Kobe Bryant was not happy with the direction of his adidas sneakers, to the point that he paid millions to get out of his sponsorship deal. Bryant could not sign with another sneaker company for the 2002-03 season, so he tried just about every popular brand outside of the three stripes. For the 2003-04 season though, Kobe secured the bag after signing with Nike during the summer. One of the first swoosh sneakers Bryant wore was the Nike Air Flight Huarache. This shoe originally dropped in 1992 and is essentially a low-top, with “wings” on the upper providing the high-top look without the added weight.
The shoe was a hit in the 90s thanks to the University of Michigan Fab Five rocking the Flight Huarache along with their then-edgy black crew socks. The shoes were also worn by prop players in Stacey Augmon, Scottie Pippen and Reggie Miller.
Kobe would later wear the Zoom Air Huarache 2K4 and 2K5, which were updated versions of the Flight Huarache. Additionally, the white, purple, and gold Flight Huarache PE later released to the public at the tail-end of Kobe’s career in 2015.