Nike LeBron 13 Performance Review

Don’t judge them based on trying them on…you gotta actually play in these…

Nike LeBron 13 Written In The Stars outsole bottoms

Traction – The traction used on the LeBron 13 is something that I was initially unimpressed with – visually – but they ended up working really well on-court. The hex pods found throughout the outsole feature large bars that act like herringbone, and are implemented in multiple directions for coverage no matter how or where you’re moving. I was unable to play on a really dusty court so I can’t tell you how dust affects their performance this time around, but on clean and very lightly dusty courts they had zero issues and were very consistent.



 

Nike LeBron 13 Performance Review 3

Cushion – The setup here is similar to the LeBron 12, but they feel much better than the 12’s did. I still couldn’t really feel the two smaller Hex-Zoom units located on the lateral section of the foot, but the met unit and heel unit were amazing. Those two zones cover a large amount of space, plus they’re both 13mm thick…that’s a pretty damn thick Zoom unit. You can feel the bounce and responsiveness with every stride, and that is something that was truly lacking with the 12.

The old saying holds true: if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

Nike LeBron 13 Performance Review 2

Something that was greatly improved due to the new setup was transition. Heel to toe strides are no longer clunky and instead really smooth. The LeBron 12’s had an awesome Zoom unit located in the heel but was met with a hard Posite-covered midsole upon impact. Now all you have is lightweight Phylon and Zoom aiding you through your stride and it makes the shoe feel as light as they actually are.



 

Nike LeBron 13 Written In The Stars lateral side

Materials – The upper is comprised of a one-piece booty with plenty of additional overlays that offer both support where you need it and flexibility where you want it. At their base there is the sock booty, followed by Dynamic Flywire. This provides you with a comfortable fit and minor lockdown support. Then you have a lot of TPU or Fuse in zoned areas. These areas offer zero stretch so your fit isn’t going to be compromised while making hard cuts or changes in direction — this is one thing the upper does better than the MegaFuse/ Mesh build found on last year’s LeBron 12. These TPU layers feel pretty awkward upon trying them on, and all I can say is that you really won’t be satisfied with the upper until you take them on-court and play in them.

The last two layers are mesh and HyperPosite. Basically, the mesh is there to add a final layer without adding too much weight to the shoe while the Posite is there to protect the mesh. Nike states that the HyperPosite provides “Zoned impact protection” but that’s pretty vague. So I’m just assuming it’s really there to protect the mesh — much like the MegaFuse was to protect the mesh on the 12’s. The Posite overlays will not alleviate the pressure from impact when someone steps or lands on you. Trust me…being a smaller player, I get stepped on. A lot.



 

Nike LeBron 13 Written In The Stars

Fit – I feel they fit true to size, but there is a tiny bit of room length wise in the toe. I don’t feel going down 1/2 size was necessary for me – as I love how my pair fits – but trying them on to determine the perfect size for you is always best.

Nike LeBron 13 Performance Review 6Those of you with high arches will definitely want to try them on first because the Fuse/ Posite layer that rests on top of the midfoot — like I mentioned before — has zero stretch. So that area might have a negative affect on the fit for some people. However, lockdown due to the Fuse/ Posite sections was fantastic. Again, they feel very awkward when you try them on, and you have to break them in (slightly) each time you go out and play. But once the materials are warmed up then you’re pretty much locked into the shoe and all you’ll have is a great on-court experience. Unless you’re having an off night, and let’s face it, we all have those from time to time.

The only area that I can really say I disliked was the collar height. Not because I prefer low tops, but because there were times it dug into my legs a bit. It wasn’t horrible or to the point where it rubbed the skin raw, but it wasn’t something I enjoyed either.



