Nike Kobe 9 EM - University Gold/Black-Laser Crimson (1)

words // Brandon Richard
images // Jessica Huebner

In 2008, Eric Avar and the Nike Basketball design team scaled down the Kobe Bryant signature line, introducing the low-cut Zoom Kobe 4. The shoe wasn’t the first low-top signature model to hit the hardwood, but it’s been the most influential since its release. Kobe’s signature models would continue to release in lows until Nike threw a curve ball this season, leading with the ultra-high Kobe 9 Elite. While the Flyknit-constructed high-top has been a hit with fans, there are still many who prefer the feel of a low on-court.

Enter the Kobe 9 EM. This version of Kobe’s latest takes the line back to its traditional low-cut, featuring Engineered Mesh in lieu of Flyknit. Lunarlon cushioning returns to deliver an ultra-soft responsive ride. Flywire cables and a lightweight heel clip enhance stability, while a pressure map designed rubber outsole delivers durable traction and mimics the natural contours of the foot.

The Kobe 9 EM first arrives in a colorway unofficially dubbed ‘Bruce Lee,’ as it sports a look similar to the Zoom Kobe 5 inspired by the legendary martial artist. University Gold is prominently featured on the upper, with black working the laces, Swoosh branding, inner lining, heel counter and sole. Minimal hits of red take care of the Flywire, Kobe logo and 9-stitch detail on the heel.

These Nike basketball shoes will be released here for $160 ($115 Gradeschool) next Saturday, March 29 at 8:00 a.m. EST / 7:00 a.m. CST. Follow @Eastbay on Twitter and @OfficialEastbay on Instagram for all release information and updates.

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