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Nike LeBron 9 Elite P.S. Performance Review

Buy Nike LeBron 9 Elite P.S.

The LeBron 9 Elite P.S. has been a great shoe to play in. Is it worth the $250 retail price… that’s really up to you and how much you feel performance is worth.


Traction – The LeBron 9 had good traction overall but the rubber here is more flexible and works even better than the original. No matter how quickly I moved or how sudden of a stop I made, the LeBron 9 Elite was able to keep up with every step.

I only had one issue where I slipped; I noted this is the Performance Teaser. Basically I had to modify my way of moving around a bit in order for the outrigger’s traction-less surface to not affect my movements. This wasn’t a huge issue as it only happened once so overall the traction here is very solid.


Cushion – I personally like to have consistency within cushion setups. The Jordan Melo M8 & the LeBron 9 Elite are very similar in the fact that the combo cushion was enhanced by the foam used in the midsole which made everything feel very consistent and offered a smooth ride from heel to toe. Having Cushlon in place added for much great flexibility as well so a Guard can comfortable perform at their highest level while larger players will benefit from the increased cushion source.


Some have said that the LeBron 9 offered Cushlon along the midsole when in fact it’s a lightweight injected Phylon. The difference between the two is very noticeable and I prefer the Cushlon over the Phylon.


Material – The materials are roughly the same as before but have been reduced to the point where flexibility has increased while maintaining a secure fit. I loved the weight reduction after some of the layers were removed and the flexibility offered is far greater in my opinion. Having the Carbon Fiber in place also was a good choice as it brings the wearer a much greater sense of security while in motion allowing you to move freely with complete confidence the materials can keep up with the pressure.

Fit – These fit true to size unlike the LeBron 9. I also noted a few issues I had experienced with certain areas of the shoe in a previous Performance Teaser. These issues only occurred when certain socks were used. I recommend a thin sock to avoid hotspots, especially with the Carbon Fiber sidewall.


Ventilation – This was a complete upgrade from the original LeBron 9. Layers have been removed and perforated sections are now in place which offers a good amount of air flow. The use of the Pro-Combat inner sleeve was a nice touch as well as it surprisingly didn’t retain moisture.


Support – The support featured in the LeBron 9 was great and these are even better. Carbon Fiber has been strategically placed along the lateral side panel which keeps the foot in place perfectly and adds some additional lockdown at the midfoot section of the shoe. Those nifty lockdown wings are still in place and these keep the foot drawn into the heel of the shoe giving you above average lockdown, this is also complimented by the inner sleeve which is nicely sculpted at the heel.


Overall – These were fantastic to play in and make the LeBron 9 look and feel like a stripped down version of what should have been. I recommend these to nearly any position on the floor as they offer enough support & cushion for larger players along with enough flexibility & range of motion for smaller players. $250 is very high… but again, I am now forced to judge these based solely on performance leaving the “is it worth it?” up for you to decide.

Buy Nike LeBron 9 Elite P.S.
  1. My MAIN concern with these is the removal in the ankle support really helped my ankle. Now it looks like there is just mesh, can you elaborate how it is more supportive for your ankle?

    1. “Ankle support” is not dependent on how high the shoe comes up. It all depends on LOCKDOWN. If your heel is drawn down and back in the shoe adequately, you’re good. Your heel and achilles should be secure so there’s minimal separation between the shoe and your heel area. Look at the Kobe line. The Kobe 4 was his first low cut shoe because he realized that. If you step on someone’s foot and roll your ankle, you’re gonna roll your ankle and that’s all there is to it. Back to this shoe: those “lock down” wings are designed to draw your foot down and back to generate that lockdown. That, in conjunction with the carbon fiber shank and carbon fiber on the lateral side of the upper should be all the support you need! Hope that helps a bit…

      1. Thank you, couldnt have said it better myself. I dislike how brands and other reviewers have started a false category within performance footwear dubbed “ankle support” when there is no such thing.

  2. Really good review NW! But did you like them more than you liked the Melo M8? Judging by what you said in both reviews, they sound very similar… similary great that is!

    1. The melo m8 is 150 bucks cheaper though 😉

      These honestly look fantastic I just can’t get past the price …

  3. Yeah im gonna have to agree with Robert, 250 is a lot. In your opinion, is it really that much an improvement over the original to warrant 70 extra bucks?

    1. As far as these bing an improvement, yes they are… Make the lebron 9 look as if they were a cheap prototype. Are they worth the price… Thats not for me to say, that depends on how much their performance is valued by the consumer.

  4. Awesome job with the review! wow, for the scores you really DID change the 5 shoes to 10 shoes, i thought you were joking in that other post. it looked cleaner the other way too.

    1. Thanks! Yeah i changed it… People wanted the 10 rating instead so i brought it back. It looked much better w 5 pairs though. Oh well, whatever makes people happy.

  5. Nice review as always…too bad it’s at such a steep price…no wonder they are already discounting regular Lebron 9s at Nike’s website….

  6. I’m sold. Actually, I was sold from the time I saw this and the “south beach” cw. =P But now I know they’ll be awesome for ball as well. Thanks man!

