LeBron James is often seen wearing Air Max sneakers, and he’s finally getting a pair to call his own. Nike is preparing to release an Air Max 95 to commemorate James, and all it took to make it happen was his fourth NBA Championship and a solidly padded resume.
James’ mismatched purple and yellow kicks list some of his many accomplishments, tucking them away onto the outsole in a bid for humility. The bubble pattern at the center provides the perfect platform to list off his place atop the NBA playoff scoring list, third place for total career points, two Olympic gold medals, 13 appearances on the All-NBA First Team, and Rookie of the Year honors, among others.
Underneath the midsoles’ translucent rubber is James’ number “23,” with one numeral on each sneaker. And while the ground-facing side of the shoe gets the most attention, the upper doesn’t look so bad either.
Purp and yellow — The two sneakers flip each other’s yellow and purple color schemes, including two excellent gradients that are signature to the Air Max 95. Both sneakers feature a black outsole with mesh in the same color, and if you look closely you’ll see a tiny “23” spread out again across the two tongues.
On the predominately yellow left shoe, the eyelets and mustache come in yellow — as do the visible Air Max units. The color blocking is then flipped for the right shoe, including purple Air Max units that are somewhat harder to make out. Perhaps the best detail of all is James’ crown logo, which is starting to get the Jumpman treatment by appearing on other teams’ jerseys. It appears on the tongue and insole with the colors reversed for each shoe.
James’ first Air Max to call his own also pay homage to the late Kobe Bryant through the packaging. The tissue paper in-box features a snake scale pattern serving as a nod to Bryant’s “Black Mamba” nickname.
Commence the LeBron Watch — While release details haven’t been officially confirmed, rumor has it the LBJ AM95 will release in limited numbers through the SNKRS app on March 30. But don’t be surprised if the actual release date comes four days earlier on March 26, the Swoosh-branded holiday Air Max Day.
Throughout the last several years, James and Nike have released several special-edition sneakers under the “LeBron Watch” banner — and it’s very possible that these will be the most covetable yet.