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Nike LeBron 11 Elite Performance Review

To Elite or not to Elite…

Nike LeBron 11 Elite Performance Review 1Traction – They played practically the same as the regular 11. Only real difference is that there is a bit more flexibility with all the additional flex grooves but nothing drastically different.







Nike LeBron 11 Elite Performance Review 2Cushion – Nothing has changed with the cushion either. Lunarlon midsole with full length bottom loaded Zoom Air. I wound up using my original LeBron 11‘s midsole so I wouldn’t have to break them in again. I personally find the cushion to be a bit too mushy until broken in but that might vary from person to person. It’s definitely a responsive and well cushioned ride – one of the best cushioned shoes out right now – however, I personally prefer something a little firmer.





Nike LeBron 11 Elite Performance Review 3Materials – I feel like a broken record… materials are the same as the regular 11 as well. Fuse and Hyperposite (Foamposite panels) are in place throughout the shoe and they make for one sturdy and durable sneaker. This will require quite a bit of break-in time but once thats taken care of then you’ll be left with a tank for kicks.






Nike LeBron 11 Elite Performance Review 4Fit – They fit true to size, wide footers will want to try them on. Lockdown is incredible from front to back. The lockdown wing thats been added really draws the heel back into the shoe and keeps it there while the TPU support frame & Hyperposite panels keep your foot from shifting within the shoe. Only downside is that the lateral TPU panel located at the midfoot hurts like hell and never broke-in. Sure, the LeBron 11’s start off a bit stiff but nothing like this… these were downright painful.





Nike LeBron 11 Elite Performance Review 5Ventilation – Nothing to complain about here. You need moisture and heat so that the Foamposite panels mold to your feet, so thats a plus, but the Foamposite panels are so thin that you really don’t feel it in this shoe as you would the Foamposite One, Pro or even the LeBron 11.






Nike LeBron 11 Elite Performance Review 6Support – Their overall support is pretty crazy. The materials and fit do most of the work while the Hyperposite/ TPU overlays really reinforce everything. Ultimately, they felt overly supportive and pretty restrictive. Not something I personally enjoy but maybe there is someone out there that would enjoy it.

Nike LeBron 11 Elite Performance Review 7Overall – The changes made aren’t worthy of the giant price hike and the TPU panel hurt while restricting movement… not exactly what I expect when purchasing a $275 sneaker with an Elite title – heck, not even clearance prices would make this particular shoe appealing for me. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; I’d love it if we’d go back to getting one great signature and one great low top of that signature per year and call it a day. Creating more signatures while giving them an Elite title only leaves room for error and disappointment.

Nike LeBron 11 Elite Performance Review 8

  1. Once again, great review! Now that you’ve reviewed all three of the Elite shoes, do you have a favorite?

      1. Awesome! I have a pair of the Kobe Elites and really really like them. Had zero desire to even think twice about the LeBron’s, and after this review I’m sure I’ll pass. The KDs have definitely caught my eye. Might need to check out a pair of those at some point. Thanks!

  2. There doesnt seem to be enough reasons to buy these over the “regular” XI. Actually there arent enough reasons to buy them for 275 dollars either. 275 is way too much. The removable insole is a dumb idea with these shoes as you cant swap them with anything, they dont add any sort of playability or extra comfort ..I honestly dont get it. There not bad looking or anything, the price is just kiling it for me. Not worth it by any means. The word elite doesnt seem to fit this particular shoe.

    1. The removable midsole made sense when they actually offered them for purchase separately. Back when the Kobe 8 System first launched they offered this feature. Sadly it went away almost immediately. That way if they wore out you could just replace the insole instead of the whole shoe. Prolonging the life of the shoe and saving you money. My guess is this made sense for about 10 minutes and then Nike realized they don’t want people keeping their old shoes. They want as much of our money as possible.

      On a side note I actually put my Kobe insole inside a pair of Lugz boots that were a bit too big and not very comfortable. It made them 200% better. I also have some Converse CTS that came with a lunarlon insole (much smaller than the Kobe) and can use them in many of my shoes. I wish Nike would sell lunarlon insoles because almost any shoe could be improved.

