Nike LeBron 17 Basketball Shoes for Sale: Buying Guide 2022
Hen came to the NBA with more hype than any rookie in league history. LeBron James also received the NBA’s most significant rookie sneaker contract. Inclusive before being drafted, he signed a seven-year, $ 90 million deal that guaranteed him an exclusive shoe every season of his career.
Now, 15 years later, James’ Nike series is the longest-running running shoe line for an active player in NBA history, with a complete product portfolio generating nearly $ 400 million annually for the brand. Along the way, their shoes have posed more than a challenge to Nike designers.
“It’s a unique problem out there. It’s swift and compelling,” said designer Jason Petrie. “When we’re building a LeBron, we know all of that upfront.”
Ahead of the release of the upcoming LeBron 16, which will feature a host of new stories featuring the four-time MVP move to Los Angeles, we ranked the main signature line throughout James’ career.
1. LeBron 8 (2010)
Perhaps no shoe represents LeBron’s image better than his eighth model, the first shoe worn during his four-year stay in Miami.
During a Nike promotional trip, the two were on during one of James’ visits to China in the preseason run, Petrie said he thought of an iconic Jay-Z line – Check out my swag / I walk like a ballplayer Mira my loot / I walk like a gamer – noticing how James stood out above the crowd that followed him. I wanted the next LeBron shoe to stand out on a store’s shoe wall similarly.
The deep green and pink of the “South Beach” release sure don’t hurt; it resells instantly for almost $1,000 and takes the popularity of James’s line to a different level.
While the design featured a ton of technology, like a full-length Air Max unit, the oversized lion graphic on the tongue represented one of LeBron’s earliest tattoos and his ongoing quest for his first championship ring.
“The lion stalk and the lion hunt drove the switch between the sneaker and how that relates to the LeBron switch as the season progresses,” said Petrie.
2. Air Zoom Generation (2003)
To help pave the way for 18-year-old LeBron James, Nike’s most recognized superstar, the brand assigned its top designers a trio for its first shoe. Tinker Hatfield, Eric Avar and Aaron Cooper had worked on almost every Nike Basketball signature model to date and came up with a bold statement for the teenager they already dubbed “King James.”
“We’ll design you the most comfortable basketball shoe you’ve ever worn, period,” Cooper told James.
With its controversial Hummer H2 chrome inspiring eyelets, stance, heel counter and typography, the shoe featured a classic toe design and wide neck panel that was unmistakable on the court. The shoe also debuted with Nike’s luxurious “Sphere Liner” technology and featured Max Air and Zoom Air cushioning.
Named for the player who would define his generation, the “AZG” was the first LeBron shoe to receive the retro treatment a year ago and has continued to be a series and James’ favourite.
3. LeBron 15 (2017)
Entering the Lebron 15, the Nike team knew they had a big job as they seemed to restore the line after a few unannounced models.
“No one has ever gotten to No. 15 (while playing) before LeBron, so it’s big business, and we wanted to celebrate LeBron’s technology, style and game,” Petrie said.
James wore 51 versions of the 15 last season, drawing attention every night around his #LeBronWatch campaign.
Whether with multiple colours paying homage to some of the brand’s greatest hits or versions inspired by some of its most beloved themes, the shoe helped resurrect interest in the line and carried it through the entire 82-game season and a masterful push to an eighth straight NBA Finals appearance.
4. LeBron 7 (2009)
The series once again took a big turn, with Petrie taking the line and peppered the LeBron 7 with several of Nike’s innovations.
The full-length Air Max unit and most of the Flywire seemed to lighten the shoe and offer explosive cushioning, as James was entering the prime of a career that not only followed his first MVP but also expanded into areas of business and entertainment.
“There was a lot of style in that shoe because we were talking about a ‘CEO of culture and court’ at the time, and we wanted technology to become the element of style,” said Petrie.
The sneaker was not debuted during a Cavs game but rather on the red carpet at the premiere of James’ documentary “More Than A Game”, highlighting his rise from high school to professional in Akron.
