Nike Kobe 1 Protro Shoe Review

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  • Awesome retro styling with genuine materials
  • Terrific cushioning thanks to a full-length Air Zoom pocket
  • Upgraded traction from the original model


  • You may be concerned with scuffing the leather/suede during play
  • The shoes look clunky at some angles

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Full Review - Kobe 1 Protro 

Sometimes, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. When it comes to basketball shoes, that can be true too. The Kobe 1 is already a classic and the original one is a great shoe without adjustments. But why settle for great when you can be legendary? That was the philosophy for the Black Mamba himself, so Nike emulated it with his signature shoe.

However, they didn’t just give this shoe an upgrade. They kept retro styling and paired it with an awesome upgraded Zoom Air cushioning system as well as new traction for better reliability and responsiveness on the court. Whether you’re a throwback kicks lover or are all about shouting “Kobe!” as you shoot a fadeaway, these shoes deserve a spot in your rotation.

Kobe 1 Protro

Release Date:



Built For:  



Mid Top

       21 oz.

Guards and Forwards

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When it comes to traction, you can almost always tell if a shoe has come out recently or if is older.

As court science and the technology behind basketball shoes advances, we are seeing better and better traction with new shoes.

Fortunately, though these shoes look retro, they have a modern traction pattern.

The durable rubber tread delivers excellent grip on the court with that all-to-satisfying squeak.

Your opponents might even be baffled at how you can cut so quickly in such old shoes. Joke’s on them.


You might think these shoes look a little clunky. We assure you, that’s just the retro style.

They do offer a good deal of support though. The high-ankle collar keeps you safe from inadvertent rolls and sprains. Meanwhile, an internal bootie provides a snug fit close to your foot for a feeling of safety and security while maintaining the idea of natural movement.

You won’t feel clunky as you fly past defenders.

The massive air cushion underneath (more on that later) also provides excellent support under you even in long games.


To keep up with the retro style, this shoe uses different materials than many newer models.

For example, it integrates genuine leather and textiles with a faux suede on the sides.

We personally love the grey/white/blue colorway as it has the best retro style of the offerings.

Whichever colors you represent, the retro style and high-quality, old school materials are engineered to be lightweight and comfortable.


A highlight of this upgrade is the newer, more advanced cushioning system.

The original Kobe 1 had two separate Air Zoom pockets; one in the heel and one in the forefoot. This newer model features one giant Air Zoom pocket that spans the entire underside of the shoe.

Compared to a lot of sneakers out there, that’s a whole lot of air underneath you.

This gives you awesome responsiveness from these shoes and plenty of support under your arch and forefoot.

These are some of the most comfortable shoes you’ll ever wear on the court.

Sole Decision

The Kobe 1 Protro is a great re-make of a classic court shoe.

Whether you’re a big man banging around down low or a guard who needs ankle support, this shoe delivers with its unique materials and supreme comfort.

Not to mention its awesome retro style that looks good on any court.

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Cody Debos

About Cody Debos

On the court, Cody is an amateur 6’6” SF who loves a good pickup game. He’s currently sporting the “Opening Night” Kyrie 5’s. He has been playing basketball for over 10 years and is an avid fan. From writing about the latest shoe releases to giving advice on how to up your game, Cody loves all things basketball. His favorite NBA team is the 76ers. When he’s not on the court or writing about it, he enjoys working on his debut fiction novel and is a huge Game of Thrones fan.