What’s up guys! So, we are here with Kevin Dodson who is the senior product line manager for KDN Lebron, and he is gonna talk to us a little bit about the technology in the Lebron 12. There are lots of new stuff in this shoe. The most obvious thing to me is the shoe’s bottom. So, can you talk to us a little bit about the pods – what they mean, how they help him play, and all of that stuff?
Our focus with this shoe, which was also Lebron’s big challenge for us at the beginning, was, how do we make him more explosive on the court. That could mean a lot of different things. I think one of the biggest things he was asking us for was, how do I get an incredible first step, bounce, and responsiveness? How do I get energy back from everything I do on the court from under my foot? That was an interesting challenge.
The other thing that was a big focus of this shoe was: how do we get more precise with everything that we do with the data that we get from the work we do in the lab? How do we get a little more precise with how we make the shoe? So, that led us to this idea around the shoe’s cushioning. And quite literally, that came from looking at Lebron’s pressure map and movements. So, when he was jumping around and when he was walking on these force plates, we wanted to look and see where all the peak forces were coming from. They were really focused in some key areas, like, under the big toe, in the mid-foot, and in the heel.
The idea came from Jason Petrie, our designer. The question was, what if we just put cushioning in those parts and nowhere else? The benefit of that would be that he would be more precise, more focused, and only where he needs it. We could strip away all the other material to allow the shoe to be more flexible than ever before. If we could be more efficient with that cushioning, we can allow him to be more explosive and because of that it got us to a really great place in terms of trying something totally new that has never been done before.
All the feedback from Lebron and athletes who tested it has been that this shoe is like nothing they have ever felt before because it is really nice and flexible. It’s smooth ride under the foot. But it feels so bouncy on the floor, and that is really what we were after.
Why use hexagon shapes?
These colors and these hexagons are actually for zoom. These are like little nests for the zoom parts to sit inside. So, each one of these colors is a zoom cushioning unit. The heel is a little different shape because this is perfectly customized for the heel because crash landing in basketball is unlike in any other sport. But, up here we like the hexagon because these facets allow us to work them in tandem to map them a little bit better against the foot, and then they literally create these great channels for flexibility all around the edges.
So, it gives us more area to pull away material and again decouple that shoe so that it really flexes naturally and really works well with the foot. The colors come from this inspiration around the pressure map. When you look at a pressure map there are hot colors in peak areas. We obviously love the energy of some of these colors. But we really wanted to call attention to that because that when you look at a pressure map, there are bright colors under the areas with the most force.
Just quickly, I see nodes here and panels. Is it breathable beneath this sitting or is that what the dents of the sole are for?
The basic notion of the shoe is that its one fit sleeve, like its a fit booty around the shoe. That was the foundation for the shoe. That is textile, kind of a stretchy material. It breathes, it’s comfortable, and that’s what sits on the foot. Then we piece on the materials that we need. Jason Petrie, our designer, broke apart these pieces. It’s not like one big sheet that does not feel right with the foot. He broke it apart so that as you flex, as you move in motion, it literally is designed to walk through the foot in motion.
So, if you had one word to describe the Lebron 12, what would that word be?
Explosive is the one word that I would drive home with this one right here.
Perfect, I love that. Explosive. Thank you Kevin. We appreciate your time, thank you.