James’ core principles – passion, bravery, tradition, community, family, loyalty – can be read from the hologram icon at the bottom of the shoe. At the same time, the gleaming patent leather look and sports car-inspired stance create an instant classic design.
5. LeBron 2 (2004)
The Zoom generation might have been designed while LeBron was still in high school, without a complete design process and ample gathering time for his direct feedback, but the LeBron 2 instantly showed his focus on the court.
James’ charge towards his second season was what he “wanted to feel bulletproof”, and that led to his debut design of Link for the series incorporating a series of leather support panels where needed and ballistic mesh. More flexible in the middle.
The removable leather strap of the poorly branded shoe made an iconic image on the court, while the laser-etched panels under the belt debuted with its lion logo.
Released in just five retail colours, in a distinctly different era than the industry today, the LeBron 2 was known for its many player-exclusive collectable editions, which should provide a potential retro spot in the future.
6. LeBron 9 (2011)
Released during the league strike in 2011, James’ ninth shoe appeared to represent the growing versatility of his game, along with the protection and support required for his frame. James shared his goal for the upcoming season – “to become a triple threat” – and the lightbulb went out for Petrie. A three-prong support piece highlighted the necklace, while the attached panels flowed and moved throughout the wavy design from there.
The model featured more campaigns and whistles than ever before – with Zoom Air, Max Air, Flywire, Pro Combat and fibreglass all taking part – before evolving to a $250 upgraded “elite” version with a fibre support wing. Massive carbon and Kevlar lacing. He was the elite, as LeBron won his first title with this model.
7. LeBron 10 (2012)
Reaching ten exclusive models with one brand is rarefied in the sneaker game, as only Michael Jordan and Allen Iverson did it before James.
To celebrate LeBron’s decade-long line and his new championship pedigree, Petrie created a diamond-inspired story, signifying how LeBron had overcome the pressure of his title hunt.
In 2008, James once again made use of the world stage and debuted his newest model during the gold medal game at the 2012 Olympics in London.
The shoe’s shiny synthetic upper featured a host of diamond-inspired shapes and details, while the Swoosh back heel added the touch that made the shoe stand out from a sea of Nike sponsors on the floor.
8. LeBron 4 (2006)
With a high-contrast design that instantly grabbed attention, the LeBron 4 introduced more sculpting and power than anyone expected.
The shoe’s carved Foamposite upper served as a tribute to some of LeBron’s favourite sneakers from the Penny Hardaway series while adopting a reinforced construction fit for its frame.
While the launch colours were well received and remained in the traditional team colours, the special editions took on more graphics and textures than ever before, like the brain-laden “Fruity Pebbles” pair or the two “Graffiti” versions worn on the Madison. Square Garden and during the All-Star Game in Las Vegas.
9. LeBron 3 (2005)
Currently enjoying its comeback in retro form this fall, LeBron’s third model saw its series embrace a more lifestyle lens, with a seatbelt-inspired design aimed at “blending” its invisible blend of speed and performance. Power, according to designer Ken Link.
In late December, the shoe enjoyed a limited release on James’ birthday in a lifestyle design, featuring a brown leather version with a matching belt.
The shoe also enjoyed one of Nike’s most playful marketing campaigns, with the presentation of “The LeBrons” showing his many dimensions and personalities, with the LeBron “Kid”, “Athlete”, “Business”, and “Wise”. n.
10. LeBron 11 (2013) – Nike LeBron 17 Basketball Sh
While James’ 11th shoe foreshadowed a new direction in the line’s appearance, the shoe’s Foamposite panels, tight toe box and firm ride created some fit and comfort issues for LeBron on the court.
“We’re redefining footwear to fit what’s best for my foot,” James said at the time. “I could use them, but they don’t feel as good as I want them to. So we’re redefining them, and I feel like this next round will be perfect.”
He ended up wearing them in just 35 of 97 games during the regular season and playoffs, as Nike worked behind the scenes to revamp and reshape its size 16 version to put it back in the shoe.
11. LeBron 5 (2007) – Nike LeBron 17 Basketball Sh
Following the much-loved LeBron 4 design, James’ fifth shoe dropped four ounces in weight. The new “Footpocket Phyposite” sounded spacer to the average person, but the moulded heel and forefoot panels formed closed support and one of the best performing LeBron pairs.
