Breaking Down Kobe Bryant's Nike Hyperdunk Snake Pools

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistOctober 8, 2012

Courtesy of
Courtesy of

If you believe that opposites attract, you'll love Kobe Bryant's new set of kicks.

The "Snake Pool" Kobe VII sneakers are the Black Mamba's newest creation, and they're sure to catch your attention. Anything an iconic figure puts out is worth noting, and these shoes fit that bill.

Bryant wore these sneakers in the Los Angeles Lakers' preseason opener against the Golden State Warriors Sunday night. Check it out:

But what does that mean to the average sneakerhead? A retail price hasn't been set, and the release date is unknown, but they're sure to hit the shelves near you at some point.

Before you buy, you're going to need to know what you're getting into.

Let's break these kicks down.


"WOW" Factor: 8 out of 10

It's not that they don't look good, but nothing about these sneakers is shocking. Kobe takes Lakers colors and puts them on a sneaker, something that a Lakers icon would normally do.

I am "wowed" by the perfectly crafted mirror-image effect Mamba puts into place here. Wearing different colored shoes won't be for everyone, but he definitely makes it work.

Bryant is definitely addressing his Los Angeles fanbase here. Lakers fanatics will stand in line to grab their pair for hours, simply because Bryant's name is attached.

These sneaks earn an eight here because they're unique, but the color scheme, while not a bad thing, is predictable.


Design: 10 out of 10

Maybe I'm just a sucker for symmetry, but these look good; I mean, they look really good.

Bryant utilizes four simple colors (plus a tiny bit of black on the yellow shoe) with absolute precision on these shoes.

NBA fans are used to seeing purple and yellow coexisting together, but Bryant uses gray and white as perfect accents. They don't overwhelm the two main colors, instead providing a light offset to the rest of the sneaker.

Even the soles look good, and that's actually where you'll see the most gray:

Using purple as the main color on the right shoe, and yellow on the left, is genius. Everything is opposite, from the Nike swoosh to the tongue to the laces. He even signs his name on a different colored plastic for each foot.

You can nitpick here, but these shoes are a home run.

The shoes look clean without being dull, giving their future wearer a smooth appearance wherever he/she goes.


Overall Swag Grade: 9.5 out of 10

Barring an astronomical retail price, and maybe even then, these shoes will fly off the shelf whenever they're released.

The Lakers have a plethora of fans. Kobe has even more, and casual sneaker fanatics will throw their hat into the ring as well.

These shoes serve the Lakers' purpose as a possible pairing with their road uniforms, but they will make everyone else happy as well.

They look good, and that's the most important part. Putting purple and yellow shoes on your feet is sure to garner attention, making these kicks the perfect fit for any eccentric personality.

Finding a problem with these is nearly impossible. Because my jaw didn't hit the floor with shock—like it did when Lebron James dropped his Lebronold Palmer 9 model in July—I docked Mamba half of a point, but I already feel petty for doing it.

Pay attention for the release date, folks. You don't want to miss out on these if you're a Bryant fan, Laker follower, sneakerhead or anything in between.

Everyone wants to look good, and these will provide a major boost to any wardrobe.