We already knew what the newest signature shoe from Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James would look like thanks to a reveal from James himself, but Nike has now officially released some more details (and revealed the release date) for the LeBron 16.
James’ latest shoe will be available on September 20, and according to Nike’s official press release, the sneaker isn’t looking to reinvent the wheel for a James signature. They liked the critically acclaimed LeBron 15 a lot, and were mostly looking to make improvements and upgrades to it rather than going with a total overhaul:
The LeBron 16 introduces Battleknit 2.0, an evolved version of the scalloped knit featured on the Lebron 15. Its structure increases tensile strength (important to contain James’s lateral force on court) and it has an elegant finish matching James’s current style.
As can be seen above and in a premature leak of a different gold and black colorway for the shoe, these are heat. James himself also wants to make sure they perform as good as they look:
The LeBron 16’s other notable feature is its height. At the direction of James, Petrie formed the shoe with a lower collar, which allows the athlete to move more freely.
“The first thing we wanted to do was get a little lower in the cut of the shoe,” says James. “I wanted to get a little faster, ride a little bit closer to the court and be a little bit more dynamic.”
We’ll have to wait and see if James and the design team accomplished those goals, but Nike has said they want LeBron’s first shoe as a Laker to be “groundbreaking,” and they’re at least on the right track so far looks-wise.
Also worth noting is that James’ latest signature might end up having as many distinct variations as the 15 did, including the “HFR x LeBron 16” model, the first ever signature shoe from an NBA player designed solely by women, for women. Making that shoe was a cause James himself was passionate about because of all the strong women in his life (via Natalie Weiner of SB Nation):
“I was thinking about the African American woman, and why I believe they’re the most powerful women in the world,” James began, before speaking about his mother Gloria, his wife Savannah -- both sitting at a table near the front, wearing the new sneaker -- and his daughter.
Weiner got more details on the “HFR x LeBron 16” in an exclusive Q&A with the designers, and more details and pictures of the “Fresh Bred” launch colorway LeBron 16 can be found in Nike’s official release.
You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.