Nike LeBron 13 Performance Review 7

Support – All of the aforementioned features, from their tooling to their fit, have a positive effect on their support. The 13’s sport a wide base that feels stable — even though there are a couple of large volume Zoom units in place — and the base is slightly wider than the upper so it cradles the foot really nicely (which aids in stability). The materials and fit all do their job with support as well. There are plenty of areas with flex and mobility, but zero stretch. So you’re able to maneuver on-court without feeling like you’re wearing a pair of Timberland’s.Nike LeBron 13 Performance Review 4



Nike LeBron 13 Performance Review 8

Overall – I didn’t like them when I first tried them on. Like, not even a little. However, they are really dope on-court kicks that perform really well. Traction and cushion were pretty beastly. The materials are something I personally liked more on last year’s model, but larger players will love that combination of flexibility/mobility and support. They’re ultra lightweight too, despite how bulky they look. Light enough to where a small Guard can still maneuver around the court perfectly fine.

As far as their price/ value. That is really your choice. Set up a budget and stick to it. Does a shoe’s performance really change just because of a higher or lower dollar value? No, not at all. If these would have released exactly as they are for $40 versus their $200 price tag; would their performance have changed in any way? Nope. There are great performance models out there and their retail prices range from dirt cheap to hell nah you crazy.  So, if a shoe meets your on-court needs and they are within your budget grab a pair and enjoy them on-court. After all, that’s what they were made for.



Nike LeBron 13 Performance Review Score

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81 Comments

  1. Great review as always Nightwing did you get to try these outdoors if so do you think the traction would burn down easily if you weren’t able to that’s fine keep up the great work man

    1. Why does my lebron 13 navy when i wore it on court my toes tend to slide when i stop running?it hurts my toe?need help

    2. I have a pair of lebron 13 the problem is when i wore and play it on court it gets slippery on the toe area when i stop running is there any solution about this?ty

  2. wonder if these will make the top 10 list for this year. did not expect such a positive review. yo nighwing will there be a jordan rising high review? thanks

  3. NW, I saw the Lebron 13’s at a shoe store today and it was missing the mid-foot posite. Could the ones you reviewed be a PRM version?

      1. Thanks! The ones I saw in store within the case must have been a size 7. Looked like it could have fit my size 10 feet. Great job btw. Keep up the good work!

  4. I was more interested in the kd tre and crazy quick review but I guess the masses got there kiss. You most def put a positive spin on these where I was not even gonna try them on at any price.

    1. yeah. price/performance ration is STILL very important dude. there are tons of shoes out there, you cant really say, this has something the others dont. so its stupid to disconsider the price. unless u get payed by nike or smtg or u got them for free )

      all in all, poor choice of shoes this one is imo

      1. Price/ value is relative to each person. If these retail for $200 and you are unwilling to pay $200 then pay no attention to the shoe until it becomes obtainable with your budget. If you happen to find these for $50 lying on a shelf somewhere you’d say that they’re the best shoes ever and $50 well spent when it’s their performance features that made them the best shoes ever and not the price. However, if you consider price spend as a performance benefit them you might as well buy the cheapest thing you see and call it a day. On the flip side, if you had a horrible shoe and spent $40 on them then you’d say that was a good value bc you find $40 to be a value purchase. Yet if you were to purchase the same horrible shoe for $200 all of a sudden the shoe sucks bc of how much they cost you. When in reality, it was a horrible shoe to begin with – without even considering the price.

        Like I said, choose your budget then stick with it. The only thing the price of a shoe should reflect is whether or not they fit within your budget. If they don’t then you’re already going to knock them off your potential list of purchases.

      2. Don’t be a dick. Grown make there own decisions good or bad. it’s the kids were looking out for or dare I says “mom’s”

      3. Stupid argument – you CAN say these have something others don’t. As adults, we have to decide if we: 1. Have the money to afford the shoe. 2. If I spend said money, will it negatively affect my lifestyle. 3. Will the features of this $200 shoe make me play or feel better Thant the features of a $120 shoe.

