Sneaker Sunday: Nike Kobe XI Elite Low “Brave Blue”

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For years, I stayed away from anything pertaining to the Kobe brand (as any respectable Celtic fan would do).  Secretly though, I was envious.  I had always wanted to play in a low top basketball shoe.  When Kobe started rocking lows in 2008 with the Kobe IV’s, he was the first and only one doing.  Everybody else was rocking mid and hightop basketball shoes.  By the time the Kobe XI’s arrived, Nike had perfected the low top basketball shoe.  This sneaker is not only one of the most stylish shoes to ever be conceived but also elite in it performance on the court.  I’ve been wearing mine for about two years now and it’s still one of my “go-to” sneakers for hoops.

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At the time of it’s release in 2016, this was a brand-new style of flyknit.  It’s remained extremely durable for me through the years and it’s also comfortable.  The fit is snug and sock-like and the traction performs at an elite level.

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Nicknamed “Brave Blue,” it’s a special edition for longtime Kobe designer Eric Avar.  The quote on the heel is straight from Kobe and reads “I see beauty in the struggle.”  That quote is actually a big reason I bought these.  I wanted to play basketball games with that quote to give me strength.  Also, it’s just a good looking shoe.  The navy blue/baby blue main colors and the silver accents are a good combination with the 3M swoosh.  The insole has its own separate design and the sole of the shoe is actually completely translucent allowing you to see the insole through the bottom.

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Overall, this is one of the best basketball performance sneakers I’ve ever owned.  At this point, I only wear this shoe in a big game like a championship or a playoff game.  Being from 2016, they have held up really well but I would never want to wear these into the ground.  It’s a sneaker I believe gives me an extra boost of confidence.  The traction is unbelievable, allowing me to cut and slide wherever I need to go.  They are extremely light, making me feel quick on my feet as I fly down the court.  And the support keeps me locked in place.  “Low tops” get a bad rap for ankle injuries but I’ve found if my foot is locked down and secure, my ankle can take care of itself.  In fact, the extra mobility in a low top sneaker has helped me prevent an ankle injury since I can react quicker.

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Would recommend to a hooper at any level.

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