September 10, 2017

LeBron James' Sneakers: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The public got their first clear look at LeBron James' 15th signature sneaker from Nike earlier this week, and it was received with mostly negative reviews. But just because one colorway or version of a sneaker isn't a great looking shoe doesn't mean later colorways will be that way. We decided to take a look back at the best and worst colorway for each year of LeBron's sneaker.

The public recently got their first clear look of LeBron James' 15th signature sneaker from Nike, and it was received with mostly negative reviews. But just because one colorway or version of a sneaker isn't a great looking shoe doesn't mean later colorways will be that way. We decided to take a look back at the best and worst colorway for each year of LeBron's sneaker.

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 Good | LeBron XIV: “Out of Nowhere”
The “Out of Nowhere” was the first XIV to debut and is still considered the best colorway of this iteration of LeBron’s signature sneaker. The neon and crimson accents really stand out on this colorway, which was modeled after the Nike Presto’s ACRONYM collaboration.
Photo via Photo via Nike

Good | LeBron XIV: “Out of Nowhere”


The “Out of Nowhere” was the first XIV to debut and is still considered the best colorway of this iteration of LeBron’s signature sneaker. The neon and crimson accents really stand out on this colorway, which was modeled after the Nike Presto’s ACRONYM collaboration.

Photo via Photo via Nike
 Bad | LeBron XIV: “Ultimate Warrior”
We get what this sneaker was trying to do; it was modeled after LeBron’s favorite wrestler, the Ultimate Warrior, who’s T-shirt was worn by LeBron after winning his third championship in Oakland. But this sneaker just didn’t hit it’s mark; it’s too busy. The strap is nice, with the Ultimate Warrior’s signature colors, but the upper neon accent combined with the orangish/red outersole isn’t working.
Photo via Sneaker News/Facebook

Bad | LeBron XIV: “Ultimate Warrior”


We get what this sneaker was trying to do; it was modeled after LeBron’s favorite wrestler, the Ultimate Warrior, who’s T-shirt was worn by LeBron after winning his third championship in Oakland. But this sneaker just didn’t hit it’s mark; it’s too busy. The strap is nice, with the Ultimate Warrior’s signature colors, but the upper neon accent combined with the orangish/red outersole isn’t working.

Photo via Sneaker News/Facebook
 Good | LeBron XIII: “Birds of Paradise”
We have to go with the “Birds of Paradise” for the best XIII LeBron sneaker for a few reasons - first and foremost, this was the year he won the championship in Cleveland and LeBron debuted this colorway at the Cavaliers’ Championship day parade. Besides that, it’s a clean colorway, not too busy but with multicolor accents. Also, the low version of the XIII is one of the rare LeBron’s where the low is a much better looking sneaker than the high so we had to go with a low here.
Photo via Inage via Nike

Good | LeBron XIII: “Birds of Paradise”


We have to go with the “Birds of Paradise” for the best XIII LeBron sneaker for a few reasons - first and foremost, this was the year he won the championship in Cleveland and LeBron debuted this colorway at the Cavaliers’ Championship day parade. Besides that, it’s a clean colorway, not too busy but with multicolor accents. Also, the low version of the XIII is one of the rare LeBron’s where the low is a much better looking sneaker than the high so we had to go with a low here.

Photo via Inage via Nike
 Bad | LeBron XIII: “Opening Night”
Really, most of the high LeBron XIII’s could be on the 'ugly' list, besides maybe the “BHM” and the “Akronite” colorways. The XIII is super bulky and the upper part of the sneaker looks like it has an Under Armour logo on it. Also, the Cavaliers lost to the Chicago Bulls on opening night in 2015 when LeBron debuted these sneakers.
Photo via Kicks On Fire/Facebook

Bad | LeBron XIII: “Opening Night”


Really, most of the high LeBron XIII’s could be on the 'ugly' list, besides maybe the “BHM” and the “Akronite” colorways. The XIII is super bulky and the upper part of the sneaker looks like it has an Under Armour logo on it. Also, the Cavaliers lost to the Chicago Bulls on opening night in 2015 when LeBron debuted these sneakers.

