Nike Kobe AD Review

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Facts & Figures:
List Price:
$159.99
Type:
Low Top
Release Date:
11/2016
Outdoor Rating:
0%
# of Reviews:
6
Traction
8.0
Cushion
6.8
Material
7.2
Support
7.5
Fit
8.5
very narrow
very wide
runs small
runs large

PROS:

  • Nice aesthetics
  • Good traction

CONS:

  • Very painful break-in period
  • Fake visible Nike Zoom

Summary of 6 Expert Reviews:

The first signature shoe release after the end of Kobe Bryant's playing time proves to be very divisive. While some critics are trashing the cushioning setup, others absolutely love it. It seems that players who prefer less cushioning and great court feel will be happy, while bigger and heavier players probably won't. Where critics are united is the incredible painful break-in period. Many reported blisters and even bleeding during the first few times they wore the Kobe AD.
See all 6 reviews

Expert Reviews of the Nike Kobe AD:

9.0
Nelson Chan @Hoop and Life
I love everything about the Kobe AD except the painful break-in period. The overall aesthetics are great, the cushion is on point, the lockdown is there. The shoe is lightweight but still supportive and sturdy.
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8.6
The Sole Brothers
Very good looking shoes for guards. I enjoy it, I really like the shoe. Unfortunately rather long break-in period.
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7.8
Schwollo
I enjoyed playing in the Kobe AD a lot even though it wasn’t perfect. Great traction and excellent fit with firmer than normal Kobe line cushioning that needs break in but feels decent after. When you see the price of $160, you’ll expect more since other comparative shoes out there under that price point are offering nicer materials than the mesh on the Kobe AD.
7.6
RicheeKim
For $160 there are much better options out there. Great lockdown, but painful break-in period, cheap materials and lacking cushioning.
Watch the video
7.0
NightWing2303 [weartesters.com]
Utter disappointment. Was I duped? $160 spent and wasted. Those are my feelings when thinking about the Nike Kobe A.D. If you enjoy your pair then I am genuinely happy for you as that would mean you enjoy your purchase and don’t share the same sentiment that I do. Every once in a while a brand puts out a dud. This was a giant one.
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6.6
Jarron Ramos [weartesters.com]
To put it bluntly, the Kobe A.D. has no innovation, no ambition, and nothing worthy enough to be associated with the five-time world champion, 18-time All-Star, 15-time All-NBA, future Hall of Famer, Kobe Bryant. The visual appeal of Kobe’s first post-retirement sneaker is off the charts but this is a performance review, and in that regard, the Kobe A.D. is more than just a disappointment.
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Traction of the Nike Kobe AD:

9.0
Nelson Chan @Hoop and Life
The traction of the Kobe AD is really, really good, especially on clean courts. Some wiping may be needed on dustier courts, but is still really solid.
Watch the video
9.0
The Sole Brothers
Soft rubber offers good traction even on dusty courts. Not the best but pretty damn good!
Watch the video
8.0
Schwollo
These are not quite top tier traction due to the flat parts of the outsole but they are great overall
8.0
RicheeKim
The traction pattern on the front of the shoe works well on clean and dusty courts, but the traction on the heel has problems on dusty courts.
Watch the video
7.0
NightWing2303 [weartesters.com]
...when it was good it was awesome. When it wasn’t…well, it wasn’t. If you want consistency within the traction then solid rubber should be a much better option [than translucent rubber].
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7.0
Jarron Ramos [weartesters.com]
The overall performance of the outsole was pretty solid but the rubber compound that is used here is an absolute dust magnet and will require frequent wiping on floors where the conditions are less than ideal.
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Cushion of the Nike Kobe AD:

9.0
Nelson Chan @Hoop and Life
Lunarlon in the front is very flexible, in the back Nike zoom provides "GOAT cushioning". This cushioning setup is just awesome.
Watch the video
8.0
The Sole Brothers
Heel Zoom unit is caged and barely noticable. Lunarlon did a good job with impact protection.
Watch the video
7.0
Schwollo
If you thought the cushioning of the Kobe X was too stiff, you’ll hate these. Overall, the cushioning isn’t the greatest in terms of pure comfort but it is a good blend of impact protection and responsiveness.
7.0
RicheeKim
Impact protection isn't really there and you can barely feel the Zoom unit.
Watch the video
5.0
NightWing2303 [weartesters.com]
The setup is very lackluster and required more break-in time than one expects to put up with nowadays. Pain at the arch of the foot, unresponsive Zoom, and Lunlarlon that has similar properties to Phylon. Not a good look.
Watch the Video|Read the article
5.0
Jarron Ramos [weartesters.com]
To sum things up; no impact protection, mediocre court feel, and a long break-in period. Yes, it’s as bad as it sounds.
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Materials of the Nike Kobe AD:

