Nike LeBron XXI bridging nature, technology and sports

September 21, 2023
by
Nike LeBron XXI bridging nature, technology and sports
ADVERTISING

Inspired by the concept of protection, the Nike LeBron XXI is a product of a thoughtful design process which sought inspiration from an unlikely source – an oyster shell. Designed to protect the precious pearl inside, the oyster shell metaphorically translates to the shoe’s upper, engineered to safeguard the player’s foot during explosive movements on the court.

ADVERTISING
Nike LeBron XXI bridging nature, technology and sports

Basketball icon LeBron James found inspiration for this innovative design in his 8-year-old daughter, Zhuri, reflecting his desire for protection not only on the court but also in his personal life. The shoe’s upper mirrors the veining of an oyster shell, made with lightweight materials and striated venting to contain the player during dynamic movements. This containment is achieved through a lightweight mono-mesh reinforced by 360 degrees of zonal cables around the midfoot, which helps support and secure the player over the footbed. Additionally, perforations on the medial Swoosh enhance breathability, while underfoot, the shoe features a Zoom Turbo unit in the forefoot and a bottom-loaded, 13-millimeter Zoom unit to support propulsion. A full-length Cushlon 2.0 foam carrier provides a pillowy feel, and a TPU midfoot shank ensures stability and extra pop for dynamic movements.

Nike LeBron XXI bridging nature, technology and sports

Do you use Google News? You can follow your favorite media. Follow Fashionotography on Google News.

ADVERTISING

Jason Petrie, Lead Designer for the LeBron XXI, highlighted the approach taken from the previous model, the LeBron XX. “His trainer says it’s like taking care of an F1 car. You tweak the car between each race. You don’t need to rebuild the car completely. We wanted to retain some of the elements we know he loved, like the Zoom Turbo unit, but refine some of the finishes in the upper,” he explained. This approach signifies a desire to optimize rather than reinvent, reflecting the way LeBron maintains his body and game during the offseason.

Nike LeBron XXI bridging nature, technology and sports

Moreover, other elements of the shoe also draw inspiration from an oyster shell. The exposed construction on the foxing gives a shell-like appearance, and the perforated foam tongue is quilted, imitating a shell’s appearance while providing a plush feel.

The Nike LeBron XXI, which will be available in full family sizing, is set to release globally beginning September 28th. This launch marks yet another milestone in the evolution of basketball footwear, showcasing a design inspired by nature, perfected by technology, and approved by one of the greatest basketball players of all time.

Read more: Glow of the Aurora Borealis reflected in adidas TERREX x National Geographic collection