I am one of those people who didn’t have the chance to try out the EM version of the Kobe 11 on release. Better late than never, so if anyone is still looking to purchase this sneaker, here’s my Kobe 11 EM review. You’ll find out what’s changed from the regular 11 and if it’s worth upgrading or buying this one at all.
So I suggest you take a look at my Kobe 11 review to get an idea of how the original shoe performs.
I’ll talk about the shoe’s tech specs, fit, performance, the upper and decide it it’s worth the price. Let’s start the Kobe 11 EM review!
WEIGHT: 312 g. / 11 oz
TYPE: LOW TOP
RETAIL PRICE: $160
TECH: LUNARLON, FLYWIRE
FIT: TRUE TO SIZE
MY RATING: 9.5/10
Buy on AMAZON
So the cushion setup is now just a drop-in Lunarlon midsole with a dual-density foam setup in the heel area, as it looks like. The Kobe 11 had a ZOOM unit in the heel instead. However, the forefoot area of the EM looks a bit thicker and the midsole overall is a bit more plush.
We got Flywire cables just like in most Nikey’s hoop shoes for proper lockdown and containment. The upper is pretty strong and holds the cables well, so the setup works just right.
All Kobe’s shoes have a slightly narrow construction, similar to KD’s. However, the EM version feels a bit more forgiving for wide footers. I have a slightly wide foot and it still felt really damn tight at first. But as with most shoes, you break them in, loosen them up and I managed to achieve a really comfortable fit in the end.
Still, I wouldn’t recommend these to a wide footer since there are much better options out there for them. As for the overall experience – awesome.
The shoe really improved from the original in this aspect. Feels lighter, more mobile, more breathable, more forgiving and just all-around more comfortable and enjoyable to play in. Thanks to that great fit, that super soft one bootie padding inside and that soft upper. No lockdown, containment, dead space or slippage issues at all.
The cushion setup could look cheaper than the original at first but it doesn’t feel that way. The heel does have a bit less impact protection, yeah, since there’s no ZOOM there anymore. But the rest of the midsole is just a bit better. It’s thicker, so I felt a bit more bounce and plushness.
Of course, this is not a super bouncy setup (something like the Crazy Explosive Low), this is a responsive setup that will give you speed, mobility and court feel. But what I liked about these is they didn’t go all the way in with that court feel. It’s still soft and that balance is brilliant.
The EM versions now use an improved non-translucent rubber compound (the one in the pictures is one of the few translucent ones lol). And the traction is now wayyyyyy less sensitive to dust. The Kobe 11 has great traction but you had to play in a premium court to get good grip. These ones however, not at all. Holy sh*it.
One of the least sensitive shoes I’ve ever played in. Great grip, stopping power and I didn’t wipe, like at all. AND the rubber does feel more durable, so go ahead and take these outdoors for a spin.
Support is very similar to the Kobe 11 Elite, so this is the aspect that changed the least. It still has all the great features: an internal heel counter, outriggers, Flywire and a great fit. The upper is softer and lighter, so that gave me more room and mobility to work with.
But that didn’t compromise support at all. For a low top, this is a very supportive shoe. Of course, not on a D Rose 7 level, not all players require that, so if you like low tops, this is gonna work.
ONCE AGAIN, IMPROVED
The upper is now engineered mesh with Fuse overlays in some areas instead of Flyknit coated in TPU on the regular 11.. Two pretty different setups.
They’re both really durable and supportive, I’ll give ’em that.
But the EM upper is way softer, way more flexible, breathable and simply more comfortable to play in. And best of all, that doesn’t compromise their support in any way. That’s a shoe made well. Seems like a cheaper upper but I legitimately liked it more.
Probably mostly because of the comfort, the TPU Flyknit Kobe 11 kinda pinched my feet and they felt a bit stiff.
PRICE VS. QUALITY
I’LL GIVE THESE A TIE, BUT THEY’RE WORTH THE MONEY
$40 cheaper than the original and since a lot of time has passed, you can find them for way cheaper than retail, even at online stores. Two years ago, I would’ve said quality clearly wins this one.
But these days, the competition is ruthless. So many awesome releases from adidas, Under Armour and even the same Nike. Still though, a great buy if you’re willing to spend a bit more.
BEST FOR ANY GUARD
A very versatile, balanced guard’s shoe that literally has no flaws, in my opinion. If you have the money, you’re a guard and you want a Kobe shoe, get the Kobe 11 EM. It’s a solid buy, even today.
+ SUPER COMFY, BREATHABLE, AND MOBILE
+ A SOLID CUSHION SETUP FOR MOST GUARDS
+ INCREDIBLE TRACTION, ZERO WIPING NEEDED, GOOD FOR OUTDOORS
– A BIT OVERPRICED FOR TODAY’S COMPETITION
WHERE DO I GET IT?
I currently see the biggest variety, sizes and best prices on Amazon. I always order from them and made a cool little summary why. Check this out, if you’re not familiar.
WHY YOU SHOULD BY ON AMAZON
- Extremely fast shipping (1-3 days)
- Free shipping most of the time
- You can return the shoes to get your money back
- Very fast & easy buying process
- Lots of sales and discounts
Okay, that’s it for the review! I hope you found it useful!