      1. it made more sense when it was done first on the jordan 2011 as you had a few options on insoles…2012 was good but a bit overkill …i wish they would just stop doingit all together. Theres no reason for it and they squeek alot after they get broken in…atleastmine do. Not worth it at all

      2. I was actually going to ask about the removable insoles, but I didn’t scroll down far enough to read JMD’s response.

        JMD – So you could actually buy the insoles when they first came up with the idea? or was the only time they had them for sale when the Kobe 8 first came out? Were they easy to get a hold of? It really is stupid of them to not let you buy them and keep releasing shoes with them. If you can’t buy them, then I really don’t think their is any point to them releasing shoes with them. I thought the whole point of them was so that you could replace them when they wore out.

        Really crappy move on Nike’s part to tease people with it and then take it away before ever really giving people a chance to buy them.

        1. I have never seen the Lebron insoles sold separately. Just the Kobe 8’s. They were available on Nike.com for awhile. The exact amount of time I’m not sure. I just know it didn’t last long. I think they sold for $40.

  3. They look nice but unless I see them for a crazy deal (example: 50%+ off at Nordstrom Rack) I’m going to pass. I’m currently very happy with my regular 11’s. Especially when I was able to get the Dunkman colorway for around $132 (after coupon, tax, and shipping) from finishline. $275 or $130 for a better shoe….. gee…. let me think….

  4. nightwing can you make a performance review of nike overplay viii, if you wouldnt mind. Thanks.

  5. Yessir …275 for any kind of pain is unacceptable.
    The 11 has been a disaster and bron put these back down for soldiers yet again.

    I will now wait for kicks genius to confirm these as the greatest shoes ever sold at finishline

    1. lol. I haven’t watched a Kickgenius video for a while now. I’ll have to check out what they’re up to. I do like the guys, but they just seem too biased in their reviews, which sucks as they make some great videos.

      Last video I saw of theirs was about Boost running shoes, and Tre basically was trying to disprove that it’s as good as people think that it is. I like that he tried to put a different spin on it, but it’s too hard to look at what they say objectively as I haven’t seen them give any huge props to any other brand apart from Nike.

      Going off of some of their latest reviews I saw from them, they should maybe change their name to KickGenius and have in brackets (sponsored by Nike/Jordan Brand), just so people know what to expect when watching their reviews.

      Have they actually ever given any other brand apart from Nike/Jordan Brand high marks at all? I’m serious about that question, they very well may have, but I don’t think I’ve seen it if they have.

      Nightwing, I really, really appreciate that you try to be straight down the line with your reviews and not favour certain brands over others.

      1. To answer the other brands question if you’re talking about basketball, I’ll have to go with no. Everything you said is valid. I think things changed for them last summer with the “summer is serious”. They’ve always been up for “artistic” intro’s, but sometimes I think more is put into that, than the actual review.

        I only bring that up, because that was about a year ago now, so from watching the before/after views it’s just my two cents. I’m happy for them, wish them the best, because anytime you’re getting recognition for doing what you love it’s a good thing.(In most cases)

        There was a time I remember when people tried saying NW was biased, honestly after whatever those two were did their “call out”, it seems he took it as a challenge an was like “I only like X, ok I’ll show you biased”. He’s done more off-brand views now than some cats have done views period.

      2. I think that nike and Jordan, just have the best shoes in their opinion, he gave props to the apl concept 3 after disapproving the asthetics, he liked the crazyquick, but he needed more cushion, also, I think he liked the drose 3.5

      1. Y’all hating on kickgenius. They have not really been nike slaves. Watch the elite test and come back and say what you said again. I support them just as much as nw but they are a little biased. They aren’t nike slaves.

  6. crazy scoring on this review. the TPU wing dug into your foot and caused pain. that should have been reflected in the scores I would think. how can it get a 9/10 overall (you didnt even like the shoe), 10/10 in materials (its the material that caused the pain), and a 10/10 for support (its the support wing that caused the pain).

    I got to question the veracity of these scores. something is way off. the shoe was clearly flawed to the point that it causes physical pain and its getting top scores anyway. I dont get it at all. is this a review or a paid advertisement?

    1. The score was reflected in the fit section which is where I had the pain. The materials are strong and durable, 10/10. Support is extreme and some of the best around, 10/10. The fit on the other hand was painful, had great lockdown and fit true to size, 7/10. Continue to read only numbers and not words then you can continue to have issues. Use your brain a little, ask instead of accuse and then maybe you wont have such a hard time understanding.

