When it comes to sneakers—shoes in general, really—I have two hard and fast rules. The sneaker must either a) flow seamlessly with the style of clothing you are wearing or b) make a bold statement that attracts attention for the right reason.
Generally, shoes function with the former rule and sneakers occupy the latter realm. The new Nike Zoom Kobe VII shoes are no exception, but these new kicks suffer from trying just a little too hard to be bold.
I really dig most aspects of this shoe. The purple and yellow are muted and obviously work as reminders of the Los Angeles Lakers uniforms. I like the grey stitching that sits on the side of the shoe with the Swoosh. The black base by the heel is classy, while the white contrast over the rest of the shoe really pops.
Even the shape of the midsole annoys me. Where the rest of the shoe is sleek and smooth, the speckled bottom is jagged, as though some otherworldly presence has cut a rift in the time-space continuum.
Yeah, that was a nerdy way to describe shoes, I know. But nerds can love some flashy basketball kicks too, right?
The rest of the shoe manages to be flashy without being corny, at least until the almost-starry bottom of the sneaker. Suddenly, I find myself wondering if the makers of the LA Lights consulted with Nike on that aspect of the shoe.
Again, I'm digging every part of this shoe except the bottom. In general, the shoe isn't bursting with creativity or any overly unique aspects that actually work, but the shoe does enough right and has its own flair, so I won't dock it points for any perceived lack of creativity.
Is it a baller shoe? Does it have major swag?
I don't know the answers to those questions. I do know that I would totally pick it up were it not for the bottom. That killed it for me. But it probably won't kill this shoe for others, so I'll rank it accordingly.
Official Ranking: 7 out of 10