A home run.
His favorite shoe to date.
LeBron James isn’t hiding his admiration for the Nike LeBron 15. Not only does his latest signature shoe better blur the lines between sport and fashion than previous offerings, but it’s also packed with performance-enhancing technology.
None of James’ previous shoes have been more masterfully tailored to his unique needs than the LeBron 15. Considering he nearly averaged a triple-double last season, that must be a terrifying thought for his opponents. Here are five reasons to believe James might play the best basketball of his career now that he’s armed with the Nike LeBron 15.
1. Low and Sleek For Faster Feet
LeBron might measure in at a massive 6-foot-8, 250 pounds, but he’s one of the most explosive and agile athletes on Earth. While LeBron’s previous signature shoes have often featured extensive and borderline-bulky protection around the ankles, the LeBron 15 is a departure from that trend. “We learned that LeBron doesn’t mind getting a little lower in terms of height and scooping that top line down a bit for better range of motion and agility, which works great for most basketball players,” Nike global footwear product line manager Kevin Dodson told FootwearNews.com. But this innovation didn’t come at the expense of LeBron’s safety, which leads me to the next point…
2. Protection Against Ankle “Micro-Movements”
Entering his 15th professional season, LeBron’s durability remains incredible. His latest shoe aims to help him continue his reign as the NBA’s modern ironman.
“When talking to his trainer, Mike Mancias, he talked about ‘hey, if I could do one thing with this upper, I want to protect against the unnecessary micro-movements of LeBron’s ankle.’ We know they’re going to be micro-movements of the ankle, we know the ones you need to create force, but there are some where if your ankle moves in a specific (way), you put yourself at harm of (getting) hurt,” Nike senior product line manager Tim Day told STACK.
LeBron gave extensive feedback on the “stretch collar” featured in the LeBron 15 which is designed to sculpt around his ankle while retaining a supportive fit.
3. FlyKnit Built to Withstand LeBron
The LeBron 15 is the debut of “BattleKnit” technology. BattleKnit is a more durable version of Nike’s FlyKnit material, which the company debuted in 2012. While LeBron loved the lightweight, formfitting nature of FlyKnit, he needed something with more structure to support the monumental forces he can generate. Nike’s knit innovation team ended up knitting the FlyKnit material in a totally new way to deliver a material that’s strong enough to keep LeBron locked down, but streamlined enough to maintain that FlyKnit essence. “I would say it’s a brother of FlyKnit, which is something we started in the company. (It was) one of the lightest innovations we’ve ever had at Nike. We actually took that and re-engineered it for LeBron and everything he does on the court,” Day said.
4. An Air Unit Fit for a King
In addition to BattleKnit, the LeBron 15 also features a brand new air unit never before used in any Nike shoe. It combines Max Air technology, which is designed to “provide maximum impact protection during repetitive landings,” and Zoom technology, which “brings the foot closer to the ground and enhances stability, especially during quick cuts and multi-directional movements.” The result is a cushioning system built to handle every aspect of LeBron’s freakish athleticism. “Putting those two innovations we’ve had as a company into one platform, we feel it’s great for LeBron,” Day said.
5. Look Good, Play Good
Deion Sanders once famously said, “if you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you play good.” LeBron will be looking plenty fresh on the court this season in the LeBron 15, as this is his most fashion-forward signature shoe yet. James could also barely contain his excitement when talking about future colorways of the LeBron 15 on the Road Trippin’ Live podcast. “We’ve got some (upcoming designs) that we’re not even going to put out right now that are ridiculous,” James said.
Photo Credit: Nike