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Timeline of the signature LeBron James sneakers

Timeline of the signature LeBron James sneakers

The new LeBron sneakers, the LeBron 16’s are inspired by their own design history. It all started when LeBron entered the NBA, and it hasn’t stopped since. Looking back at the LeBron designs, they all include some part of his history as a player as well.

LeBron Air Zoom Generation

Photo left: Complex | Photo right: Solestage

From the moment LeBron James signed a $90 million contract, before playing a single game, the Nike camp started designing his first signature shoe. It was released in five colorways. One colorway, known as the ‘first game’ was released in limited quantities with 11-5-2003 – the date of his first home game – stitched on the inner liner.

Zoom LeBron II

Photo left: Slamonline | Photo right: StockX

The Nike basketball design team had a hard task beating the first successful launch of the Nike Air Zoom Generation. The Nike Zoom LeBron was called out to be the most anticipated shoe of 2004. Also, LeBron’s popularity had grown in the second season. This made the New Zoom LeBron II an equal success to the First LeBron’s.

Zoom LeBron III

Photo left:  Kenlu | Photo right: Sole Collector

The design team took a few elements out of the II and used it while designing the Zoom LeBron III, for example, they brought back the extra chunky full-length Zoom Air unit.

Zoom LeBron IV

Photo left: EUKicks  | Photo right: Fightclub

The IV gave a new life to the LeBron sneakers and was making an appearance because of the use of a different silhouette. It’s is one of the heaviest pairs of kicks designed by LeBron.

Zoom LeBron V

Photo left: Fight Club | Photo right: Fight Club

The Zoom LeBron V reaches further than just a nice looking shoe, with the new sneaker release and campaign in 2007 Lebron wanted to spread a message. “I am LeBron James,” he says at the end of the TV spot. “You don’t want to be me. You want to be better than me.”

Air Max LeBron VI

Photo: Kicksologists

A more durable design, that is made to last a whole season. LeBron plays five positions, thats why the so has full-length Nike Zoom unit in the midsole but also has Nike Zoom double-stacked in the heel. 

Air Max LeBron VII

Photo left: Fight Club | Photo right: Fight Club

While designing this shoe they focused on comfort and strength, they tried to make a perfect combination of superior performance and a luxurious lifestyle.

Air Max LeBron 8

Photo: Nikenews

With this shoe, they focussed on improving your game skills. Features a leather upper with Flywire for all-around support.

LeBron 9

Photo left: Fight Club | Photo right: Stock X


For Jason Petrie, Nike designer, with this shoe it was all about making a stable shoe, which would improve how LeBron was playing. Working with new materials, and making the shoe personal.

LeBron X

Photo left: Hoopsvibe| Photo right: StockX

Combining four of Nike’s most advanced innovations, the shoe features the first full-length visible Nike Zoom unit, dynamic Flywire technology, Hyperfuse construction and Nike+ Basketball that brought the shoe to a whole new level.

LeBron 11

Photo left: Solecolleter| Photo right: Nike

LeBron 12

Photo left: Fightclub | Photo right: StockX

Growing up, a young LeBron James was inspired and influenced by plenty of star power. the LeBron 12, is based on a unique blend of elements which includes a nod to his heroes of the gridiron, a hat tip towards the Bronx and a bold display of Ohio pride to represent his home state.

LeBron 13

Photo left: Sole Collector | Photo right: StockX

LeBron James needed a shoe that could stand up to his powerful playing style. So they developed ultra-responsive cushioning, lock-down support.

LeBron 14

Photo left: Sports Illustrated | Photo right: StockX

With this shoe, the designers got inspired by LeBron’s combination of speed and power. The design features a dynamic lockdown, ultimate responsiveness, and lightweight comfort.

LeBron 15

Photo left: Sole Collector | Photo right: FightClub

Nike designer Jason Petrie and LeBron James had been working together for more than a decade, The two have a near-telepathic bond, with the greatest designs as an outcome. Special about this design is the sock-like fit. A full inner-sleeve offers a secure, sock-like fit. And a high-stretch collar provides flexible support around the ankle.

LeBron 16

Photo: StockX

Engineered for the strongest player on the court, the LeBron 16 Basketball Shoe delivers a powerful combination of support, impact cushioning and instant responsiveness.

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