The Inspiration Behind LeBron James’ New Nike Sneaker Will Surprise You

LeBron James will make his Los Angeles Lakers regular season debut tomorrow, but before he hits the court, his fans will have the chance to pick up a new colorway of his latest signature shoe.

The Nike LeBron 16 “King” drops tomorrow, a bold look executed with the brand’s team red hue on its upper, leopard-print graphics on the heel and a white midsole and outsole. This iteration of the sneaker, according to the brand, was inspired by the African meaning of his name.

Nike LeBron 16 King
Nike LeBron 16 “King”

The shoes also features James’ signature in gold on the tongues, as well as his number 23 on the right foot at the base of the tongue and his initials on the left.

The performance model is loaded with proprietary tech, including the strong and supportive Battleknit 2.0 material on the upper (Nike’s latest take on Flyknit) and impact-absorbing Max Air and Zoom Air cushioning.

The kicks also boast a new tongue design with a built-in gusset that widens so you can put the shoes easily, an external heel counter for stability and a padded collar with Achilles support.

Nike LeBron 16 King
A look from above the Nike LeBron 16 “King.”
Nike LeBron 16 King
The heel of the Nike LeBron 16 “King.”

The Nike LeBron 16 “King” arrives via the SNKRS app tomorrow at 10 a.m. ET and will retail for $185. The look will also be available in big kids’ sizing, which will come with a $160 price tag.

Following the release of the “King” style, Nike confirmed a purple take on the LeBron 16 will hit stores Friday when James hits the Staples Center court in L.A. for the first time in the regular season as a Laker.

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