LeBron James has become the highest selling athlete under the Nike umbrella. Second to Michael Jordan, LeBron James accounts for $340 million for Nike. Aside from his main signature model, LeBron also has two other models, the Zoom Ambassador and the Zoom Soldier line. Personally, I have never owned a pair before, but I know plenty of people have played in them. Since 2007, the Soldier model has been worn by LeBron James a handful of times, but during the 2009 Playoffs.
The Zoom Soldier line returns this year with the ninth model. We have an early look at multiple colors in the Zoom Soldier 9 that looks a lot like the LeBron 12. Staying true to the signature model, Nike added two straps along the midfoot and across the ankle for security. I don’t mind having straps on my shoes just as long as they are functional. From what it looks like, the straps look to be located at areas where the foot needs extra security. The first question that comes to mind is, if the shoe is already functional without the straps, why add extra bulk? In my perspective, straps just get in the way of things and shouldn’t be something designers should implement for their silhouettes.
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Nike Zoom has been the go-to cushioning for the Soldier line so it’ll be safe to assume it’s return. If Nike does decide to use Zoom, I hope they place it underneath the footbed so it could be felt. The Zoom Soldier 8 was a let down as I felt no responsiveness within the shoe. I doubt Nike would go the Lunar route as Lunar isn’t very LeBron-esque. The last time Lunar was used for a LeBron shoe was the LeBron 11 and we all know how that shoe turned out. The outsole looks simplistic and very similar to the Zoom Soldier 8. From a first perspective, the grip looks generic.
As far as materials, Nike has once again used this open mesh fuse. For some reason, the LeBron 12, Kyrie 1, Kobe 10, and now this Soldier 9 all have the similar fuse upper. Not sure why, but Nike has been heavy on implementing fuse and mesh; nothing innovative here. Aesthetically, the Soldier 9 does take me back to the first Zoom Soldier and the LeBron 5.
With that said, the Soldier 9 looks bland to me because the design is practically the same but downgraded. The Zoom Soldier 8 looked pretty good while this one takes a step back. In the end, it’s all about performance though. Before the final judgement, we’ll have to wait until Summer to get our hands on these and give them a test run. With this early look, we can only speculate on the price and release date. Keep it locked here for more information on the Soldier 9.
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