LeBron has had his fair share of signature sneakers over the years, but which have been the best during the Kings' near 20-year career?
The selection is almost endless, with the only signature line that competes with LeBron's being Michael Jordan and his string of performance basketball shoes which, despite His Airness being retired, is about to reach its 37th model.
LeBron's list isn't quite as long, but there is still a strong selection of sneakers to choose from. Having scoured through some of the standout models, we've compiled a list of what we feel are the best LeBron sneakers based on their designs and any history and achievements behind them.
From iconic but controversial designs, like these "South Beach" 8s", to more modern releases, like these "Wile E. vs Roadrunner" 18s, that pay homage to a cinema classic, our list covers some of LeBron's best moments of all time.
Stick around as well because we've answered some of the most commonly asked questions surrounding the LeBron line to help you learn a little bit more about one of Nike's longest-running signature sneakers. Before that though, here's our list of the best Nike LeBron shoes...
Best Nike LeBron Shoes
- Nike LeBron 8 "South Beach" (Pre-Heat)
- Nike LeBron 19 "Chosen One"
- Nike LeBron 4 "Birthday"
- Nike LeBron 9 PS Elite "Home"
- Nike LeBron 18 Low "Wile E. vs Roadrunner"
Best Nike LeBron Shoes Of All Time - Nike LeBron 8 "South Beach" (Pre-Heat)
Although it comes down to personal preference as to what the best LeBron sneaker is of all time, we feel it's hard to argue against the "South Beach" 8 colourway.
Originally released in 2010, the sneakers debuted during a time when LeBron James became the biggest villain in the NBA after moving from the Cleveland Cavaliers to Miami Heat after seven years with the franchise.
Nike instantly capatilised on the publicity surrounding one of the hottest names in basketball by dropping this Miami Vice-inspired colourway dressed in a Filament Green tone which was unlike anything we'd seen from LeBron sneakers in the past.
The design was so popular in fact that the colour scheme started popping up on other shoes as well, including some of the best Air Max sneakers and even non-Nike trainers like these "Miami Beach" ASICS Gel-Lyte IIIs. As a result, we feel the "South Beach" 8 is one of the best LeBron sneakers of all time.
Best Recent Nike LeBron Shoes - Nike LeBron 19 "Chosen One"
To celebrate his 18th NBA All-Star Game, Nike dropped this "Chosen One" LeBron 19 colourway that pays homage to The King's life and career.
They feature rather unique rub-away uppers that, when peeled back, unveil cartoon-like graphics that reference LeBron's playing career and milestones. References include his NBA titles, MVP awards, and even a nod to his pre-NBA days playing for St. Vincent–St. Mary High School.
You also get metallic gold overlays featuring LeBron's iconic King logo and translucent cushioned midsoles complete with ice-blue outsoles for a standout look on the court.
Ultimately, we'd argue you won't find a better pair of sneakers that encapsulate LeBron's entire career than these "Chosen One" 19s.
Best Nike LeBron Shoes From Early In His Career - Nike LeBron 4 "Birthday"
The LeBron 4 is arguably one of the most unique-looking sneakers from the entirety of The Kings signature collection.
The design is more akin to a pair of Foamposites than a LeBron. However, we feel the uniqueness is what makes this particular model one of the best from early in James' career.
The "Birthday" colourway, in particular, stands out to us as it was released, unsurprisingly, for LeBron's birthday on 30 December 2006. The sneakers dropped for Nike members only and came dressed in bright orange and blue as a throwback to Cleveland Cavaliers jerseys from yesteryear.
Moreover, the sneakers came in a special zipped bag with an L23 logo stitched on the face of the box and LeBron's birthday stamped on a metal plaque just below. Nike really went above and beyond to celebrate the birthday of one of the hottest prospects in basketball at the time.
Best Title-Winning Nike LeBron Shoes - Nike LeBron 9 PS Elite "Home"
We feel no list of LeBron's best sneakers is truly complete without mentioning the white and black "Home" 9s which The King wore on the court during his first-ever NBA title win.
LeBron and his Miami Heat teammates managed to overcome Oklahoma City Thunder in five games, with the fifth and final match ending 121 - 106 to Miami after a dominant LeBron performance which saw him pick up 26 points, 11 rebounds, and 13 assists.
The "Home" 9s aren't your normal LeBron 9s though. No, Nike took the model to a new level with features like a durable Pro Combat bootie, ventilation panels around the collars, kevlar laces, and carbon fibre midfoot shank plates, resulting in these special PS Elite editions of the shoes.
All in all, the "Home" colourway holds a special place in the history of the LeBron sneakers as it carries an achievement which can never be beaten again.
Best Nike LeBron Shoes To Make A Statement - Nike LeBron 18 Low "Wile E. vs Roadrunner"
2021 saw Warner Bros. release a standalone sequel to Michael Jordan's iconic Space Jam movie with LeBron James as the new star alongside all the Looney Tunes regulars.
To coincide with the release of the film, Nike launched these special edition "Wile E. vs Roadrunner" 18 Lows which make direct reference to one of the most recognisable rivalries in cartoon history.
The pair are a mismatch, with the right sneaker dressed in yellow and blue tones to match the Roadrunner's instantly recognisable colours. The left shoe then features Wile E. Coyote’s signature brown and tan tones to tie the two warring characters together.
Other notable details include the "Tune Squad" patches on the tongues, contrasting Acme Co. explosives and Roadrunner's dust Swooshes, plus the classic "Yeow" and "Beep! Beep!" catchphrases printed on the midsoles.
Overall, we feel you won't find many better LeBron sneakers to make a statement than these "Wile E. vs Roadrunner" 18 Lows.
Frequently Asked Questions About Nike LeBron Shoes?
There have been so many LeBron sneakers released over the years, so you may have a number of questions about them. Don't worry though because we've answered some of the most commonly asked queries right here.
How Many Nike LeBron Shoes Has There Been?
At this moment in time, there have been 19 LeBron Nike sneaker models, but a 20th is on its way as James' enters his 20th year in the NBA.
Beyond this though, figuring out how many colourways Nike has released over the years is almost an impossible task as it's hard to factor in all the different special editions and player exclusives along with the base models that Nike has created.
LeBron's first signature sneaker, the Air Zoom Generation, debuted in five colourways in 2003, aka The King's debut year in the NBA, alone.
Since then though, the number of colourways released each year seems to have only increased, meaning there are now hundreds of unique LeBron James sneakers for you to choose from.
Where Can You Buy Nike LeBron Shoes?
However, it's unlikely you'll be able to pick up older LeBron colourways through Nike if you missed their initial release.
For more information, check out our list of the best places to buy sneakers right here.
Do LeBron Shoes Get Restocked?
On occasion, Nike will restock LeBron sneakers by releasing retro remakes of some of the most popular colourways and designs.
For instance, Nike brought back the "South Beach" 8s in 2021 following their immense popularity during their initial run in 2010.
However, as you can see, you may end up waiting years for Nike to restock and re-release certain LeBron colourways. Therefore, it may be more beneficial to try and find the sneakers second-hand if you're itching to get your hands on a certain LeBron shoe.
How Do You Lace LeBron Shoes?
Whether you're preparing your shoes to play in or simply lacing them up for everyday wear, the most commonly used technique remains mostly the same.
Begin by creating a straight bar across the front of the tongues by threading your shoelaces through the first eyelets.
Cross the ends over the middle of the tongues and thread through the next eyelets up on the opposite sides.
Repeat this process until you reach the top, making sure you leave enough length left to tie the two ends together.
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