The LeBron James Nike signature shoe series is one of the very best lines of shoes in the history of the footwear industry. In technology, the LeBron line has always been a leader in displaying innovative combinations of footwear sport enhancement, and in looks, the LeBrons have continue to show out with exciting design that changes and catches the masses off-guard, often while dictating the change in styles in the industry. The LeBron 11 isn’t much different, as far as maintaining a lead in both tech and aesthetics.
After having celebrated two NBA titles and two of the best shoes in the LeBron series, James will be playing his Nike LeBron 11 – fully visible in distinct detail here — which is essentially ushering in a new era of footwear in regards to protection. Because of James’ size (he’s listed at 6’8″ and 250 lbs; he’s actually closer to 6’9-1/2″ and 270-275 lbs) and his power, he has essentially been wearing the closest thing to a big man’s version of a guard’s shoe. And it makes sense, because of James’ natural position and play (he’s a listed small forward who actually plays point guard and power forward), he’s needed a shoe that can protect and support his feet, while also being light enough for him to easily harness energy when he streaks down the court or is moving laterally on defense. The LeBron 11 is a shoe that seemingly is best at providing all of that.
Somewhat of a common theme, Nike has often debuted certain technologies through the LeBron line, like Sphere lining on the Nike Zoom Generation (Zoom LeBron I), Zoom Max Air in the Nike Zoom LeBron II, or more radical things like Podposite and Pro Combat uppers in the Nike Zoom LeBron V and Nike LeBron IX. With the LeBron 11, the new tech is featured in the upper, which is called Hyperposite. Hyperposite is essentially heat-bonded framing is a modular version of the famed Foamposite technology; it is built out to act like armor, but does not cover the entirely of the foot, so that there can be breathability in concert with Nike’s application of Hyperfuse materials in the upper as well. In essence, Hyperposite is the fusing of Hyperfuse and Foamposite technologies, which allows for the LeBron 11 to mold to the foot, protect the foot, and also allow the shoe to vent and the foot to breathe. This is a Nike first, and it is exclusive to the LeBron 11.
Also telling about the LeBron series is its cushioning technologies that Nike has long been changing and evolving, depending how they can be improved and based on James’ own preferences. We’ve seen everything from heel Max Air and forefoot Zoom Air (Zoom Generation); the double-stacked, full-length, caged Zoom Air in the Zoom LeBron II and Zoom LeBron III; plain single-layer, full-length Zoom Air in the Zoom LeBron IV; partial Zoom Air units in the heel and forefoot in the Zoom LeBron V; all the way to heel 180 Max Air and large-capacity forefoot Zoom Air in the LeBron IX and 360 Zoom Air in the LeBron X – the LeBron 11 is combining its high-functioning, aeronautically-based Lunar Foam (or Lunarlon) and full-length Zoom Air together into the shoe, which will act as a dual internal midsole/insole to provide the utmost impact protection and one of the highest quality cushioning combinations in Swoosh history. Along with the Dynamic Flywire system, which uses textile cables to cinch up the shoe to the foot as close as possible as an incorporation for Nike’s Natural Motion agenda (which emphasizes that shoes and feet work together to create motion that is organic and natural for the body), the LeBron 11 is a king of kings in the footwear world.
Aesthetically, the LeBron 11 is yet again zigging where other types of comparable footwear is sagging. The shoe itself resembles something of a diamond rock in its edges and lines (something of a metaphor and a theme with James, with a bit of attention to his affiliation with Jay Z and his Roc-A-Fella/Roc Nation and the rapper’s Dynasty expression and collective). The gold King’s Pride colorway looks a bit like a lion in hue its brassy dark hues and is a sight to see with a shoe that built so ferociously; the LeBron 11’s other colorway, the Terracotta Warrior colorway, is a bit thematic, employing stone with red, violet, and teal as a visual narration for the actual Terracotta Warriors in China (in my opinion, the latter colorway is less attractive and does not enhance the design of the shoe).
All considered, between the avant-garde design, the world-class technologies, and the evolution of the performance of the LeBron series, the LeBron 11 will likely go down as one of the most noteworthy shoes in basketball – which is fitting, considering the world-class player who plays in them.