For the people that want to know what the Kobe 8 can do on court before it gets taken off Nike iD, here is a quick review right before the Kobe 9 comes out.
(Video at the bottom of the page)
First Impression– Extremely light. Lunarlon feels outstanding, plain and simple.
Break in time– There wasn’t much break in time at all. The Lunarlon feels great from the start, it will mold to your foot better after a couple times playing in them, but it feels great right from the start.
Materials used– On the upper, engineered mesh is used. This is very innovative to use this type of material on a basketball shoe. I thought the downside would be the support, but what is not seen is the fuse underlays underneath the engineered mesh, which provides great support that I will talk about later.
Technology used– The massive Lunarlon insole is where all of the cushioning comes from. Without this insole, the shoe is practically nothing. You can also add Nike Zoom on the heel and forefoot, but the Lunarlon alone will get the job done perfectly so there is no need to the zoom.
Traction– I had zero problems with the traction. Herringbone is what is used on most of the shoe. There is also story telling traction the edge of the bottom coming across the center of the heel area. On the iD pair that I ordered I used the translucent bottom. There was not problems at all with it. If you want to play outdoors in these, pick the XDR outsole. If you go translucent or solid bottom, they will wear down very easily. My teammate’s Kobe 8s have an XDR outsole, and there is zero signs of wear after playing in them indoors and outdoors since the summertime.
Cushioning– Like I said before, the Lunarlon is unbelievable. It is one of the most smooth and comfortable rides I have ever experienced, especially with a guard shoe. It is as light as a feather, so if you’re all about light shoes, this is the shoe for you. A Phylon midsole carrier is what is seen from the outside. It felt very good with heel compression.
Ventilation– I loved the breathability on this model. Perforations are seen all on the tongue for heat to escape. Since the engineered mesh had fuse underlays where it needed to be, there was only some air flow on the medial side for the most part.
Lacing system– Fuse underlays with 2 flex points. The padded tongue was a great feature also. It wasn’t as great as dynamic fit, but it got the job done good.
Fit and Lockdown- These fit true to size. The Lunar will mold into your foot evenly. The TPU heel cup is what is seen on most Kobes. There was no heel slippage at all with that nicely padded inside around the ankle.
Support– The support on these is solid, especially for a low top sneaker. I thought the engineered mesh was going to provide zero support at all, but once I saw the underlays where they were supposed to be, it worked out good. The arch support comes from the Lunarlon. Carbon fiber which is seen on the bottom works as a good shank for support.
Best position to wear the Kobe 8- All guards, and lighter footed small forwards. If you are a bigger, heavy footed guy then you shouldn’t be using these. The Lunarlon does wear down, but evenly because of how it is all in one big piece. They call it Kobe 8 SYSTEM because once it wears down to a certain point, you can just replace the Lunarlon, and keep playing in them.
Durability– The only problem with this engineered mesh is the durability on flex points. On the medial side of the shoe, depending how long and how hard you play in these, a hole could very likely form there. My teammate’s has a hole that goes all the way down to the sock.
Overall– I would give these a B on my test. If you are a quick guard or a guard that needs a light shoe that isn’t too unsupportive and will give you mostly everything you need, then this shoe is for you!