Nike has officially released images of the LeBron XXI, a basketball shoe that evolves from its predecessor, the LeBron XX. The new design is inspired by LeBron James’ 8-year-old daughter, Zhuri, and aims to serve basketball’s next generation. The shoe incorporates premium lightweight materials modeled after the properties of an oyster shell, symbolizing protection and strength.
Advanced Underfoot Technology
The LeBron XXI features a Zoom Turbo unit in the forefoot, a bottom-loaded 13-millimeter Zoom unit in the heel, and a full-length Cushlon 2.0 foam carrier. These elements combine to provide a pillowy feel, stability, and extra pop for dynamic movements on the court.
Design Elements: More Than Just Aesthetics
The shoe’s upper venting is striated to resemble the veining of a shell, aiding in containing the player during explosive movements. This containment is further enhanced by a lightweight mono-mesh reinforced by 360 degrees of zonal cables around the midfoot. Additionally, perforations on the medial Swoosh offer enhanced breathability.
Words from the Lead Designer
Jason Petrie, the Lead Designer for the LeBron XXI, shared insights into the design process. “As we took our next steps from the LeBron XX, we were inspired by the way LeBron maintains his body and his game during the offseason,” says Petrie. “His trainer says it’s like taking care of an F1 car. 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.”
The shoe also showcases other qualities inspired by an oyster shell, such as exposed construction on the foxing and a perforated foam tongue that is quilted, both imitating a shell’s appearance and providing a plush feel.
The LeBron XXI will be available in full family sizing and is set to release globally beginning September 28, 2023.