The Nike LeBron 17 is all about the tech. From the collar to the upper and then all the way down to the heel, the Swoosh has created a big-time performance silhouette.
“We had the blueprint in mind for the 17 and we started from the ground up on everything, whether that was the construction of the knit or the way we could protect him underfoot with Air bags,” Jason Petrie, the lead designer of the LeBron line, says. “The silhouette was a way to reset the mark for LeBron and futuristically explore how we could help his game.”
The LeBron 17 is built off a huge air unit in the heel, the highest-volume Max Air unit in a pair of the King’s kicks to date.
“If you look at the evolution of LeBron’s line, you’ll see how he loves Max Air,” Petrie says. “And we felt like the volume of Air in the 17 was the next solution in providing the stabilization and support he needs.”
Ever since Petrie took over the line with the 7, James has loved the inclusion of Air units. The 7, the 8, the 9, the 10, the 15 and the 16 all featured major Air units. That trend continues with the 17.
Completing that heel Air is the inclusion of two Air Zoom pods in the forefoot.
The foundation of the 17 is all about dunking. For real.
“The way LeBron sees it, he wants to feel confident from the ground up,” Petrie says. “He doesn’t need help jumping. He wants to feel secure on the way down.”
Sitting above the Air units in a brand new upper technology called Knitposite. It’s built on the uppers introduced in the 15 and the 16, both of which used Battleknit, a super-strong knit material that also was stretchy. Knitposite is the strongest knit yet, made by taking Flyknit and using heat and pressure on the yarn.
“We wanted to blend the knit on the 15 and the strength of the Battleknit on the 16,” Petrie says. “The result is amazing. Once the heat is applied to the knitting process, you get this jewel-like armored exoskeleton that’s stuffed with these yarns.”
The 17 will be on-foot for LeBron’s second season with the Lakers. One of the first three colorways introduced is all about the purple and gold. They’ve got the King’s name in the Lakers’ font on the insole.
The “Future Air” and the “Man in the Arena” colorways round out the introductory trio.