After leading the Huarache 2K line the past two years, it was finally time to give Kobe Bryant a signature shoe for the 2005-06 season. This time around, lead designer Ken Link had the task of creating the Black Mamba’s footwear. The Kobe 1 featured full-grain leather on the upper while also adding a carbon fiber plate around the heel and under the sole for support.
While Bryant didn’t reach championship form in the Nike Zoom Kobe 1 he did make history by dropping 81 points in the shoes against the Raptors, making him second on the all-time single-game scoring list. The shoe was popular enough that the Kobe 1 was brought back in 2018 as a “Protro” instead of a retro. The shoe looks the same as the original Kobe 1, but Bryant wanted performance updates that saw a reduction of weight from the midsole and shank plate.