The late Kobe Bryant had a deep and profound respect for martial artist-turn-actor Bruce Lee. In 2010, he released a sneaker that embodied his admiration for the late martial artist – the Kobe 5 Bruce Lee. On November 27, Nike will release the Kobe 5 Protro Bruce Lee in two colorways—the OG and an alternate colorway.
Just like the 2010 release, the Kobe 5 Protro Bruce Lee will come in the same yellow and black colorway that’s inspired by Lee’s outfit in The Game of Death. This sneaker gets black overlays that are contrasted by a yellow toebox and midfoot section. Pops of red appear on the heel tab, signature and forefoot slashes.
Nike refreshes the decade old colorway with the Kobe 5 Protro Bruce Lee Alt. The “Alt” is inspired by Bruce Lee’s outfit from his 1973 film Enter the Dragon, the kicks get white overlays, tongue and mesh that sit alongside a black toe box and midfoot panel. Hits of red appear around the swoosh and in the forefoot slashes. As a callback to the OG colorway, hits of yellow can be found on the heel tab and signature.
As its name suggests, these Kobe 5s are protros, retros fitted with modern upgrades, and have a slightly updated midsole. The OG had a small forefoot and heel Zoom Air units whereas the forefoot Zoom Air units have been replaced with a full forefoot Zoom Turbo unit in the new protro pairs. The units are encased in a thin Phylon midsole, just like in the OG pair.
After the launch of the 2010 Kobe 5 Bruce Lee, Bryant released three more sneakers that bore a similar colorway, proving just how much of a fan he was of the martial artist-turn-actor. Lee was known for his unwavering focus which was similar to Bryant’s “Mamba Mentality” and his words, “Be like water”, were also known to have influenced Kobe’s court play. If you agree both personalities were legends that departed too soon, this is a sneaker to remember both of them by.
All images: Nike.com