It’s Gotta Be the Shoes!

You were smart if you thought you could jump over an Aston Martin in these.

You were an idiot if you tried.


Man. Oh. Man. These were IT. These started it all. These inspired me to become interested in basketball performance shoe technology. It debuted notable technologies that have become commonplace in Nike’s tech lines.

  • Lunar Foam cushioning ( evolved into Lunarlon)
  • Flywire Support (Originally planned to be made from Kevlar)
  • Lightweight

These were on the feet of Olympic ball players at the time, including this one guy name Bryant, first name Kobe. I’ve heard he’s good at basketball. Being a Lakers / Kobe fan myself only added to the allure of this shoe. However, that was not when I fell in love with these kicks.

The moment I knew that I needed them was when I saw the picture above, featured in SOLE Magazine. The legend, Tinker Hatfield, said that “Design, is a balance between Science and Art”. That resonated with me, and I could see the truth in that statement in every aspect of the shoe. I wish more people created with that sentence in mind. Nowadays, even Nike’s designs are loaded with all the tech in the world, yet look flat out UGLY, and lazily designed. It seems as if all designs are losing the creative individuality that was so present in the 90’s and early 2000’s and falling into the cycle of “another year, another hyper_____”, with very little excitement.

Where was I, oh yea… GAAAAADAAAAAMMM!!! I thought to myself. You know when you see a girl on the street and she catches your eye, and you just KNOW that you and her should be together. That’s what I felt when gazed upon these babies. That was, however, until I realized that I had to convince my parents into purchasing them. Ain’t too proud to beg?

As I researched the shoe’s technology more and more, I became increasingly interested (I’m an engineer, so I guess technology is exciting). I remember thinking, Lunar foam was developed by NASA!? And Kevlar is used in what about bulletproof vests? Incredible! How did the designers in the Innovation Kitchen come up with these ideas? My young mind could barely handle it, because up until this point, basketball shoes were these things that kept my socks from getting dirty when I ran up and down the court, and not much more.

And so, after a few weeks , lots of dollars, and lots more begging my parents, they were in my hand, err, feet. And the rest is history.

Short Review

Fit: Like nothing I ever tried on before. Lockdown was amazing, and the mesh tongue and flywire panels just molded to my foot. Also, they were so incredibly light, that I thought the box was empty when the employee handed it to me at Footlocker. Other than the Kobe line, and the distant relative Lunar Hyperdunk 2012, I think this is the best fitting shoe I’ve ever had, especially at the time.

Traction: Again, at the time, it was amazing, because I mostly played on clean courts. However, one big concern was the lack of herringbone traction, which led to subpar grip on dirty courts, which I did experience eventually. Traction was decent.

Aesthetics: Beautiful.

Cushioning: Contrary to some, I actually really like the Lunar Foam, and did not experience the “bottoming out” problem. Lunar Foam wasn’t super bouncy/responsive like Zoom, but boy, was it buttery-soft on the heel. If it’s good enough for Kobe, its good enough for me.

Ventilation: Mesh tongue is a thing, so…….it was great

Support: I really liked the lacing system, and particularly enjoyed the hidden eyelet, as always use that on my basketball shoes if they have them. Lacing it to the top felt secure but not suffocating, and my ankles felt good…….good enough to go out and make other peoples ankles feel not so good. Heh.

Final Verdict: 2008: A+++++++++ Now: B+ (subpar traction hurts) So thats it for my first story/review. As you can clearly tell, I enjoyed writing the story much more than the review. In the comments, describe your first shoe stories, I’d love to hear them.

Originally published at on October 27, 2015.