        For $120 you won’t get the Hex Zoom, polite wings, improved transition, and Lebron sig status. Do you need these things? Go back to above questions. If not, here’s an idea –

        DON’T BUY THE SHOES!!!!!!

        Simple. Effing. Solution.

    2. Price/ value is relative to each person. If these retail for $200 and you are unwilling to pay $200 then pay no attention to the shoe until it becomes obtainable with your budget. If you happen to find these for $50 lying on a shelf somewhere you’d say that they’re the best shoes ever and $50 well spent when it’s their performance features that made them the best shoes ever and not the price. However, if you consider price spend as a performance benefit them you might as well buy the cheapest thing you see and call it a day. On the flip side, if you had a horrible shoe and spent $40 on them then you’d say that was a good value bc you find $40 to be a value purchase. Yet if you were to purchase the same horrible shoe for $200 all of a sudden the shoe sucks bc of how much they cost you. When in reality, it was a horrible shoe to begin with – without even considering the price.

      Like I said, choose your budget then stick with it. The only thing the price of a shoe should reflect is whether or not they fit within your budget. If they don’t then you’re already going to knock them off your potential list of purchases.

  5. Hi Nightwing2303! Ive always been a fan of your reviews. Im pleasantly suprised to see a Lebron 13 review up so early. Thanks! Just got one question, how will the shoe’s traction hold up in outdoor courts? Is the rubber made with durable quality?

    1. I haven’t taken them outdoors, but from indoor use only there are pieces of rubber missing. I don’t think they’d be destroyed super fast, but the outsole isn’t a dense rubber so if the outdoor surface is very rough then they likely wouldn’t last too long. Smoother outdoor courts should be fine.

      1. I see. I will definitely keep this in mind when choosing between this, the Rose 6 South Side Luxe, and the hopefully soon to come Adidas Harden signature shoe. Thanks for the reply Nightwing2303! Looking forward to your other reviews especially the Rose 6 and that Harden performance shoe. 🙂

        1. I played outside with these outside last night and they held up very well. Grip was good everything felt good. It was my first time wearing them, and besides nightwings review I had no clue what to expect. Needless to say I am very satisfied with these

  6. Hoping these would be fine for a dude with high arches like me. Hopefully if i get a chance to try them on they wont rub since these have such a positive review. BTW how have the cp3 9’s been going so far?

  7. I told you they are good performer, we in Europe got these earlier on shelves… I wonder how lows are gonna look like !

    1. Yeah they will have some models with black soles and XDR outsoles. I am with you, the clear sole is way overdone. For example the XII EXT, you’ve got this rugged tire rubber upper and then a prissy clear sole on it. Made zero sense.

  8. Nightwing2303, how the cushion compares to other models? Like the Jordans xx9, superfly4 the kd8…i myself use the hyperrev 15 and feel the cushioning, love it, but then again I am a small 5’7, 185lb guard.

  9. i think the things with lebrons….is that they’re made for a muscular colossus of a man, and most of the stuff he deems necessary for his game, i find either pointless (like all the dynamic flywire and weird lacing systems that they tend to feature), excessive (like all the posite or fuse he needs for support, all the carbon fiber plates he needs on elite versions), or counterproductive (like full length max zoom on the X), i guess if you’re a big power player or a heavy guy you might appreciate all those things, but i think for most normal people they aren’t the best option to play basketball in….

    which is not to say that they aren’t excellent shoes that do everything well, because they generally tend to be dependable, it’s just that there are probably better shoes for your type of game that would cost you considerably less. most dudes who buy lebrons to play in pay for the prestige and the fact that it is now nike’s ‘premium’ signature line, as NW has always said, if you think that kind of stuff is worth paying for, that’s entirely on you

    1. totally agree with you, play big man position, and I find LeBrons awesome to play in for a bigger guy like me

  10. Honestly unless you are a colorway specific person you will eventually be able to find some for 129.$
    I just buy this seasons shoes later in their run.
    I don’t do retail for hoops as there is always a great deal later on.
    Use your brains kiddos

    1. They’re already selling for 150 (including shipping) from resellers out there. Scored a pair last week this way.

  11. My main question is if these have the really rigid feel to the lateral side just below one’s small toe or not? The XI Elite, XII and to a lesser extent the XII Elite all had that issue, which was a deal-breaker for me. Please advise, I would like to order some IDs this week. Thanks.

