Ranking the top 5 LeBron James signature sneakers

LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers

LeBron James is a household name in the NBA, winning four titles throughout his 19-year career to certify his standing as one of the greatest players in league history. Throughout his storied career, his on-court brilliance has sparked the attention of several brands, making him the most marketable player since the Michael Jordan era. As a result, he has bagged several endorsement deals.

Of all LeBron’s high-profile endorsements, his affiliation with sneaker company Nike is easily his most recognizable association. 36-year-old LeBron James has been associated with the company even before he made his first NBA appearance.

LeBron James' display in high school made him the center of a bidding war between top shoe companies like Addidas, Nike, and Reebok. Despite getting a far better deal from Reebok, he ended up choosing Nike, signing his first signature shoe deal with the company worth $90 million in 2003.

Since then, his signature Nike LeBron series has only gone on to break several records, becoming the longest signature shoe series worn by an active player, also establishing itself as one of the most successful shoe collections in the world. In 2015, LeBron James reportedly signed a $1 billion life contract with Nike, extending their successful relationship for the foreseeable future.

From the Nike Air Zoom Generation to the LeBron 18, Bron’s road to dominance has been historic 👑🏆 @brkicks

That said, let’s take a look at the top five LeBron James signature sneakers.

#5 Nike LeBron 7

Nike LeBron 7
Nike LeBron 7

The LeBron 7 sneaker is one of the most iconic shoes from the series, notable for their different styles from previous iterations. Released in 2009, the sneaker was Jason Petrie's debut design for LeBron James, and it contained 80% more air than previous designs to increase comfortability.

"He's a very unique problem to have out there. He's very fast and very powerful," designer Jason Petrie said. "When we're building a LeBron, we know all of that going in."

It marked the first time Nike used the Air Max cushioning system as silhouettes in a basketball sneaker, whilst also possessing the classic Nike Flywire technology that was first displayed in their hyperdunk collections.

"There was a lot of style in that shoe because we were really talking about 'CEO of court and culture' at the time, and we really wanted the technology to become the style element," Petrie said.

It boasted some of the best colorways in the LeBron series, coming in white, red, and even All-Star themes, and was notable for being the first series to debut the red-carpet version.

#4 Nike LeBron 15

A detail of LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers Nike Lebron 15's during Game Three of the 2018 NBA Finals
A detail of LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers Nike Lebron 15's during Game Three of the 2018 NBA Finals

The Nike LeBron 15 is one of the greatest LeBron James sneakers out there for various reasons, with its significance and style being the two biggest reasons.

"No one has ever reached No. 15 [while playing] before LeBron, so it's a big deal, and we wanted to make a celebration of technology, style, and of LeBron's game," Petrie said.
9. Nike LeBron 15 LeBron Watch"Nike needed to make changes. It slimmed down his tank-like sneakers, gave them a knit upper, and added some cool marketing."

Debuting in 2017 during the KITH fashion show, serial Nike LeBron designer Jason Petrie put together another masterpiece. The release marked the first time the 15th edition of a signature shoe was made for an active player, and its success helped breathe fresh air into the LeBron series.

The LeBron 15 adopted one of the most imaginative designs of the series, boasting themes inspired by Lebron James' favorite themes and some of the brand’s greatest hits. Possessing a battle-knit upper system, it was one of the most durable sneakers in the series and helped the Superstar to his eighth straight NBA Finals.

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Edited by Prem Deshpande

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