A new “NXT” version of the Nike Kobe A.D. has arrived and it looks different, plays a bit different and costs different. In this quick comparison review, after playing in both shoes for a while now (screw the regular one), you’ll find out if the new NXT shoe is worth buying despite the increased price tag.
So before reading this, I suggest you taking a good look at my Kobe A.D. review. This way, you’ll have a better time figuring out which one is better since this review is more focused on the newer NXT.
Here’s a comparison of the specs of both shoes and then we’ll take a look at the NXT and if performs better in all areas.
KOBE A.D. | KOBE A.D. NXT
WEIGHT: 342 g. (12.05 oz) | 370 g. (13.05 oz)
TYPE: LOW TOP | LOW TOP
RETAIL PRICE: $160 | $200
TECH: ZOOM AIR, LUNARLON, FLYWIRE | ZOOM AIR, LUNARLON, FLYWIRE, FLYKNIT
FIT: TRUE TO SIZE | TRUE TO SIZE
COLORWAYS: ~2 | ~2
MY RATING: 5.5/10 | 8/10
ZOOM AIR & LUNARLON
So we got a different cushion setup on the NXT – a drop-in Lunarlon midsole with an implemented ZOOM unit in the heel. I’ll definitely say it’s an improvement. Not a strong one but still an improvement. Basically an identical setup to the Kobe 11.
Under the added shroud, there are large Flywire cables to keep your foot in places, which weren’t present in the regular A.D.
The only part of Flyknit the NXT has is that new shroud on top of the upper which serves its purpose pretty well, actually.
TRUE TO SIZE, A BIT MORE FORGIVING IN THE NXT
A can say I liked the NXT’s fit more. The regular A.D. was stiff, firm, inflexible and uncomfortable. They fit really narrow and snug. These however, are a little bit more roomy, breathable and just overall a bit more enjoyable to play in.
I’d still say they’re not on my “most comfy ball shoe” list but they get the job done.
Lockdown was great, they contained me just fine, didn’t cause any problems such as slippage, dead space or pinching.
The upper does need just a bit of break-in time for that optimal feel. Go true to size if you have a normal foot. I’m a slight wide footer, still went true to size, the fit was really tight at first but after giving them some time, they’re fine.
I’ll put it this way. The forefoot area was better in the NXT for me. But the heel unit provided more impact protection and was a little softer in the regular A.D. for me.
I don’t want to confuse you, so the overall feel of the cushion was still better on the NXT in my opinion. It’s a drop-in midsole, so it’s gonna be a bit more responsive, a bit lower to the ground, you’re gonna get more court feel.
Still, the forefoot was softer and more comfortable on the NXT and even though that heel unit didn’t provide as much bounce the stock A.D. provided, I still liked how it felt and I sure as hell can’t call it a lackluster experience.
The traction pattern is mostly the same and the rubber is now fully translucent, whereas the A.D. has that “semi-translucent” look to it. Despite the visual differences, I couldn’t really feel a clear winner in performance.
Both versions gripped the floor well but attracted a lot of dust and frequent wiping was needed to prevent my feet from sliding all over the place. Same case with durability, the rubber is still fairly soft and shallow, so take these outdoors at your own risk.
They have a softer and a bit more flexible upper but the main support features are still there. The fit is really snug and supportive, there’s an internal heel counter, outriggers in the heel and forefoot areas and Flywire cables.
Of course, there’s that new shroud piece that’s on top of the upper which acts as a new lacing system. The laces under it are tied to that shroud and when you pull the laces, that Flyknit piece pretty much just grabs your foot to lock you in. The idea is really cool, doesn’t look attractive, but it’s cool.
Compared to the regular A.D., this is a bit better in terms of lockdown. I can definitely say that. It’s not a dramatic win for the NXT but I still felt a nice bonus, especially for my game that does require major support.
A SOLID IMPROVEMENT
The main upper is soft mesh, while that piece on top is Flyknit coated in TPU for extra durability. That’s different from the A.D.
The regular shoe has stiffer, less flexible mesh, while the NXT improved from that and it does feel that way during play. It’s a bit softer, more forgiving for your feet (especially if you’re a wide footer), just overall more fun and easier to play in.
Even though it’s softer, you’re not losing support because of all the key features implemented, or durability because of the reinforced shroud on top. And that mesh looks premium, so don’t expect it to break down that quick.
PRICE VS. QUALITY
PRICE STILL TAKES THIS ONE
$200 man. That’s a serious price tag in today’s hoop shoe market. Looking at the competition, when you can get yourself a killer performance shoe for $110-$150 that beats the NXT in a lot of aspects, it’s hard to recommend this one. It really is.
However, if are cool with spending that cash on a shoe, then go for it because it’s a good basketball shoe. It won’t disappoint a Kobe fan. All I’m saying is 200 bucks is a bit too much in today’s sneaker game IMO.
BEST FOR ANY GUARD, LIGHT-MEDIUM WEIGHT PLAYER
It was a pleasant surprise that the A.D. NXT clearly improved from the mess that the A.D. was. That came with the price though. A $40 dollar increase isn’t a small one for a lot of people. If this shoe is worth it over the regular disregarding the price, yes. Looking at the price, however, decide if it is.
+ GOOD TRACTION AS LONG AS YOU STAY CLEAN
+ SOLID, VERSATILE CUSHION SETUP
+ GREAT SUPPORT, LOCKDOWN & CONTAINMENT
– EXTREMELY SENSITIVE TRACTION PATTERN
– THE SOFT MESH UPPER NEEDS SOME BREAK-IN TIME
WHERE DO I GET IT?
Okay, that’s it for the review! I hope you found it useful!
I like to hear your thoughts on this. Will you be picking it up? Have a question?