  12. Love for a Lebron signature? What a rarity, but a nice surprise. I thought the 12 got a lot of dis-honest and unfair reviews. Was expecting the 13 to be more of the same. Not the best looking shoe, but it is good to know that on this site, an honest review about performance is a reality. Price and looks are anyones choice, but good and bad performance models tend to be facts. Bring on the XXX!

  13. Disregarding price, look, etc…. Do you think these are a better shoe performance wise than the soldier 9’s. I know the review for the s 9’s concluded with the 9’s being slightly better than the Lebron 12’s. It sounds like you think that these are an improvement over the 12’s overall, would you say these are better than the soldier 9’s as well?

  14. Being a bigger guy I can’t wait to try these. Everything I’ve read says that there is two zoom bags in the heel.

  15. Okay, glad to hear that the reviewer enjoyed his time in these after “breaking them in”, however, there was no discussion on the ventilation in the vid, perhaps I missed it, but I wonder if that was an issue with this shoe.
    Also, what sort of effect the lacing system had on the fit at the forefoot if tied tightly, or even left loose. Did it improve on lock down, or did tying them tightly impede upon the function of the shoe?

    During multi directional moves, spins, sprinting backward, pivots, did the shoe remain in sync with the foot, or did the reviewer feel as if the shoe, due to the bootie construction, really could not keep up with the torque that a shoe that utilizes a more conventional two piece set up, along with the more traditional lacing system, could endure?

    I find that with shoes that have the sock/bootie set up do not provide that sort of security, as they simply can’t, due to the connection and involvement between the upper and foot bed. I know that the flywire set up is supposed to offset this sort of issue, but I am wondering if it really works.

    Also, is the INSOLE removable? Those who rock with an orthotic, will they have an issue removing, and then replacing the insoles? Will a substantial insert interfere with the function of this shoe?

    1. Sec – my pair came in today. I’ll try to answer those questions in my review if NW doesn’t beat me to it.

    2. We removed ventilation on performance reviews quite some time ago. Ventilation was a non-issue btw.

      The forefoot lacing system is weird, and added no difference to their fit. You can only get that section so tight the way the shoe is constructed in that area. Lace swapping will be an issue. Lockdown and containment were great

      “All of the aforementioned features, from their tooling to their fit, have a positive effect on their support.”

      Even though the shoe is a boot construction, the areas that are made to move and flex will move/ flex and the areas that are not meant to move and flex won’t – mentioned in the review.

      Sock/ Boot setups act the same as typical construction unless the lacing system doesn’t do its job. Having a proper fitting one-piece upper can sometimes be more beneficial as it creates a second skin type of fit versus paneling which can sometimes create a disconnect between the foot and shoe upon flexing the foot.

      99.9% of shoes have removable insoles, these are included in that. If you wear orthodics it’s typically recommended that you go up 1/2 size from your true size, however, I would recommend that you bring the orthodic with you to the store so you can try them on with it inside the sneaker you’re interested in to ensure everything fits properly.

      1. Thanks for the reply.

        Correct me if I am wrong but since the lacing system does not allow for major adjustments, are these are going for the one size fits all approach in the forefoot? If this is indeed the case, then anyone who has a narrow forefoot, C width or below and wide forefoot, E width and above, may have issues with fit, correct?

        How was the heel fit for you, snug? I remember reading reviews on the Adi Lillard shoe, and that shoe had low marks in that regard.

