As Dr. J retired in ’84, a young rookie by the name of Michael Jordan would carry the torch and change the game of basketball forever. But everyone knew his reign couldn’t last forever, and as he faded out in 2003, the torch would be carried on by another promising up and comer- Lebron James. The talented baller from Akron, Ohio would occupy the vacant throne for the new generation; fitting for his moniker of King James. And what took Nike $90M to secure Lebron, would be the beginning of a new powerhouse signature line. As the new Air Max Lebron VII continues to cause a stir since its debut, we reflect upon where it all started- the Nike Zoom Generation. Specifically a look at a sample that only few have had the privilege to see first hand. Though not technically a classic, glimpse at what could have just as well become a classic.
Just to remove any doubt of its rare sample status, notice the writing on the shoe; indicating wear results while testing in the lab. Moving onto the first noticeable attribute is the material application. While all the released Zoom Generations featured leather and ballistic nylon uppers, and the All-Star ‘Wheats’ rocked all suede, look how this pair combines the ballistic nylon with a suede upper. Another noticeable difference is the tooling in for the medial panel, forcing for a smaller Swoosh to take a seat by the ankle and veer onto the heel. Taking a look at the tongue and you’ll see a missing lacestay, along with a new tag arrangement- taking on a more square look than a strip to fit Lebron branding. With close examination, you can find some other small variations like the missing Nike imprint on the side of the sole, along with a smaller niche on the toebox. To top it off, a never before seen black/chrome colorway which might have been a fave for consumers.