5 Things You Need to Know About the Brand New LeBron 18 | Grailify
5 Things You Need to Know About the Brand New LeBron 18

5 Things You Need to Know About the Brand New LeBron 18

Nike and LeBron James will release the 18th signature shoe, the LeBron 18. That is because just this week, the basketball player has given a brief glimpse of the new silhouette during his stay in Orlando.

Fittingly, the 18 comes in an ideal configuration for a basketball athlete: it is effectively split down the middle from forefoot to heel.

"At this point, LeBron has spent half of his life with Nike," says Jason Petrie, LeBron Footwear Designer. "We wanted to make him a shoe that plays with this idea of two halves. How could we continue to improvise on the Max Air value that LeBron loves but use the forefoot half to sharpen the near-floor micro-shifting that LeBron needs to cut and change the ground. We have described these functions in almost surgical detail so that the sum of the shoe parts for LeBron and for each type of player comes together."

If you are a fan of the LeBron signature line, you need to know the following five facts:

1. Max Air and Zoom Air are used in a new way

The LeBron 18 is supplied with a new kind of cushioning: An Air Max unit in the heel is supplemented by a full-length Zoom airbag. The two are integrated within each other, with the Zoom airbag extending into the heel cavity and replacing the previous foam — the first ever cushioning arrangement on a Nike basketball shoe. The shoe is visually divided into two "halves", with details indicating the speed in the forefoot and the muscles in the heel.

"In the outer heel cup that surrounds the Max Air, we're aiming for an armour-like interpretation of strength that's more open than some of its other signature shoes," Petrie adds.

2. The upper is a mix of LeBron's favourites.

The LeBron line has long been a canvas for innovative knitting constructions in Nike's basketball shoes. For the 18, the upper material follows a special recipe. There are increased dimensions of the Battleknit, which we know from the 15, the high tenacity yarns from the 16 and the TPU yarns that make up the exoskeleton of the 17. The result is a new knit combination that is light, durable and can withstand the forces generated by James.

"You'll also see above how we've integrated a cable-inspired rib cage," says Petrie. "They reach down to the footbed and allow this macro support system to work with the knit."

3. There are more air pockets.

Also new on the LeBron 18 is a Max Air transmission on the upper material, which replaces the tongue foam with unpressurized air pockets. It's a subtle reformulation of material usage, an experiment in sensation and comfort — and it's an opportunity to flash spots of colour through socks. Regardless of the effect, the addition combines with an affinity for Air, which has accompanied James through his characteristic shoe story.

"LeBron has always loved to experiment with Air Max cushioning. He loves the way it feels," says Petrie. "With the 18, we played with different air expressions in a novel way, trying to convey this new look."

4. The traction is refined.

The focus on improved traction (and more efficient movement) affects it through generative design, a calculation method used in the Nike Sport Research Lab. The forefoot is divided into thin-tip quadrants that widen as you move to the heel for more rigorous grid deformation. At this point, the traction becomes softer. The transition allows each area of the foot to benefit from the corresponding traction characteristics. No space is wasted.

"There's this subtle valley in the heel, but it shifts to all the stores in the forefoot, so LeBron can feel tuned to the ground," says Petrie.

5. The LeBron 18 Release

The release of the brand new signature sneaker by LeBron James will take place in September 2020. Of course, we will keep you up to date.


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