This week, I’ve completed my first and second basketball practice wearing the newest Nike Air Max LeBron VIII. The result?… Nike was able to reach better performance in basketball… ufff. Many of you may think that the VIII is not enough of an upgrade in comparison with the VII. Maybe it’s not the obvious visial upgrade, but in terms of playing basketball… it’s better. The final outcome is positive. The VII was a great season shoe for LeBron James, but it was the very first meeting of 360 Air Max, Flywire and LeBron. Now as they got accustomed with each other, the VIII is more polished and seems more mature than last year’s model. The weight is almost exactly the same – see the actual numbers – so unlike the current trend to make things lighter than air, there’s no change here. We all know King James will have another version without the extra baggage so that’s cool. Plus no other shoe offers as much protection for your feet as LeBron’s signature line. It counts for much more when you have 82 games in mind chasing 72 wins and all sort of other NBA records.
What I like most about the Eight is the fit. It starts with lacing, which without the huge Flywire panel is much more effective. And please don’t underestimate that fact because the lockdown is finally adjustable, especially in the areas you need it most. The height differential in the collar plays a big part here too… it allows for a tighter lace up without compromising freedom of movement around the ankle. Finally, better fit results in better court feel. Seems like the Air Max unit has been modified some way or maybe it’s the new midsole, cause the difference is noticeable from the first step. Of course, it still feels like walking on pillows. The best part, which doesn’t happen to me a lot so it’s kind of a big deal, I didn’t have any blisters or any other pain after 2 hours of balling. That’s how comfortable they are. It reminds me of the LeBron II and that says a lot. The VII was a great shoe. It started a new era. It had the looks for it. The VIII is a better basketball shoe. As for the overall appeal… I believe Nike to make a few colorways that will make us drool. If you play video games, the VII and VIII are like NBA 2k10 next to the 2k11 and FIFA 10 next to the 11. At first sight everything is almost the same, both are great, you can’t tell anything bad about the first one, but it’s the little things that make you say wow. We’re in for another good year for LBJ and his kicks. Let’s hope it will transfer for the on court success as well. Couple new pics of the USA’s, my balling pair, below. Part two of the showcase will be published within the next couple days. Shout out to marqueesole.com for the access to the shoes.Show Album