I typically only post two Performance Teasers prior to the full review. The Nike Zoom Kobe VII deserved to have three… not because they are good shoes either.
The traction, as I mentioned in the Kobe VII Performance Teaser Pt. 2, has had no issues. Whether you are playing of a clean floor or dusty… the Kobe VII can handle it.
In my initial First Impression I assumed the upper had a layer of Polyurethane protecting the extremely thin Flywire base. At this point I think the outer layer is actually some sort of silicone rubber… It’s very thin and flexible but the best part is its durability. Just by looking at them you can’t see much of any damage to the upper itself (midsole has minor damage but the bright colors hide it well) even though they have been stepped on, dragged across the floor and whatever else happens to these things while they are on my feet.
Those are basically the only two attributes on the Kobe VII that I enjoy… and I really hate to admit that as I have loved every Kobe since the IV.
The midsoles offer too many problems for a shoe that retails between $150-180, depending on the package you purchase. I went over the cushion setups in the first Performance Teaser and things never really got any better…
After going back and forth I decided to cut off the lip on the left midsole… I have absolutely no clue why the right one hasn’t given me any problems by the way.
This double stitched area is glued onto the midsole and was a part of the blister/ chaffing problem I’d been experiencing so that section was removed as well. Surprisingly, after this was all removed, the shoe was much better (still fit fine) and I didn’t experience any more blisters along the arch of my foot.
To be perfectly blunt… any shoe you have to modify slightly is usually not a huge issue for me, at least if the modification means purchasing a new insole for extra cushion. The Kobe VII system however, will run you $180 and then you have to cut pieces of it away just to make them wearable… really not cool in my book.
The overall feel of the shoe is heavy and clunky. My legs feel like they are pulling dead weight around for the first 1.5 hours until I get used to them… every time! I can understand a break in period but to have to endure that with every wear is ridiculous.
I wanted to love these… but I can’t say that I recommend using them on-court. You can get something much better for well under $180 or you can buy the Air Jordan 2012 with a similar setup (if you go for the entire Choose Your Flight package) and have a much better playing shoe than with these.
The full review will be completed and available next week so in the meantime, save your money and get something else if these were on your potential new hoop shoes list.