Installation: Rare and Unreleased Nike LeBron Sneakers
This weekend UNKNWN will be displaying exclusive Nike LeBron sneakers on loan from Nike's official archives and from LeBron James' own personal collection. The sneakers include Player Exclusives, custom designs, never before seen samples, and much more. Read about the pairs below and view them in person exclusively at UNKNWN through July 12th, 2021.
LeBron 8 V/2 “Gloria James” - 2011 (On loan from LeBron James)
Since LeBron’s first season in the NBA and his first signature shoe, every year Nike has made a special version of his shoes in white and pink exclusively for his mother - Gloria James. As the years went by, Nike’s pink basketball shoes took off as a part of the “Think Pink” campaign in order to bring awareness to breast cancer. The popularity of the pink Nike LeBron colorways saw support during the WNBA Breast Health Awareness Week each season.
LeBron X “Diana Taurasi Away PE” - 2013 (On loan from LeBron James)
Career long LeBron athlete Diana Taurasi received a new Player Exclusive colorway of the Nike LeBron X in 2013. Supporting the Phoenix Mercury colorways, the Away edition features a textured silver upper with purple details on the Swoosh, Dynamic Flywire, and a lionhead lacelock. The shoes come with two pairs of additional laces dyed in Phoenix Mercury team colors.
LeBron 11 “Gloria” Sample - 2014 (On loan from LeBron James)
One of the many shoes celebrating LeBron James’ mother Gloria James, the “Gloria” colorway of this LeBron 11 never made it into production. The exclusive Nike sample is from LeBron James’ personal archive and carries bright shades of orange and red with a contrasting silver swoosh and blue translucent outsole.
LeBron 9 Nike iD Fan Gift - 2012 (On loan from LeBron James)
On October 11th, 2011 Nike launched the LeBron 9 on Nike iD for global fans to design and create their own colorway. During LeBron James’ Nike promotional tour to China in 2012 he was personally gifted a customized Nike iD pair from a young fan. James was so appreciative of the personal gesture that he posted a photo on Instagram of the shoes thanking his fans in China and has kept the pair to this day in his personal archive.
LeBron XI “Ring Ceremony” - 2013 (On loan from Nike Archives)
On October 29th, 2013, LeBron James hit the court for the opening game of the NBA regular season wearing the LeBron XI Player Exclusive known as “Ring Ceremony.” James and the Miami Heat were coming off two straight NBA titles. The celebratory sneaker features a red synthetic base, metallic gold Hyperposite, black details on the laces and inner lining and a gold-flaked translucent outsole. Printed on the heel of the special edition James wore on court was the “I PROMISE” motto.
LeBron 9 Elite - 2012 (On loan from Nike Archives)
Released in tandem with the 2012 NBA Playoffs, the LeBron 9 P.S. Elite “Home” is part of a three-piece Nike Basketball Elite Series. Highlighted by a carbon fiber midfoot shank and heel counter, the shoe also sports a white Hyperfuse upper with a matching Pro Combat inner sleeve. The visible Air unit in the heel sits atop a speckled outsole, while the jewel Swoosh appears in gold.
LeBron 8 “NBA Finals” - 2011 (On loan from Nike Archives)
Worn by LeBron James during the 2011 NBA Finals, this LeBron 8 P.S. “NBA Finals” eventually released at retail in September 2011. The signature sneaker features a red Hyperfuse upper with an intricate embossed lion on the white tongue and a white Swoosh with a Del Sol outline. It also comes with LeBron’s signature on the heel, speckled detailing on the Max Air 180 bag at the heel and a black outsole underfoot.
LeBron X P.S. Elite “Championship” - 2013 (On loan from Nike Archives)
Released in limited quantities to celebrate LeBron James’ second consecutive championship with the Miami Heat in 2013, the LeBron P.S. Elite is the same colorway that King James wore during the NBA Finals. The sneaker features a glossy red upper with a palm-leaf design inspired by Miami’s art-deco scenery and vegetation. The sockliners are stamped with the phrase ‘2-time champion’ and ’11-12, 12-13.’