Profile of the Nike LeBron 16

After 15 seasons, LeBron James is still unstoppable and remains the king of the NBA. His natural athletic ability, relentless work ethic, and ability to lead set him apart from the rest of the league.

Made for the most dominant player, the Nike LeBron 16 delivers a potent mix of support, responsiveness, and impact protection. It features extra lace feeds, an innovative tongue, a powerful cushioning system, and a new knit upper called Battleknit 2.0


Cushion. The LeBron 16 boasts the evolution of the Max Air cushioning system that was utilized on the Nike LeBron 15. According to designer Jason Petrie, “LeBron liked the cushioning so much last year that we just focused on refining it. For this addition, we removed the tendril that connected the forefoot to the under-toe bag, and instead included an outrigger to create some additional support to complement the lower height.”

These Nike basketball shoes deliver unrivaled impact absorption and instant responsiveness with the combination of the Max Air and Zoom Air cushioning platforms. This innovative cushioning system helps absorb impact and then bounces it back for explosive energy return.

Traction. These LeBron James basketball shoes have an articulated rubber outsole for flexibility. The outsole is lined with a modified herringbone traction pattern for superior grip on the hardwood.


Length and Width. According to most wearers, the Nike LeBron 16 fits like the LeBron 15. Wide-footers are advised to go true to size. Normal and narrow footers can go down half a size. However, it is still best to try the shoes in store to get the proper fit.

Lockdown. These LeBron basketball shoes boast an innovative gusseted tongue for a customizable fit. Flywire cables and extra lace feeds deliver locked-in support.

Other support features include a padded heel collar, internal Achilles pillows, and an external heel counter.


The most notable feature of the Nike LeBron 16 is its new knit construction. “The knit team at Nike are geniuses,” Petrie says. “I don’t use that term lightly. They are mathematical artists and have created a new knit for the 16 that is strong enough to contain LeBron and successfully reduces any layers in the overall build that could slow him down.”

Battleknit 2.0 is designed to contain LeBron’s lateral force on the court. The knit upper delivers lightweight yet ultra strong support precisely where it is needed. “Our knit innovation team has this new technology, called a Shima machine,” Petrie explains. “It’s a brand new machine that allowed you to make a knit in a new way. It allows you to combine the structure of a woven, a really strong, in-all-directions type of construction, and then you knit through it and around it.

Nike LeBron 16 Style

Another noteworthy feature of the LeBron 16 is its lower cut. “The first thing we wanted to do was get a little lower in the cut of the shoe,” James explains. “I wanted to get a little faster, ride a little bit closer to the court and be a little bit more dynamic.”

The Nike LeBron 16’s gusseted tongue allows for seamless entry and also provides more styling options when wearing these basketball shoes off the court. “This is actually structurally the same as the 15,” Petrie says. “We just cut off that soft collar. Wearing a cleatie’s cool but you can’t wear it with jeans. We want everybody to get in LeBron’s, including ladies and kids.”

Special Colorways of the Nike LeBron 16

For LeBron James’s 16th signature sneaker, Nike designers are creating a wide range of narrative-driven hues. “We had a renewed interest in going deeper in stories for two reasons,” Petrie explains. “LeBron really started to open up, he’s reaching out beyond basketball. And also it seemed like it was getting kinda boring. It took a refocusing.”

  • Black/Black-Black ‘Triple Black’
  • Black/Metallic Gold-Black ‘I’m King’
  • Black/Metallic Silver-White ‘Strive for Greatness’
  • Black/Multi-Color ‘I Promise’
  • Black/University Red ‘Fresh Bred’
  • Black/White ‘Equality Away’
  • Black/White/Grey
  • Bright Citron/Summit White ‘HFR’
  • Court Purple/Metallic Gold ‘King Court Purple’
  • Multi-Color/Metallic Silver-Cool Grey ‘20 20’
  • Multi-Color/Multi-Color ‘1 Thru 5’
  • Sail/White/Light Bone ‘HFR’
  • Team Red/Metallic Gold-Multi Color ‘King’
  • White/Black ‘Equality Home’
  • White/Varsity Red-Varsity Royal ‘SuperBron’ aka ‘Superman’

