eligibility soon and you end up at $180 anyways. Hard to sell a $225 shoe that was hardly worn by the signature player especially in a year the team doesn’t make the playoffs. Nonetheless, Nike did a great job on improving an already great shoe. Let’s see how the KD 7 Elite does next..