Here it is y’all, yet another performance review from your boy, this time it’s a shoe that I love playing in, but more importantly the shoe that started my love for performance basketball shoes and started this whole awesome journey for me. Without further ado, let’s jump right into this special review.
Traction with the Kobe 11 was a hit or miss with different people, but the general consensus is that the pairs that feature translucent outsoles have problems, while those with solid rubber are good to go and to me was phenomenal. This broken up, line traction really did well, the bite was really aggressive, I was stopping on a dime and felt really confident in the traction. Unfortunately dust is a problem and does get stuck in between the compact lines of the traction, I found myself wiping frequently (I would recommend wiping after every couple of plays), but once I did wipe the traction was back to getting me solid stops and making me feel confident once again. Due to the amazing bite this traction has to offer I give traction an 8.5/10, dust getting stuck was really the only problem I had and the only thing holding the traction from getting a higher score.
The upper features flyknit that is back by TPU threads that you can see if you look closely along the upper. Initially, when I was trying to break them in, the materials were rubbing up against my pinky toes and caused them to get blisters, this happened with my first pair as well. This problem is persistent and stayed with me for most of the break in process, even when broken in the materials still occasionally bothered my pinky toes. Regardless of that, the materials work nice and smooth once fully broken in, the flyknit isn’t super soft, it’s a structured knit that contains your foot well and really does create a good fit. The materials really are some of my favorite, even though the knit isn’t soft they still felt good on my foot (aside from the blisters).This knit really does have more potential, this could have easily been one of my favorite aspect of this shoe if it wasn’t for my poor pinky toes getting tortured, for me materials are a 7/10. Hopefully this problem is fixed with the Kobe AD NXT 360.
This category really puts the Kobe 11 on one of my favorite performers list and for me, it made up for one the fact that the materials bothered my pinky toes initially. This low to the ground responsive cushioning setups is one of my go to’s, I feel really quick on my feet, but at the same time I know I’ll be getting decent impact protection. The drop in midsole features full length lunarlon and has a thick heel zoom unit, creating a drop in midsole that many guards will like to play in. The only thing I would change is adding a zoom unit in the forefoot area, since a lot of people tend to be forefoot heavy players. My feet could take some hard landings in these, but that’s not really the purpose of this shoe, the whole point is response and that low to the ground feeling. Unfortunately, as aforementioned, this is a setup guards will enjoy; making the Kobe 11 a shoe strictly for guard and not for multiple positions. Cushioning gets a 9/10, I knew I wouldn’t be getting superb impact protecion, but I felt the responsiveness of this cushioning setup and enjoyed it the whole time.
The fit and lockdown of this shoe is another aspect that really makes the Kobe 11 worthy of having the Black Mamba’s logo on the shoe. The upper has flywire cables around each eyelet that are supposed to help secure your foot and tighten around your foot as you tighten the laces. This feature along with the drop in midsole that comes up and cradles your foot creates my favorite fitting shoe ever, seriously can’t say enough good things about how this shoe fit my foot. Due to these awesome feature plus the flyknit (that needs to be broken in and will still not be completely soft), the fit truly is one to one and feels like an extension of my foot. Fit gets a 10/10.
The drop in midsole provides the majority of the support. The parts of the midsole that come up and cradle your foot ensures that your foot will not move inside the shoe, and of course these bad boys feature a favorite design element of mine, a nice and big lateral outrigger, but this time there’s one on the forefoot and heel. The outrigger really provides me with awesome lateral support, I remember stopping really hard one play and really felt the outrigger helped me to not slip out or cause any unnecessary movements. I felt like I could play my best and fastest, I wasn’t hesitant at all, aggressive crossovers and other sharp movements felt like second nature in these. Support gets 10/10, I really like this “dual outrigger” setup that they have and I seriously hope more brands would add this crucial design element.
The Kobe 11 has some flaws, but the things that it does well, it does really well. This shoe definitely holds sentimental value to me, it was the shoe that got me into the world of performance basketball sneakers. I have played in models before the Kobe 11’s, but the Kobe 11 made me fall in love with performance sneakers and introduced me to this amazing community. Aside from the memories, the Kobe 11 has amazing performance features and continues to be one of my go to shoes, if I know I am going to be playing my best, I slip these on and get buckets. Thanks for reading this special review (special for me at least), stay tuned for more news and reviews here at One on One Testers.
Noor Kashif aka noodity aka illuminoody! Love hooping, sneakers and fitness, I’ve been hooping for 7 years and I also am an NASM certified personal trainer. Born and raised in Cali and always looking to get out dope content for this amazing site!