HFR X LeBron 16

This special edition LeBron 16 is the first LeBron sneaker designed by women for women. Designed by Brandice Daniel, Felisha Noel, Kimberly Goldson, and Undra Celeste, the LeBron 16 ‘Harlem’s Fashion Row’ boasts a 3-D molded lion and an iconic leather cuff to provide a powerful picture of strength. “Now is the time for women to really let the world see how powerful we are,” Daniel describes. “How powerful we are as individuals, and how powerful we are together.”

Nike LeBron 16 ‘1 Thru 5’

The ‘1 Thru 5’ or ‘What The’ colorway combines the first five colorways of the Nike LeBron 16. Details from the ‘Fresh Bred,’ ‘20-20,’ ‘Strive for Greatness,’ ‘I Promise,’ and ‘King’ colorways are all incorporated in the shoe’s design. 

‘1 Thru 5’ also represents James’s ability to play all five positions. According to, “A team with a backcourt of a fearlessly ferocious scorer who brought Fresh Bred to the game and a playmaker with the gift of 20_20 Vision to see the unseen; a player whose desire to Strive for Greatness was matched only by another teammate’s Promise to persevere through adversity and another’s dominant displays fit for a King.”

Nike LeBron 16 ‘20_20’

The Nike LeBron 16 ‘20_20’ is inspired by James’s incredible court vision and passing ability. perfectly describes the King’s vision: “A naturally gifted visionary, he sees everything on the floor: he knows his plays, his opponents' plays; he even knows the seat number on your ticket. In any situation, LeBron makes magic happen.”

These LeBron James basketball shoes boast a dazzling multicolored Flyknit upper finished off with a ferocious lion graphic on the tongue. 

Nike LeBron 16 ‘Air Trainer’

These white Nike basketball shoes are inspired by Bo Jackson’s ‘Medicine Ball’ Air Trainer 3 that initially hit shelves in 1988. The Nike LeBron 16 ‘Air Trainer’ features a white-based upper with midnight navy and ginger highlights. The shoes also boast a forefoot strap as a nod to the original Air Trainer.

Nike LeBron 16 ‘Buzz Lightyear’

Disney’s Toy Story movie franchise inspires these white basketball shoes. Made to look like Buzz LIghtyear’s space suit, these LeBron sneakers feature a white-based upper with multi-color, hyper grape, and volt accents.

Nike LeBron 16 ‘Equality Pack’

Releasing on MLK Day 2019, the Nike LeBron 16 ‘Equality Pack’ features two mismatched pairs dressed in black and white. Each pair boasts a translucent outsole with the word “Equality” done in black.

Nike LeBron 16 ‘Four Horsemen’

The ‘Four Horsemen’ colorway is a nod to LeBron James’s business team. These black Nike basketball shoes feature a white tongue with a knight chess piece logo. Completing the theme is a checkered insole along with his team's initials.

Nike LeBron 16 ‘Fresh Bred’

Similar to how previous LeBron models were debuted, the Nike LeBron 16 was also unveiled in the ‘Fresh Bred’ colorway. According to Nike, this colorway is inspired by history forged in competition. They explain that “only The Strongest can walk in the shoes of greatness with a Fresh Bred attitude to reach championship-level excellence.” 

These predominantly black basketball shoes feature red accents throughout. Other details include James’s signature on the tongue and a predatory lion head on the heel.

Nike LeBron 16 ‘Glow In The Dark’

This colorway of the LeBron 16 is inspired by an unreleased sample of the LeBron 3. These black basketball shoes boast a croc skin-like leather overlay and mint green highlights. A glow-in-the-dark outsole completes the theme.

