LeBron James’ LeBron 16 ‘Fresh Bred’ Introduces Battleknit 2.0 and Outriggers

LeBron James’ latest sneaker, the LeBron 16, isn’t an all-new shoe but rather a refined build of the LeBron 15. Here are all the details you need to know before the shoe drops on September 20.

Nike designer Jason Petrie and LeBron James have been long-time collaborators and for the LeBron 16 the duo worked at refining last year’s brand new LeBron 15. First, they began with the knit; the LeBron 16 introduces Battleknit 2.0.

“The knit team at Nike are geniuses,” said Petrie in a statement. “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.”

nike lebron 16 battleknit 2.0

Battleknit 2.0 improves upon the scalloped knit used on the LeBron 15 with increased tensile strength — an effort to reign in James’ lateral force on-court — and a new finish that matches the King’s current style, according to Nike.

nike lebron 16 tongue

The next thing Petrie changed was the collar height, at LeBron’s direction. “The first thing we wanted to do was get a little lower in the cut of the shoe,” said LeBron James in a statement. “I wanted to get a little faster, ride a little bit closer to the court and be a little bit more dynamic.” The new collar height also comes with a new gusseted leather tongue that should allow for seamless entry into the shoe and more versatile wear off-court.

nike lebron 16 tooling

Finally, the full-length Max Zoom cushioning underfoot was refined — and outriggers were finally added, which were much needed on the retail version of the LeBron 15 (outriggers we added to LeBron’s PEs during the 2017-18 season). “LeBron liked the cushioning so much last year that we just focused on refining it,” said Petrie in a statement. “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.”

The Nike LeBron 16 ‘Fresh Bred’ will debut on September 20 at nike.com. As usual, Nike has not announced pricing information.

What do you think of the LeBron 16 now that Nike has unveiled the technical upgrades to the shoe? Sound off below.

For more on LeBron James’ latest signature shoe check out the ‘What The’ LeBron 16.

UPDATE 9/7/18: The LeBron 16 will retail for $185 USD, according to a Nike spokesperson.

nike lebron 16 battleknit 2.0 lebron james

nike lebron 16 max zoom cushioning

nike lebron 16 heel

Nike Lebron 16 fresh bred

lebron 16 fresh bred lebron james

nike lebron 16 fresh bred lebron james


Source: Nike


  1. The 15 was great. Liked the lacing system and lockdown. If they improve traction and support as much as it appears, the 16 could be an all timer.

  2. Oh really? The knit team are geniuses? Geniuses that couldn’t figure out how to use Flyknit without a structured backing for years when other brands got it almost right away. But that’s Nike for you. Always trying (and succeeding) to spoon feed everyone bullshit. But for the actual shoe, they do look like they’ll be good performers. I loved the 15, glad the outriggers are here on the 16.

  3. I am not really feeling the logo on the heel. Hoping it would not be priced higher than the 15s. Just atleast priced like the 15s.

  4. Never grabbed the 15 due to the reported stability issues. Might scoop these up but the tongue concerns me a liitle. Looks like it could be stiff and affect the shoes’ flexibility but we’ll see.

  5. The shoes look kinda high off the ground and im still feeling kinda insecure with the stability. But aesthetic wise if the eye on the lion logo feature some glow in the dark or reflective material effect that would be a great touch, at least imo.

  6. “The first thing we wanted to do was get a little lower in the cut of the shoe,” said LeBron James in a statement. “I wanted to get a little faster, ride a little bit closer to the court and be a little bit more dynamic.”
    – Can some explain how a lower cut shoe gets you closer to the court? This makes no sense.

    Looking forward to trying out the shoes to see if the containment, traction and stability are improved from the 15s. I didn’t enjoy the 15s and hope Nike fixed those issues…

  7. First impression was, these are cool.

    These have the potential to be great if they come correct with the colorways. That preheat color way is full on beautiful

  8. The Lebron 16’s look amazing and I am loving the aesthetics of this shoe. By far my favorite part is the back heal Lion. Excited to see how these compare to the 15’s on court. I have never picked up a shoe on day one but these might be the first time I do that.

