5 Design Aspects of the Nike LeBron 12 That Separate It From the Competition

  • Hyperposite Wings

    Where the standard basketball shoe generally emphasizes support in the toe box or forefoot, the LeBron 12 shakes things up with Hyperposite wings slapped on the sides for targeted, lockdown support and protection. For an explosive player like LeBron, who makes strong cuts and intense lateral movements, the wings help contain that built-up energy for confident and efficient footwork. Let’s not forget, too, that the man in question stands tall at 6-8 and tips the scale at 250 pounds, so he needs all the support he can get. Fortunately, his latest signature shoe delivers, and the newly integrated Hyperposite technology can certainly take some credit for that. Pair it with another marquee piece of tech in the Dynamic Flywire cables and you have the makings of a hoops shoe that’s tailored to meet the demands of the highest level of the sport.

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  • Reconfigured Zoom Air

    Nike’s Zoom Air technology has been providing ballers with exceptional cushioning since it was first introduced to the hardwood back in 1995. Implemented in virtually every Nike footwear category in some form or another since, the tech has undeniably been an integral part of the brand’s performance DNA. However, there’s no question that Zoom Air was born on the basketball court first and foremost. And that’s where it truly shines.

    To take the LeBron 12 to the next level, Nike switched up the standard design of the Air unit from a single, full-length piece to a unique five-unit layout mapped to the pressure points of King James—a concept that took four years to develop. The five hexagonally-shaped Zoom Air Bags act independently to give the midsole greater cushioning for a soft landing, as well as improved natural motion for greater agility. The immediate result is a stronger burst of explosiveness with each step.

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  • Megafuse Upper

    Every king needs his armor, and Megafuse is that essential barrier that separates King James and those constantly attempting to overtake his throne. Ok, so maybe it’s not that serious, but the man (and the countless ballers who lace up in his kicks) needs to protect his feet from the grueling effects of the game, and it seems as though Megafuse is the answer.

    A beefed-up version of Hyperfuse, the LeBron 12 marks the first time ever that the new technology has been integrated into any piece of Nike footwear. Though it’s constructed of fewer layers for reduced weight, the top layer is stronger than it has ever been, making the LeBron 12 extremely durable. The best part of it all is that the new upper is as comfortable as it is functional. It locks down the foot securely without any restrictions.

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  • The Aesthetics

    You can’t talk about the design of a shoe without discussing its actual aesthetics. As these things generally tend to do, the design of LeBron’s signature line has gradually evolved over the various dozen iterations (and counting). While you can take your pick of the litter depending on your personal preference, you have to hand it to Nike for continually pushing the bounds of what they can accomplish, and how they can set this particular shoe apart from all the others littering the market. Some of the design elements, like the upper and the midsole, have been touched earlier. What we want to stress here is the shear amount of options Nike and LeBron are providing to consumers. Even before the shoe dropped the Swoosh had seven different colorways of the 12 lined up. Since then, it seems like there’s another edition dropping on a weekly basis. Sure, the Nike Kobes and Nike KDs of the world are also well-represented, but in terms of hype and collectability, the LeBron series reigns supreme.

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  • Clear Visibility

    There are no secrets to LeBron’s game. You know that he’s going to attack the rim with relentless focus every time he steps on the hardwood. Similarly, his shoe, the LeBron 12, hides nothing while offering ballers the perfect tool to help elevate their own game. From the exposed Hyperposite wings down to the translucent rubber outsole that shows off the colorful honeycomb array of visible Zoom Air pockets, all of the elements of what makes the shoe elite and separates it from the competition are on full display.

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  • Nike LeBron 12

It may be too early to do so from the perspective of a basketball purist, but one day, when it’s all said and done, Michael Jordan and LeBron James will be mentioned in the same conversation for the greatest and most revolutionary athlete the NBA has ever witnessed. Yes, LeBron has a whole lot left to accomplish both on and off the hardwood to even come close to overtaking MJ’s legendary status, but if there’s one baller on this planet that even has an outside shot at it, it’s King James.

On the court, it’s unlikely that LeBron will be able to recreate the same magic that MJ blessed us with night after night in his prime—we know this. Even if he racks up a couple more rings before the end of his career, the larger-than-life aura that surrounds No. 23 (the real No. 23) is just too much to handle for any human, even one as freakishly athletic and talented as LeBron James. Off the court, well, he probably doesn’t stand a chance there, either. After all, in addition to his acting and business pursuits, MJ single-handedly changed the trajectory of the sneaker world and is the reason why current pro ballers like LeBron, Kobe, and KD have signature shoe lines in the first place…although that doesn’t change the fact that LeBron has created his own legacy in the footwear department—a good one at that.

Not since the MJ era have we seen a basketball signature shoe line hit 12 successive iterations, as the Nike LeBron series has done. It’s not the 29-mark that the Air Jordan currently sits at, but there’s something to be said about a shoe that has been running strong for over a dozen years and counting. At the same time, there’s no telling what the future holds for the Nike LeBron, especially when he retires. So, for now, we’ll focus on the present.

The LeBron 12 was born in the lab following years of innovation from Nike and, just as importantly, insight from LeBron. It’s a shoe that’s built to the specifications of the best basketball player in the world, so you can expect nothing less than greatness. In honor of the latest release of the shoe, we take a look at 5 Design Aspects of the Nike LeBron 12 That Separate It From the Competition.

Follow Gurvinder on Twitter at @gurvindersg