Yesterday the third Soldier incarnation was finally released to public. Today we want to look back at the shoe that started this very interesting movement and we’ve got a bunch of nice photos just for the occasion. The Nike Zoom 20-5-5, first summer shoe in the LBJ line, was released in two waves. The first batch dropped in 2005 shortly after LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers missed the NBA Playoffs due to a loosing record with the New Jersey Nets (tied for the 8th spot). With only three colorways released, without any hype or anticipation at that point, there wasn’t much to talk about. But the design was nearly flawless!
The thing about basketball kicks is they are made for indoors (most of them at least). However, I’m sure every baller out there enjoys playing pickup games on the blacktop especially in the summertime. So if you would like to find some shoes fit for that, before the 20-5-5 had entered the game, you’d fail. There were some outdoor oriented designs on the market, but the common thing was the lack of performance. I mean why suffer and buy worse kicks for outdoors, right? Then the next season came… and what a beautiful run it was. It took just few games of LeBron wearing the 20.5.5., especially those Player Exclusive colorways 2006 playoff games, to bring the shoe’s hype to an all time high. Nike recognized the opportunity and released another batch of 20-5-5’s with three new colorways. Also, they fixed the only major flaw of the shoe – straps… as they were much stronger in the 2006 version. Afterwards, they were still on the top when LeBron decided to rock them joints in 2006 FIBA World Championship. Of course Nike released a limited “Olympic” version of the 20.5.5. Those who copped them did not regret their decision… oh no sir. Featuring a full-length Zoom Air unit(!), a plush inner bootie, ventilation holes on the upper, midfoot straps for lock down and extra durable outsole they are still one of the most comfortable sneakers ever! And it was only $110 for all this technology inside… that’s crazy. What people tend to overlook, they are just as good for indoors as they are for outdoors. They hadn’t had any competition on the blacktop until the Soldier series came to play, but indoors performance is simply amazing to say at least. I don’t think there’s enough appreciation for 20-5-5’s, but that’s what we are here for. Sure, back then there weren’t any House of Hoops stores around and with only 7 colorways released to public (both years) it wasn’t enough for sneakerheads either. Also, they come from LeBron’s sub/summer/playoff/outdoor/team line (call it whatever you want), so some fans used that as an excuse. But the truth is… they are so good that I hope this will be the first Zoom LeBron sneaker to be retro’ed. Although the IIs are also a strong candidate with only 3-4 colorways released and they are also a milestone in basketball history. With all that being said, take a look at the Nike Zoom LeBron 20-5-5 Navy/White/Gold PE… which according to our timeline was worn by The King just once on the 7th of May, 2006. Also, it’s one of the “Playoff Pack” 20-5-5 PEs and it’s the most difficult to get. Thanks to osneaker.com for help in finding us a pair.Show Album