January 13, 2011 BY Aaron Kr.
Thanks to an early kickstart from the show-stopping ‘South Beach’ edition, it didn’t take long for the Nike LeBron 8 to become one of the biggest hits of the Holiday 2010 season. LeBron’s eighth signature Nike shoe was proving to be a worthy successor to the wildly popular Air Max LeBron VII, but after only a handful of colorways hit stores, it was on to the next phase of the season and the next evolution of the LeBron 8. Beginning with the solid red Christmas edition, LeBron has been wearing the sleeker stripped-down V2 model since his Christmas Day matchup with Kobe and the Lakers, a symbolic statement that marks the next chapter in this year’s quest for LeBron’s first ring.
Last year, we were introduced to the concept of providing an alternate version of a signature shoe for the playoffs with the LeBron VII PS (Post Season). For the LeBron 8, lead designer Jason Petrie and the Nike creative team decided that the notion could be explored further, eventually leading to the idea to break down the season even more in hopes of providing LeBron with an extra edge at the times in the year when he needs it most. The end result of those preliminary conversations was the creation of three different versions of the LeBron 8, with each one specifically engineered to mirror the physical and mental transformations that LeBron experiences over the course of the regular season and playoffs.
With a leaner look and feel, the LeBron 8 V2 sheds the luxury of the V1 in favor of an all-out technical approach, all while remaining true to the original aesthetic of the V1. The choice to pursue the idea of multiple in-season sneaker switches is something we’ve never really seen within a signature basketball line, but so far, it seems to be agreeing with LeBron, as well as consumers. Petrie and the folks at Nike have never been shy about pushing boundaries and trying new things, so perhaps this formula could be the future of providing athletes with the optimal performance edge throughout the duration of a long and grueling season. We recently sat down with Jason to discuss the technical aspects of the LeBron 8 V2, as well as the inspiration behind it and the latest dirt on some upcoming colorways. Keep reading for the full Nike LeBron 8 V2 interview with Jason Petrie and some never-before-seen sketches and renderings.
Sneaker News: First and foremost, congrats on the LeBron 8 being chosen the favorite signature basketball shoe of 2010 in our year-end readers poll!
Jason Petrie: Yeah I saw that! We definitely appreciate it. That’s cool.
SN: Obviously the LeBron 7 left some big shoes to fill. With the first leg of LeBron 8 releases under your belt, have you guys been pleased with the initial success of the 8?
JP: Oh yeah, definitely. I mean, the South Beach, the Christmas, actually all the colorways have done pretty well. We knew it had to do well, so I’ve just been really pleased to see it doing what we hoped it would do.
SN: Before we get into the V2, will we be seeing any more colorways of the Version 1 or has that installment of the LeBron 8 series run its course?
JP: Yeah, it’s run its course for the season. It was really only meant to go up until Christmas Day, right up to around this time of year, so that’s done unless LeBron decides something different. Right now it’s done, but there may be an opportunity for a special pack or something like that. Like, say he wins (a championship), you may see it again in the future, but there’s nothing scheduled right now. Could be, could not be. It’s yet to be determined.
SN: Maybe some type of pack with all three versions of the 8 to commemorate a championship or an MVP award?
JP: That’s my dream. I always wanted to do all three of them in a similar colorway so you can really see the transformation. It just depends on what happens with the season and how the shoe does. If there’s interest in that, we’ve got some ideas kickin’ around. So it may be possible, but who knows if it’ll come to life. It’s just an idea at this point, but I think it would be cool though.