7.0
Nelson Chan @Hoop and Life
The materials of the shoe are really stiff in the beginning, especially the huge tongue. After a significant break-in period it feels good. Not very breathable.
Watch the video
8.0
The Sole Brothers
Very uncomfortable in the beginning, needs a few days of breaking in.
Watch the video
7.0
Schwollo
The mesh on the AD looks and feels cheap and starts off stiff but broke in within a few hours which is more than acceptable.
7.0
RicheeKim
Really stiff mesh that takes an eternity to break in. Comfort is not bad, but breathability is a huge problem.
Watch the video
7.0
NightWing2303 [weartesters.com]
[Materials] are great for those that require more support and want to keep things as light as possible. However, the materials also require more break-in time than one would expect today. My pair still hasn’t broken-in and I’ve been trying to get them used to my foot for about a month now.
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7.0
Jarron Ramos [weartesters.com]
Materials: Straight out of the box, the ballistic mesh-like upper feels extremely stiff, but after a standard break-in period the materials end up being slightly above average.
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Support of the Nike Kobe AD:

8.0
Nelson Chan @Hoop and Life
Flywire and heel counter do a great job keeping you foot in place.
Watch the video
9.0
The Sole Brothers
Lockdown and support was really good.
Watch the video
7.0
Schwollo
I didn’t worry about turning my ankle in these because overall they felt stable. Can’t say I enjoyed the rolling outrigger but it didn’t ruin my day or my game since it doesn’t occur constantly.
9.0
RicheeKim
Support is excellent thanks to the huge heel counter. There is no heel slippage or side-to-side movement.
Watch the video
7.0
NightWing2303 [weartesters.com]
There is a tiny outrigger in place, and it gets in the way (somehow) more often than not. However, the heel containment and support is excellent.
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5.0
Jarron Ramos [weartesters.com]
If you get a pair, support is just fine and will provide the necessary features that you need to feel secure on-court, but you are taking a huge risk counting on the durability of the Kobe A.D.
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Fit of the Nike Kobe AD:

7.0
Nelson Chan @Hoop and Life
Hurt badly in the beginning but after they break in they fit pretty well and feel good.
Watch the video
9.0
The Sole Brothers
Fit was good, very little dead space in the toe box.
Watch the video
10.0
Schwollo
Side to side movement was non existent and there is virtually no deadspace on top of the forefoot either. The AD fit makes the shoe feel like an extension of your foot especially after break in.
7.0
RicheeKim
I went up half a size but my feet are still hanging over the side of the shoe.
Watch the video
9.0
NightWing2303 [weartesters.com]
Containment and support from the fit are well balanced. The heel is the best aspect since the forefoot — even though it fits and contains — caused a ton of pain due to the materials used.
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9.0
Jarron Ramos [weartesters.com]
When you first step into the Kobe A.D. you might feel like they’re too tight but after the materials break-in the overall fit is pretty fantastic.
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Width of the Nike Kobe AD:

very narrow
The Sole Brothers
So f-ing narrow!
Watch the video
very narrow
RicheeKim
These run narrow as hell.
Watch the video
slightly narrow
NightWing2303 [weartesters.com]
Wide footers might want to go up 1/2 size, but trying them on is always the best way to measure what may or may not work for you.
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Size of the Nike Kobe AD:

true to size
Nelson Chan @Hoop and Life
Kind of snug in the beginning but fits true to size
Watch the video
½ size large
The Sole Brothers
Felt almost a little long, but very narrow. If you have narrow feet go a half size down, otherwise go true to size.
Watch the video
true to size
Schwollo
Nike is very consistent with their fit and the Kobe AD is no different as it runs true to size.
true to size
NightWing2303 [weartesters.com]
The Kobe A.D. fits true to size and this is the one aspect of the shoe that is pretty solid.
Watch the Video|Read the article
true to size
Jarron Ramos [weartesters.com]
Over the years the Kobe signature line has been pretty consistent with fit. If you got the Kobe 6 in a 10.5, you most likely got the same size in the Kobe 7, 8, 9, etc.
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