For his first individual performance review of the year, Leak shares his perspective on the Li-Ning Wade All City 8.
A lot of different patterns are applied on a semi-translucent outsole here. You have radial coverage, diamond-shaped infinity patterns, and even some implementation of Way of Wade branding throughout. Break-in is needed as whatever film/residue applied to the outsole during manufacturing takes some time to burn off.
My first couple of runs in the All City 8 required relatively frequent wiping. However, after a day outdoors midway through testing, the bite improved noticeably on multiple surfaces. From that point, I could visibly see where the layer had rubbed off, so that appears to have been the primary culprit in initial runs.
There are some flat surfaces such as the pivot point of the forefoot that were initially slick, but once again, break-in eventually took care of that area limiting the need to wipe to between games only. Give these some real time and you should be secure with traction as the rubber is thick, durable, and requires less maintenance the more they’re worn.
Full-length Cloud makes up the midsole, which turned out to be an overall solid setup. Though I did find the heel section to be bouncy initially, I’d say expect an overall neutral cushion experience overall, with great step-in comfort and just a slight amount of feedback.
Impact protection, flexibility, and court feel all seem well-balanced. There just isn’t an abundance of any one thing cushion-wise, which can be okay depending on the player. I personally wouldn’t say I found it underwhelming – I would just acknowledge this implementation of Li-Ning Cloud is a master of none.
No premium materials? No problem, as Li-Ning and the Wade brand put this shoe together very nicely. Even with basic textiles, fuse, and synthetic overlays the All City 8 feels like you are getting something that was well thought out in design.
The base textile has just enough support and structure without being harsh on the foot, the stretchy tongue area creates a cozy, sock-like feel with a little bit of ventilation, and the overlays and midfoot strap are strategically placed without getting in the way. Internally all is comfortable with maybe only one gripe that will be touched on if the Fit section. I especially like the Achilles pillow that incorporates the heel pull tab as it was both comfortable and functional.
Overall, just a well put together shoe that makes the most of what it is given.
I don’t believe my true size is made by most Chinese brands, so I typically opt for a half size down as there is a big chance the shoe is made on a wider last. I did that with the Li-Ning Wade All City 8, and it was so close to being my favorite fit in a shoe I started testing in 2019.
Length-wise, a half-size down put my toes right near the edge with just a tiny bit of breathing room – exactly how I like it. Width was near perfect for my average width foot, with the exception of two occurrences of pinky toe rub on my left foot. Fortunately, I only noticed this sensation for about 10-15 minutes each time and the irritation never became extreme. I also noticed this only occurred when wearing thinner-cushioned socks, so my guess is the extra fluff from my current go-to socks protected me from experiencing this more often.
I understand this is not a shoe just anyone can go try on before purchase, so my best recommendation would be narrow = half size down, normal = true size, and wide foot = a half size up. If you are in the range that doesn’t include half sizes like me, then I would strongly suggest you consider my experience and gauge whether it is a risk worth taking.
The All City 8 doesn’t necessarily maximize standard support features, but what it does give you is still awesome. You are well supported laterally by the midsole and caging (also what caused pinky toe rub) and you sit on a stable cushion that is low enough to the ground.
I was concerned about torsional support as the plastic midfoot shank doesn’t expand to the medial side as traditionally done, but there were absolutely no issues there. Though less effective now compared to initial use, the midfoot strap can actually be felt providing containment.
Wrap that all up with very good heel support and you have yourself a well supported and responsive shoe (given the right fit).
I personally have a new “Mr. Reliable” for 2020 in the Li-Ning Wade All City 8. Overall, I think it represents a team shoe well, as there is a little bit of something for every type of player without heavily catering to any one type.
If you are a Wade fan, but not quite ready to pull the trigger on the flagship Way of Wade 8/Way of Wade Infinity, your feet will still be in good shoes with the All City 8. The All City 8 is available in the US on Li-Ning’s Amazon store.