Kicks and Colors spotlights the variety of colorways—and the stories that go with—that brands unveil in key basketball sneakers.
Sneaker: Kobe 11
Signature athlete: Kobe Bryant
Colorway: Muse Pack (Tinker Muse)
Story: Kobe Bryant admired Michael Jordan, and he loved the Jumpman signature line, especially the shoes designed by Tinker Hatfield. “Tinker has caused my parents a lot of headaches over the years,” Bryant says, “from being a kid and having to go find a bunch of Air Jordans.” Kobe has worked with Tinker's protégé Eric Avar since joining the Nike brand in 2003, but for the Kobe 11 Muse Pack, Kobe and Tinker come together to tie together Jordan and Kobe.
“The Jordan IIIs were my all-time favorite, still my favorite to this day,” Kobe says. “To be able to grow up and appreciate all the Jordans and then to actually sit with the man who designed those and kind of understand how he designed them the way he did, why he designed them the way he has … That’s amazing.” The second shoe in the Kobe 11 Muse Pack adds Jordan III details, including color blocking, perforations in the lower tongue and distinct red embroidery in the heel and tongue. A sharkskin-inspired heel counter ties in Tinker and Kobe's shared love of sharks. The Kobe 11 Tinker Muse releases May 5.
Tim Newcomb covers sports aesthetics—stadiums to sneakers—and training for Sports Illustrated. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.