  7. How responsive is the zoom in the forefoot compare to the regular ones? And how does the carbon fiber glass feels? I mean no comfort issues? And I bet the forefoot feels much softer in these. Last, how does the pro combat bootie affect the fit of these compare to regular ones?

  8. they look dope! looks like the gold on swoosh is starting to come off already. i have a question tho; i was wondering if the lebron 9 elite in the home colourway (white) will start yellowing, since it seemslike the bottom is gna be clear like jordans

    1. It will turn yellow as time goes by. My only tip is that everytime you use it, wash the outsole carefully with a soap and make it dry. it worked on keeping my outsoles and air max clear. It’s only my opinion bro. 😀

      1. oh even if i used them to play ball inside? ahh damn i think imma be too lazy to wash them after every play tho . . 🙁

    2. They are cool looking. The paint has been scratched off in some areas from heavy wear but its no big deal for me. If the soles are clear itll most likely yellow eventually. Just be sure to keep them clean and dry and they should last a while.

  9. How would you rank this sneaker among the other sneakers that you’ve done reviews on so far this year?

  10. d rose 2.5 vs lebron 9 elite , i mean in weight, is the weight a big problem in the lebron . i mean like will you play as fast as you usually do or should i just get the d rose ?

    1. I dont think any shoe is “worth” $250… Thats my max price range id pay for a grail and even then id have to really think about it. But these are a better performer and theyve been priced at that amount so if you wish to have the best in performance youre forced to cough up some money.

      1. I totally agree, Nightwing2303…NO shoe is worth $250. Especially if you are actually going to play in them or wear them casually. Shoes don’t last forever.

  11. First off, great reviews period. Do you think the clear outsole rubber (goldschlager style) on the white version of this shoe will negatively impact traction performance? I’ve read your thoughts on translucent soles in the past, and wondered if that still applied here with the different rubber used by this shoe.

  12. Never mind i found my answer but i usually like wearing double elites would that cause the shoe to pinch?

  13. Great review! My feet are totally flat. So i got an 11.5. And needed to use double socks for a snug fit..should i stick to my true size 11 or stay with an 11.5?

  14. Man ! Been following you since you started this website, and youve led me and a class full of friends to buy at least 50 pairs of basketball sneakers, including the lebron 9 elites! Over 20 guys following you from my school 😀 Keep doing your thing!
    Thanks from Sydney australia!

  15. Thanks so much for the review man! These look like incredible basketball shoes as far as performance goes…I’m a huge fan of cushion and my regular Lebron 9’s didn’t quite measure up where that was concerned. Gonna camp out at House of Hoops for the South Beaches soon 😀

  16. Is the Lebron 9 elite suitable for outdoor play? Cause my 8 inflated in the right so now it’s not in balance and it’s kinda effecting on how I walk then someone told there indoor shoes so I’m wondering is 9 and 9 elites are indoor shoes or can be use in outdoor alson?

  17. Hi,

    I just wanted to know how well these shoes have held up? I have been considering them and durability is a concern given the price tag.

    Also, what shoe would you prefer between the Rose 2.5, Wade 2 EV, and This one?

    Thank you for a great review and website!

  18. By far the best pair of basketball shoes I’ve owned. I’ve been playing in them for over a month. Still had to go half a size up as I do with all Nikes, but that could also be because I wear custom orthotics (which work great in these shoes). The grip is probably my favorite thing about this shoe. I haven’t slipped once, even on the dustiest rec center courts. Thanks again for the review, I probably would have passed on these if I hadn’t seen it.

  19. curious , i have lower back issues after i play, you think these would help with the Impacted of landing on the floor after a jump? as of now i play in the kobe VI, don’t know if i can go for a bit of a heavier shoe.

    1. As far as your back and joints go, have you looked into getting custom orthotics (insoles) made for yourself? They have worked wonders for my feet, joints, and back with all the stop and start play, running and jumping.

      The cushioning is better with all the “zoom”, “max air”, and “cushlon” stuffed into this shoe. Unfortunately, I got my orthotics made after I purchased the Kobe VI’s which already had a naturally higher arch and didn’t work well with them. They do however work really well with flat footed shoes (Lebron 8’s, 9’s, Melo M8’s).

      The 6’s are definitely lighter, and is a shoe I really miss, but these Elites have been working extremely well for me.

      1. yea i like the kobe vi cuz of how light they are but now with summer coming with playing in west 4th and a bunch of other super leagues its taken a toll I’m not 16 anymore lol

  20. do these or any other shoe (fly wade 2, rose 2.5, melo m8, etc.) compare to the kobe 4 as far as an all time performance great?

    1. Kobe IVs have the best traction… I wouldnt say they are the best performer but they are many (including myself) peoples personal top pick. Some just dislike Lunar foam.

  21. Hi nightwing,
    great review of course. i want to either get these, the kobe elites, or the al 2012’s. I am a pretty speedy guard that is best at shooting. i dont know of that helps but feel free to say your personal opinion.

  22. The Lebron 7 PS edition were the best shoes I have ever worn. Most comfortable shoe EVER!! I wish they re-released those!

  23. Hi ! Thanks for the review. Took these shoes after reading your opinion. Till now used them twice for 2-hour practice – good quality shoes, true to size, great lockdown and cushioning, but for me they have a discomfort in forefoot area. Took them with discount so no regrets )))

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