Officially unveiled last month, LeBron James' fifteenth signature sneaker with the Nike LeBron 15 is scheduled to drop in a "Ghost" edition for its inaugural colorway tomorrow, while a special “King’s Cloak” variation with KITH is set to follow soon after.
Lead designer Jason Petrie, who has worked on every LeBron signature since the LeBron 7, recently spoke about designing the new silhouette in a new interview with Nike, as he gave insight about the shoe's new tech, "BattleKnit" and why it was used on the LeBron 15, the new tooling it sits on, as well as other nuances of this newest model.
Here's a few takeaways that we learned from the conversation.
...on how he and LeBron began to talk about the LeBron 15's aesthetic.
JP: "LeBron and I have talked about Flyknit products for a while now, but we never had a conversation about making it look a particular way. He leaves the creative portion of it up to us (unless there is something specific that he's looking for). The aesthetic of this shoe comes from knit.
We showed him a very early iteration of the Flyknit, and he loved the texture and feel of it. But he still had questions: "Will this work for me? Are you guys sure this is going to hold up?" We went through a lot of testing to make sure it was right."
...on how the technology help achieve the look.
JP: "We always want the overall vibe of LeBron’s shoe to be aggressive, stylish, modern and classic. Flyknit, with its texture and dimension, defined the aesthetic from the get-go. We let that organic nature of the knit take us to that really aggressive diamond chainmail type of look."
...on the new Battleknit benefiting LeBron and what does this knit do.
JP: "This new iteration of Flyknit, Nike BattleKnit, is built specifically for LeBron. He needed something more than what knit uppers, to date, could provide for him structurally and also in the way that he wanted it to come to life. The main benefits we were looking for were containment and strength, but we also needed the things that are great about Flyknit: fit, a dialed design and less waste.
With the knit in one material, one basically fabric part, we're able to engineer the protection, stretch and performance specifications we want to have for each area of the shoe. It’s an all-in-one package that allows LeBron to feel locked down, feel protected and also be able to move freely to dictate the action on court and to respond and react when he needs."
...on the new tooling.
JP: "The LeBron 15 has a brand new air unit, a combination of Air Max and Zoom, formed for incredible transition, really great impact protection and a lightweight ride. It’s all the things you would expect out of Zoom Air with the comfort and protection of Air Max."
Read the interview in its entirety directly at Nike now.
Also, the Swoosh celebrates LeBron James’ latest signature sneaker with “The 15” pop-up.