It was December 29, 2020 and Ja Morant had just sprained his ankle against the Brooklyn Nets. To this point in his career, Ja was all about the high-heat Nike Basketball sneakers of the past, many of which were low-tops. A few days after his injury, Morant made a proclamation: high-tops only for the rest of the 2020-21 season.
high top kobes the rest of the year .
— Ja Morant (@JaMorant) January 4, 2021
Morant started this trend with the Nike Kobe 9 Elite high-tops.
This was the first Nike Basketball sneaker to feature Flyknit, which previously was reserved for running shoes from the Swoosh. A drop-in Lunarlon midsole was one of the few carryovers from the Kobe 8, helping provide a responsive and low-profile cushioning set-up. A pressure-mapped rubber outsole outsole provides traction in the shape of the contours of the human foot.
While there is discourse on high-tops preventing injuries, this shoe was interestingly Kobe Bryant’s post Achilles injury sneaker, adding symbolism for a Black Mamba fan like Morant.
Aside for the high-top, Ja also wore the leather Kobe 9 Mid EXT in 2021, with his black pair found HERE.
Here’s a throwback review of this shoe from the best performance reviewer on the internet, Chris at WearTesters:
Cover image via B/R Kicks