US sporting goods firm Nike has unveiled the new Nike Zoom Kobe IV, described as its lightest basketball shoe ever, which will be launched in China from the start of next year.

It is being endorsed by NBA legend Kobe Bryant, with an unconventional new low cut design weighing 11.6 ounces.

"When I first asked for the lightest basketball shoe Nike has ever created, particularly a low top, you could have heard a pin drop in the room," said Bryant. "The shoe the Nike design team delivered raises the basketball footwear bar to the next level."

Designers used 'Flywire' thin and very strong nylon fibers to support the foot in the upper, 'LunarLite' cushioning foam in the forefoot, a Nike Zoom unit in the heel, and a full-length Phylon midsole.

The Nike Zoom Kobe IV will be available at retail in China from 1 January 2009, and the US, Canada and Europe from early February 2009.