Evolution of Kobe’s Signature Sneakers From 1996 to 2016

While the Kobe VIII was very important to the series, it was mostly just an updated version of the VII, only without the interchangeable midsoles. The main innovation on the 8 was a refreshed upper construction. The Kurim upper technique featured on the VI and VII was switched to an Engineered Mesh, a first for a basketball shoe. The mesh was tightly woven in key areas for strength but was still flexible and moved naturally with the foot all while providing 360 degrees of breathability. This laid the groundwork for what would become the most revolutionary basketball shoe ever created.