A modified pair of Air Jordan 1s worn by Michael Jordan in 1986 upon his return from a foot injury set a record for the highest price ever paid for the model. The shoes, which were customized to include an ankle support system to protect Jordan’s left foot, sold Sunday for $55,000 through Heritage Auctions. They’re one of two known modified pairs to exist today.
He is a spokesman for chocolate milk and an obscure — in the U.S. anyway — Chinese shoe company. He signed an $80 million, 10-year extension to wear the sneakers. “Life’s good,” Thompson said. “I never thought I’d get paid millions of dollars to wear shoes and apparel. I’m very proud to be a part of Anta. … It’s so cool that I’m big in China. I never thought I’d be on billboards and posters in China.”
ESPN recently caught up with Jason Petrie, the designer of the LeBron 15, to talk about how the shoe came to be and how LeBron James’ tastes have evolved. Q: What caused the line to take a pretty strong diversion from what the shoe looked like the last several years? A: I think really the major contributor to that was being able to build the upper a brand-new way with the new expression of Flyknit that we were able to use. Being able to build a shoe that contains LeBron — which is kind of always the problem, it’s why we build shoes the way we do for him just to try to hold his foot in place and give him the protection that he needs — with this kind of advance in Flyknit, it allowed us to strip out a lot of layers, strip away bulk and extra weight and excess so you get kind of a new silhouette.
Q: LeBron made this shoe’s debut at a fashion show. Certainly his last three shoes, there was no mistaking, they were basketball shoes. This shoe has a bit of a crossover appeal. How did that come about? Jason Petrie: He definitely takes what he wears seriously and he’s always said, ‘It’s got to be hot.’ He understands where most people wear their shoes is off-court. And that’s something we always have in the back of our minds. LeBron, he wants to be fashionable, but he also wants to be unique and kind of do his own thing, not really follow what other folks are doing. Fashion, it is considered, but it’s all driven by the function of the shoe first.
Q: With Nike Basketball having four active guys with their own shoe, is there pressure to have LeBron’s shoe be unique from the other guys’ shoes? Jason Petrie: The cool thing is we all sit together so we all pretty much are constantly critiquing each other’s work in one way or another. Really getting inspired by something that someone is doing or jokes about what someone is doing or whatever it is — it’s a pretty ruthless crowd, but in a good way. But I do think the guys that we have really have a whole different style to them. LeBron is so much different than Paul [George]. Paul is so much different than [Kevin Durant]. Their personalities, their style really funnel us down a totally different direction most of the time, where you end up with different products and expressions that a lot of times look like they embody the athlete.
According to Yeezy Mafia, a collab between Adidas and Bape around Damian Lillard’s Dame 4 signature model is releasing around 2018’s NBA All-Star events. Pairs of the Dame 4 are rumored to release in “Green Camo” and “Black Camo” colorways. The mock-up photos feature Bape camo uppers and the iconic Bape shark teeth on the midsole. More details can be seen on the insole, laces, and back tab of the shoe.