Shima Seiki
Hanson Wade

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New Nike’s LeBron XVII introduces Knitposite

Entering his 17th season in the NBA, LeBron James latest Nike signature basketball sneaker will be hitting shelves this week.

27th September 2019

Knitting Industry
 |  Portland, OR

Sports/​Activewear, Collections

LeBron XVII. © Nike

LeBron XVII. © Nike

During a visit to Nike’s World Headquarters in Beaverton, OR, in June, LeBron James teased a look at the newest shoe in his line: the LeBron XVII. The new shoe offers updates that resolve LeBron’s quest for speed and support in his footwear.

Entering his 17th season in the NBA, LeBron James latest Nike signature basketball sneaker will be hitting shelves this week in the Future Air makeup boasting a new Knitposite upper while incorporating a Zoom Air and Air Max cushioning setup in the midsole.

“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,” commented Nike’s Jason Petrie, designer of the LeBron XVII. “The silhouette was a way to reset the mark for LeBron, and futuristically explore how we could help his game with the best that Nike offers.”

Introducing Knitposite

The newest shoe introduces Knitposite. Evolving the upper construction from Battleknit 2.0 on the LeBron XVI, the LeBron XVII combines lightweight Flyknit construction with heat-moulded yarns that add structure and colour. The result is durable, supportive and resists stretching.

LeBron XVII. © Nike

LeBron XVII. © Nike

“We wanted to blend the knit on the 15 and the strength of the Battleknit on the 16. The result is amazing. Once the heat is applied to the knitting process, you get this jewel-like armoured exoskeleton that's stuffed with these yarns,” explained Mr Petrie. “It's both structural and soft in the areas it needs to be.”

Shock absorption and cushioning

The shoe model has the highest-volume heel Max Air unit in a LeBron shoe, set beneath the heel to provide shock absorption for his explosive play. A soft foam pod directly under the Max Air units adds cushioning. “If you look at the evolution of LeBron's line, you'll see how he loves Max Air, and we felt like the volume of Air in the 17 was the next solution in providing the stabilization and support he needs,” said Mr Petrie.

Air Zoom is combined with Max Air for the ultimate hybrid cushioning. Air Zoom units in the forefoot respond to LeBron’s downhill speed from point to point. “The lateral and medial pods under the forefoot give him that response and comfort in conjunction with the Max Air bag,” said Mr Petrie. “The way LeBron sees it, he wants to feel confident from the ground up. He doesn't need help jumping. He wants to feel secure on the way down.”


Signature LeBron details have shifted to the tongue. The Lion crest was on the heel of the LeBron XVI, while the silhouette of LeBron dunking was on the outsole. The LeBron XVII shifts those details onto the tongue, combining phrases and symbols like I’m King, LJ and 23.

“LeBron wanted a more overt tongue for the shoe, which opens up the opportunity for personal storytelling,” said Mr Petrie. “There are other micro details, too. Making the topline jagged was our way of stepping into the crown of the king. Also, there's a woven label on the medial side that has the inspiration for the colourway. It's almost like a key to the shoe.”

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