Play Like a Champion With the Nike Zoom LeBron II

Blue and Black Nike Zoom Lebron II Sneakers

Some people are destined to be champions, and that certainly was the case for LeBron James. Debuting with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003, Nike partnered with James to offer his signature shoe by the end of his first season. While the Nike Zoom he wore later adopted his name, it was the Nike Zoom LeBron II that first bore his name in 2004. They have continued to be a fan favorite both on and off the court to this day.

What is the heritage behind

the Nike Zoom LeBron II?

LeBron James was drafted right out of high school and became one of the few �Prep-to-Pro� players in the league. The inauspicious beginning did not prevent Nike from recognizing a future champion, and they quickly partnered with him to bring out a line of mid-top LeBron sneakers.

The first in the line did not bear his name and was named the Nike Air Zoom Generation.

Grey Nike Zoom Lebron II Sneakers

The line�s name was changed to reflect the rising star with the release of the Nike Zoom LeBron IIs. The original release to retail included three colorways and arrived in stores on November 6, 2004.

The LeBron James strap closure basketball sneakers included many technological advances as a performance shoe. The first was the use of dual Max Zoom units, one under the forefoot and one under the heel. These Max Zoom units were evolved versions of the already popular Zoom Air units.

The LeBron IIs also featured a fully removable ankle strap. The use of these straps became consistent with both the Zoom LeBron line as well as the LeBron Soldier line for many generations of the shoe. The Zoom LeBron line lasted through six generations before changing the cushioning technology.

How do the Nike Zoom LeBron II differ from the LeBron II Soldier?

Nike did not waste time expanding into another line of LeBron James strap closure basketball sneakers. They began developing the LeBron Soldier line, with the first edition released in 2007. By the summer of 2008, Nike had released the second version of the Soldier line.

While both mid-top LeBron sneakers bore King James�s style, they were in no way merely different renditions of the same shoe. The LeBron II Soldier dropped the use of straps for additional lockdown control. Rather, the shoe featured an added eyelet to provide additional ankle support.

The Soldier II was also released over the summer, an unusual time for a basketball shoe. It paid homage to James� heritage of learning to shoot with milk crates instead of hoops. The tread, the forefoot, and even the lace loops were inspired by those milk crates.

Nike Zoom LeBron II vs Nike LeBron II Soldier Shoes

Nike Zoom LeBron II Nike LeBron II Soldier
Fit A little small A little small
Closures Laces with removable ankle strap Laces
Available Colors 3 9
Limited Editions Yes Yes

Were there special editions of the Nike Zoom LeBron II?

While the initial release of the LeBron IIs had very few options, Nike wasted no time bringing out limited editions. The first to premiere was the NBA All-Star Edition as a congratulatory gesture to James. These shoes first premiered on February 15, 2005, and featured a gray and white colorway with varsity blue in the midsole.

In December 2005, Nike released a limited run known as the Birthday Edition. These featured an all-black colorway in celebration of James� birthday on December 20. Nike produced a small run of 500 for distribution.

Even more exclusive was the Dunkman edition. These were concept shoes given to James� friends and family with only 65 pairs known to exist. It was this shoe that spawned the later Dunkman line.

LeBron James achieved another career record on January 19, 2005. This was the night he first achieved a Triple Double, becoming the youngest player in the NBA to do so. The player exclusive Zoom LeBron IIs he wore that night become known as the LeBron James Triple-Double sneakers.

Nike Zoom Lebron II Sneakers

How do the Nike Zoom LeBron II fit and feel?

The Zoom LeBron IIs are a performance shoe, so they are designed to fit snugly. Therefore, many users go up a half size. See the manufacturer's site for details. That snug fit is perfect for great performance on the court. Once you tighten down the laces and adjust the ankle strap, your foot is locked down and is not going to move around in the shoe.

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