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April 13, 2015

The NikeLab KOBE X Elite Low HTM

HTM obsesses the details to elevate the new, low-profile version of the KOBE X in three colorways.

For Kobe Bryant, preparation is as important as performance. The basketball icon is known for a meticulous attention to detail in the way he prepares, from training to technique to studying film. Sweating the small stuff enables Bryant to win big when it matters most.

This incredible obsession to detail is reflected in the NikeLab KOBE X Elite Low HTM, a byproduct of the collaboration between NIKE, Inc. President and CEO Mark Parker, Nike Vice President of Creative Concepts Tinker Hatfield and Fragment Design founder Hiroshi Fujiwara. HTM explores new concepts in design, highlighting the latest technologies and hinting at future applications. By expanding performance innovation beyond its original intent and elevating existing technology to brave new concepts, HTM brings the Nike brand to new places. 

For the second consecutive year, Bryant’s signature shoe blends Nike Basketball’s newest performance technologies with a refined, HTM aesthetic. The new low-profile silhouette is available in three colorways, each of which delivers premium detailing.

The shoe features a number of subtle aesthetic details that were obsessed by the HTM team. For example, each colorway comes with two different sets of aglets that screw onto the laces. The aglets vary in color, but each features a metallic finish and HTM lettering.  

The shoe’s Nike Free-inspired flex grooves, which work to enable natural movement, are called out with pops of color to highlight this performance benefit. In addition, HTM lettering accentuates the back tab, while each colorway features a unique lining in the heel collar for an added dynamic. The all-black and multicolor versions of the shoe include molded leather tongue tops, while each sockliner boasts a silicone-printed "KOBE" logo for added feel underfoot. 

The KOBE X Elite Low HTM’s hybrid cushioning system, which combines Nike Lunarlon cushioning, Nike Zoom Air and Nike Free-inspired siping, delivers a responsive ride that is soft, firm and flexible where it’s needed most. An advanced traction system on the outsole features hundreds of “nodules” that grip the court and work to provide optimal traction. The flexible midsole and outsole enables the traction system to better engage with the court when the athlete changes direction.

The innovative outsole is complemented by a Flyknit upper with dynamic Nike Flywire technology. These technologies work together to provide superior strength, breathability and support. HTM used Flyknit technology to micro-engineer each stitch to exact specifications for maximum performance with minimum waste. Since 2012, this sustainable innovation has reduced waste by nearly two million pounds.

Part of the Flyknit upper is constructed with a clear knit yarn, which creates translucent windows. This, along with the translucent rubber casing that encapsulates the midsole and outsole, is a nod to Bryant’s recent willingness to be more open and transparent.

The NikeLab KOBE X Elite Low HTM will launch exclusively at NikeLab LNZ1 Milan on April 16. It will arrive at global NikeLab locations and on nike.com/nikelab later in the summer.