Kobe Bryant may have personally coined the term ‘Black Mamba’, but there’s simply no denying that he more than lived up to this moniker throughout his illustrious 20-year NBA career. Often hailed as one of the most formidable guards the sport has ever seen, Bryant’s palpable agility and undeniable flair turned him into a force to be reckoned with. Known for his relentless work ethic and competitive spirit, Bryant’s “Black Mamba” persona perfectly encapsulated his fearless and ruthless approach to the game. Now, Nike is stepping up to celebrate the incomparable legacy left behind by the basketball legend with a special addition to the Kobe 4 Protro lineup: the “Black Mamba”
In August, @sneakerfiles offered us a compelling speculative look at the potential design of the black and gold colourway. Their mock-up showcased a predominantly black upper and sole adorned with contrasting gold branding. However, newly surfaced images of the sneaker depict a strikingly different design.
Intriguingly, the actual design strays from our initial expectations, appearing to play down the role of gold accents. In the upcoming “Black/University Gold” pair (also known as the “Black Mamba”), the only hint of colour comes from the golden hint on the lateral side of the heel cup — the canvas for Kobe Bryant’s gold signature. An enticing parallel between this latest release and the recently spotted “Bicoastal” Nike Kobe 4 Protro can also be noticed. Both sneakers share certain design elements, including the faux-snakeskin overlays, an ode to Kobe Bryant’s celebrated “Black Mamba” moniker.
In perfect harmony with the “Black Mamba” concept, the sneaker makes a stunning statement with its nubuck base and faux snakeskin overlays. The iconic Nike Swoosh is elegantly executed in black snakeskin detailing to enhance the luxurious aesthetic. The elegant black palette then extends to other highlights on the sneaker, like the lace unit, sole, and branding.
Disrupting the all-black canvas is a notable splash of gold on the heel. The pop of gold comes in the form of Kobe Bryant’s signature emblazoned on the TPU heel piece in a gilded finish. The gold detailing serves as a reminder of Kobe Bryant’s greatness and his lasting impact on the sport.
The official design of the Nike Kobe 4 Protro “Black Mamba” exudes a sleek and sophisticated aesthetic that is sure to captivate sneakerheads and Kobe fans. The sneaker design has indeed surpassed the expectations set by the initial mock-up images. The all-black upper with faux snakeskin detailing gives the sneaker a more luxurious and premium look than initially anticipated.
While we await an official announcement from Nike, various sources suggest a potential launch date of December 26, 2023. The Nike Kobe 4 Protro “Black Mamba” will carry the standard retail price tag of $180 and will likely be released via platforms such as the Nike SNKRS App and other Nike-authorised retailers. Until then, you can follow us for more sneaker drops and reviews.
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What are your thoughts on the Nike Kobe 4 Protro “Black Mamba”? Do you prefer the official look to the previous mock-up version?