Los Angeles Lakers superstar forward LeBron James may be concerned about potentially playing in front of empty stadiums due to the novel coronavirus, but it’s business as usual for his Nike Basketball line, which has just presented the LeBron 17 Low in a classic “Black/University Red” colorway. Much like its high-cut counterpart, the LeBron 17 Low uses an advanced cushioning setup and equips kingly details. However, it also offers a more minimal style for hoops fans who’d prefer to pledge their fealty to the King in subtle fashion.
Two materials are present on the blacked-out upper: a textured knit that aims to replicate the look of the high-top LeBron 17‘s Battleknit construction and a perforated black nubuck. The former coats the entirety of the one-piece base layer, while the latter takes up residence on the large quarter overlay and mudguard, providing extra support and structure. Flat black laces dip down onto this mudguard and are secured by red lace loops, while an asymmetrical strip of fabric that runs from tongue to toe cap offers its own red loops for more anchor points and a customizable fit.
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Branding is done almost entirely in red, with outlined Swooshes appearing on the lateral quarter. These Swooshes also feature thin black stripes, a clever inversed nod to the detail provided by the aforementioned lace loops. LeBron’s signature is embroidered on the tongue, and a jagged version of his familiar L23 logo graces the heel. Insoles boast a printed “LJ2317” graphic, a nod to LeBron’s initials, jersey number and 17 seasons in the NBA.
Cushioning arrives by way of a large heel Air Max unit and independent Zoom Air pucks in the forefoot, a setup that’s simultaneously soft and supportive. Pointy plastic pieces around the heel add more support and nod to the peaks of a king’s crown, while a final black Swoosh appears on the midsole’s forefoot. Black outsoles with LBJ’s signature finalize the look.