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Nike LeBron 14 Gets Deconstructed

lebron xiv fastpass cover

Looks like our friends (and shoe companies enemies) are at it again. This time, we get a deconstruction of the LeBron 14 from Fastpass.

Really, it doesn’t show us anything horrible; we already knew the basics were staying the same from the LeBron 13 with a refined, slimmed-down upper. The Hex Zoom is still present and the ballistic mesh is still tight, but at least the stiff Posite wings are gone, replaced by a strap. For a LeBron model, fairly basic.

The best thing shown here is the thickness of that Zoom — 14mm across the foot, bottom loaded, but not a ton of Phylon between the foot and the pods (let’s just hope it is softer than the Soldier X).

Although the “Out of Nowhere” colorway dropped in extremely limited colorways, the official release was supposed to have been January 28. Now pushed back to February 10 for unknown reasons, the “Chase Down” colorway (black and white) gets ready to make a wide debut.

While some long for the days of the Max Zoom in the LeBron X (not me — too stiff), the flexibility of the Hex Zoom does help the LeBron shoes to feel a little less Timberland-like. With a lower ankle cut also taking away some of the restrictive feeling, this could be a killer performer.

Let us know below if you plan on grabbing the ‘Chase Down’ on release day. Or, if you already have the ‘Out of Nowhere,’ let us know what to expect. For now, enjoy the insides of the LeBron 14.

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Images via fastpass


  1. I never want to get too excited for zoom anymore…i was super hyped when they decided to put zoom back in the hyperdunk line, messed that up, was excited for the really thick units in the soldier 10, messed that up, was REAL excited seeing the zoom in the KD8, it was okay…they make good zoom, they make bad zoom…we shall see (yes, i do LOVE the KD9 and flyknit hyperdunk)

  2. These look promising but yeah, hopefully that foam isn’t too dense. I tried on the Soldiers today in Finish Line and that confirmed it for me that I wouldn’t be getting them…not with all of the other options available. I’m sure that I could break them in with a decent workout where I really worked the foam but I don’t want to do that extra work without the guarantee that they would even get to how i’d like.

  3. bottom loaded zoom sucks. maybe its good if you weigh 260 like LeBron. what about normal sized humans? when these crap hex zoom units are shown its no wonder they do nothing. its a gimmick like virtually everything Nike does. they market it as the latest and greatest, when really they are just giving you less for your money. this is why so many ppl have moved on to companies w/ legitimate tech

    1. I think thats part of the problem- they make these for huge behemoth-sized men, and when they shrink them down for normal people the zoom cannot be felt at all. Something they could do is make the foam midsole incrementally softer as a sizes go down, allowing the zoom to be compressed even by someone who is 100 lbs.

      Too many Nikes have zoom that you can’t feel at all if you’re not 6’9” 250. Softer foams would help, and maybe a softer strobel board as well. Zoom works, its just that too often its being encased in hard materials. Its like surrounding a pillow with styrofoam and putting plywood on top of it.

      1. @Kwame that’s the problem though, since Petrie took over, LeBron shoes LOOK big, but play small, it’s why up to the LeBron V most big-guys prefered the LeBron over the team-line(especially in Euroleague you can see that because they don’t have sneaker-contracts), and since then the LeBron VII on, they have been mostly worn by Guards/Forwards, because they’re ‘replica big shoes’.

        These too will be wrecked within 1 game of a big-guy playing in them(even LeBron’s PE’s are cracking at the lateral overlays after a full game). So that’s definitely not it, that the basketball sneakers are really for big-guys, because for about 5-6 years, no brand is truly making a big-friendly sneaker, that isn’t a retro.

        1. I agree with a lot of this so what that says is that the foam is just crap most of the time then. Because if they aren’t being made totally for a big dude but the zoom cushion is difficult to feel at times even for me at 180 lbs unless it’s an unlocked set up then something is wrong somewhere in the design/implementation process with the foam carriers for zoom. This is why the KD9 has been amazing for me but most zoom models are felt but are more “meh”.

        2. Are you a big guy? If you can’t feel the zoom, then I have no idea why they are encasing the zoom so much. It doesn’t make much sense at all, unless they fear it popping or something. In that case, I’d rather have zoom that may pop in a few months than one I can hardly feel.

    2. I’m 6 ft and 170 lbs and I can usually always feel zoom. I can feel it even in the Kyrie 2 (not as much in the 3) and I always feel a lot lighter on my feet with bottom loaded zoom. My favorite all time shoe is the CP3.VIII AE….and it has bottom loaded zoom. Really, it just depends on the person and the athleticism and style of play everyone has on whether or not you can or cannot feel bottom loaded zoom air.

  4. Don’t see why there’s a Zoom pod in middle of the footbed. Seems pointless. Could’ve placed it under the forefoot instead

    1. @KC that protects the metatarsal-base, allowing you to land harder, and get back into the next movement faster. It’s actually a pretty solid Barefoot-ish setup, impact protection in the back/mid, with very aggressive toes.

      1. Not many people land flat footed. Not sure why you would want to if you wanted to get into your next move faster, you’d want to be on the balls of your feet anyways. Pointless

  5. I really like this silhouette, especially this colour. But how much longer can they tweak these types of designs, techs and materials until the consumer realizes that Nike’s innovation is really out-dated. If Adidas can revolutionize cushioning techs with boost, it’s time for Nike to step up.

  6. I don’t know man…
    back to the day the nike flagship model alway have better and different interpretation of tech than the last year flagship model.
    they have been using these hex zoom units for 3 years.
    on the other side Jordan are fruitless on the cushion department after block zoom.
    It is alarming.
    they need a break through.
    or nike will writher
    although slowly.

  7. Heel zoom looks killer but like everyone said you probably wont feel the zoom in the front – LeBron most love the hex set up or something but think for a regular person if they had put the flight plate system in the front it would be a lot better.

  8. I weigh 86kg and I can feel this lebron forefoot zoom and rear zoom. Its the best cushioning tech without scarifying the responsiveness and stability. Other easily felt cushion shoe don’t last in the responsiveness after few months using them. They still feel great but the bounce is not there anymore. So far nex zoom able to make it more flexible with stability as compare to full length zoom unit. I am loving it.

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