LeBron James Ranks His South Beach 8s As His All-Time Sneaker

On Nike Basketball’s Instagram account Thursday, Oct. 12, LeBron James participated in a “blind ranking,” where he listed his top sneaker: the Nike LeBron 8 “South Beach.”

As reported by Sports Illustrated, James said, “It’s the best shoe in my line, for sure. That crushed the shoe game right there. The ‘South Beach’ 8s, that’s insane.”


In 2003, soon after graduating high school, James inked a groundbreaking sneaker deal with Nike. Since then, James has sported his signature shoe in all of his 1,421 career games (excluding preseason and postseason matches). With 21 signature sneakers to his name, fans have eagerly awaited James’ verdict on his favorite basketball shoe.

As he was entering his prime, James ventured to South Beach, taking his talents and signature sneaker line with him. Before even donning a Miami Heat jersey, James impacted sneaker culture by unveiling a new model in an iconic colorway.

The Nike LeBron 8 “South Beach” (also known as “Pre-Heat”) hit the market in limited quantities for $160 on October 16, 2010. The shoe featured smooth Filament Green leather and carbon fiber, with Pink Flash accents on the laces and inner lining. With just three colors, this shoe conveyed a narrative everyone instantly grasped: a new era was dawning in Miami.

Over a decade later, this iconic basketball shoe experienced a retro release and can now be found on sneaker resale platforms like eBay, GOAT, StockX, and KICKS CREW, often at prices above the retail cost. For budget-conscious fans, the Nike website offers new and retro sneakers from James’ line.

While James may be in the twilight of his NBA career, his signature sneaker collection remains unstoppable. As a new season dawns, fans can anticipate James making history both on the court and in the sneaker industry. 

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