Here are the jewels that will adorn the feet of the world’s greatest basketball player LeBron James for the upcoming basketball season. They look like they’re brilliantly cut like a diamond. They look like something Iron Man might wear in his future. They also look like something an outer space alien version of The Thing would wear on his feet. Basically, they look nothing like how most basketball shoes are supposed to look.
The Nike LeBron 11 checks off all the usual trademark Nike tech you’d expect to see in one of the best basketball shoes of the year: Hyperposite material that create the main look of the shoe, Hyperfuse tech that uses a hot-melt process to fuse three layers together instead of using traditional cut and sew methods, Flywire that is made from Vectran fibres to act as a suspension bridge for lockdown and a full-length combination Lunarlon (much lighter than standard phylon foam) and Nike Zoom units to act as the shoe’s cushioning. It all adds up to a much lighter shoe than the typical bulkiness of LeBron’s. For reference, the 11’s are 411g, and last year’s X was 476g. Last year’s Kobe’s blows LeBron away at 272g.
Nike also played around with the design of the shoes, adding little ambigrams in the sock liner (it says LeBron one way but flipped upside down it says James) and inner tongue (spells out his number 6 while also being the Roman numeral XI). The shoe will launch on October 12. [Nike Inc]