A sneaker to mark a milestone in an illustrious career, the Nike LeBron XX is an important step in the iconic signature line-up between Nike and LeBron James. After the release of 19 previous sneakers, the pair decided to do something extra special with the LeBron 20. This sneaker serves as a commemoration of James’ 20th year as a Nike athlete and a part of the NBA.
Because of its commemorative status, the LeBron 20 is rife with nods to the past in the form of the design structure and a few classic materials used. It also sports a colourway that serves as a throwback to James’ past. One impressive thing about the pair is the fact that they were made for the next generation of basketball. So while they may be celebratory, they also serve as a way to symbolically pass the torch.
The LeBron XX was announced with an amazing Laser Blue colourway which has vibrant pink accents and lime green. There’s also a “Time Machine” colourway set to drop. Pricing begins at $200 USD (around R3500).
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How Nike Designed the LeBron XX
The sneakers are designed with Nike’s Zoom Air in its heels and toes in different forms. At the heels, it is loaded with a 13mm Zoom Air Unit that helps with impact protection and softens landing on the court. Meanwhile, there’s a top-loaded Air Zoom Turbo unit to help with quick and aggressive movements.
The midfoot shank uses a carbon fibre material for sturdiness without sacrificing comfort or weight. A synthetic-wrapped lateral guardrail in the LeBron 20 is designed to ensure that your foot is consistently in place even when the outsole grips the court.
As a piece dedicated to the next generation, some more James input made its way into the design, and we are not talking about LeBron. The fast-rising sons of the icon, Bronny and Bryce James are skilled on the court in their own right. They’ve also got a fresher take on what the next generation of players prefer in a pair of basketball shoes.
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This input was made possible thanks to the lead designer of the Nike LeBron brand since the Zoom LeBron VII, Jason Petrie. To certify the inventive step for the LeBron XX, the stitched tag on its tongue says “Designed and Engineered to the Exact Specifications of the Next Generation”.
As the creator of the Nike LeBron XX, LeBron’s career is honoured in various parts of the basketball shoes. The collar uses Nike’s Sphere technology, one that was originally used for the Air Zoom generation in 2003. LeBron was a huge part of the first era of Air Zoom, so seeing the sphere make a return is a nice callback. Its carbon fibre midfoot shank also sports the since abandoned Dunkman logo. The last time this made an appearance was back in the era of the Zoom LeBron 5 and LeBron 16 sneakers.