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Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Updated: December 13, 6:04 PM ET
Kobe's new sneakers go high

By Adam Reisinger
ESPN.com

Kobe Shoes
Kobe Bryant's new Nike sneakers feature stitching to mimic his sutures after his Achilles surgery.

For the last four seasons, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant's signature Nike sneakers have been low-top models. But with Bryant rehabbing from a torn Achilles tendon, the 17-year vet and sneaker giant went in a different direction with his new model, which was unveiled on Wednesday.

After years of wearing low tops, @kobebryant's new Nike sneakers go in the opposite direction (pic via @mcten): pic.twitter.com/mCqmIH9bIs

— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) December 4, 2013

KB said he got the inspiration for the low cut Kobe 4-8 design from soccer players. He got the inspiration for the Kobe 9 from Pacquiao

— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) December 4, 2013

Sneakerheads are going to be blown away with the Kobe 9. Like the Jordan XX8, it's going to be a love-hate thing.

— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) December 4, 2013

Early reaction on Twitter leaned decidedly in the "hate" direction.

woah. what. wowza. RT @langwhitaker: The Kobe 9 pic.twitter.com/MdOIBIYSmw

— Holly MacKenzie (@stackmack) December 4, 2013

Those new Kobes… YUCK

— Phillip Barnett (@imsohideouss) December 4, 2013

Kobe Bryant is taking up boxing after his NBA career evidently.

— Clint Peterson (@Clintonite33) December 4, 2013

Kobe out there balling in wrestling boots. He bout to come to games with a parrot on his shoulder like Koko B Ware

— D'Brickashaw (@DragonflyJonez) December 4, 2013

2017, in the second year of his newest $60 million contract, the Kobe 13s feature built in knee braces and a pad that heats your back

— J. Doug Hatings (@basquiatball) December 4, 2013

I got some more exclusive pics of the new Kobe's in different colorways. Here are the "Hollywood Nights" pic.twitter.com/P4sBmeIrMK

— Amin Elhassan (@AminESPN) December 4, 2013

Of course, Kobe himself was already looking ahead to the next innovation in his sneaker line:

Kobe jokes, "I'm still waiting for my flying shoe."

— Lang Whitaker (@langwhitaker) December 4, 2013