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Even as five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant retired in 2016, it didn’t stop him from making improvements in every aspect of the game of basketball, including the sneakers.
Bryant initally rejected the idea of a retro line that pays tribute to the previous footwear that he had worn throughout his career (yes, including the Mamba Day). Instead, he came up with the concept of performance sneakers, which would eventually become the Nike Zoom Kobe 1 Protro. Bryant said that the Protro is “about revolution and improving on things that were.”
Bryant worked on the idea for three years before the Nike Zoom Kobe 1 Protro became a reality.
Basically, the Nike Zoom Kobe 1 Protro is the newer version of the Nike Zoom Kobe 1, which was first released in 2005. The aesthetics of the Zoom Kobe 1 Protro may be similar to the original. But the Zoom Kobe 1 Protro claims that it is engineered with the newest sneaker technology for a much better performance on the hardcourt.
The Nike Zoom Kobe 1 Protro is said to have eliminated the elements of the Nike Zoom Kobe 1 that were deemed unnecessary. The Protro also boasts the full-length Zoom cushioning, which provides a much better impact protection to the wearer.
The Nike Zoom Kobe 1 Protro’s traction pattern on the outsole is much like the Nike Zoom Kobe 1 – a combination of diamond and herringbone patterns. The wide grooves between those patterns are designed to avoid a buildup of dust and dirt. The material of the Nike Zoom Kobe 1 Protro’s outsole is made from a soft rubber, much like the outsole of the Nike Zoom Kobe 1.
Nike also removed the foam parts of the Nike Zoom Kobe 1 Protro, as well as shrinking the carbon fiber shank’s size for a truly performance-level feel.
In terms of materials, the Nike Zoom Kobe 1 Protro’s material is nothing different to the other iterations. The upper is made of tumbled leather and suede. These materials are supposed to make the Nike Zoom Kobe 1 Protro a bit lighter, but it’s actually about an ounce less to the original Kobe 1, so it’s pretty chunky on the feel. If you want a much lighter and more minimal type of sneakers, you may have to look elsewhere. Other key features of the this shoe include the Shozoku logo on the tongue.
The “Del Sol” (or “Varsity Maize”) model is the original rendition of the Nike Zoom Kobe 1 Protro.