With the release of the new flame blue China edition of the LeBron 9, the man himself Lebron James caught up with the shoe's designer Jason Petrie to discuss the ins and outs of what is one of the most advanced basketball shoes ever made. Combining Flywire and Hyperfuse technology for the first time, the LeBron 9 is packed with Air Max 180 and Zoom cushioning, with Nike Pro Combat inspired padding upping the comfort factor to a whole new level. For the first time ever the LeBron will be hitting NikeiD, and shoe will also be making a special guest appearance in 2K Sports' upcoming 2K12 title! Check out LeBron and Jason chewing things over below and don't miss the LeBron 9 sneak peek on the cover of our new Sneaker Freaker Issue 22!
LEBRON It’s your mind and my mind that came together to make something like this. What’s your favorite part of this shoe?
Jason Petrie Probably the wing on the side. It is really the brand new material we designed for you to keep you stable and locked into the shoe, really expressive, really different, very personal on court, something like that, plus it just looks crazy. What about you?
LBJ It is crazy. You asked a tough question for me! Like “what is my favorite part of my shoe?” I like every part of this shoe, I mean I like every side of the shoe, the flywire, my signature on the tongue, my new logo on the back, I like every part of the shoe!
It looks great! when you put two minds, when you put your unbelievable mind together with mine, you make something like this!
Performance wise - it is great! With me being 200+ pounds, and 6’ 8” (tall), fast, powerful. How could you be able to make this shoe to fit my speed for 82 games a season wherever the case maybe.
JP When we talk about things like this, how we could make something super- light for you, that is not what you need the shoe to be. So it was really hard to make a light and strong shoe for you. 82 games, as you know, it is a long time. You are really fast, really strong, so what we want to do is to make sure (we) incorporating with this wing to keep your feet locked into the shoe; Use the flywire to lock you into the forefoot, and really give you a hybrid shoe to keep you lighter, keep you a little bit faster, a little bit spring on the step, hopefully there will be more energy in return, so you can go to the 82 games and feel less fatigue. (You will feel better ) at the end of the season, comparing with heavier or different kind of shoe on.
So that was one of the finest thing for me. We should make something which is different, which is what you need. It is not going to be a brake, but something that will keep you supportive and comfortable. So you don’t have to worry about twisting your ankle, you don’t even have to think about the shoe.
LBJ I did the best of what I called a partnership friendship is that, I ask, Jason, I want comfort, I want it to be durable, you know I am bumbling a lot, 82 game season, and I won’t stop. You really did it! For the shoe, if I want to wear it in a game, that’s OK. And after the game, if I want to put on another pair and rock, I can do that as well! How did you do that?
JP We paid a lot of attention to you, we follow you to China, I watched every game you played, and certainly paid a lot of attention to what you are into, what is going on in your life, and trying to blend it into the shoe when I design it.
You are not afraid to tell me, I like this, you don’t or you do. Really just take that and start to match what I think look fresh, and hopefully to get to the same point, It is all about you, to bring your personality to light in a different way! That is a lot of fun for me, big challenge as well, I think the way we work together, it really makes a lot easier than it could be for someone else.
LBJ I appreciated that! I think another great edge about our signature shoe is that every year we come out with a China base. Every year we give our China fans here a chance to have their own shoes, their own! This year, we kind of changed the color of it. Years ago it used to be with a white base, now we choose a whole different color, you want to give some insight about that?
JP Something that is really unexpected about, I am really excited when the shoes come out!
Actually our color and material team work very close with insight provider by folks here in China and of course, work goes on with you and Miami Heat, and really came with this new take-on heat, it is totally unexpected, the hottest part of the flame.
That expresses for itself! If you really start to look into the story, it needs no explanation when everybody sees it, they will go crazy.
LBJ I cannot wait either, you got myself, and the athletes, you got the minds behind Jason, once again, year nine, we figure out to bring out a great shoe for you guys and I will do my best on the court to rock the best way, for some I hear in the background, I know who wants to show this, this is the China-basketball-only shoe right here! The hottest part of flame is blue, blue flame. So we have gone from the white base to gray, now to the hottest blue flame, and this is it! Right here, this is for you guys, only, first, before United States gets it.
This is great, I am LEBRON, this is Jason Petrie, we signed it off.