Remember when LeBron samples were everywhere? From 2007 – 2014 unreleased, highly coveted and rare LeBron James Nikes popped up at secondary market shoe stores and on eBay for thousands of dollars. For shoes that never released there sure were a lot of them floating around…

There was a ‘black market” of Nike samples operating behind the scenes and collectors with deep pockets gained access to some of James’s personal pairs. Rumor has it privileged Nike employees would order shipments of samples for various purposes to be flipped under the table. Legit pairs circulate from friends of friends and those directly linked to a certain shoe’s creative team end up for resell too, but chances are the masses won’t touch LeBron samples until they’re officially released years down the road (or never).

In today’s installment of Sample Sunday we’re highlighting a trio of all-time great LeBron kicks. The Heroes Pack from 2010 is a stunning collection of shoes based off of The King’s favorite athletes growing up. Lets take a closer look at each pair together!


Penny Hardaway

Almost every kid growing up in the 1990’s loved Penny because of his dynamic play. LeBron’s game as a whole reminds us a lot of Penny 2.0 (or 6.0; a super upgrade) with his ability to score, make plays and control tempo. Each pair from this pack directly correlates with a specific signature shoe of LeBron’s heroes. The Penny 7 pays homage to the Penny 1 with their identical Swoosh patter, upper material (surrounding the Flywire windows) and overall Orlando Magic color scheme. These are insane!

Michael Jordan

LeBron famously said he wanted to be Allen Iverson growing up more than he wanted to be Michael Jordan, but MJ always gets love. These 7s should look familiar instantly with the use of patent leather, rope laces and nylon. They’re almost  perfect 1-for-1 replica of the Air Jordan 11 Bred! There’s no doubt these bad boys would have sold out instantly. Execution, on point. Story telling, flawless. Nostalgia factor, massive.

Deion Sanders

Of the three heroes so far the final pair might be the hardest to associate based off of looks alone. Arguably one of the greatest athletes ever, Deion “Primetime” Sanders was LeBron’s favorite football player and it’s scary to imagine what James would look like as a cornerback. The criminally underrated Diamond Turf was the trainer of choice in the post-Bo Jackson era and James probably rocked a pair while playing football. Prime’s San Francisco days are the source of inspiration with the use of red, gold and black.


Which pair would you take? We’re rolling with the Pennys!


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