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Sneaker History: The Nike LeBrons Made For The Philippines

Let’s look back at the times Nike celebrated the Philippines’ passion for basketball with their special edition LeBron pairs dedicated to us.

To say that the Philippines loves basketball would be an understatement. And everyone knows how passionate Filipinos are about the sport, even NBA players like The King himself.

From LeBron James’ visits to the country in the past, he has always expressed his admiration for the Filipinos’ love of basketball. And to celebrate this, Nike has released several special-edition pairs of shoes for the country through the years (with a new one right around the corner).

Here’s a quick look at the timeline of Nike LeBron shoes that have celebrated the Philippines’ passion for basketball and its culture:

2015: LeBron 12 Low “Rise”

Nike released its first pair of shoes dedicated to the Philippines in 2015 with the LeBron 12 Low “Rise”. This release was a tribute to the ‘Nike Rise’ program, wherein LeBron James himself came to the country to help our players get better at the sport that they love.

The shoe had some special shoutouts to the Philippines. On the pull tabs of this shoe, it read “MNL” and the tongue featured the Philippine National team’s logo, both in reference to the time The King spent in Manila.

2017: The LeBron 14 Agimat

The second pair of shoes dedicated to our country’s passion for basketball came in the form of the LeBron 14 Agimat. Different from the first pair, this was inspired by Filipino folklore.

The word Agimat translates to “amulet” which refers to a piece of jewelry known to ward off evil and bring good fortune, worn during battle. With the Filipino people in mind, the shoe was made to honor our traditional beliefs and bring them onto the court.

The shoe was all-navy blue with gold details representing the Philippines and LeBron’s achievements in basketball.

2018: LeBron Soldier 12 Agimat

Still keeping with the Agimat theme, the following year, Nike dropped yet another new LeBron shoe dedicated to the Philippines. It was the LeBron Soldier 12 Agimat. This pair was very similar to the previous LeBron 14 drop, featuring an all-navy dressing with gold accents for the logos.

However, this collection did have something different to the mix, like details including the sayings, “Mula Mandirigma Sa Mandirigma.” In English, this translates to “From Warrior to Warrior.”

Another saying featured on the shoe is the saying “Para Sa Kadakilaan” which translates to “For Greatness.”

2019: LeBron 16 Low Agimat

The LeBron 16 Low Agimat was Nike’s first official collaboration with TITAN.

TITAN was the first basketball specialty concept store in the Philippines. It was founded twelve years ago, as “a safe haven for those who live and breathe basketball.”

Continuing the Agimat tradition, the shoes were again similar to the two previous editions but had their own unique spin. Instead of a bright navy blue, the dressing of this edition was more of a deep navy, but again, with gold details.

These gold details are based on the traditional Filipino belief that when gods choose their warriors, they gift them with the power of lightning. Not to mention how well this matches the lightning in TITAN’s logo.

This first official collaboration was one of the most special, as it honored and continued to reflect an authentic story from traditional Filipino culture.

2020: LeBron 17 Low Titan

The second official collaboration between TITAN and Nike came out in 2020 with the LeBron 17 Low Titan. And it was the boldest release among the three.

To celebrate their 10-year anniversary, TITAN took the LeBron 17 Low and created their own special edition. The shoes looked very different from the first three shoes. In comparison to the dark navy color of the Agimat and its gold details, the Titans were bold all around.

The theme for the LeBron 17 Low Titan followed the “Para Sa Kadakilaan” motif from the past, which translates to “For Greatness.” To capture this, the shoes were nearly entirely red with debossed details that showcase TITAN’s memories over the last 10 years. The shoes also featured LeBron’s logos on the heel in gold.

2022: The LeBron 19 Low ‘Beyond the Seas’

Continuing their successful collaborations, this year, TITAN is releasing its third official release with Nike Basketball. Together, they are launching the new LeBron 19 Low ‘Beyond the Seas.’

Similar to using the Agimat in the past, this collection also takes inspiration from a cultural figure of Philippine heritage. But, these are yet to be released.

You can find out more about the newest Nike x TITAN collaboration right here.