        Also, in regard to the inner bootie in combo with the upper, especially since you do actually play, and I do have a great deal of respect for that and your opinion, you mean to say that this did not impede proper ventilation of this shoe at all? If so, this is impressive, because it seems as if this shoe acts as a compression device as well. We do know that some compression does not allow for proper ventilation, and with a pair of socks on, I think that you can see what I am getting at.

        Thanks for the responses, and good luck.

        1. It’s sort of like a one size fits all thing. I initially laced up the forefoot as tight as possible which created a small bubble but didn’t make the forefoot tighter at all. Wound up just leaving that base lace section alone and found they fit just fine. Wide footers may have issues though, that Fuse forefoot doesn’t stretch at all.

          Heel felt great. Just didnt like the collar points where they’d dig into my leg. I usually dont lace the shoes all the way to the top, but the laces were so damn long on the shoes that I had to. They fit like a good boot, but play like a sneaker. They’re a lot lighter than they look.

          The upper has perforations under the mesh layer, but still not super breathable. However, I did not have the same experience that I had with the XX9 where I felt like my foot was in a swamp after I was done playing.

  16. NW you mentioned about the transition for the lbj 13’s for this review but never mentioned it last year in your review for the lbj12’s. It was something I noticed as well that the lbj 12’s heel to toe transition was clunky. My question is how come it wasn’t mentioned in the lbj12 review but mentioned in the lbj 13 review? Did you play in them more after the review and notice them the clunkiness?

    “Something that was greatly improved due to the new setup was transition. Heel to toe strides are no longer clunky and instead really smooth. “

    1. I rarely go over transition, unless it’s horrible. The 12’s didn’t have horrible transition, it just felt clunky at times. I tend to stride from heel to toe when I’m trying to slow down, otherwise I plant with my midfoot and roll into the forefoot. LeBron only strikes with his forefoot so doubtful the issue ever became and issue for him. Playing in the 13, the transition was noticeably improved which is why I mentioned it.

  17. NW you mentioned about the transition for the lbj 13’s for this review but never mentioned it last year in your review for the lbj12’s. It was something I noticed as well that the lbj 12’s heel to toe transition was clunky. My question is how come it wasn’t mentioned in the lbj12 review but mentioned in the lbj 13 review? Did you play in them more after the review and notice the clunkiness?

    “Something that was greatly improved due to the new setup was transition. Heel to toe strides are no longer clunky and instead really smooth. “

  18. Being a bigger guy I have to say the LeBron shoes are more of a ‘big-shoe for smaller-guys’, since the LeBron 5 they haven’t really been strong, and supportive enough for the really bigger guys(250lbs+).

    The ‘light’ focus on these, kind of makes it worse(the Howard-line also lost the big-guys’ support once they started getting ‘leaner’).

    1. They’re a big man’s shoe in a lighter package, but I wouldn’t call them a small guy’s shoe. Just so happens that smaller guys can now wear them more comfortably since the lightweight movement.

    2. I thought the LeBron 8, particularly the V2 (also V1 ) was an excellent big man’s shoe. Maybe try those. The VII was OK. I thought the X Elite was also good, though the regular Xs lacked support IMO.

  19. After this year can you pleeeeeease do your top 10 shoes from ALL TIME. I think I and many other of your loyal followers would appreciate that.

  20. I guess that makes the Lebron 12 a defective Lebron 13. although I’m still not buying this, I’m glad that Nike addressed a lot of issues regarding the previous Lebrons. clunkiness, bad transition, less responsive cushion and heaviness which plagued the series is hopefully finally fixed. I just hope that next time they would make them aesthetically nice. they are still look terribly fugly for my taste. same old aesthetics and the overly annoying and promoted oversized swoosh logos. remove those or atleast minimized them or put them elsewhere that they won’t be eyesores.

