Christmas Day 2010 was the stage for a meeting of the Miami Heat vs the LA Lakers. In that game, LeBron James wore the Nike LeBron 8 V/2 Christmas shoe on court. I had mixed feelings about the game, being a fan of the Boston Celtics. I wanted both sides to loose. Eventually, the Miami Heat prevailed over the LA Lakers.
This shoe is designed for someone big and solid - much bigger and far more solid than someone like me. Being the V/2 edition of the shoe, it has had some changes to the materials from the V/1 while maintaining the overall look. Lighter materials have been utilized to reduce weight as well as assist breathability, in comparison to the V/1. The LeBron 8 has gone through another iteration after this shoe, in the PS model, with the addition of something which looks like the mesh used in the Nike Hyperfuse. Personally, the profile of this shoe reminds me of a Air Jordan VI.
Starting with the box, you have a picture of LeBron with the lion head. From images from the V/1 box, LeBron has now turned his head, instead of facing directly left, and is facing the camera. The box differs from many other boxes - adding to the total experience of a Nike Signature Shoe, as opposed to the Player Exclusive concept that Nike also does. The Player Exclusive concept is more like a generic shoe, that has some specific icon attached to it, but is still boxed in a generic box. From memory, only Nike Air Jordan shoes, and the recent Nike Zoom Kobe VI have custom boxes, whereas all the other shoes use generic boxes. The inner box images on the LeBron V/2 are also different from the V/1 - which apparently has a picture of LeBron doing the "chalk toss" ritual.
The shoe itself is bulky and solid, and offers good traction for the main part of it. I am not convinced that Nike did a good job on the traction of the outrigger - the extension of rubber on the outside of the small toe on the base of the shoe. It feels a little slippery when doing quick changes of direction, but not every time. You almost need to be running at full speed, and change direction drastically to notice it. For light running, or casual wear, you will not notice this effect.
I have not worn the V/1 very much, but in comparison to breathability, the V/2 still makes my feet feel warm. I do not know if this is an improvement to the V/1. Once again, this comparison is made against a Nike Hypefuse, so it's a very tough benchmark to meet. Possibly the LeBron 8 PS will be able to compare.
The fit of the shoe is good, and I do not feel my foot sliding around in it. I believe that the lace eyelets not being in a straight help contribute to that. The top of my foot feels like it was locked down nicely. I am not very confident with the total Air Max cell in the midsole, as this may have contributed to recent injuries to some basketball players. The example I am thinking of is Rajon Rondo being injured while wearing the Nike Air Max BB Low - a shoe which also has the total Air Max cell. While it may not apply to the LeBron 8, it does not inspire much confidence either.
Cosmetically, the shoe does a good job with maintaining the look of the LeBron 8s, while also displaying colours associated with Christmas. There are 2 lion logos per shoe, one on the tongue and one on the sole. The lion logo on the sole also acts like a window to the total Air Max cell. The shoe also has little references to LeBron, and his journey to win a championship. The shoes both have 41 groves in the while section of the sole. This makes a total of 82 groves, one for each regular season game. The inside of the tongue also has a reference to "828" - a reference to the 82 regular season games, as well as the 28 post-season / play off games to win the championship. Based on the images below, I am sure you will find more references:
My thanks for these sneakers goes to ABCKICKS on Ebay. Great prices, and being geographically close to Australia, the prices for shipping were low, meaning that the ebay overall deal was cheaper than buying these shoes in local stores, and paying the recommended retail price.