- The Good
- Top quality materials designed for maximum comfort after the break-in period
- Great heel fit and design
- Excellent stability and support on the court
- The Bad
- Long break-in period
- Forefoot outrigger design can roll under
While the Kobe A.D. combines some of the best technology in basketball shoes on the market today, the design just doesn’t come together well. Cushioning technology takes way too long to break in and you may experience some pretty extreme discomfort while waiting for the shoe. Plus, some of its design choices dramatically affect durability.
At this price point, the Kobe A.D. falls solidly in the middle-to-high range for basketball shoes. You might be able to find some discounts, depending on your preferred size and color, but $150 is the standard price.
- Good traction
- Poor cushion
- Reasonable ankle support
- Solid stability
Tough materials can make it difficult to find the right size with respect to the Kobe A.D. It fits fairly true to size, but stiff uppers and some poor design choices for the sole give this shoe a very long break-in period, which can leave you fighting off blisters after a few hours on the court. When you give them the time they need to break-in properly, say, after a few weeks of wear, the shoe will definitely feel like a better fit.
- Materials Used
- Outsole is rubber, with a Lunarlon midsole and Zoom unit in the heel
- Textile mesh and suede are used to form the upper
- Overall, the Kobe A.D. looks a lot like earlier Kobe models, with some changes to interior design and minimal styling changes
The sole is the real issue with the Kobe A.D. The traction pattern performs well (most of the time) on the court, but it can quickly pick up dirt and dust. The Lunarlon midsole is tough and not terribly responsive, while the Zoom unit in the heel is a bit smaller than advertised and so compressed that it offers little cushioning during use.
- Quality Grade
The Kobe A.D. get a “D” for overall quality simply because you should expect better. Nike has a long list of quality basketball shoes, even some great editions in the Kobe line, but this “After Death” version does not live up to expectations. It combines top quality materials in a way that leaves all of them underperforming when in use.
Nike Kobe A.D. Shoe: User Reviews
How Does the Nike Kobe A.D. Work?
The Nike Kobe A.D. is designed to combine lightweight materials and breathability in a responsive and durable basketball court shoe. The materials used certainly make this a durable shoe, but the stiffness of the materials also work against it in actual performance tests. Issues with the protruding outrigger on the front sole cause multiple complaints from players that use a lot of lateral motions. The stiff reinforcement along the sides can cause blisters. When the traction works, it works very well, and the stiff mesh rapidly softens with use to give you an upper that you can barely feel.
What Makes the Nike Kobe A.D. Stand Out?
Two areas where the Kobe A.D. really shines are in traction and fit. When the traction design, which combines both grippy nubs and a traction pattern in the rear, is clean and on a clean court, this shoe will glue your foot to the floor. The only downside is that the soles quickly pick up dirt, particularly with the translucent rubber. For the best grip, go with a Kobe A.D. that has a solid rubber outsole.
For fit, the heel is so good that it often gets a positive mention, even when users are complaining about everything else. Those who usually wear wides might need to go up a half size, but the deep heel cup will help deal with any extra length.
Common Reviews of the Nike Kobe A.D.
When looking at reviews for the Kobe A.D., you’ll find that it consistently scores best in fit and traction. For cushioning, materials and support, it is a shoe that many reviewers would leave on the bench. Professional reviewers aren’t the only ones to call this shoe purchase into question. When you look at retail sites, it routinely scores less than 4 stars, which would be more forgivable if it was combined with a budget price tag.
Is the Nike Kobe A.D. for me?
The best way to know if a basketball shoe will work for you is through trial and error. A shoe that works beautifully for one person might leave someone else tripping over the court. If you have had good luck with other Kobe shoes, you might want to give this one a try. Not only does it have better traction than a lot of other options, it also offers a great fit and a supremely comfortable upper once it’s broken in. If durability is at the top of your list for a basketball shoe, then the Nike Kobe A.D. could be a solid addition to your court lineup.