Photo via Kicks On Fire/Facebook
 Good | LeBron XII: “LeBronold Palmer”
Another LeBron where we prefer the low to the high, the “LeBronold Palmer” is the choice here. This is one of the more flamboyant LeBron’s that really work. The sneaker has a summery, lemonade motif that comes together really well, even if it gives us bad flashbacks to his Miami days.
Photo via Sneaker News/Facebook

Good | LeBron XII: “LeBronold Palmer”


Another LeBron where we prefer the low to the high, the “LeBronold Palmer” is the choice here. This is one of the more flamboyant LeBron’s that really work. The sneaker has a summery, lemonade motif that comes together really well, even if it gives us bad flashbacks to his Miami days.

Photo via Sneaker News/Facebook
 Bad | LeBron XII: “King’s Cork”
While we prefer the low to the high here, there were some really clean 12 highs. The “King’s Cork” wasn’t one of them. Nike should be applauded for pushing the envelope when it comes to sneakers, and fashion in general, but a cork sneaker just isn’t a great look.
Photo via Kicks On Fire/Facebook

Bad | LeBron XII: “King’s Cork”


While we prefer the low to the high here, there were some really clean 12 highs. The “King’s Cork” wasn’t one of them. Nike should be applauded for pushing the envelope when it comes to sneakers, and fashion in general, but a cork sneaker just isn’t a great look.

Photo via Kicks On Fire/Facebook
Good | LeBron XI: “What The”
The “What The” concept from Nike takes accents from many different sneakers and throws them all together to create a hodgepodge sneaker. Sometimes, they work, other times not as much. The LeBron XI “What The” is one of the good ones; not too overwhelming but with colors and accents that fit very nicely together, and not too overwhelming to be that perfect eclectic sneaker in any sneaker obsessive’s collection.
Photo via Sneaker News/Facebook

Good | LeBron XI: “What The”


The “What The” concept from Nike takes accents from many different sneakers and throws them all together to create a hodgepodge sneaker. Sometimes, they work, other times not as much. The LeBron XI “What The” is one of the good ones; not too overwhelming but with colors and accents that fit very nicely together, and not too overwhelming to be that perfect eclectic sneaker in any sneaker obsessive’s collection.

Photo via Sneaker News/Facebook
 Bad | LeBron XI: “King’s Pride”
For some reason, the LeBron XI came out in a lot of greenish colorways. The “What The” had green accents that looked good, and so did the “Nola Gumbo” and “South Beach” XI’s. The King’s Pride, however, contains a green accent that is sort of a puke green hue, which contributes to this being one of our least favorite LeBron colorways.
Photo via Sneaker News/Facebook

Bad | LeBron XI: “King’s Pride”


For some reason, the LeBron XI came out in a lot of greenish colorways. The “What The” had green accents that looked good, and so did the “Nola Gumbo” and “South Beach” XI’s. The King’s Pride, however, contains a green accent that is sort of a puke green hue, which contributes to this being one of our least favorite LeBron colorways.

Photo via Sneaker News/Facebook
 Good | LeBron X: “Christmas”
The VIIIs and IXs were widely considered some of the best LeBron’s, but the 10’s were a bit of a letdown. However, this under the radar 10 is one of our favorites. The “Christmas” colorway hits that perfect spot of not being too over the top but will still stand out enough for someone to notice. This is definitely one of our favorites on this list, perfect for the holiday season.
Photo via Kicks On Fire/Facebook

Good | LeBron X: “Christmas”


The VIIIs and IXs were widely considered some of the best LeBron’s, but the 10’s were a bit of a letdown. However, this under the radar 10 is one of our favorites. The “Christmas” colorway hits that perfect spot of not being too over the top but will still stand out enough for someone to notice. This is definitely one of our favorites on this list, perfect for the holiday season.

Photo via Kicks On Fire/Facebook
 Bad | LeBron X: “Miami Dade”
We’re Clevelanders, and so we like to ignore LeBron’s time in Miami, but even we have to admit that it led to some cool sneakers that we’ll get to later on. This one, the LeBron X Elite “Miami Dade” wasn’t one of those. The turquoise upper isn’t bad, but the black with the blue, combined with a lime green outersole is just not working together. We’re still waiting for these to transform.
Photo via Foot Locker Unlocked

Bad | LeBron X: “Miami Dade”


We’re Clevelanders, and so we like to ignore LeBron’s time in Miami, but even we have to admit that it led to some cool sneakers that we’ll get to later on. This one, the LeBron X Elite “Miami Dade” wasn’t one of those. The turquoise upper isn’t bad, but the black with the blue, combined with a lime green outersole is just not working together. We’re still waiting for these to transform.

Photo via Foot Locker Unlocked