Nike LeBron 16 ‘Heritage’

The LeBron 16 ‘Heritage’ features a Lakers-inspired mix of soft purple and yellow. The light blue heel boasts all 16 of the Lakers NBA Championships.

Nike LeBron 16 ‘Hot Lava’

The Nike LeBron 16 ‘Hot Lava’ takes inspiration from the Nike Air Tech Challenge II. Two renditions are available. One comes in a combination of White/Hot Lava-Flat Silver while the other one is done in Black/Hot Lava-Flat Silver.

Nike LeBron 16 ‘I Promise’

This colorway represents the center position and is LeBron’s favorite. It is inspired by his children and the I Promise School he opened in Akron, Oh. The Nike LeBron 16 ‘I Promise’ features a black-based upper that sits on top of a multicolored outsole. On the heel, the message “We Are Family” finishes off the theme.

Nike LeBron 16 ‘King’

Part of the ‘1 thru 5’ collection, the ‘King’ colorway represents the small forward position. It is dressed in red and features a leopard print on the heel that is reminiscent of the Air Zoom Generation ad campaign. Metallic gold accents complete the silhouette.

Nike LeBron 16 ‘Lakers’

The LeBron 16 ‘Lakers’ celebrates all 16 of the Los Angeles Lakers championships. The shoes are dressed in purple with yellow and blue accents.

Nike LeBron 16 ‘Martin’

LeBron James pays tribute to his favorite ‘90s sitcom by releasing an exclusive colorway of his 16th signature sneaker. The Nike LeBron 16 ‘Martin’ boasts a purple-based upper with tour yellow and crimson accents. Notable catchphrases from the show are debossed on the heel to complete the theme.

Nike LeBron 16 ‘MPLS’

These grey Nike basketball shoes are a nod to the team colors of the Minneapolis Lakers from the ‘50s. The LeBron 16 ‘MPLS’ features a mix of wolf grey, white, and university blue.

Nike LeBron 16 ‘SB Blue’

This colorway of LeBron James sixteenth basketball sneaker is a new take on the LeBron 3 SB. Yellow and red accents complete the theme of these blue basketball shoes.

Nike LeBron 16 SB ‘Superman’ a.k.a ‘SuperBron’

Paying homage to the favorite ‘Superman’ colorway of Nike LeBron 3 PE from 2005, the LeBron 16 SB ‘SuperBron’ features a white upper with patent leather overlays dipped in varsity royal. Yellow and varsity red accents complete the Man-of-Steel-inspired theme.

This colorway is part of Nike’s #LeBronWatch series that pays tribute to iconic silhouettes and James’s favorite sneakers.

Nike LeBron 16 ‘Strive for Greatness’

After 15 seasons, LeBron James is still the King of the NBA. His values, hard work, and tireless effort have propelled him to the top.

Inspired by his personal mantra, the Nike LeBron 16 ‘Strive for Greatness’ represents his family, his hometown, and his unwavering spirit. 

Nike LeBron 16 ‘Watch The Throne’

To celebrate the 2019 All-Star festivities, Nike launched an exclusive colorway of the LeBron 16. These black Nike basketball shoes feature metallic gold and rose frost accents. A classic WTT (Watch The Throne) lace lock completes the design.

Facts / Specs

Weight: 15.6oz
Top: Mid
Signature: LeBron James
Lockdown: Lace-Up
Collection: Nike Lebron
Features: Ankle support
Colorways: White / Purple / Black / Grey / Yellow / Blue

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Dimitrije Curcic
Dimitrije Curcic

Dimitrije Curcic has been playing basketball for over 22 years. Like Manu Ginobili, he’s a left-hander whose moves led him to a better career-shooting percentage than the Argentine himself. After playing professionally for 10 years, Dimitrije moved to coaching for two seasons before he became a basketball statistician for StatScore, and FanSided contributor for the San Antonio Spurs. Dimitrije loves to tell hoop stories through numbers and graphics and has been featured on Fansided, FiveThirtyEight, Eurohoops, and TalkBasket among the others.