      1. The shoes look so clunky at the end of the video when Nightwing gives us the on feet look. I definitely know that you can’t go by looks alone and base the performance of a shoe on that, but man, they really don’t look that great for guards just by looking at them. Do many of you guys that play PG or SG wear these?

        Also, I’ve been wondering, why do they release the Elite versions before the playoffs? Is it a money only thing or what? Personally, I wouldn’t want to switch to a new model shoe just before the playoffs as I’d want a bit of time to get used to it first. I’d rather wear a model I am more familiar with. I know these guys are professionals and that it shouldn’t affect them, but I wonder if it does sometimes hinder their performance slightly, trying to get used to a new model shoe? What do you guys think?

        1. This wasn’t supposed to be a reply to anyone, was supposed to post this at the bottom of the page.

  7. Im done with nike too for a while…jordan too…there are better less expensive kicks out there to be had…

    1. You need get on team PEAK!!! played in my tp1’s last night my only compliant was the traction, I was having to wipe every trip(one-way) down court, but this court has no one caring for it since school is over. No one had a shoe that would bite outside of the 28’s.

      The cushion on the tp1 just has to be experienced.

  8. I think a “Value” category would be a cool addition to reviews. No one does it.
    Durability vs tech and materials vs Retail price.
    It may also eliminate some of the comments from guys who cant read beyond scores.

      1. Personally, I enjoy the numbered scores. It’s nice to quickly be able to check out the different categories, since different people might care about different things when it comes to their kicks. For example, I don’t care much about ventilation, but support is a big concern for me. At the same time there are other players who are really looking for a well ventilated shoe. Could be interesting to add the good, bad, okay for the quick skimmers, but still provide the breakdown.

        1. Please keep the scorecard because kickgenius already does the good, bad, ok rating system.

      2. Yes please keep the scoring system as that’s what your reviews are known for. Simplifying it to three scores good bad okay will turn it into a KG review(which is great dont get me wrong). We need variety, and your current system is part of your brand identity.

        That being said, i personally believe that if the fit causes blisters and it doesnt improve, it’s a zero in my book. And if there’s pain and it doesnt disappear after some playtime, it’s below 5. Why five as the tipping point? Half full to me is halfway between acceptable and unacceptable.

        Let’s look at this reviewer, he hates the shoe as it doesnt fit him well and causes much discomfort, but apparently there are many fans of the shoe and they castigated him for it. He still kept the score well below average (less than half) because that’s his opinion of the shoe, simply unacceptable to him.


        Just throwing ideas in. Hope u dont get us wrong we really appreciate what u do. Our ideas of course can be accepted or rejected, doesnt matter at all 🙂

        1. When presented in this manor then it’s not perceived as being rude or complaining, more conversing. I did think about giving them below a 5, thought about a 4, but then the tts fit and lockdown would’ve been a 10 – in my book – had it not been for the painful pieces so I knocked it down down to a 7. Esp since the pain could just be my problem, but if assume it’s not.

          I’ll consider my options though, I’m obviously not afraid to switch things up every so often.

          1. Ah thanks for clarifying that, now i totally get the 7 points.

            Thanks for understanding, hope u keep seeing some value in our feedbacks without being swayed to do anything else other than what you do best. Like im always reminded by my advisers, what we are always changes, but who we are never does. What we do should always adapt to our environment, but our individuality will and should be preserved.

      3. How about something like an out of 5 system where you have – bad, mediocre, average, good, great, something like that type of score system? Then you can also add up the score at the end too if you want?

  9. How about a fail, pass, and great scoring system for each attribute? That would work to your style nightwing.

      1. Nightwing, I know you put in a lot of work but with the site growing and different contributers getting involved, have you ever thought about a review for each shoe with players they were meant for? Such as, having a bigger or taller player do a review, with your insight and guidelines, do the Lebrons and or Melos. And having yourself or maybe a faster player doing the Kobe’s or CP3’s. You are only 1 man and some shoes are made for just different players to really capitalize on their performance.

        I’m looking to start doing reviews for the bigger guys and wide feet players out there as I think there is a need but always supporting your site.

