The Nike Kobe 9 Elite “Masterpiece,” available February 8, is a groundbreaking and vastly complex shoe, compiling several different technologies to bolster the basketball experience. Nike designer Eric Avar worked with NBA Basketball Player Kobe Bryant to create the shoe with the sole focus of delivering innovation that makes athletes better. Kobe Bryant has always sought to take his shoe to the next level, all the while keying in on focus points he needs in his shoes. Avar explained that specific materials used, flyknit, flywire, lunarlon and carbon fiber, are outstanding for high performance.

Evidence of Nike’s passion to simultaneously push the limits of design is best proven in the details.

In this exclusive look at the KOBE 9 Elite Masterpiece, KicksOnFire.com decodes the creation of this striking shoe by sharing nine design details from Nike designer Eric Avar.

More than two years in the making, Avar worked closely with Kobe Bryant on the design and development process and estimates the two met in person 15 times, spending hours obsessing details to create The Masterpiece.

Carbon fiber became a go-to material for Nike in the mid-90’s enabling the global leader in athletic apparel to create designs that were light on athletes’ feet, while providing the benefits found in most composite materials: lightweight, responsive, and in basketball terms, “springy.” Today, carbon fiber remains one of the most go-to materials for athletic shoe makers.