In honor of the upcoming release of the Kobe X, Nike recently launched a podcast that shines a light on the relationship between basketball player Kobe Bryant and his shoe designer, Eric Avar. On the podcast, they discuss key aspects of the shoe’s build, Bryant’s voracious inspiration as a player and the bond between him and Avar — they’re a dynamic duo, to say the least.
About their shared passion, Bryant said of Avar: “He’s a psychopath in designing [for] basketball. We speak the same language.”
The Kobe X is inspired by the sea, resulting in an allover synthetic sharkskin pattern. “I’ve spent a lot of time on water, and I’ve come to respect the tenacity and raw power of sharks,” added Bryant.
Debuting in four color ways — aquamarine, purple, green and black — the style boasts critical design features to Bryant’s liking. The athlete spoke about avoiding the issue of sliding inside his shoe, asking: “How do we solve that? How do we take pressure away from the foot [to help absorb seconds during play]?” The Kobe X solves that problem.
Avar also spoke about the shoe’s details, saying: “[The shoe] is at the float again of a high-top, low-top, but the base architecture of the shoe has always remained consistent — lightweight, highly responsive.”
Avar pioneered the low-top silhouette for a basketball player. It was unprecedented when it debuted a few seasons ago on Bryant in 2010.
During the course of Nike’s own 15-minute Prototype Podcast, Bryant and Avar shared memorable personal stories from their 10-year relationship, one of which involved a deep-sea fishing trek in 2009 where the two went 60 miles off the coast of Newport Beach, Calif. Avar thought they were going to talk and look at shoes during the jaunt. Bryant had something else in mind — laying bets as to who would jump off the boat into sea life-filled waters — sharks included. They both jumped, cementing a unique relationship.