Nike have kept the trippy Kobe 8 colourways coming to keep us sated, but they know we've been waiting with our foot forks at the ready to feast on the new Kobe 9. Now they finally unveil the dinner plate, here we have the Nike Kobe 9 Elite, and it's a sight to behold. Kobe signatures have been low-lying slithering serpents for years now, but Nike give this Black Mamba a cobra head, pulling the ankle collar up to your shins to forge a rowdy high-top. Like the Nike LeBron 11, the Swoosh has thrown a lot of its latest design tech into this one, with Flyknit, Flywire and Lunarlon all getting a run. The Flyknit upper opens up many design possibilities, and on this first 'Masterpiece' colourway, Kobe's Achilles stitches are even represented (gross out factor?), while the outsole corrugation mirrors the pressure mapping of Kobe's foot. This is clearly the shoe of Kobe Bryant, maybe if you find it comfy you're a step closer to greatness. Lunarlon cushioning replaces the Zoom midsole that has sustained Mr. 81's line for a long time, so we'll be interested to see how he digs the feel on court. The Kobe 9 Elite releases globally on February 8, 2014, at Nike.com and select global retail locations.