The Nike LeBron Ambassador 11 performance review has arrived.
Traction – The LeBron Ambassador 11 decided to use a different pattern from its predecessors by going with a setup similar to the Nike LeBron 16. The difference being that the grooves are a little thicker here than on the LeBron 16 due to the shoe being designed for outdoor performance — being an Asia release vs. a U.S. release. It played wonderfully and remained durable throughout testing with its XDR equipped rubber. It really had great multi-directional coverage for both indoor and outdoor courts. It’s the absolute Beez Neez!
Cushion – The same cushion has been used in the Ambassador line since the 8: forefoot and heel Zoom Air — offering court feel, responsiveness and a bit of impact protection. As a bigger guy myself, impact protection was solid, especially at the heel. The midsole is a softer Phylon, like it’s predecessors, which works well with the Zoom setup. If you’re looking for that in-between type of cushion that offers some plushness with just enough responsiveness to not make you feel like you’re sinking into the shoe then the LeBron Ambassador 11 should do the trick.
Materials – Definitely nice change of pace from its predecessors, the Ambassador 11 offers a mesh build with Fuse and vinyl overlays — plus a shroud. While not as breathable as some may like, the materials used are supportive enough without taking too long to break-in. Durability shouldn’t be a major issue as well as the main build is protected by the shrouded overlay.
Fit – Being an Asia release, the shoe was built on a wider last. I have a wider foot so this means that I was able to go true to size without any issues. For those that need a narrow fit, I’d suggest still staying true to size. Extreme narrow footers may feel the need to go down 1/2 size.
Lockdown was just as good as it looks. Once laced, I felt secure and then I’d close the shroud which only enhanced that feeling. Not once did I feel loose within the shoe nor did I feel like I was sliding over the footbed.
Support – The support of the shoe has been solid across the board for the Ambassador series (except the 10). Starting with the fit, that actually fit my wide foot comfortably, to the molded Phylon wrapping up the heel of the foot to contain it upon movement. Support is solid all the way around.
Overall – I’ll say this over and over again, this shoe needs to be STATESIDE!!! The Nike Zoom LeBron Ambassador line has been very consistent over the years and we’d love to have another option, aside from the annual Zoom Soldier, here in the States. This is something that is wide-footer friendly, outdoor ready and under budget.
If you’re in the market for a wide-foot friendly basketball shoe that won’t break the bank while still offering you every bit of tech you can ask for, give the Nike LeBron Ambassador 11 a shot.