Kicks: Nike Officially Introduces LeBron 9

by September 20, 2011


by Abe Schwadron / @abe_squad

Snippets of LeBron 9 colorways have hit the interwebs over the last couple weeks, and today Nike has officially introduced Bron’s signature model in the red and black of his Miami Heat. The LeBron 9 incorporates the newest technology from Nike with everything that LeBron wants in a shoe—in his own words, “speed, lightweight and style.” More from Nike:

Nike defines basketball performance innovation with the introduction of LeBron James’ ninth signature shoe. A reflection of LeBron’s versatile style of play, the LEBRON 9 integrates Flywire technology and Hyperfuse construction – a Nike Basketball first – in the upper for superior support, along with a combination of Max Air 180 and a Nike Zoom unit for comfortable and responsive cushioning.

“From the very beginning of the design process for the LEBRON 9 we wanted to break the mold with a shoe that maximized the strengths of a triple threat player like LeBron,” said Jason Petrie, Nike Basketball Designer. “LeBron brings a rare combination of speed, agility and force to the game and my goal is to outfit him in a shoe that lets him do what he does best while maximizing our superior innovations.”

Designed with specific insights from LeBron James himself, the shoe is the first to combine Flywire technology and Hyperfuse construction. Built for breathability and durability, the Hyperfuse construction is a composite of three different layers of material that are fused together to create a nearly seamless, one piece upper that sheds considerable weight without sacrificing protection. A midfoot harness that wraps around the foot incorporates Flywire 3.0 technology for added strength and lock down support. This lightweight upper mimics the speed and strength symbolic of LeBron’s game.

The finely-tuned midsole provides a unique hybrid cushioning system. By combining Max Air 180 in the heel for absorption on impact with a Nike Zoom unit in the forefoot for a springy response, a player is protected on impact where they need it most. A composite shank plate provides torsional rigidity and support while reducing midsole weight.

Additional elements such as engineered textile wings, Nike Pro Combat inspired padding in the inner collar, asymmetrical lacing, heel pull tab, outrigger for lateral stability, and flex grooves in the outsole bring LeBron’s ninth signature shoe to unrivaled levels of performance. Signature style including LeBron’s new logo, his signature on the ventilated tongue, and a special outsole pattern are special nods to LeBron.

That’s right, Flywire and Hyperfuse technologies together, on one shoe. Evidently, LeBron knows a thing or two about fusing two of the game’s best. And in the case of his newest on-court kicks, the emphasis on technology avoids being overbearing. Instead of overshadowing a slick look, it enhances it, a refreshingly subtle combination of performance and style. Hear LBJ and company explain the sneaks below:

The King’s latest Nike namesake is set to hit retail stores in the United States on October 15 in a limited “Cannon” colorway, before a handful of college-inspired editions—like Miami, perhaps—and the primary black, red and white version (above) drops on October 25. Also, for the first time ever, LeBron’s signature shoe will also be available on NIKEiD, with full design features to customize your own version of the 9s.