Nike designer Jason Petrie breaks down details of the LeBron 16.
LeBron James' newest signature sneaker, the Nike LeBron 16, will make it's retail debut on September 20 in a "Fresh Bred" colorway that features a predominately black build accompanied by hits of varsity red. Ahead of the sneaker's release, Nike and LeBron 16 designer Jason Petrie recently broke down the specs of what went into James' 16th Nike signature.
First off, the LeBron 16 introduces Battleknit 2.0, an evolved version of the scalloped knit that first debuted on the Lebron 15. According to Nike, its structure increases tensile strength (important to contain James’s lateral force on court) and it has an elegant finish matching James’s current style.
“The knit team at Nike are geniuses,” says Petrie. “I don’t use that term lightly. They are mathematical artists and have created a new knit for the 16 that is strong enough to contain LeBron and successfully reduces any layers in the overall build that could slow him down.”
According to Nike, the LeBron 16’s other notable feature is its height. At LeBron's request, Petrie formed the shoe with a lower collar, which allows the athlete to move more freely.
“The first thing we wanted to do was get a little lower in the cut of the shoe,” says James. “I wanted to get a little faster, ride a little bit closer to the court and be a little bit more dynamic.”
Underfoot, a simple evolution of the Max Air cushioning platform introduced in the LeBron 15 supports James’s dynamic desires. “LeBron liked the cushioning so much last year that we just focused on refining it,” says Petrie. “For this addition, we removed the tendril that connected the forefoot to the under-toe bag, and instead included an outrigger to create some additional support to complement the lower height.”