Sportswear giant Nike and basketball star Kobe Bryant have joined forces to launch the Nike Hyperdunk, billed as the company's lightest and strongest basketball shoe ever.

The shoe, weighing 13oz, is 18% lighter than the average Nike basketball shoe, and hits US retail in July, prior to being used at the Beijing Olympics later in the summer.

"Our performance product for Beijing is some of the best work Nike has ever done," said Nike president and CEO Mark Parker.

"Every gram counts in competition. Athletes need superior lightweight footwear and apparel that they can compete in with confidence, and that's exactly what we've created for them."

Other Beijing-related performance products include footwear using lightweight technology fibres stronger than bullet-proof vests, as well as Nike Swift performance apparel using recycled polyester.

Nike hopes to use the Beijing Olympics to capitalise on its momentum in China, the company's largest sourcing country and its biggest market outside the US.

Revenues for the past 12 months have just passed the US$1bn mark.