Ranking LeBron James' Sickest Shoes of the 2012-13 NBA Season
LeBron James didn't only dominate his fourth MVP season with incredible play for the Miami Heat—the King also took his shoe game to the next level with an unforgettable array of styles of the Nike LeBron X.
Nike's LeBron line has been a fan favorite since the prodigy entered the league in 2003, signing a massive $90 million deal with Nike without even stepping foot on the court.
This season the King wore over 30 different colorways between the three versions of the LeBron X. Here is a quick breakdown of the different types:
LeBron X ($180 retail): This is the basic version of the X. The most notable exterior difference is that the Nike swoosh towards the heel of the shoe is flat.
LeBron X+ ($200 retail): The addition of the plus sign means the shoe comes with a textured Nike logo on the heel and Nike Plus technology to track your movement on the court.
LeBron X P.S. Elite ($260 retail): The Elite version of the shoe carries most of the characteristics of the X's, but also adds some higher quality materials such as carbon fiber.
So which were the best? Let's break down No. 6's 2012-13 shoe collection.
Shout out to NikeLeBron.net for keeping a timeline of the King's shoes this past season.
The first time we were officially introduced to the LeBron X on court was at the 2012 London Summer Olympics.
The shoes were rumored to be $300 at that time, but we soon learned that the King's 2012-13 signature shoe would come in two different editions, both of which were under that ridiculous $300 price tag.
LeBron took home his second gold medal rocking the X's, setting them up for what would be destined to be a year like no other for the Miami Heat star.
Nothing more basic than an essentially all-black shoe.
The "Carbons" did have some hints of silver and grey, but for the most part, LeBron's colorless kicks were nothing that special compared to what the King brought to the floor this season.
If you wanted to cop a pair of LeBrons, you can't go wrong with a basic shoe—it won't attract a crowd, but it goes with everything.
Given the Miami Heat's primary colors are black, red and white, LeBron James wore numerous X's with a mixture of those colors.
In this version, white took a prominent role while both the red and black took a backseat. While these ones sit towards the back of the line, they were without a doubt one of the cleanest looking of LeBron's on-court shoes of this season.
Once again, we are looking at one of the more basic colorways of the the LeBron X.
These were one of LeBron's most regular colorways of this year's signature shoe, which is a given since this shoe most closely resembles the colors of the Heat's black road jerseys.
You also couldn't wrong with these if you were looking for a pair to wear off-court for the weekends.
This is starting to look like a trend, but as previously mentioned, the standard home/away shoes just don't compare to what else Nike put out this season for the most dominate player in today's game.
These were most common with the Miami Heat's home white jerseys. There were two versions of this shoe, one with a red swoosh and one with a black swoosh. The major difference was that the midsole color and swoosh were swapped.
The Lavas are the first departure we have from the standard Miami Heat colorways on this list. As you can see in the picture, LeBron actually wore these with the team's all-white alternates.
The colors would clash with the team's regular colors, so it makes the most sense to wear a shoe with a lot of orange with a uniform that doesn't have have any red in it.
The best part of these was the addition of the orange, which relates to the bright colors associated with the Miami area. The orange splatter in the black Nike logo was also a nice touch.
17. Turquoise Elite P.S.
These "Turquoise" LeBron X Elites are perhaps the biggest departure from anything that would work with what the Miami Heat wear on a regular basis.
So how did they somehow work?
Well, the King busted these out against the Boston Celtics, so for the night he must have decided that he'd match with Paul Pierce and crew.
LeBron also played in the "Cutting Jades" in this game, but unfortunately photographers didn't catch any clear pictures of it.
16. Black/Red P.S. Elite
While this colorway does fall under the Miami Heat set, these included a slick grey midsole and a bright red tongue.
These were also in the elite edition of LeBron's shoe, which typically comes with some higher quality materials (most notable towards the back of the shoe).
LeBron also wore these against the Chicago Bulls in the playoffs, which some could assume pays some tribute to the all the bred (black and red) color shoes Michael Jordan wore back in the day.
15. White/Black/Red P.S. Elite
Another unique color combination for the elite version of the LeBron X's, this white, red and black with white splatter on the back and misole was another playoff shoe worn by the King this season.
A little more red wouldn't have hurt these, perhaps taking the place of the white in the outsole to spice things up.
Nonetheless, it is still a solid colorway that just continued to prove that the X's were a shoe of endless possibilities.
14. Grey/Black/Red P.S. Elite
These grey based LeBron Elites are very similar to the black/red model at the No. 16 spot.
These stand out from the rest of the collection, at least in terms of the ones that are based around a neutral color. The white outsole was also a nice touch, as it pops since there isn't any other prominent areas of white on the shoe.
Unfortunately, these are just a personal edition, as these would be a top seller without a doubt.
Yes, at first look the LeBron X "Prisms" are very basic, like the "Carbons" in spot No. 22. With a closer look, though, you can see that this iteration has a very unique mid and inner lining—one that makes this one jump eight spots.
This is one of the few LeBron X's that the King wore that wasn't the X+ edition of the shoe.
