Li-Ning shoes, due to their Chinese provenance, often fly under the radar. That’s changing a little because now most of their models are available worldwide on Amazon and all the WearTesters video that showcase the brand’s products. Li-Ning’s recent signing of NBA star Jimmy Butler is also catching people’s attention (as it should). And with Jimmy getting spotted playing in the Li-Ning Yu Shuai 15, people are asking, what are those? So let’s check out the 15th iteration of the Yu Shuai series, and find out if this model lives up to our standards.
The Li-Ning Yu Shuai 15 utilizes a multi-directional rubber outsole pattern. The pattern is spread out efficiently across the bottom of the shoe. While testing of this shoe was strictly outdoors, it’s without a doubt this traction would bite on any surface. The best thing is that it doesn’t attract dust. Not much wiping was needed to clear the traction. No matter how hard a cut I made, especially laterally, as well as on step-and-go pull-ups, the traction held when I needed it to. Simple and effective.
Li-Ning uses its Boom (Pebax foam) Cushioning technology as well as their new Cloud foam to provide ample responsiveness. You may have heard of Boom and Cloud. They were used in the Li-Ning All-City Wade 9 as well as Way of Wade 9. A similar iteration of cushion technology but a different implementation. The cushion was solid and didn’t make my legs feel any fatigue after a few hours of play in a game setting. It’s not overly soft nor is it too firm, pretty much a solid happy medium for those that need something well-balanced.
Li-Ning introduces their Cool Shell upper which is supposed to assist in breathability along the upper, the tongue, and overall all around the shoe. Boom and Cloud were also utilized for proper cushioning as well as a torsion plate called Probar Loc. The rest of the shoe is made up of integrated TPU to protect high wear areas. There’s also a solid rubber outsole as well an internal heel counter for better stability. The Li-Ning Yu-Shuai 15 follows the mold of its previous models with some minor modifications to improve the overall shoe while removing some weight.
The fit of the Yu Shuai 15 is true to size, particularly for a wide footer like myself. Since a good amount of Asia-based sneaker brands are built on wider-last, those with slightly wider feet will enjoy the true to size fit. For those with a more narrow straight foot, you should be able to get away with a 1/2 size down or true to size with thicker socks.
The support comes directly from the fit of the shoe itself. The shoe’s upper does take a little break-in time, but once broken in, the shoe will fit your feet extremely well. The impact absorption from the Boom and Cloud cushion gave me enough protection underfoot, while allowing me to move immediately without any type of drag or delay. The Yu Shuai 15 really cups your foot in place. You often find yourself forgetting the shoe is laced on tight. I do wish they added some ankle pillow cushion around the achilles area, however, it didn’t affect overall comfort. In addition, the traction was very solid on the outdoor blacktop as the rubber would scream to a halt (literally).
Overseas brands have really stepped up their game and taken it up a notch. The Li-Ning Yu Shuai 15 shows how far they’ve come. When you have a player like Jimmy Butler as the core athlete wearing the shoe, you have to deliver performance. When he’s not deep into his Big Face Coffee, you know Jimmy is serving buckets on-court.
I don’t get to try many overseas brands since large sizes sizing are often hard to find. However, I really enjoyed playing in the Yu Shuai 15. As a big man who needs a decent amount of cushion I never felt super fatigued. That’s a definite breath of fresh air.
The biggest surprise was how well the shoe broke in and how easily it adapted to my foot. And I can’t say enough about the traction, because holy bejeez, on heavy lateral cuts the rubber screeched the floor as heavy as a Tokyo Drift.
Nice fit, good support, nice traction, solid shoe. No lie, the overall shoe kind of gives off an old school Hyperdunk vibe. I mean that in a good way. Li-Ning is really hitting its stride and I look forward to what they have coming in the future.