Great news hit the internets (S/O to Premium Pete) yesterday as images leaked of another Air Zoom Generation (LeBron 1) retro. Over the past year we’ve seen every AZG return in retro form for the first time. Excitingly, Nike will crack open the LeBron Player Exclusive vault and release the St. Vincent’s St. Marry’s (SVSM) on May 26th. LeBron honed his craft while attending SVSM in high school and he continues to support his alma mater with annual Nike PEs (and a beautiful new home court). The rarity and beauty of the SVSM LeBron line has attracted collectors since 2003 and they continue to fetch high prices on the secondary market. There’s literally been a SVSM edition of every main, numbered, LeBron shoe; the tradition has split over into the Solider line too. Obtaining a pair of SVSMs has historically been difficult, only the LeBron 12 Low has had a general release of a SVSM colorway but it wasn’t a true PE; this AZG retro marks the release of a SVSM shoe identical to the pairs given to Irish players.
Above is the OG SVSM Air Zoom Generation with the 2018 retro below – they’re identical down to the textured leather toe box and gold eyelids.
Lets take a look back at our Top-5 SVSM edition LeBrons (ordered by release year), enjoy!
1. LBJ IV, 2006
The LeBron IV’s wavy lines and use of Foamposite and carbon fiber define the silhouette but the St. Vincent school colors of green/gold/white takes these to the next level. Green and white split the upper creating a beautiful contrast.
2. LBJ V, 2007
The Irish get laced up in home, away and alternate editions of LeBron Nikes every year. The V didn’t do as well as hoped from a legacy standpoint but the SVSM editions shown above are truly works of art. The ‘away’ on the left use rich suede and color blocking similar to the IV. The ‘home’ on the right uses a beautiful green patent leather strip around the heel. SVSM’s insignia rests prominently on the ankle too.
3. LBJ VIII, 2010
Oh boy, the LeBron VIII… is there a better model? Probably not. ‘Irish’ logoing on the heel, a speckled midsole and gold accents frame the beautiful green suede and leather (and plastic carbon fiber print) that dresses the entire upper.
4. LBJ XI, 2014
Think of these as the spiritual successors of the IV. The colorblocking remains identical but the tech went from Foamposite to Armorposite. Armorposite was meant to flex a bit more while maintaining the -Posite technology’s key benefit of strength/durability. Regardless of likeness, we’d love to see these release whenever the XI retros.
5. LBJ XV, 2017
The zippers look familiar right? They were used in the Kith x LeBron collab from late last year. Nike’s Battleknit blends various tones of green and grey to breakup the typically solid green upper.