Pros: Flyknit technology, impressive aesthetically, great lock down, amazing traction.
The Kobe IX Elite is easily one of the best basketball shoes to come onto the basketball market in 2014! Of course, when I first saw the initial sketches and prototypes, I wasn't too sure how they would turn out. I mean, they looked like boxing shoes. After seeing the IX Elite at the unveiling event, I was SOLD on them, but NOT on the price tag of $225.
Close to a year later, I caved in and bought a pair of Brave Blue Kobe IX Elites . Honestly, this was an amazing purchase! My initial reaction is that these look great in person and the shade of blue was perfect. My first initial run in these shoes was a bit of an adjustment, because it took me a while to even get the shoes on , and the shoes were a bit stiff. For reference, I'm a 6' 1", 185 lbs guard.
After about a week of hoopin', the flyknit definitely loosened up and the shoes were more comfortable to hoop in. The Kobe IX Elites are much more comfortable than my YOTD KD IV's that I had been consistently hooping in for 2.5 years. It was a huge upgrade for me. The traction on these are amazing. I was really impressed. I love the overall lock down that I get with these shoes. The carbon fiber was a very nice touch, as it helps provide great heel lock down on the IX Elites. The quality feels great and I'm confident that these will hold up for a long time.
Overall, I highly recommend the Kobe IX Elites, and this particular Brave Blue colorway! The price of $225 can put a lot of people off, including my relatively frugal self, but these shoes are truly unique and very innovative with the style and technology used (flyknit, flywire, carbon fiber, lunarlon). I like these so much that I'm personally considering maybe one more pair of these in the future, so if my Brave Blues run their course, I can have a DS pair ready to break out down the road.