Nike Zoom Kobe VII (7) Performance Review

Traction – 9.5/10

Cushion – 7.5/10

Material – 10/10

Fit – 5/10

Ventilation – 7.5/10

Support – 7/10

Overall – 7.75/10


Traction – The combination between the herringbone and triangular pattern worked very well… almost too well. Whether you needed to quickly change direction make a sudden stop, these kept up from a traction standpoint.


Cushion – The Cushlon was my personal favorite of the two as far as feeling and ride is concerned however, the midsole’s construction was heavily flawed. If you have not done so yet, feel free to check out the Performance Teasers for the Zoom Kobe VII; Pt. 1, Pt. 2 & Pt. 3 for additional information.


Material – This was another aspect of the shoe that I loved. The outer shell is just as strong as last year’s ZKVI yet they don’t show the wear and tear you receive from games. These would be a good choice if you need something to play on-court with and walk around casual in afterward.

Fit – They are true to size and you have a slightly more snug fit with the Play Strong system. The heel did not offer enough lockdown with the lip around the midsole which counteracts the implemented heel cup and sculpted heel padding. While there are midfoot sleeves, they just couldn’t keep the foot perfectly in place and my foot ended up moving too much inside the shoe from a side to side standpoint which eventually caused me to roll my foot inside the shoe and resulted in injury. Again, some of this information is in full detail in my previous Performance Teaser posts.


Ventilation – Not much of any is present except for the perforations found on the sleeves. Not horrible by any means but could have been better.


Support – The carbon fiber plate does its job very well, allowing the forefoot range of motion while keeping the rest of the foot intact. Even though there is a heel cup, they didn’t offer enough heel lockdown as the lip of the midsoles pushed your heel past the sculpted padding and basically contradicted the implemented support system.

Overall… you can find something that not only plays much better than this shoe but you can do so while saving at least $40-60. Even if you opt for the basic $150 Kobe VII, which only comes with the Play Fast system, you will still have some of these issues and simply put; it’s not worth the amount spent. If I pay for a luxurious high performance shoe then I expect to receive a luxurious high performance shoe… unfortunately that isn’t quite what you get this time around.

I loved the Zoom Kobe IV, V & VI but the VII is a disappointment.


    • Nightwing2303 says

      I wrote many posts on issues both good and bad. Please read them and when i say i dont recommend something that usually means i dont recommend it. If certain things were not present they would have been much better but they still arent a great shoe… Potential but not quite as good as either of the previous three models.

      • Dallas says

        I just got the Dukes on Tuesday and that night I already had 2 blisters on my right foot arch. I played again last night and it got even worse. I have no idea what is going on but I am disappointed in them for sure.

  1. Byrne says

    Good review, feel sorry for your feet and Kobe. Have you seen the new foamposite option for lebron 9 on NikeID? I feel like it could add some support to the shoe.

    • Nightwing2303 says

      I have, they dont really need more support but i think its cool. They might end up being more restrictive though.

  2. oathlok says

    Good stuff as always wing,
    While they look good with jeans casually and the look, midsole, heel cup, colorways have been dope, in the performance department their a let down, I feel. It feels as if they rushed the concept and i really disliked the interchangeable idea. Even though i love the feel of the play strong more than the play fast having it actually incorporated as the primary midsole and relinquishing the interchangeable midsole idea would of worked so much better. I know earlier samples had torch technology and an actual attached tongue much like the 6’s don’t know why nike went a different way. Im really afraid that they might do what they did with the jordan 2k12 for the kobe elites lets see where they go with these. i do hope they drop this idea and on the elites make one complete shoe that doesn’t have the interchangeable midsole concept.

    • Nightwing2303 says

      Thanks! I will remain hopeful the Elite version is an upgrade but for $200 they better be the best shoe of the year.

  3. Kevin H says

    The teasers definitely said it all, but great review. I had pretty much all the same problems, but there are still good things. The price is just my biggest gripe. For something so expensive, there are far too many flaws, especially with shoes that perform very well right out of the box for half the price. I still like them, but definitely disappointing.
    Let us know if you decide to cut out that back rim to test the heel lockdown.

    • Nightwing2303 says

      I agree 100%. many areas i did actually like but for the price there were more issues than one should have to deal with. They should be ready to go once out the box if they cost this much from now on.

  4. Quezymoto says

    Great review. I’m dissappointed in the Lebron 9 and Kobe VII performance too. They look great but dont play that way. Such a shame

  5. Nutty says

    I understand this is a ‘performance’ review, but I’m more interested in this sneaker for casual wear. I have other Kobes and those are great, but I’m not sure about this model as a casual sneaker. Thoughts anyone?

