This is a story that is itching to be told,the battle of the greats, Kobe VI versus Kobe VII system. Before we start this, let's state right now that both shoes win over one another in different areas. One of these areas is interchangeability, The Kobe VII System allows for the owner to change out the insole / tongue to any other Kobe VII system of their choice. So if you own multiples pairs of the Kobe VII system, you can mix and match them with different tongues according to your outfit which is very versatile. The more kobe VII you have, the more variety and choice you have, and not only that but the various "play fast" "play strong" insoles provide a different fit for whatever you seek to accomplish on the court.
The same just cannot be said with the Kobe VI model because it has no interchangeability. However, when it comes to comfort and breathability the Kobe VI model reigns supreme. The mesh / synthetic fused upper allows for air to pass through perfectly, while maintaining a water resistant shell. While the Kobe VII system is water resistant the breathability is not nearly as good, the shoe can become very stuffy during a game of ball. This can become very annoying, and if you are one of the people that have owned both you will take notice to this issue. But the VII model is a great everyday shoe, and breathability is not a problem off the court.
The Kobe VI over time, will mold to the feet of the owner, hence the insole logo reading " I want a shoe that molds to my foot ". While I'm unsure of the exact technology on the insoles, it seems to consist of small beads that overtime, through heat and pressure actually appear to melt into one another, which creates this molding affect. This awesome tech was not passed onto the kobe VII system, and while the interchangeable soles featuring different tech is a very good option, they do not match the quality of fit as seen by their counterpart.
The kobe VI is also much more lightweight than the Kobe VII system, making them a faster more versatile shoe on the court. While looks are a matter of opinion, the VII model at first glance appears to be a better constructed version of the Kobe VI model. The Kobe VII system has certainly seen a wide vareity of special colorways with several theme's based on predators (i.e Sharks, Cheetahs, Poison darts, ect.). While the VI model only saw a few special colorways (Rice,Grinch, 3D's Italian Camo, ASG, ect.).
I have had the pleasure of skating both the kobe VI and Kobe VII system, each perform better than most would think. The Kobe VI could have very well made it as a skate shoe, the sole provides impeccable traction and the toe of both models features extra rubber on the toe, making them perfect for flip tricks. The Kobe VII system is one of the best shoes to cruise in, weather it be a penny board, or a sector 9, they hold up well, and provide good board feel because of their flat sole. At the end of it all, the battle breaks down to this, comfort verses style. The Kobe VII is the more stylish shoe, and the Kobe VI is the better performer.
Words and photos by, Alex Patakos. More pics after the jump.