My inspirations also came from what the Lion represents. The lion doesn’t only represent “king” but also leadership, renewed strength or rejuvenation and also destruction of the base material and rebirth of the new. I consider this to be compared to Michael Jordan retiring a few years ago at the time Lebron came into the NBA. Michael was the base material and Lebron is the rebirth of a new.
Upper- The overall shoe is made up in a Cleveland Cavaliers color way. The upper is made up of flywire material but has no visible flywire. This make the shoe lighter and more flexible in the mid foot area.
The toe and mudguard are made up of a strong durable leather to support the foot when cutting and maneuvering. Tumbled leather is lined along where the laces come through the lace holes for comfort and flexibility. The collar is embossed with thick Neoprene foam for comfort and durability with an argyle pattern stitched within. The thick Neoprene foam collar is representation of a lion’s mane.
The heel is wrapped with a durable plastic mold and keeps the heel secure and in position during game play. The mold takes the shape of an upward triangle, which represents strength, power and success, which are characteristics that Lebron possesses. It also has a graphic of Lebron’s signature logo and has lightning bolts going to it as if its charging the logo up.
Sock bootie- the inner sock bootie is made up of durable, light, breathable mesh and completely covers the entire foot. The bootie also has padding in key parts around the ankle to keep the ankle supported. The heel, mid and forefoot of the bootie are covered with memory foam to give the player a unique, exclusive, and personalized fit. The lacing system is supported by a spandex lacing system that is attached to the bootie and is wrapped around the mid foot and keeps the laces secure and in position while laced up. The lace tips are also in the shape of the “king” chess piece. Chess is a strategic game and so is basketball.
Sole- the upper sole is completely made up of Lunar foam, which has been used on previous Nike basketball shoes such as the hyper-dunk, and hyperize. The lunar foam is 30% lighter than normal foam. It distributes pressure that is applied and disperses it over the foot bed. The shape of the sole also is representative of a spring so it can disperse energy back to the foot. This upper sole sits on a complete Air Max unit. This was inspired by the Air Max 360 sole which in this case the Air Max unit is completely visible from all angles of the shoe and not just the heel and sides. The Air Max unit is also widened to give guys like Lebron excellent protection from impact shock for the life of the shoe.
The outsole is made up of a solid translucent rubber. The back of the left and right shoe together show the number 23 on the back heel on the outsole. In the front of the left and right shoe on the outsole read “Fear” and “Love” that represents Lebron being feared and loved at the same time. It has 3 different treds for traction. There are 25 horizontal lines to represent Lebron’s next birthday. It has traditional herringbone patterns and another reverse herringbone pattern moving horizontally for performing lateral movements. Lebron wears the number 23 after his idol Michael Jordan. So the outsole is modeled after the Air Jordan 11’s. The purple shapes take the shape of a Lion’s paw with traction pods in white for better feel and grip for quick movements.