These should have been brought out much more than they were, but given the number colorways Nike has produced, one can understand why these took a backseat.
When LeBron visited the Cleveland Cavaliers in March to take on his former team, he brought out these spectacular metallic X's with hints of grey and black.
LeBron actually started the game wearing a pair of LeBron VI's, the second to last signature shoe during his time with the Cavs.
— SoleCollector.com (@SoleCollector) March 20, 2013
LeBron finished the game wearing these platinum X's, recording a triple-double.
11. Grey/Black/Copper Elite P.S.
LeBron brought out these grey, copper and black Elite X's in the Miami Heat's Game 3 win over the Indiana Pacers.
The burnt orange/copper looking Nike logo on the heel was perhaps the best looking one of the year, but overall, the shoes didn't really take your breath away.
LeBron really brought it during the playoffs this year—these weren't the best, but they definitely didn't disappoint.
10. Bright Red/Black/Silver
One night in Brooklyn, LeBron James hit the court with some of the brightest red shoes seen on the court this season.
The red certainly catches all the attention, but they also had a pure-white outsole accompanied with black Nike swooshes outlined in white. While it is a departure from the Heat's typical red, the color still works.
Unfortunately, these were a personal edition, so unless you have an in with someone high up, you cannot get your hands on these.
9. Matte Black
One of the most intriguing versions of the X's this season were the matte blacks.
These were also apparently LeBron's favorite pair, as he wore these total of 10 times, according to NikeLeBron.net.
Not only were these unique for the matte texture, but the black midsole with white splatter and a white outsole rounded out one remarkable sneaker from Nike.
You know the King had to bring it on Hardwood Classic Night in Chicago.
Against the Bulls and playing in their retro unis, LeBron brought out a pair red and black X's with an all-white outsole. These also sported LeBron's No. 6 in the heel with the same font as what was used on the jerseys that night.
These were pretty basic, but all together they were the perfect combination for what the Heat were wearing that night.
Nike has continued to roll out some crazy colorways for All-Star Games this year, using the special occasion to push a limited design of sneakers.
In Houston this year, Nike took LeBron out of this world—literally.
The "Extraterrestrials" paid tribute to the Houston area, with Nike having fun with concept stating:
An indestructible force originating from fictional Nike Space Program (NSP) planet NSP-LJ6, LeBron James’ dominance was born from the volcanic surface in the planet’s mantle. He is rumored to have journeyed to earth on a meteor made of the galaxy's hardest substance – black diamonds.
With the East failing to grab a win in this year's game, LBJ wasn't able to keep his momentum rolling to perhaps having a once in a lifetime season with the Olympic gold he already had and eventual NBA MVP award.
6. What the MVP?
Speaking of the NBA MVP award, LeBron and Nike brought these out the night LBJ was awarded with his fourth MVP award.
The shoes are a combination of several iterations of shoes worn by LeBron this season. NiceKicks.com has thorough breakdown for those that are interested.
James wore these in the Heat's opening game of the second round against the Chicago Bulls.
Unfortunately, the shoes didn't play to the level of the MVP, as the man of the night only went 1-for-3 in the first quarter before switching to a different pair of shoes starting in the second.
It wouldn't be Christmas time without LeBron playing a pair of holiday-themed shoes.
This year, the Miami Heat took on the Oklahoma City Thunder, both sporting one-off jerseys. The Heat's were a glossy red, which went perfectly with the red shoes and green accents.
The shoes were only worn for this game, but they were made available for retail to all that wanted to rock what the King was over the holiday.
The name says it all. These were the King's shoe of choice when the Miami Heat were given their championship rings from winning it all last season.
The combination of gold, red and white work well, but these maybe would have worked better in the gold medal game of the Summer Olympics.
Despite a questionable choice in timing, this colorway was still a great way to get the season started out on the right track.
Another questionable choice of timing, the LeBron X "Carmex" would have came in as a better fit against the Cleveland Cavaliers than the New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden.
As usual, LeBron lit up the Garden, scoring 29 points, grabbing 11 rebounds and dishing out seven assists.
This is another personal edition that fans likely wish they could get their hands on, but that unfortunately never happened.
Maybe if they go for this colorway once again in the LeBron XI, they will look to release these to the world.
2. White/Red/Black P.S. Elite
Of all the Nike LeBron X P.S. Elites, these easily take the cake. They incorporate all the team colors, but more importantly, they break down those colors the best.
With red taking over the top half of the shoe, the combination of black, white and silver on the bottom makes out to be one incredible looking shoe.
LeBron has already hit the court with these a few times this postseason, and don't be surprised if he continues to bring them out if the Heat's season carries on.
The top selection for this season's shoes may catch you by surprise, as these were once again not a shoe released to the public.
LeBron wore these against the Indiana Pacers while the team was wearing their El Heat uniforms.
These shoes really stood out because like the "What the MVPs," these shoes shared similarities with a few other shoes from the season.
The lining is from the "Prism" model, while the entire design of the shoe is that of the "Extraterrestrial" in platinum. The last piece comes from several other LeBrons, with a bright red Nike swoosh featured on back and front.
Which were your favorites? Let us know below!