Step Back | Nike Huarache 2k4
LA native and employed by Ballislife since Oct. 2017, Randy is a content editor and supervisor for Ballislife’s various media platforms.
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Originally dropped back in 2004, the Nike Huarache 2k4 was first dubbed as Kobe’s first signature sneaker with the swoosh. With Kobe donning the 2k4’s as his first signature shoe, others soon followed. The huarache 2k4’s became the most notable Nike basketball sneaker to date.
If you ever owned a pair you’d know exactly what I mean when I say that this specific shoe will go down in history as one of the top 10 greatest basketball sneakers of all time. Not only did the shoe provide a lightweight and a solid ankle support system, but in my opinion the best feature of the shoe was the traction. Yea there was herringbone throughout which is already the best traction pattern there is. There was a triangular pattern throughout the inner forefoot of the outsole. That pattern was the first and last time it was used on a Nike sneaker. It allowed the user to have traction no matter what the conditions were on the floor, that’s one of the main reasons this sneaker was a pioneer in its own right.
The Huarache 2k4’s were released at a pivotal time where the sneaker industry saw many changes and placed new faces on brand names. 2003-2004 was Kobe’s first official year under the swoosh. That was the same year Nike signed the 18 year old phenom LeBron James. Who is now a “Nike Lifer”, recently signing a lifetime contract with Nike. That’s the epitome of FOR LIFE. Another notable signee was Carmelo Anthony, fresh off winning a title with Syracuse, Carmelo signed with Jordan brand. Jordan brand also released its high anticipated Air Jordan XIX. That was the first sneaker Jordan brand dropped since MJ’s third and final retirement.
2004 featured tons of heat. The Huarache 2k4’s easily could’ve got lost with LeBron and Jordan brand paving new roads for their future. Although Kobe and the 2k4’s held their ground as one of the best sneakers to grace the hardwood with it’s presence.
The very first sighting of the 2k4’s took place in Houston when Kobe squared off against Yao Ming & the Rockets. I remember seeing the shoe & just being so damn curious to what shoes they were. I was not able to focus on the game itself because I was in such awe of Kobe’s Huaraches. Already then I knew i had to get a pair. Although Kobe’s PE’s were never released to the public. The black upper with hints of yellow and white. Smooth. Luckily Nike offered the 2k4’s for customization. The 2k4’s had hit NikeID. That’s when things really took off for the sneaker. High School teams were customizing their own pairs and next thing you know the 2k4’s became THE shoe to have when you’re playing ball.
We saw a re-release in 2012. Rondo was the main endorser for the shoe at the time. Rondo also wore a pair during his college days. He also had that monster game against Miami in the 2012 playoffs while rocking the black/volt colorway. Recording 44 points 8 boards and 10 assists. Huge game, fresh kicks.
Lucky for us we’ll be seeing another re-release this February. Nike will drop the All Star colorway during all star weekend. Celebrating Kobe’s last all star game with the pair he won the All Star MVP back in 2004. I firmly believe that this release will be much more anticipated than the re-release back in 2012. Offering one of it’s original colorways the 2k4’s are coming back. Hopefully we’ll see more re-releases throughout the year with different colorways.
One of the greatest shoes of all time hands down.