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Nike Air Penny III (3) Retro Performance Review

Hit the jump for full written review and scores…


Traction – It doesn’t look like much but it packs a huge punch. They are as silent as can be when on-court yet they keep your feet planted without issue or hesitation. With most of the traction pattern and rubber being featured on the forefoot you are able to reduce weight – which is nice here since these aren’t anywhere close to lightweight – and focus directly on where you tend to use your feet the most… at the toe. The patter faces every direction on the court and is stretched all the way to the edge of the outsole… yeah, these are pretty awesome.


Cushion – When I first tried on the Penny III I wasn’t impressed. They were very snug – which I do like – fairly stiff and the forefoot cushion felt hard and nearly nonexistent. Luckily they just needed some time to break-in… quite a bit of time but if you can handle it then you will be rewarded.

Since you have maximum protection in the heel – with the heel 180 Air Max unit – and responsive low profile cushion up front – with the Zoom unit – it doesn’t matter what position you play as these were meant for a versatile player. There haven’t been many PG’s that are as big as a PF but Penny was one of them and his sneakers show it.

If you need cushion that offers maximum impact protect and responsiveness then you will enjoy these… or to make it even easier for you… if you like the way the LeBron 9 feels and plays but want more flexibility… swap them out for a pair of Air Penny III’s and thank me later.


Material – I love the materials and praise Nike for sticking with what was found on the original release. Leather and Foamposite… a perfect combination. With the leather being soft you can run into durability issues rather quickly… that’s where the Foamposite comes into play.

The Foam protects and adds support while the leather allows for freedom and range of motion. Zero break-in time was needed with the leather – which is rare – since it fit so perfectly right away. I wish this is how they made sneakers still… its got all the benefits of Fuse and Flywire but you have nice materials that require less break-in time.


Fit – They run true to size but they also run tight – width wise – so if you have a wide foot then try going up ½ a size. Once laced up you will notice that you are strapped in tight and secure yet still have plenty of flexibility along the upper. The lace system is nearly independent which allows each area of the upper to hug onto the foot no matter what the foot may be doing or where it may be going. Dynamic Flywire offers a similar feature with reduced weight but if you like the feel of leather instead of plastics in your footwear then this is a great replacement option.

As with the other models in the line, the heel lockdown is lacking. Fortunately you are locked into the rest of the shoe securely making that issue only a minor setback.


Ventilation – The ventilation basically sucks. Bottom line… it would have been much better than what it was. Luckily the additional moisture buildup doesn’t effect the fit or the materials during games since it literally wraps around your foot to a point to where you feel as if you are wearing a leather and Foamposite sock.


Support – The support is probably the Air Penny lines greatest and most apparent feature. While support is great in the Air Penny 1 & 2 and almost too supportive in the Foamposite One… the Penny 3 is able to find the perfect blend between support and function. Its built for a big man but also a Guard.


Overall – These are one of the greatest basketball shoes I’ve ever played in… I’m surprised it took me this long to finally figure it out. I’ve had multiple chances to pick up the Air Penny III and passed each time based off of a disappointing try-on… Lesson learned…


First Impression
Performance Teaser Pt. 1
Performance Teaser Pt. 2

  1. haha not used to seeing you discussing your review outside,talk about trying something new!another great vid,by the way do you have any idea how heavy this shoe weighs???is this heavier than lebron 8 v2’s???

  2. sorry for the comotion, the EMT squad and some paramedics had to tend to the chump i had to beat the breaks off of for talking crap to wifey. so sorry for the sirens interupting the video. Are the 1/2 centers gettin love?

    1. LOL! The messed up thing is thats exactly what i woke up to today… Its like they were following me. I dont even know how i kept talking bc i remember thinking “FML!!!” while recording lol. Dont think ill do the 1/2 cent though, i can pretty much see how theyll perform with each part of the previous Penny’s theyve used.

  3. by the way man i really need ur take on this,which shoe has a more narrow fitting forefoot,kd4 or crazy light 2?i wear size 9 shoes like you but with the kd4 i went half size up bcoz of the very narrow forefoot,you think i also need to go 9 1/2 instead of 9 for the cl 2’s???thanks man,please answer

  4. Love the new review format, it’s cool seeing you actually play in the shoes! Hope to see more reviews like this! Keep up the good work!

  5. nice change on the review. nice lesson that you learned about being disappointed on try-ons then realizing they were great on court, i think i’m gonna apply that too.

  6. amazing review once again! now I want a pair! great format, and the last two minutes was nice too, keep it up man!

  7. Bro you mentioned that you got this from ebay. Would it be possible if you mention the user or perhaps a link to the seller’s store. Thanks buddy!

  8. nice vid as usual, but i kinda liked the category in text appearing on screen right before you talk about it. The ball going thru the net between categories felt kinda off after the 2nd or 3rd time, although the ball did go in everytime lol

  9. Have you played in these indoors? I just picked up a pair and played indoors today for a couple hours and it felt like I was on ice skates……sliding all over the place. They’re very comfortable though, albeit a bit heavy……I’m not sold on the traction though.

      1. The court I played on today was definitely not the most well-kept court, but I am hesitant making quick movements in them….you were right though, they are definitely silent. Almost ninja-like, lol.

  10. Great review. I always consult your reviews before purchasing a shoe to hoop in (which is quite often). Thanks. The ball going in is not working, but the new format is good overall. This review helped me decide between the penny 3 and the lebron elites. I got the Pennies. I haven’t worn a pair of 3s since I was a size 8 lol (11 in Kobes now). I hope they fit TTS, tho.

    If I may, I suggest mentioning your foot shape in your reviews (is that creepy of me?). My second and third toes are like half an inch longer than my already long big toe, so the shape of the shoe is important to me. I can pick up a baseball AND throw a curveball with my feet lol. Knowing what kind of foot is going in the shoe would help a guy like me out in cases like the Penny 3s, when I can’t go in a store and try them on.

    Keep up the good work!

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