For someone like Kobe Bryant, whose time is constantly in high demand, deciding to retire from professional basketball has allowed the five-time NBA Champion to extend his range of action. Not only has he been the first NBA player to win an Oscar, but he has also dedicated his extra time to developing his line with Nike, resulting in the new Kobe AD NXT 360.

For their new sneaker together, Nike and Kobe have focused on identifying and improving a single basketball action: increasing the space between offense and defense. Starting from the most obvious fact, that it is easier to shoot the ball to the basket without opposition, Nike took it a step further with a study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a top-tier institution, which has churned out 80 Nobel Prize winners. 


The MIT study revealed that for every foot of space between an offensive player and his defender, the percentage of success of a shot increases by 2%; a figure that may at first seem small, but could be the difference between a victory, or a loss. The entire design of the Nike Kobe AD NXT 360 is based on this principle - to get the offensive player more space to take his shots.

The structure of the sneaker is divided into three parts: the Flyknit 360 fabric, a double density midsole, and the outsole. It was found that NBA players run about 4km per game, however it is not carried out in a straight line. Therefore, instead of focusing on speed in a race, Nike and Bryant relied on the player's change of direction during a game to design the outsole. In the removable midsole, Lunarlon and the new Nike REACT technology, are combined without adhesive to eliminate weight and allow for more flexibility. The Flyknit which envelopes the Kobe AD NXT 360 is integrated into the last - a mold similar to a human foot, which is used to give shoes their form - and allows for a more personal fit; eliminating the seams and joints of the various layers that usually comprise a cut. 

Flyknit first appeared in Nike sneakers in 2012, and since then has continued to envolve. Initially a flat structure sewn to the midsole it has been converted into the 360 form seen today, which is designed in 3D to surround the foot, as well as undergoes a process of temperature changes to get the perfect silhouette without seams. The idea is to create the greatest connection between the midsole and the playing surface, and furthermore reduce the movement of the foot inside the sneaker.

A new technology that has been seen on football boots and training sneakers, the Flyknit 360, now makes its first appearance in basketball in the form of the Nike AD Kobe NXT 360, on sale at SVD from April 13th.