Although the Cavs’ second-round loss to the Celtics set in motion a string of playoff disappointments and their eventual departure from Cleveland, the 5 featured the first appearance of their hometown pride, with a map of Akron highlighted in the bottom.
12. LeBron 6 (2008) – Nike LeBron 17 Basketball Sh
The other model that underwent a huge design change along the way, “The Six”, was well-received, with a casual look that could best be described as a modern take on the Air Force 1. As Nike designers recall, James’ challenge to the less technical looking and friendlier team towards wearing jeans was simple, as he stated in a meeting, “My sport does not define me.”
James unexpectedly revealed his sixth shoe at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, giving his shoe its biggest debut since his long-awaited first NBA game.
With themes built around your favourite league cities and looking more robust and more vibrant than in years past, the LeBron 6 might seem bulky by today’s standards, but it was appropriate for the moment. It was also used during James’ first MVP season, with a special edition of “Witness” set to go the night he received his trophy.
13. LeBron 14 (2016) – Nike LeBron 17 Basketball Sh
At two points in James’ Nike series, the design team removed an existing look midway through the process, struggling to create a new concept in time for the season.
Unfortunately for the LeBron 14s, the change caused a massive delay – James didn’t wear the shoe until Christmas and didn’t release it until January. Lack of on-court visibility hampered excitement around the model, and the streamlined design didn’t connect with consumers.
14. LeBron 12 (2014) – Nike LeBron 17 Basketball Sh
Nike’s Foamposite material has long been associated with some of the brand’s most iconic and innovative silhouettes. As Nike embarked on the double-digit years of the LeBron line, their shoes began to get overbuilt, perhaps more so to an average consumer.
By the 12th release, even James’ four consecutive trips to the NBA Finals and his position at the top of the league couldn’t beat the $200 price point and awkward out-of-the-box feel.
It didn’t help that the LeBron 12 had been in the works for a year before his return to Cleveland, leaving several subtle touches of his Number 6 Heat jersey still left, such as the six Zoom Air units along the bottom. The number on the handle and a hexagonal icon on the reed.
15. LeBron 13 (2015) – Nike LeBron 17 Basketball Sh
While the design can be generously described as “polarizing,” the cloverleaf heel shape and overly moulded Hyperposite upper materials never went from court to lifestyle. The flashy colour of the exclusive player didn’t seem to generate much interest either.
Worn during James’ second season on his second Cleveland stint, the shoe featured more details of the hometown than any other shoe, with nods to his Akron 330 area code and 12/84 birthdate and a simple statement. ” Akronite “throughout the sole.
Frequently Asked Questions: Nike LeBron 17 Basketball Shoes
Is Fila still popular? – Nike LeBron 17 Basketball Sh
What color of shoes goes with everything? – Nike LeBron 17 Basketball Sh
Black, beige, and grey shoes go with anything. Since they are all neutrals, you can wear these colors to offset a more vibrant outfit. Of course, with these neutrals, you can either mix and match or keep them in a similar tonal family.
Is Nike still a popular brand? – Nike LeBron 17 Basketball Sh
Good news for Nike – the brand is still cool. As per the results, Nike earned the top spots for footwear and apparel in the survey that ranked teen’s favorite brands. In apparel, Nike garnered 27% of the vote, followed by American Eagle at 7%, and PacSun, Adidas, and Lululemon all at 5%.
What Jeans go with clogs? – Nike LeBron 17 Basketball Sh
Whether you just go for a good straight leg jean, or a more relaxed vintage mom jean, really ANY jeans work with clogs. They’re such a good pairing. Light wash, dark wash, black denim and even white denim. They just work together no matter what.
How do I choose a shoe? – Nike LeBron 17 Basketball Shoes
Feels comfortable – your shoe should feel immediately comfortable from the first wear. fits well – make sure you have at least 1-1.5cm at the end of the shoe. It should be wide enough and long enough to fit your feet. The shoe should feel snug but not tight.
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