The Nike Kobe 6’s oldest son has been found… His name is the Kobe Mamba Focus. Did he inherit that beastly performance from his father? Let’s find out!
The Nike Mamba Focus performance review in 3… 2… 1…
WEIGHT: 342 g. / 12.02 oz
TECH: BOTTOM-LOADED ZOOM AIR
FIT: TRUE TO SIZE
RETAIL PRICE: $100
BD RATING: 7.6/10
BEST PLACE TO BUY: FINISH LINE | AMAZON
Right away, the material use, in my opinion, is by far the best part of the entire shoe. Yeah… that probably was a hype killer…
Anyway, the Mamba Focus features a full-length mesh/knit material, it’s like a combination of both. For whatever reason Nike keeps that information on their site private, especially when it comes to creating a description for a team model *cough* lazy-ass *cough*.
Starting off with the toe box area, there you can find a very free-flowing version of what it’s used throughout the whole upper, and as you move towards the sides of the shoe it does get just a tad bit stiffer to make sure the upper won’t balloon upon lateral movements. While the bigger portion of the tongue is made of that widely-used thin open mesh layer to save some weight and improve breathability; as the tip of the tongue where the Mamba logo is embossed, Nike has decided to treat us with a piece of synthetic leather. Some “premium” touches on a $100 shoe, not too shabby, right? Not only that, the whole thing is polished with a few hits of fuse: around the lace loops & the one that follows the midsole’s line around the shoe. Overall, not even taking the shoe’s price tag into account, the material usage was on point both performance and aesthetic wise.
So basically what you’re getting is a very stiff cushion setup which provides you with a super low profile ride and responsiveness to go along with. Nike doesn’t really state what kind of stuff is used in the midsole, apart from that there’s a bottom-loaded small Zoom Air unit in the forefoot. As for the rest of the midsole, I assume it’s compressed phylon because this stuff definitely wasn’t ready to treat my knees with some impact protection if any at all. It also means that the Zoom Air unit is pretty much disconnected from the contact with your foot by that phylon layer in between, resulting Performance decrease of the unit itself. The forefoot still does feel responsive, but it’s only half of a true Zoom air experience at best. The closest thing I can compare this to would be the Kyrie 5. Only in exchange of that buttery smooth midsole mold featured on the Kyrie 5, you’re getting an aggressively wide & stable platform.
The Mamba Focus carries over an upscaled version of the snakeskin pattern found on the upper. Judging by the looks of it, I had a lot of expectations coming for that first run in them. Unfortunately, I was hit hard by the saying – “Don’t judge the book from its cover”. This time, in a bad way, at least, for a couple of days.
So the traction, at first, was complete trash: dust was sticking like crazy, as a result, making me feel like I’m on my ski vacation. Obviously, I’m talking about my experience on (semi) dusty courts. This is that scenario where the more time you put in, the better it bites the floor, well, to a certain level.
But even after breaking them in, this took me about 3-4 days, it still was far away from being great or even good. Dust was too much for the bottoms to deal with as I had to wipe them every single possession to maintain adequate grip. Now if you one of those lucky bastards who have a chance to ball on a maintained court – these will do just fine. Same goes for outdoor usage, there’s an XDR version of them, but even with a regular rubber, they should serve you quite some time.
The Mamba Focus definitely runs a little bit long and extremely narrow, not as extreme as the PG3
, though. That being the case, for narrow/regular footers, I still recommend sticking to whatever your true size is. Whereas wide footers might be better off looking at the Kyrie 5
or Zoom Freak 1
Even going true to size, I felt like my foot was getting chocked out while playing for the first couple of times. This was literally the same nasty break-in process that I had to deal with in the PG3 as well. But like experience with the mentioned, it all goes away once you break them in. The fit still remains snug, but it’s that good snug.
One thing worth mentioning is that some people are reporting some issues that have to do with the swoosh part digging into their feet, creating blisters and other bad stuff. Personally, it never was a thing for me. But I did experience minimal pinching in that area while going through the break-in process. Once it was done molding to my foot the only thing left was that awesome one-to-one fit. Again, like with the PG3
, the break-in process is nasty but it’s damn worth it.
Except for them sitting on the ground like a true hypercar – stable & wide due to the flat/wide platform and extremely beastly outrigger (must be one of the nastiest outriggers in the market), the rest of the shoe’s support was solid. It didn’t have anything wow-worthy, but it didn’t have anything that would make them unplayable or other stuff like that.
So in the back, you do have a plastic heel counter which combined with the half booty construction did keep my foot completely locked-in into to the shoe whether I was moving laterally or doing one those stop’n pop moves; no tippy feeling or foot sliding was felt. Well, maybe the toe box was just a tad bit too roomy to my liking, but that definitely didn’t have anything to do with performance, it’s just my personal preference.
While many other modern on-court performers are ready to offer something to enjoy for any type of player across the board, the Mamba Focus steps out of the norm by hardly shifting its performance towards guards or players who prefer having a minimal/fast/lightweight construction on their feet, and the ones who enjoy fresh air by playing outdoors. So if you do fit in one of those categories, and traction isn’t your main concern – the Mamba Focus should be in your radar.
From Europe? No problem.
Hope you enjoyed my Performance Review on the NIKE KOBE MAMBA FOCUS. Will you be picking them up? Let me know!
If you have any questions don’t hesitate to comment down below!