The greatest to ever play the game and the heir apparent to the throne. The past versus the present. Michael Jordan vs. LeBron James.
Don’t get it twisted. Even though a piece comparing them as basketball players would be interesting, we’re here to talk about their shoes. Does LeBron have what it takes to top Michael in terms of influence and total sales, or is Michael so far ahead of LeBron that it’s not even slightly worth discussing? Let’s take a look.
The first area that we’ll look at is influence on the culture, and this is an area that Michael wins running away. Not only have his shoes continued to endure as iconic style pieces for all types of people, they continue to inspire fervor in loyal collectors all over the world. Although there are people that are just as loyal to their LeBron collections, nothing tops the craziness of any Jordan fan. Plus, Michael’s shoes have been selling since ’85, and although LeBron is on his 12th signature model (which is no small feat), Michael gets the edge in this one.
The second area that’s worth mentioning is total sales. With LeBron’s current popularity, it’s not outlandish to think that he could come close to the sales numbers that Jordan puts up at some point in time, but once again it’s an uphill battle. Unseating Michael in this area would require a few more creative designs, and possibly a few more championship rings. Advantage Michael.
Finally, current innovation. This is an area that’s very interesting. Even though shoes like the Jordan XX9 are at the front of performance basketball sneakers, the LeBrons are always pushing sneakers forwards. Be it the full-length Air Max on the LeBron VIII’s, the combo insole-midsole with Zoom technology on the XI’s, or the podular-style cushioning on the XII’s, LeBron’s shoes are always at the forefront of innovation. Advantage LeBron.
Although Jordan is still the frontrunner, it’ll be interesting to see how this pans out in the next few years. With LeBron’s popularity seeming to reach new heights every single season, it’s not unrealistic to think this sneaker race could be much closer in the next few years. Will we revisit this piece 3-4 years down the line and see what’s happening then? We just might have to.