The LeBron XX is the first performance shoe in LeBron’s signature line to debut as a low-top. At first glance, the shoe’s intricate designs on the lateral guardrail call out special moments in LeBron’s career. While the shoe celebrates the past, LeBron says the LeBron XX was designed with the next generation in mind.
The shoe’s main features include a lower profile, Zoom Air in the forefoot and the heel, and a carbon fiber midfoot shank. For underfoot cushioning, the forefoot has a top-loaded Air Zoom Turbo unit and the heel features a larger Zoom Air unit, measuring at 13 mm thickness, to help with impact protection. The synthetic-wrapped lateral guardrail helps secure the foot over the footbed. A multidirectional outsole pattern grips the floor. The heritage details throughout the shoe are nods to the past, but make no mistake: The performance build of the LeBron XX has its sights set on the next twenty years.
“We saw the XX as a chance to celebrate the next 20 years for LeBron,” says Jason Petrie, Senior Footwear Designer for Men’s Basketball and lead designer of the LeBron line since the Zoom LeBron VII. “The stitched tag inside the tongue says, ‘Designed and Engineered to the Exact Specifications of the Next Generation.’ We took that line seriously as we designed the shoe. We had players like LeBron’s sons Bronny and Bryce in mind. We wanted to get in their heads and learn about what young players were looking for.”
Petrie says he had memories of designing the Soldier 10 while making the shoe: lower profile, tight court feel, but built to withstand the force of his game. While much of the signature franchise has been built around LeBron’s love for Air, he trusted the Nike Basketball team to design a lightweight low top with Zoom Air — the lightest of his signature sneakers yet — and still create something that could hold up to LeBron’s style of play.
Of course, the shoe celebrates plenty of moments from LeBron’s career all over the shoe. But the tributes to LeBron’s career aren’t just visual. Some of the most beloved features throughout LeBron’s signature line are integrated into the shoe’s technology. For example, the collar lining includes a Nike technology called Nike Sphere that originally appeared in the Air Zoom Generation. The engineered collar lining is soft and breathable, tying back to LeBron’s desire with the Zoom Generation to make the most comfortable basketball shoe around. A carbon fiber midfoot shank, which provides energy return and torsional rigidity for explosive movements, returns to the signature line for the first time since the Zoom LeBron 5. The Dunkman logo returns to the outsole after last appearing in the LeBron 16.