  9. I’m so hyped for these.
    I grew up watching bron since Jr high. And to see the evolution of the line it’s been amazing these will be balled in asap. They look like the fit will be 1to1 and the outriggers look awesome….LETS GO!!!

  10. Cushion looks high as hell still… probably will end up the greatest center shoe of all time, but I wish they made lebrons more of an everyone shoe (cuz small forwards do a lil of everything) like kd’s shoes.

  11. I really like these, And so does my wife. You can see its a mix of the 15 and the 3, which is retroing very soon. Hopefully they do a prooer release cause i want these.

  12. I like this shoe overall. I think the lower cut gave it a nicer, less boot-like silhouette (reminds me of the Kobe move from highs to lows). The zoom bags look beastly – made for someone like Lebron. The traction looks like it’ll perform well. The pattern reminds me of a 90’s shoe like the Pennys or the Shaq’s. The leather/nubuck in the back is a nice touch too.

    It’s almost like the Lebron shoes are going the refined performance route like the later Kobe’s did (Kobe 5 onwards). Not flashy – all business.

  13. Haven’t been a fan of the LeBron signatures (aesthetically) since the 10s. The 14s recaptured my attention; the 15s got me even more interested and I entertained the idea of picking up a pair of the 15 lows, but the lack of lateral stability made me reconsider. Now with the 16s right around the corner, and supposedly refining on the 15s, I may have to try out a pair, especially when they eventually release a Lakers themed colorway.

  14. Copping! First day out. I would have held out if the KDs were better. I have the low triple black lebron xv and those are fire.

  15. the whole refining the cushion, is giving me a lot of kd 9 to 10 vibes, where it lost all its springiness and bounce, hopefully not, and in all honesty, much prefer the 15 design wise, but if these peform well, they gonna be all time

  16. It looks like the zoom gen 1s. Traction looks good too, like outdoor quality good hehe can’t wait for the review. Also, what do you think of the lebron lakers jerseys?

  17. Looks a lot like a KD shoe: very good looking, not so sure about performance. KD’s are usually very low and offer a lot of impact protection (in other words they have a thicker mid sole), which (at least for me) isn’t a great combination because it makes it easier for your feet to escape from the shoe. I could be wrong, I don’t know…
    But I really dig the extra support in the toes in the out sole, they were very needed!

  18. Lebron 15s were great aesthetically and were average performance wise. Great cushion, average traction and support. These however are an upgrade. Same cushion (don’t fix what’s not broken), traction looks like the same as the Soldier 12s (bananas) and the support (with a much stronger upper) + an outrigger, I think this will end up on the top 3 of this year’s performance models. On paper, everything looks perfect so I PRAY they don’t disappoint *cough* “KD11” *cough

  19. I hope lower to the ground means they stabilized the zoom a little more. We loved the bounce of the 15 but it was a little too much. This shoe looks like a banger!

  20. Wasn’t feeling the 16s at first but they have definitely have grown on me. Hopefully the traction is more durable and my foot doesnt slide along the footbed. I’m liking these for on court and off court wear.

  21. This is what happens when the KD 10 and the LeBron 15 had a baby. The traction pattern looks shallow. Maybe they could include the Dunkman logo in the battleknit in the 16.

  22. This is what happens when the KD 10 and the LeBron 15 had a baby. The traction pattern looks shallow. Maybe they could include the Dunkman logo in the battleknit in the 17.

  23. not loving the look of the upper. I would love to see a white leather build w/ purple and gold accents. for $185 they could use some premium materials at least

  24. According to the designer it’s 1,5 mm lower to the ground than the 15. Hope outriggers work. Traction is an herringbone like pattern and I like that

  25. personally, I see this shoe as a 1 step forward, 2 step backward kind of shoe from the 15. the only potentially significant improvement in this shoe is the traction. aesthetically it doesn’t look as good nor better than the 15. the tongue looks funny and cheapish. and the outrigger, doesn’t really look that substantially useful to make a difference. although the selling point of this shoe does look to be it’s low cut aesthetic, other than that, performance would still be just slightly better than the 15.

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