The LeBron signature line has had a questionable and dark path these past few years. But is the line ready to step back into the spotlight with the LeBron 15 and take back the throne?
You can pick up the Nike LeBron 15 at Eastbay.com
Traction – The LeBron 15 utilizes a triangular pattern that bites and grips the court well. It’s pretty solid, however, I can’t say the same from a lateral movement standpoint.
If you run up and down the court, just like how LeBron plays (or if that’s your specific playing style) the shoe will work to a T for you. If you performs lots of lateral cuts or left to right movement around the court, you might want to consider picking up something else to hoop in, but we’ll get into that later. The traction does well overall — I just wish it had more bite, like the Ambassador series.
Cushion – YASSS! If you need the cushion as much as my knees do, then this is where it is at. The last time we have seen a full-length visible Max Zoom unit was from the LeBron X.
Here, the modified Max Zoom Air allows areas of the shoe to be more flexible, giving you your feet a more free-flowing type of movement, something the LeBron 10 lacked. Overall, the cushion setup was a delight to play in, and my knees, legs, back are thankful for that.
Materials – Battleknit makes up the upper of the LeBron 15 and it is bada**. It’s Flyknit, but it’s thicker and feels awesome on feet. There are areas where the knit is reinforced by some glue for durability, but there is also more stretch fit areas for an easier on and off.
Once secured in the shoe, there literally is no break-in time — my feet felt secure once laced-up tight. For those concerned about materials stretching, especially with the fit, I’d suggest wide-footers stay true to size, and for those with slightly narrow feet, consider going 1/2 size down (of course, the best bet is to try on in-store).
The LeBron 15 rides atop those ever-so-comfortable full-length Max Zoom Air units that are strategically modified for ample natural flexibility (just like the KD 10).
Fit – When it comes to fit, as previously explained, I’d suggest going true to size, especially for those that have slightly wide feet (like me). For those with slightly narrow feet, who like a more snug fit, I suggest going down half size.
Support – The struggle is real — depending on your particular playing style. Traditionally, a lot of shoes have exaggerated outriggers that provide proper stability for foot placements. The LeBron 15 doesn’t exactly have that.
Those that require a lot of lateral movements may struggle due to the lack of stability. While the torsional midfoot shank and TPU heel counter work well, having to change your playing style (and become a more linear player) because of the lack of support might make you change your mind on this particular pair. (There is no word yet on when or if the Swoosh will make modifications for consumers, not just LeBron.)
Overall – The LeBron 15 is one of the best LeBron shoes ever. Materials, fit, and cushion were the definite highlights of the shoe and some of the best I’ve seen Swoosh put together in a while.
Stability is definitely a concerning factor, especially for people who play multiple positions and can’t always accommodate a linear playing style. However, the brain-power and team that help build this shoe really upped the ante and put together an extremely well-built and fun shoe to play in.
This only gives me nothing but high expectations for the LeBron 16 (word to Victor Cruz *hint*).