In an interesting move by Nike, the model names of the sneakers within LeBron James’ signature line will no longer include Roman numerals or cushioning system types. Official pictures of LeBron’s eighth shoe surfaced recently, along with photos of the box label which reads “LeBron 8.”
From October of 2009 to October of 2010, King James’ name will have appeared on, or been associated with, a total of six shoes internationally (Air Max LeBron VII, Air Max LeBron VII Low, LeBron VII P.S., Ambassador II, LeBron VII, Zoom Soldier IV). Each shoe has owned different performance characteristics which led to confusion about the models’ individual features.
If you recall, Nike actually added “Zoom” to the name of Kevin Durant’s third shoe, even though his first two contained the same cushioning and were simply the KD I and KD II, respectively. His shoes will stick to the Roman numeral system, while LeBron’s line will now use Arabic numerals.
This isn’t the first time in sneaker history that naming and numbering changes have taken place. Michael Jordan’s eighth signature sneaker, the Air Jordan 8, was the first shoe of the Air Jordan series to have the actual number featured on the box; coincidentally, it was also listed as an Arabic numeral. Prior and following Air Jordan models were officially labeled as “Air Jordan”, with no reference to the series number, until the Air Jordan XII (the first model under the newly formed Jordan Brand). Following signature models continued with Roman numerals and/or a mixture of Roman and Arabic numerals (i.e. Air Jordan XX3). Today, the release year of the Air Jordan signature sneakers now incorporate the release year in the title (i.e. Air Jordan 2010).