        1. No. Traction, cushion, materials, fit etc. All will work on me the same way that they’d work on a bigger guy. If a shoe has crazy support then do I not go over that? If a shoe has cushion made for larger players; do I not go over that? I do and have since the beginning. Saying a larger player can do something more with a sneaker than a smaller player is absurd and 100% inaccurate.

  10. $275 for a sloppy fitting shoe? Man forget that! Nike slipped hard on this one. Not too mention the pain caused by it when hooping. JUST DO IT went to JUST WOW MAN.

  11. Hey man, great review as usual. I decided to buy these when they first came out, played two games in them and had to return due to the terrible pain the shoe would cause on my pinkie toes. Whenever I would flex the shoe, the fly wire of all things, would dig into my toes. I tried wearing them in more by just walking around, but the pain was unbearable. If the fly wire wasn’t so tight I wouldn’t have had this issue. Too bad because, like you said, the lockdown and support is great, I enjoyed the cushioning as well. $275 is a joke for these shoes, no way to justify it. Anyway, keep up the good work, I’ve been reading your reviews for years and will continue to.

    1. You guys can return the shoes even after you’ve played in them?! Whoa. What a customer service you guys got. You guys are lucky in that sense.

  12. Lebron wearing the soldiers all season speaks for itself. The elites are a lifestyle shoe. Hope Nike learned a lesson for the Lebron 12s.

    1. the regular 12s are great although i returned mine because i didnt like the color way i bought. the 12 elites gave me pain in the ankles… what a rip off… so i returned them before i wore them out. then i bought 11s a half a size too big because the size 12 i bought (technically 1/2 size bigger than my usual 11.5 in nike) were defective in the tongues. so ive been wearing a 12.5 lebron 11 summit lake. theyre beautiful, but difficult to ball in because they are a little big, so i’m deciding between size 11.5 of the 12s instinct or size 12 of the 11s terracotta warriors. i think the 12s are slightly more comfortable than the 11s for some reason

  13. Thankyou for your sharing your personal experience! 🙂 I can say this shoe really does have painful areas. Also Nightwing for a great review. 😀

  14. Your videos have been one of the biggest reasons why I’m a sneakerhead right now. Never had regrets ever since. I love your work nightwing! Keep it up man 😀

  15. Men. That Lebron 11 is so expensive!!! Like really expensive!! 12,000 for that shoe? Mmm

  16. Tried doing a review on these and just did not think it would be worthwhile. Had the same pain on the top of my toes and actually had some bleeding. Thought it was just me but happened 3 times and like Chris, I just couldn’t really play in them.

    I did have a final thought for everyone bashing or saying get the regular 11’s. I am 240lb and the cushion on these is amazing. If you are big, if you have had knee or ankle injuries, THIS IS THE BEST SHOE ON THE MARKET FOR YOU. I’ve recommended these to guys who have broken their ankle or have had knee surguries and these are great overall. Again, that is really an extreme as I hope most guys have not had big injuries and most guys are not big enough to really need that amount of cushioning and realistically way to much support. On that note, the support, albeit ridiculous, does provide confidence in those who have had injuries.

    Great review Nightwing and love you site.

    1. They were way over supportive lol. Cushion is beast though, too much for me until they’re broken in. The pain is where they got me though. Any lateral movement and that plastic dug into my feet. Would have bruises on them after playing in them and thats just a no-go. They might look cool casually but on-court they just werent functional.

  17. Too bad. In my country they’re actually cheaper. 3000 pesos that are equivalent to 230 dollars.
    And they are 40% off so that would be 140.
    I was hoping they’d be the same as the regular lebron 11 but the pain in the medial side is a deal breaker.

  18. Nightwing, were the lockdown wings similar to lebron 9 noticeable? Or was it unecessary? Thanks 😀

  19. Hey Nightwing, great review as always. Just wondering though, how well does the elite version or the standard fair on outdoor courts?

  20. Any chance of Lebron 11 Low review? I’ma sucker for ballin in lows, and Nike hasn’t had a good lowtop in Lebrons line since the 8 in my opinion. (On a side note, your reviews are excellent. Especially for me, with a similar style of play and build.)

    1. He is reviewing the lebron 11 lows now and said on Instagram that they really aren’t suitable to hoop in. So don’t waste your money unless you just want them for casual wear.

  21. Hey NW! I’m a big fan of your videos, and I was wondering if there really actually is lunarlon in the elites. Nike.com does not say so.

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