LeBron James finally has a Nike sneaker that’s as cool as him

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As LeBron James started his run in his eighth consecutive NBA Finals appearance, something funny happened: LeBron’s signature sneaker went ultra-stylish. On October 28, the second colorway of the new Nike LeBron 15 is released. Nicknamed “Ashes”, he sees the intricate Flyknit weave – nicknamed “BattleKnit” by Nike – done in a heather gray hue that’s both serious and stylish. Following a series of bulky and tall sneakers under the LeBron James name at Nike, the 15 is a big step in the sock-sneaker direction, and this colourway is the most versatile iteration of sneaker we’ve seen so far. here.

There are plenty of other LeBron 15s out there, from ready-made, zippered versions of Kith to the “Equality” version LeBron wore when the NBA season opened last week, and many more. to come in the next few months. But what sets the “Ashes” version apart is that it delivers exactly what James wanted from his latest signature sneaker: style. “Since [Nike designer] Jason [Petrie] and I started working on the LeBron VII, we’ve always been talking about how we not only want to be top, top, top in performance, we also want style. We have a desire to create shoes that make everyone feel good when they put them on, ”James said in September. And dark gray sneakers are perfect for some thin sweatpants or cargo ships. But achieving that balance wasn’t easy, especially when designing a shoe designed for a man who is 6’8 “, weighs 265 pounds, and makes a living soaring through the air like a superhero.

The advantage of the Nike Battleknit upper is that it is an incredibly dense fabric that becomes increasingly stiff towards the midsole, where stability is most important. Plus, the design gives off an almost reptile effect that looks pretty badass – “BattleKnit” is the rare corporate tech that lives up to its name. Combined with a sole incorporating both Zoom and Nike Air technologies, the LeBron 15 is arguably the most technologically advanced sneaker in the Nike lineup today (not counting the self-lacing Nike Hyper Adapts that are impossible to obtain). . If there’s one place where design falls short, it’s that Nike hasn’t quite managed to strike a balance between comfort and durable Flyknit: over time, the kicks will stretch. slightly. That’s no problem for LeBron, but if you’re a die-hard fan maybe buy an extra pair.

But let’s take a step back. Compare the first LeBron James sneaker, the Nike Zoom Generation, to the 15, and it’s easy to see how far LeBron and Nike have gone in terms of sneaker design. Finally, LBJ has a Nike sneaker that’s as cool as him, and lives up to his status as the greatest athlete living on planet Earth. And we’re comfortable saying it too: For the first time in a long time, there’s a new NBA signature sneaker that we’d like to wear on the streets even more than on hardwood. That it is LeBron’s is both a happy surprise and quite appropriate.

$ 185, available October 28 on Nike.com


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