  21. Okay I got one yesterday and those shoes is goddamn harder than dick to fit in , you can’t wear them easily but after they cool to walk around in for like say 4 hours but after b so ready for hurting and feeling of cutting off ur pinky toes . Well I don’t play basketball I only got them for fashion purposes, they look good to the eyes but not fashionable to wear ! #myownreview

  22. i’ve got a pair of them.everything of this shoe is made for an expert player but the only problem is the long room for toe in the front of the shoe that makes your foot move a bit

  23. Just some notes from a casual hooper with high arches here. For some background info I’m one of the “weird” ones that really enjoyed everything about the Lebron 12 except for the lacing setup.

    I recently picked up a pair of the 13s for 150 shipped from a reseller. There are some things they got right here, but I’ve been trying to break these damn things in for 3 weeks (3 x a week, 1.5 to 2 hour hooping sessions). In comparison to the 12s they are definitely stiff, and are barely starting to loosen up. I’m also getting tons of pinky and penny roo knuckle rub on both feet where the fuse overlays sit on top of the toe box. If I went a size up, my toes would be swimming.

    The traction is great, even on dusty courts, but the cushion isn’t as plush and soft as the 12s in comparison. These in contrast are definitely more responsive w/ a little less court feel. I felt that the heal to toe transition felt better for me in the 12s, but I can see why Lebron and players of his make-up would like these the way they are.

    The lacing is also a step up from the 12s, but the posite section that goes over the top felt meaningless and clunky to me. These also fit as well as the 12s with my high arches. I felt stable, and locked in.

    In summary, this is a beast of a shoe, perhaps a bit too much of a shoe for me to play in comfortably. I feel that if the 13s had forefoot flex grooves in the outsole like they did with the 12s, it’d be a better shoe for me. 3 weeks probably isn’t enough time to form a full opinion on these, but that’s where I’m at with them today.

  24. It is funny I had to go up 1 full size on these, given that these will be worn with my Stance NBA socks, the official sock, of the NBA…. usually a 11 but 12 fits perfect with stance

  25. The Lebron 10s were the perfect basketball shoe to me. Are these better than the Lebron 10s? The 10s had that single zoom bag. The 13s don’t look like that have the same design. How do the two compare?

    Thanks!

  26. Was wondering if you can tell me, if i end up pulling the lace completely out or having to replace it, how can i do that with this shoe???

  27. How well is their ankle support, I have awful ankles and always wear braces, I guess what I am asking is would I have to wear braces with these shoes?

  28. I own a dodgeball league and play 5x/week, I have ~500 games on my Melo M9s and am looking for something as well-rounded to replace them. How do you feel these shoes stack up? Price isn’t a concern, performance is 100% the only thing I care about. I need to be able to run, stop, start, and jump in very harsh, jerky, halting motions. I have flat feet, and the m9s felt perfect on them.

    Opinions on these and alternatives are welcome.

    1. I have 4 pairs of melo m9 and love them. I am a 10.5 and wear an 11 in the melo 9 because the toe width is kinda narrow. I tried on the lebron 13 and the 10.5 felt too long with plenty of width. I tried on a 10 and the length and width were good but its kinda tight on the top of the toes. Becasue of the flywire around the eyelets around the top of the mid foot I didnt feel it really “hugs” your foot like the melos.

  29. Urgent : I untie all the shoe lace and now the shoe lace is built in and I pull all out and now I can’t push it in . HELP!

  30. Hey night, what does your rating system mean? I never saw your newer reviews and just wanted to know, thanks in advance

  31. I just bought a Pair of LeBron 13’s today and I usually wear a size 9.5 but I had to buy a size 10.5 & I think I can use a size 11 the same with the 12’s,I really think that the 12’same are a better shoe than the 13!

  32. Nightwing do you think the lbj 13 black lion with the gum rubber sole would last longer in sole durability wise?

  33. I bought these today for €60s they are gonna replace my jordan m11s and 28s. I got them for free actually because my 28s popped after I wore them like 10 times

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