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First Impression: Nike LeBron 9 P.S. Elite


The LeBron 9 wasn’t my favorite shoe to play in but after inspecting the Elite version I think these will be able to suit a lot more players and enhance the overall performance while doing so.


Traction – The look is very similar but the pattern itself has changed.


They actually look as if they won’t be able to provide much traction but when you feel the rubber – how soft & flexible it is – you would soon change your mind. Until I play in these this is just an assumption but from what I can tell these look like they will do just fine.


Cushion – You have the same exact setup as the LeBron 9 but with one major difference.


The foam is very soft and flexible. I want to say the foam is Cushlon but I don’t know for sure. The midsole and outsole are VERY flexible unlike the LeBron 9 so this is a huge plus – in my opinion – as it will allow a quick Guard or a Power Forward more freedom within their movement.


There is an Ortholite insole that features slightly more dense foam in the rear. Overall, a very nice feel to them and they feel very consistent – from a cushion standpoint- much like the Jordan Melo M8.


Material & Fit – Again, pretty much the same setup as the LeBron 9 but the Flywire & Fuse combo aren’t anywhere near as stiff as before. These feel so nice on feet it’s ridiculous. They also fit true to size just like the LeBron 9 Low.


Here is an up close look at the Flywire/ Fuse combo… I really like how they made these, almost feel as if the LeBron 9 was a waste of money in comparison.


Carbon Fiber is placed along the lateral side for support as well as under the midfoot at the arch.


Instead of having the Pro-Combat material cup the ankles, they have implemented it within the entire sleeve giving you a good fit that should mold to your foot a bit over time.


The heel section of the Pro-Combat Huarache style sleeve is sculpted which helps lock the heel in place.


The lockdown wings remain, these are awesome, and really draw the heel into the back of the shoe while keeping it there.


Ventilation – At first glance these almost look as if they’d provide the same amount – or lack thereof – of ventilation however, this has been upgraded. The Huarache styled collar will offer some ventilation but not anything to write home about.


The Fuse has been upgraded as there are actually pieces removed from the upper for ventilation… unlike the LeBron 9. There is nothing blocking the open vents except for the inner sleeve. You can’t see it but the forefoot of the sleeve is perforated so air flow hasn’t been restricted 100%.


Support – The Carbon Fiber shank and outrigger will provide a good amount of support.


Yet they take it up a notch and remove the woven pattern, replacing it with more Carbon Fiber offering a more secure and durable fit.


Overall… I can’t wait to play in these. They didn’t look impressive in images but having them in hand and trying them on has completely changed my mind. With the softer materials, increased flexibility, proper ventilation & support… what hasn’t been upgraded? While $250 is still VERY steep… at least the changes made are for the better.

I will do my best to try and complete this review prior to the release date so you can make a decision on whether or not you’d like to make the purchase.

  1. good to hear about this upgraded version of the 9s.
    will you be doing a review on the elite versions of the kobe 7 or hd2011?

  2. i wonder if that CF lateral support will cause some pinching at the top of your foot as it is “sculpted”. might not work with all foot types.

  3. It’s for AU$300 retail in Australia. Comparing to $240 of LB9s, I don’t believe it could deliver 25% better performance. I just think it is dumb to market the shoe as “elite” and at a higher price.

  4. Hi, quick question: what would you grade the ankle support on these shoes? Because I’ve severely sprained my ankle (8 times now….) playing in hyperdunks in the past. The Hyperdunks didn’t cause all the sprains. But I need a shoe with quality ankle support..or im screwed.

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