Facts

Top
Signature
Lockdown
Lace-Up
Price
$180
Weight
16oz

Road

Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

Trail

Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who does not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who needs arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal arch. See the best stability shoes.

Motion control / severe overproanation / flat feet

Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

Good to know

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

Competition

Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

Good to know

If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.

There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.

Summary

We spent 9.1 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what basketball players think:

7 reasons to buy

  • The Air Technology used on this shoe works great because many wearers comment that the Nike Air Zoom Generation is comfortable.
  • Because of the refined design of the shoe, majority of the users prefer to wear this classic as a sneaker.
  • The Phylon Technology for the midsole makes the shoe lightweight and responsive.
  • Many reviewers recommend purchasing a pair of the limited edition Nike Air Zoom Generation to huge LeBron James fans.
  • Majority of the reviewers agree that this shoe model does not need time to break in.
  • Though this shoe model does not have the modern Flyknit technology, users still recommend using this for the comfort that it brings.
  • Multiple users praise the durability of the shoe, considering that they have worn a pair for over ten years both on and off court.

3 reasons not to buy

  • Some reviewers mention that the outsole cannot withstand rough surfaces like outdoor courts despite the herringbone pattern for traction.
  • A lot of reviewers say they go true to size but there are a few ones with wide feet who went up half a size.
  • Wearers have mentioned that the glossy mirror-like feature on the heel counter will flake off over time.

Bottom line

The Nike Air Zoom Generation is quite expensive. If the user is a shoe collector and a big follower of LeBron James, this is a must-have and should not come as an easy pass. This signifies the beginning of this amazing basketball player’s brilliant career.

The Nike Air Technology is used to provide cushion to players while running on the court. People buy shoes for a lot of different reasons. Style-wise, these are better worn casually due to its creative aesthetic. It is surprisingly comfortable straight out of the box.


Rankings


Ratings

4.6 / 5 based on 7 ratings

5 star
71%
4 star
14%
3 star
14%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%

My Rating

Expert Reviews

Experts are running shoe geeks, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

Are you an expert? Apply to contribute here.

87 / 100 based on 6 expert reviews

  • 95 / 100 by Sean Go • Sean Go • Level 1 expert

    Overall I’m very happy with this retro take on Lebron’s very first Nike sneaker. This is my personal favorite colorway for the zoom generation line and I’m happy overall with the materials and quality of the build of this shoe.

  • 95 / 100 by KicksOnFirecom • KicksOnFirecom • Level 1 expert

    It is like one of my favorite sneakers and just love the look of the first games and the other colorways too but definitely the first game was always to be like personal favorite

  • 85 / 100 by Schwollo • Schwollo • Level 5 expert

    Would I recommend wearing a shoe from 2003? From my experience, the AZG has held up well as have my Lebron II and III but based on Swaggy’s experience I’m not so sure.

  • 95 / 100 by iWearBoosT • Dave East • Level 1 expert

    The greatest LeBron model in my opinion.

  • 85 / 100 by MJO23DAN • MJO23DAN • Level 1 expert

    It has that ballistic nylon it is so nice even on the midsole. I don’t know any other shoe that has this. The shoe is comfortable I’ve actually balled in it and it’s great.

  • 75 / 100 by Sole Collector • Professor K • Level 1 expert

    Alright then, to sum up, the Nike Air Zoom Generation is a solid shoe for all-around players at any position.

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These are visual presentations, not reviews


Profile of Nike Air Zoom Generation

Nike and LeBron James partnered in 2003 to produce the famous Nike Air Zoom Generation. It is recognized as the first signature sneaker for LeBron James that commenced an extensive line of innovative footwear. The design was created by masterminds Aaron Cooper, Eric Avar, and Tinker Hatfield. Fast forward to fourteen years later, Nike is again putting in the market a few pairs of the first Air Zoom Generation shoes that LeBron played in. This shoe model is designed for comfort, performance, and beauty; and it is inspired by the modern-day soldier and the black fully customized Hummer H2 given to LeBron by his mother on his 18th birthday.

Performance

Cushion. The Air technology was among the first technologies used by Nike to promote their line. Nike innovated on this technology. Used on this shoe, the benefits include lightness, versatility, cushioning, and durability. The technology is comprised of pressurized air inside a tough, flexible bag.

The Zoom technology is applied to the forefoot area. This cushioning is light and durable; and it is composed of synthetic fibers that are stuffed in between plastic. The super slim cushioning brings the feet closer to the ground and enhances stability of any multi-directional footwork. The tightly stretched fibers  bounce back to shape, resulting in an explosive responsiveness after ground impact.

The Air technology is applied to the heel area. It is comprised of pressurized air inside a strong flexible bag. It absorbs the impact and immediately recovers to its original shape.

Traction. The rubber outsole of the Nike Air Zoom Generation has a herringbone pattern for traction. It provides durability that can support the pressure of any footwork without affecting the speed and multidirectionality of the player.

In the middle of the outsole is a carbon fiber that gives additional springiness when used on the court.

Fit

Length and Width. The Nike Air Zoom Generation comes only in men’s sizes. It comes in  a standard width, and wearers are advised to go true to their Nike basketball shoe sizes.

Lockdown. The white oval style laces of the Nike Air Zoom Generation will be adjusted to achieve the desired fit upon wearing.

Material

The structure of the Nike Air Zoom Generation provides enough stability and good support, making it comfortable for any footwork. The inside lining of the shoe uses the Nike Sphere Technology, which works by allowing air to move freely over the skin providing breathability. The thin padded layer found between the interior and the exterior follows a circular dimple pattern that helps wick away moisture. The lightness and responsiveness of this shoe come from the Phylon in the midsole. Materials may change depending on the colorway.

Style

This classic Nike Air Zoom Generation basketball sneaker comes in different colorways. The upper is covered with ballistic mesh and leather. Then, there are some color contrasts on the tongue and in the heel area, which add sophistication to the shoe. The lateral side has both a Nike callout and a glossy Nike Swoosh logo outlined with a contrasting color.  The opposite has a military-style net-like feature that provides additional breathability.

What catches the eye would be the semi-translucent plastic with LeBron’s name in the upper part of the tongue. His name is written in the same font as the Hummer H2 logo. Below it is the number 23, which is his jersey number as part of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The four plastic eyelets took cues from the door handle of the Hummer. The tongue is made of a combination of fabric-like material and leather that is the same as the one used on the toe box.

Story

The Air Zoom Generation is the first shoe for LeBron, but it does not actually carry his name. The most talked about Nike Air Zoom Generation colorway is the one LeBron wore on the all-star weekend. Nike retroes the First Game colorway of the LeBron shoes.

The first NBA game he wore the shoe in was the one against the Kings on October 29, 2003. During this game, the shoe sported the white and black colorway. For his first home game against the Denver Nuggets on November 5, 2003, he wore the white and crimson pair, and it eventually went on to be known as the First Game. Some say this is his favorite colorway.

Back then when it was released, there were only a few First Game pairs that had 11-5-2003 printed on the red foam insole. A pair was sold at around $110. This shoe model is also called LeBron 1. Currently, the shoe model is sold auction-style in select high-end locations.