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Nike Kobe 7 System Performance Review

January 26, 2020 is the day that many KOBE fans will never forget, and it’s the same for me. But life must go on, and legend never ends.

The 2011-2012 sports competition season effected Kobe a lot. We saw both the strong and fragility of Kobe on this competition season. Nike also released Nike Kobe 7 System in this year. This system shocked me a lot. Today, we want to talk about this pair of classic Kobe series shoes, Nike Kobe 7 System.

Tester’s Personal Info.:

Height: 172cm

Weight: 72kg

Size: US8.5=EUR42

Court: Indoor wood floor and outdoor cement court

Testing Item: Nike Kobe 7 System

Material: Hot-melting vamp, sponge padding, rubber outsole, midsole fiberglass anti-torsion plate, separated ZOOM Air cushion on forefoot sole and rear sole, full-length Cushlon insole.


I mentioned on the performance review of KOBE 5 PROTRO, maybe NIKE has already found the ideal material of the basketball shoes, that is hot-melting material. Comparing with the Kobe 5, the hot-melting vamp of KOBE 7 is thicker. But it doesn’t effect the normal buckling of vamp. It’s tight for me in the beginning. But after breaking-in, I used to it. For the vamp material, Kobe 7 is durable. The colorway may yellowing, but the tenacity of vamp is invariant.

Cushion Performance:

The insole cushion system is the most interesting part. You can buy either a separated version that uses the speed system or dual system version that includes the power system. The dual system was quite special in that year.  The speed system is designed for more flexible and quick movements. It uses Phylon as support and has ZOOM air cushion on forefoot sole and rear sole. This kind of configuration satisfy my request as a pitcher.

For the strength system, Kobe 7 uses full-length Cushlon insole. The strength system is comfortable. It’s not so light and soft as KOBE 8 or KOBE 9. But it can also offer excellent cushion protection. Comparing with separated ZOOM air cushion on forefoot sole and rear sole, the cushion performance of full-length Cushlon is not excellent. If choosing the speed system or dual system, I will still choose speed system.

Traction Performance:

The outsole grain of KOBE 7 is herringbone and triangle pattern. So the traction performance of KOBE 7 is great. Actually, most of the KOBE series shoes have excellent traction performance. And the forefoot sole is wide, so the stability is good. Overall, the traction performance of KOBE 7 is similar to KOBE 8.


I haven’t felt uncomfortable for the hot-melting vamp. But it presses my instep in the beginning. Some guys think it needs to purchase half size or one size bigger than normal size. But I think that the normal size is ok for me. After breaking-in, it will be suitable to you. The rear sole of KOBE 7 has a lot of padding to avoid the slide and improve the comfort level. But the insole of KOBE 7 will move a little when running on lengthways.

Supporting Performance:

Actually, the dual system of KOBE 7 is not real high type. It doesn’t have any support to the ankle. So the supporting performance of speed system and dual system is the same. But it doesn’t mean that the supporting performance of low type model is bad. As I mentioned, the forefoot sole of KOBE 7 is wide. The center of gravity is higher than previous generations. Although the midsole carbon plate is changed to fiberglass plate, but the anti-torsion performance is still great. The stability of Kobe 7 is good as the other Kobe series shoes.

Abrasive Resistance:

The abrasive resistance is not good unless you purchase the XDR version. I love the ‘Cheetah’ colorway. But after playing several basketball games on outdoor court, the outsole of KOBE 7 has obvious abrasion.

Air Permeability:

The air permeability is not good. Although it has ventilated holes on the shoe tongue, but the nylon material and thick hot-melting material doesn’t have good air permeability. But the shoe tongue is not thick, so the air permeability of instep is better than Kobe 4 and Kobe 5. But I don’t have high request for the air permeability, so it’s acceptable to me.

Overall, Kobe 7 is still very nice comparing with present basketball shoes. The appearance is cool and the configuration is creative.