We’d seen peeks of LeBron’s 18th signature shoe in the NBA bubble, and now Nike have officially revealed the performance-packed baller, which champions a new cushioning set-up to support King James’ dynamic blend of power and speed.
The LeBron 18 introduces an Air Max unit in the heel, augmented by a full-length Zoom Air bag. Conceptually and visually, Nike’s designers divided the build into two unique halves, with details representing speed in the forefoot, and muscle in the heel. Fans of ‘Bron’s previous signatures will appreciate the throwback knit pattern, which incorporates elements from the LeBron 15, 16 and 17.
There’s also a translation of Max Air on the upper, replacing the tongue foam with non-pressurised air pockets. It’s a subtle reframing of material use, an experiment in sensation and comfort — and it’s an opportunity to flash pops of colour through socks for an extra on-court statement.
Down below, the traction has been refined. The forefoot is divided into quadrants with thin siping, which broadens as pressure moves toward the heel. This provides a stricter grid warp, at which point the traction softens, allowing each area of the foot to benefit from the appropriate traction properties. As Nike says, ‘No space is wasted’.
The LeBron 18 releases in September at select retailers and Nike. Debut colourways and exact dates will be revealed soon. Stay tuned!