      • Nutty says

        Nvrmd. I found that you got narrow feet with high arches. I’m looking for a shoe that supports wider feet on the court. Saw your FW2 review, but I think those might kill my feet around the toe box area where my pinky toes lie. Sucks having hobbit feet in today’s sneaker world.

  6. Ayik says

    I have been using kobes as my go to performance sneaker…but after reading your teasers about the 7s…i just lost interest. I was initially excited with the traction..given that herringbone was back…I hope eric avar will do a better job on the 8s though. Great review! Waiting for the teaser on the rose 2.5s. Thanks!

  7. Jason says

    Bro, when can we expect the review for the Adipower Howard 2? Actually leaning on trying the shoe but I want to read some reviews first.

  8. Flodian says

    amazing review once again. I was really looking forward to these, the Kobe line is by far my favorite line… and for them to come out with a clunker like this, it is just disappointing.

  9. The Baron says

    Great work on the review, really hope to see the Hyperenforcer review next, seriously considering buying those. Big up Nightwing!

  10. HeyLook says

    is it just me or is anyone else like experiencing squeaking sounds in the play strong? as if there was like space between the bottom of the midsole and the shell? minor thing compared to the major problems, but i just really hate shoes that squeak every time i walk.

  11. Byrne says

    Does the Air Jordan 2012/Fly Wade 2/CP3.V beat out KDIV/LBJ9/Kobe7 ? it seems like nike just got caught up in all of their new technologies that JB was able to beat them out this year.

  12. Nguyen-Luan says

    In Basketball line, Nike said they going for innovative stuff while Jordan Brand was going refine direction. Yeah, well see how Elites fare but I think paying in $200 range to get minor upgrades over original versions(already expensive) is not good. Unless they offer top performance.

  13. RBtan32 says

    Serious durability issues on Kobe 7! My friend’s Play strong ankle brace got torn already and my sole’s forefoot got split open after 6x of use in indoor court!

  14. Big P says

    What up, Night. I did check out the shoe. I noticed one thing that you didn’t cover. I doubt that the shank plate is actual CF. If you remove the midsole, you can take the outer shell (shoe) and completely bend it in half. Yes, it flexes in the shank! What?! For the price point, we can’t get real CF?! Just to answer any questions…the shoe size was 12 (Mens). Compared to the AJ 2012, that’s outrage. Glad you’re back on the court. Keep the reviews coming.

  15. takeitsleezy says

    Do you even play basketball? You say you actually like the 6s but not the 7s? The 6s were so narrow there was practically no lateral support. I understand 180 is a lot, but splash. Besides the money, these are by far the best basketball shoes I’ve ever put on recently. I’ve tried the lebrons, the wades, cp3, hyperdunk, and hyperfuse, none of them even come close to this shoe. Please die

  16. Kobesixrings says

    Nightwing, I dont know what u r talking about. The vii have much better heel lockdown than the vi. I dont even feel safe in the vi. The vii r not clunking. Improve ur leg strength. The shoes are only 3 more ounces than the vi…3 ounces. All in all people, vii is better than vi

  17. XDR says

    Hi Nightwing, I just wanna ask if my Kobe VII Supreme XDR has a problem with its traction, It doesnt grip well, It grips but its not as good as my Fly Wade 2, I feel like I’m gonna slip, Is XDR for outdoor only?Thanks.

  18. D FOR D says

    Hi Nightwing, I bought a ZK7 Supreme XDR in Hong Kong and i played with it on a wooden court, I was disappointed with its traction because i felt like im gonna slip and it loses traction easily after i wipe it, I’m afraid i bought a defective pair, It doesnt squeak also, Please help, THANKS.

  19. Erick says

    Hi! Just gotta say, your reviews are awesome!

    It was love a first sight for me with this shoe especially the white/yellow colorway. But, after seeing your reviews I’m having second thoughts..

    I’m not a pro on basketball shoes but, there’s a Kobe VII which doesn’t include those interchangeable insoles right? so.. does it have the same insole problems you experienced with these? Since it doesn’t have interchangeable insole, I thought it might be “built in” like any other shoe if you know what I mean.

    I don’t know if I should get these.. or a Lebron 9 or Wade 2 or something else…

    I apologize if I sound confused or lost or something..

    btw I play 4, 3, and 2

    Thank you very much!

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