As if creating shoes for LeBron James wasn’t a difficult enough task, consider what happened with the Soldier 10: An entirely laceless, fully synthetic shoe designed expressly for a 6'9", 270-pound lightning bolt who once wore a Foamposite-encased, carbon-reinforced brick (the LeBron IV, for those who don’t remember). Not only did the designers succeed, they succeeded to the point where LeBron himself chose the Soldier X over his own $200 LeBron XIII Elite as the Cleveland Cavaliers came back from being down 3-1 in the NBA Finals. In the games with the highest stakes, the best player in the NBA chose to wear his mid-priced shoe. That’s the ultimate endorsement. The shoe was also high-fashion futuristic enough that John Elliott, who’d previously outfitted runway models in LeBron XIIs, turned out a collab even as it was still being worn on court. It’s hard to imagine a sneaker doing more. Russ Bengtson