The Nike LeBron 15 Low was much more impressive than the LeBron Lows of years past. Find out why with our performance review.
The Nike LeBron 15 Low is available now at Eastbay.com
Traction on the Nike LeBron 15 Low isn’t too far from what was used on the original Nike LeBron 15, but it was tweaked enough to make a difference. While the protruding diamond traction pattern remains the same, it’s been implemented in a way that it almost moves in a nice circle along the outsole.
With the pattern moving in this way the shoe is able to handle lateral movements much better than the midtop version of the shoe. Dust isn’t a huge issue for the LeBron 15 in general, due to the pattern being more like spikes along the sole rather than your typical average pattern, but there were a few times that I’d stop and wipe just to get a little bit extra bite.
I did have a couple of slipping issues upon certain movements, but it was near the ball of the foot/toe-off area. This section slopes in an upward direction so I think the issue was that I was moving too fast to properly to allow the sloped section of the outsole make contact with the floor. I could be wrong, of course, but that’s what I feel was causing the issue because it wasn’t present in the LeBron 15 mid at all and the outsole there was pretty even in terms of court coverage.
Overall, I’d say this was a slight improvement over the mids, but not enough to change its score. Just know that you can be confident in the outsole’s ability to maintain grip, and that was while I was testing a pair with a translucent outsole. And just as an FYI, I wouldn’t recommend playing in the pairs with iridescent outsoles; those felt much more slick in-store than this Grey/Pink pair.
Cushion from the original LeBron 15 wasn’t carried over in any way, which I find unfortunate because the rear Air Max unit could have been a Max Zoom unit. Had it been Max Zoom I think the LeBron 15 Low would have been a bit more amazing than it already is.
While the heel area isn’t as dense feeling as Air Max units can feel, it still would have been awesome to have had something a bit more absorbent and bouncy underfoot. However, the Air Max unit in place is comfortable and I feel that it offers enough impact protection for small and large players alike.
The forefoot section does have Zoom Air, just more of the traditional variety, and I loved it. This, coupled with that weird upward sloping toe-off section, created a very fluid ride with a bit of spring to each step. While the Zoom Air is bottom-loaded, it doesn’t feel like it and the entire cushion setup reminded me of what we had gotten in the Nike LeBron 9 — only a bit more comfortable.
This setup does sit a bit higher off the ground than most guard shoes, but this shoe isn’t really for guards — although it can be. If you’re a smaller player that prefers to have something more substantial under your feet without feeling like you’re unstable or about to tip over upon movements and changes of direction then I think you’ll enjoy the LeBron 15 Low quite a bit. At least I know I did.
Materials are one aspect that hasn’t really changed between the mid and low versions of the Nike LeBron 15.
Battleknit is still the primary build and there doesn’t seem to be any real difference between models other than less material being used at the collar — something I was more than fine with since the collar of the LeBron 15 mid just felt useless to me. That shoe was nearly a low within the Battleknit build but was made to look higher cut than it actually was due to the stretchy knit riding so high over the ankle.
Much like my thoughts on the materials in the mid version of the shoe, I feel that most will enjoy the materials here. There are some areas that are glued, some areas that are stretchy, and some areas that are really thick. All-in-all, it’s a wonderful upper that fits and feels great on-foot. It’s also been durable; there are no real signs of wear, which some may appreciate.
I felt the LeBron 15 mid ran a little long, but the LeBron 15 Low fits me fine going true to size. There will be some that may want to go down 1/2 size (especially narrow footers), but for the most part true to size will work — even for wide footers.
Lockdown on the shoe is much like the mid. I found no issues from the collar to the forefoot. My heel always felt locked into place and there were no hot spots or pinching anywhere. After having issues with most of the more recent LeBron low tops, I’m happy to say that these gave me no problems at all.
Support in the LeBron 15 was a bit lackluster due to the tooling setup, but that has changed with the low top version. Traditional support features like a torsional midfoot shank and TPU heel counter are all in place and work well.
However, this time around the new midsole tooling setup gave the shoe a much needed outrigger for lateral support. This small addition to the shoe gave it the stability the mids lacked which only makes me wish the LeBron 15 Low had Max Zoom Air in the heel even more as that would have been such an awesome ride — much like the Nike KD 7.
While the Nike LeBron 15 was a great shoe for those that didn’t require a lot of lateral support and stability, the Nike LeBron 15 Low changes all of that to become a shoe that anyone can enjoy on court.
Traction was solid while and there was a great balance of cushion without the loss of any mobility — even for us smaller guys. On or off the court, I think the Nike LeBron 15 Low is a hit.
Nike is on a roll this year with models like the Kyrie 4 and PG 2. Now, you can now add the LeBron 15 Low to that list.