On March 20, 2013, in a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James set the Internet ablaze—not by his play but by his footwear. Then a member of the Miami Heat, James stepped on to the court in Cleveland wearing the “away” colorway of his Nike LeBron VI “Fairfax,” a shoe he hadn’t worn since 2008. Though he switched out of the shoe at halftime and into his then current model (the LeBron X), it was all sneakerheads and fans wanted to talk about after the game. And like most things James does on the court, there was a reason why he reached so deep in to his closet.
LeBron James’s Nike LeBron VI “Fairfax”
“It has some thought,” James told STACK of his nightly shoe selection. “Sometimes it’s just spur of the moment. Sometimes it’s random. It all depends on how I’m feeling. When I came back [to Cleveland], that was a shoe that I played in when I was in Cleveland [the first time], so I said ‘Let me bust these [Fairfax VIs] out.’ I always throw things out there to let people know how long I’ve been doing this.”
On most nights, James can be seen wearing his current signature model. Last year, James wore his Nike LeBron 12s 72 times during the regular season. He will most likely do the same with his LeBron 13s this season. But every so often, he likes to bust out a special pair of kicks, usually with no prior announcement, like he did with the “Fairfax” VIs.
LeBron James’s Nike LeBron 11 “Fairfax”
Another instance that caused a stir came in 2014, again with a “Fairfax” colorway of his signature model. James was in Los Angeles to take on the Clippers in February. Nearby prep basketball powerhouse Fairfax High School, which gave the “Fairfax” colorway its name, had been playing well, so James, who has long donated kicks and apparel to the school, wanted to show them some love.
“I was in L.A [in 2014], and I know my Fairfax team is out there and they were playing well at the time,” James said. “We were playing the Clippers and I was like ‘OK, let me wear the Fairfax 11s.'”
With the 2015-2016 NBA season now only a few weeks away, we’re already looking forward to the footwear surprises James has in store for us.
“I’m very blessed to have 13 signature shoes,” James said. “It’s pretty cool to be able to go back in time and be able to wear something that I’ve worn in previous years.”