Saturday, April 16, 2011
Nike and LeBron James Go Lighter and Leaner for the Post Season
Nike (NYSE: NKE) and LeBron James announced today the next generation of James’ eighth signature shoe, the LEBRON 8 PS. Launching globally on April 16th, the LEBRON 8 PS is the final version in the series of three LEBRON 8 footwear styles customized to LeBron’s specific needs as his season continues into the playoffs.
Built around LeBron's impenetrable game which utilizes power, size and speed, the LEBRON 8 PS is lighter, lower to the ground, more responsive and designed expressly to take this versatile athlete into the post season.
The LEBRON 8 PS continues the trend of maximizing lightweight strength for the seven-time All-Star’s eighth signature shoe. As LeBron’s first signature shoe featuring Hyperfuse construction, the LEBRON 8 PS sheds 1.5 ounces from the regular season model (U.S. Men’s Size 9), making a statement as the 82-game season comes to a close and the playoffs begin.
Heading into the final stretch of the season, the LEBRON 8 PS mirrors my evolving game as strength and endurance are tested, said James. The lion symbol on the tongue of all three versions of my eighth signature shoe keep me hungry and focused each time I lace up.
Jason Petrie, designer of the LEBRON 8 series, collaborated closely with LeBron from the outset as this three-part series began. One of the main things LeBron and I talked about early on was how do we develop a series of shoes that syncs with the change in his body and in his game over the course of the season, especially as he moves from the regular season into the intense and critical post-season, said Petrie. LeBron found success in the first two LEBRON 8 shoes and we want to make sure we give him every advantage as he enters this intensified last run of the season.
Inspired by outdoor basketball in Beijing, Hyperfuse construction provides strong and lightweight lockdown support with a unique breathable quality difficult to attain in high-performance basketball footwear. The LEBRON 8 PS combines three unique materials together to form the Hyperfuse constructed upper. The first layer is made of synthetic underlays strategically placed for support, the second layer is made of single layer mesh for ventilation, and the top layer is made of a thin layer of TPU that is placed in high-wear areas for durability.
For added lightness, Petrie changed up the Max Air cushioning from the Max Air 360 unit to a lighter Max Air 180 unit in the heel, Nike Zoom unit in the forefoot and carbon fiber in the arch to create an evolved cushioning system engineered for LeBron. The full-length Cushlon midsole of the LEBRON 8 PS provides springy, resilient and durable cushioning and comfort.
The solid rubber outsole’s herringbone pattern and outrigger provide superior traction, quickness and lateral stability, while the exaggerated flex grooves in the forefoot and heel expose the midsole foam to reduce the overall weight of the shoe.
Like the first LEBRON 8 and V/2, the LEBRON 8 PS visual design was inspired by a lion and James’ ability to attack from all angels on the basketball court. Distinguishing details such as the tongue’s depiction of a lion facing his opponents, LeBron’s signature on the heel, plus eyestays shaped like the number eight in reference to James’ eighth signature shoe, complement a design personalized to James’ performance. Fans of the shoe will discover the subtle change in the inner-tongue to reflect the completion of the 82 games regular season, and the start of the 28 game post season.