These are a perfectly good basketball shoe, but don’t live up to the Elite version. Then again, that is the point. These have a lot of the features that make the Elite a great shoe but at a slightly reduced price, a lower cut and, unfortunately a more ordinary feel.
The problem with getting the Elite version before the EM is that you get to experience how close to perfection Kobe can make his shoes before you get a version that does not have the superior features that make the Elite so great. The Flyknit for example, which is a main feature of the Kobe 9 Elite, is replaced with an engineered mesh that does not give the same feeling of grandeur that the Flyknit does.
However, That does not mean that the shoe is no good at all. It is still a fantastic shoe, both for comfort and performance. The Flywire and carbon fibre heel clip make for a flexible yet durable shoe to help in any fast paced, action filled match.
The Lunarlon cushioning works as well in the standard as it does in the Elite, which is always a bonus and the outsole is still as unique also, which is good as a standout point.
The biggest problem is that it is only slightly cheaper than the Elite model so where possible, spring for the extra expense for the better shoe. Another problem is that with the announcement of the Elite Low model, where the high top is cut down for the people who complained about it, it is difficult to see where this shoe will fit into the overall selling of the Kobe 9 range. This is mainly because this model is usually aimed at the cheaper spender, but with only the small drop in price, there is a good chance that it wont really sell as well as its brother models.
Overall it is a good shoe still, but does not stand with its head held as high as some of the others on the market at the moment.