words // Zac Dubasik
Considering he went straight from high school to the League, as one of the most hyped phenoms of any sport ever, it'd be fair to say that LeBron hasn't gone a single season without seeing exclusive St. Vincent-St. Mary colorways since they started rolling in before he could legally drive.
To help celebrate today's induction of LeBron and his SVSM High School teammates into the school's Athletic Hall Of Fame, here's a look back at the long list of exclusive SVSM signature shoes that Nike has since created once he turned pro.
Read along for a refresh of each model in chronological order.
Air Zoom Generation
While he had plenty of exclusive colorways of his kicks in high school, this was the first SVSM colorway of LeBron's own signature line, and foreshadowed what has since become some of the most anticipated sneakers each season (even though very few have actually released). We should have seen it coming.
Zoom LeBron II
As sneaker fans, we'd long been aware of the existence of player exclusives and special editions, many of which were never released and rarely even seen. But when the Zoom LeBron II came around, all of the sudden, these special makeups became central to the culture. Pairs that managed to find their way into the market went for huge money, and all of the sudden, fans were as excited to see which colorways wouldn't release as those that would. And the home and away SVSM IIs played a big part in that interest.
Zoom LeBron III
In the midst of "The LeBrons" campaign, Nike released a series of four Zoom LeBron IIIs - each representing one of the personas taken on by LeBron in the ads. The "Kid" editions featured a SVSM colorway, along with a pair of headphones on the medial side toe. This was the first SVSM-themed colorway to release to the public, though two exclusive versions were still made just for the team and the ever-vague "Friends & Family."
Zoom LeBron IV
The swooping lines of the Zoom LeBron IV's midsole made home and away colorways of this unreleased shoe seem more like 50-50 flips.
Zoom LeBron Soldier I
When the first House of Hoops launched in November of 2007, these Zoom LeBron Soldier Is were among the exclusive inventory for sale. An alternate green nubuck version was also later created.
Zoom LeBron V
Beginning with the Zoom LeBron II, Nike released a series of "Birthday" edition footwear each December to commemorate LeBron's big day. While they didn't include a SVSM logo, the away colorway of the V paid tribute to his high school with a green suede upper and gold accents, and was the final shoe in the short-lived "Birthday" series. As per usual, an alternate (and much, much better) version was also created for the SVSM team.
Zoom LeBron Soldier II
Following in the footsteps of the original Zoom LeBron Soldier, the second edition of the line also released at the House of Hoops in an away colorway, with a contrasting version remaining exclusive to the team.
Zoom LeBron VI
For the first time since his days at SVSM, LeBron James stepped foot onto an NBA court in a green and gold colorway sneaker. In honor of St. Patrick's Day in 2009, LeBron laced up the home colorway of The Six to face the Magic.
Zoom LeBron Soldier III
Now three years into the Soldier line, having a House of Hoops release for one colorway had become a trend, while the away-based white patent colorway stayed an exclusive.
Air Max LeBron VII
In celebration of the SVSM documentary film "More Than a Game," Nike and LeBron embarked on a 10-stop World Tour. At each stop, an exclusive edition of the Air Max LeBron VII released in this home SVSM colorway. Rather than featuring the "Irish" logo on the medial side, that panel of the released shoes featured scenes from the movie. The team of course wasn't left hanging, as they got a custom version of the World Tour colorway, along with a clean green based team exclusive.
Zoom LeBron Soldier IV
While two SVSM colorways per model has become commonplace in the LeBron line, the Soldier IV took it to the next level, with four. A version, sans SVSM logos, of the green and white away-based colorway hit retail. The rest didn't, which means the only images we got of them are courtesy of player's camera phones. Thanks Twitter!!
Nike LeBron 8
Although the V/2 was already out, SVSM colorways of the original version of the 8 have recently surfaced, continuing the eight-year-streak.
Zoom LeBron Ambassador II
The China-exclusive Zoom LeBron Ambassador II debuted its own SVSM colorway on the second edition of the model.
Zoom LeBron Ambassador III
After following up its second installment, will we see a SVSM colorway with each new Ambassador model, much like the signature and Soldier lines?
Dunk Pro B Low
Long before cement print was thrown on virtually any panel of any shoe imaginable, it was found on this green and gold Dunk Pro B, featuring LeBron's original logo.
Air Force 1 Low
It may not have had any SVSM logos, but the colorway is unmistakable. This LeBron AF1 actually hit stores, and featured premium leather along with lasered logos.