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Kobe Bryant One-On-One: His New Low-Top Shoe
CNBC.com | December 12, 2008 | 09:28 AM EST

Yesterday, Kobe Bryant and Nike unveiled the Zoom Kobe 4 Cut, a low-top basketball shoe that will hit Foot Locker shelves in February. We talked to the Los Angeles Lakers about the launch and about the idea of shunning the high-top.

Darren: We've been told we need high-tops to protect our ankles. How much of a risk is this for you and Nike?

Bryant: I've been playing the game a long time and every time I sprain my ankle I seem to come down on somebody's foot and if you come down on somebody's foot, that's just a bad case of bad luck.

Darren: Steve Nash and Gilbert Arenas wear low-tops, but how did you get to this point?

Bryant: It's something that has just evolved for me. It was kind of a design process that we started out years ago with the 2K4's and we kind of evolved as each shoe went on. I kind of got inspired to go to a lower cut by watching a soccer match and I was looking at how much torque they put on their angles and how much they're on their feet and changing directions and so forth and so on. And I just remember thinking maybe I can do this with a basketball shoe. Because the strain that they put on their ankles is way more than we do as basketball players. I thought if I could just cut the weight of the shoe, if I could have the foot movement in its natural state, it would be much better.

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