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Doing It For The Culture: Sneaker Stories

Released in time for Easter 2013, the Air Max LeBron x Low 'Easter' boasts an engineered Poison Green mesh upper with Crystal Mint Flywire technology along the sides fur support. The sneaker also features leather overlays along the padded collar, a full-length Air Max unit for responsive cushioning, a speckled midsole, and Fiberglass details on the heel

The Nike Air Max LeBron X Low provided to the Johnston Memorial Library is specifically significant due to a life-changing moment Dr. King experienced while wearing them.



The Nike Air Max LeBron X Low "Easter" was released in the Spring of 2013, a part of Nike's Easter pack. When marketing sneakers, companies often incorporate themes that are often inauthentic. Yet, consumers "buy in" because themes help create a false sense of exclusivity to general-release sneakers. I purchased the Nike Air Max LeBron during a time when LeBron's signature sneakers were as popular as cupsole sneakers like the Adidas Forum, Nike Dunk, and Air Jordan are today. Simply put, LeBron's signatures would sell out in 2013. This was especially true with collaborations and limited-edition colorways. Like Michael Jordan, LeBron James' signatures were released in high and low silhouettes.

In most instances, I wait years before wearing new sneakers. Sometimes, I never get around to wearing them. Due to the "theme" and uniqueness of the LeBron X Low's colorway, I decided to wear them "in season." My life forever changed on March 16, 2013. I wore the "Easter" lows and found myself in the Emergency Room that evening. Realizing that what I experienced was not minor, I kicked my shoes off and placed myself on a steel examining table. I recalled stories about medical staffers cutting patients' clothes and shoes off during procedures. I was confident I would leave the ER alive post this medical emergency, yet I was not taking chances. I removed the shoes as a precaution. A week later, I began implementing healthy lifestyle changes. My health improved immediately. Every year post-2013, I would wear the Nike Air Max LeBron X Low "Easter" on the anniversary of the ER trip. I did so until I almost forgot the ER trip happened. I am thankful for second chances and a clean bill of health. In this specific circumstance, this pair represents a new hope. That hope is that Black men become health conscious in their youth and as they age. Many of us do not procure second chances. I am blessed and thankful for mine.


 - J. L. King