Nike unveiled a first look at the upcoming LeBron Soldier 14 iteration and it doesn’t disappoint.
Jason Petrie, the designer behind much of the Nike LeBron footwear franchise, explained the latest Soldier sneaker aims to reduce bulk and increase speed and mobility. To do so, the brand stripped back layers, allowing the foot to feel the full impact of the Zoom Air unit. The straps will be replaced with a dual lacing and toggle system for a locked-down feel with a lightweight appeal and smooth ride. The brand has yet to release a price point or drop date at time of press.
“Designing the Soldier is similar to designing a sports car. You’re innovating off of a single ideal, which is lockdown,” Nike designer Petrie said of the new shoe in a statement. “That sharpened focus is why I love designing the Soldier line.”
“The Solider was always about serving LeBron and giving him another thing in his quiver he needed that wasn’t in his game shoe,” added Petrie about the line of sneakers. “All of it was built around giving LeBron lockdown, so we created a shoe completely based around it, giving him this totally protected, contained force for his feet. Playoff mode, team shoe, FlyEase, straps, laces — there’ve been different takes throughout the years, but it’s always been another tool LeBron could pull out at any time. With the Soldier, many of those performances helped define his legacy.”
The Nike LeBron Soldier 14 will release on Aug. 1 in Greater China. The price point has not yet been revealed.
On top of the new LeBron Soldier design, the brand is also ready to release a new shoe in NBA star LeBron James’s signature franchise. The Nike LeBron 18 brings out the best elements from a line of previous sneakers from the athletic powerhouse for King James and combines them with a modern configuration and more support than ever. The Nike LeBron 18 releases beginning in September, however no set date or price point has been released yet at the time of press.
Though Nike has yet to release live imagery of the sneaker, it did debut a series of sketches from Petrie as for what to expect when the sneaker does drop. Initially offered in a Lakers-inspired purple, black and white colorway, the LeBron 18 features a split design running straight down the middle from forefoot to heel.
The LeBron 18 includes both an Air Max unit in the heel as well as a full-length Zoom Air Bag for doubled shock absorption and responsiveness. The uppers combine the Battleknit fabric from the LeBron 15, the durable yarns from the 16 and the state-of-the-art yarns that built the 17’s exoskeleton.
Instead of foam, the sneaker incorporates Max Air in the tongue with non-pressurized air pockets; this design adds comfort as well as translucent windows to customize the look with colored socks. As for traction, the LeBron 18’s outsole comes sectioned into quadrants, letting each zone of the foot reap the benefits of appropriate traction properties for the area.