Nike Kobe AD Shoe Review

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  • Nub traction pattern repels dust
  • Good support in all areas
  • Mesh toebox leaves you feeling like there is nothing over your toes


  • Cushion is just okay and could use an upgrade
  • Cheap materials for the price tag

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Full Review - Nike Kobe AD 

Fans of the Kyrie 3 will be fans of the new Kobe AD. Even though the Black Mamba isn’t on the court anymore, he is still making plays in the shoe game. This cool shoe is a good performer that lacks in some areas but is good enough to earn the Kobe nametag. Okay, well, maybe not. But still, it comes across with aggressive traction, safety support features, and is good for a fast paced player.

Kobe AD Specs

Release Date:



Built For:  


Low-Mid Top

       12.1 oz.



The reviews are mixed for the traction on this shoe.

You won’t find yourself wiping very often as the traction pattern takes care of dust for you.

The rubber compound is very tacky and has a tooth-like pattern (hence the reason for not having to wipe).

It is also pretty durable but is probably not the best choice for outdoor play.

Still, you won’t have a problem with the grip on this shoe.


Shoe lovers will notice that classic support mechanisms like a midfoot support shank and an outrigger are missing.

Still, the Kobe AD somehow provides good support without them.

Your foot sits slightly within the midsole and a wide base acts as a sort of natural outrigger.

Though the lack of a separate tongue keeps you from tightening the rear lacing area more, the shoe still fits snugly around your foot.


Unfortunately the materials used in this upper-shelf shoe are not up to par with the name or the price tag.

Synthetic, felt-like suede uppers make the AD look and feel cheap.

The very first Kobe was much better material wise than this one and that’s pretty disappointing.

One area that is nice is the mesh over the toebox. This leaves it feeling empty like you have nothing on top of your toes.

This feature has gotten mixed reviews with some loving it and others saying it feels like playing in an open toed sandal.


The set up of the AD’s cushioning is a large Zoom Air unit in the heel and injected Phylon in the midsole.

This is the lighter, more airy variation of Phylon that can leave you seeing creases overtime.

For a few hours of court time you won’t have any complaints though.

Still, the cushioning could definitely be better or a little more special considering the price of the shoe.

Sole Decision

The Kobe AD is a shoe that doesn’t put its mouth where its money is.

For an expensive shoe it uses surprisingly low-quality, cheap-looking materials.

Despite this, it performs well on the court and offers decent support.

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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.