COVID-19 has completely shifted the NBA schedule, with the 2019-20 season finally resuming this week. The changes have also impacted sneaker brands' planned rollouts, with some unveilings being postponed and others moved up. One of the latter appears to be LeBron James' next signature model, the Nike LeBron 18.
James somewhat unceremoniously debuted the LeBron 18 during Lakers practice earlier today. While no official announcements about the shoe were made, a source confirms with Sole Collector that it is indeed the next model in James' signature line.
The lone image, not yet supported by more detailed looks, doesn't reveal a lot but gives us a general idea of what to expect. Familiar LeBron elements such as Max Air are carried over, while the positioning of the Swooshes is a bit different—a small one adorns the toe and a larger mark runs along the rear part of the midsole on the medial side.
Details won't be scarce for long—expect an official announcement from Nike soon, as well as more detailed pictures and a design breakdown. The Lakers begin their scrimmages from the NBA Bubble on Thursday, which could be the first time we see James wear the LeBron 18 in a game. Stick with Sole Collector as news continues to develop.
UPDATE (07/23): With only a few hours removed since James debuted his next signature sneaker, Nike has officially unveiled the LeBron 18. According to the Swoosh, the upper of the LeBron 18 features a new knit blend that's pulled from some of James' past favorites ranging from 15 to 17 along with Max Air pockets in the tongue replacing the traditional foam. The tooling also offers a new cushioning setup to support his unique on-court attributes, boasting an Air Max unit in the heel that's paired with a full-length Zoom Air bag at the forefoot. The LeBron 18 will release starting in September.
UPDATE (09/18): Following months of teasers including some from King James himself, Nike has officially announced the release details surrounding LeBron James' next signature shoe. The LeBron 18 features a blend of knits featured on James' past three models to create the new Knitposite 2.0 upper. To accommodate his unique skill set, the tooling is equipped with a full-length Zoom Air bag at the forefoot while an Air Max unit cushions the heel.
The LeBron 18 will debut in the "Empire Jade" colorway in the Greater China region starting Sept. 21 followed by the "Multicolor" makeup arriving in the States on Oct. 9. The "Los Angeles By Day" iteration will release in North America on Nov. 6, while a release date for the "Reflections" style has not yet been announced. Check out each pair below.