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Nike LeBron Witness 8

English LeBron Witness 8 Review

Spanish LeBron Witness 8 Review

Nike LeBron Witness 8

The Nike LeBron Witness 8 feels like a solid performance model with some improvements on the Witness 7, and some drawbacks as well.

Price: $110

Release Date: 2023

Total Score

LeBron James has had several budget signature lines over the years that have fallen by the wayside. The one that has prevailed has been the Witness line, which has been a very consistent and trustworthy source of solid-budget performance basketball shoes.

The Witness 7 was an OK basketball shoe with some strong performance features and some important weaknesses as well. The Nike LeBron Witness 8 clearly tries to address those deficiencies but in the process sacrifices some of the strong points of the previous model.

This model was sent to us by Bouncewear, one of the top basketball shoe stores in Europe.

Nike LeBron Witness 8 Review

Nike LeBron Witness 8 Tech Specs:

Nike LeBron Witness 8 Traction

Traction on the LeBron Witness 8, after brief initial testing, has a good chance of being the shoe’s best feature. The shoe features a solid rubber outsole, and a pretty durable rubber at that, with a combination of different traction patterns. The forefoot combines a herringbone-adjacent pattern as well as a “milk crate” pattern. From the midfoot back, we have the same herringbone-style pattern.

This setup is very grippy and offers top-notch multi-directional coverage. What makes this pattern stand out is the durability of the rubber and the large spaces between the lines of the traction pattern. The tougher rubber will make these a decent option for outdoor play and the spacing of the pattern helps the shoe to not build up dust and debris on dirty indoor courts.

I wouldn’t say that the traction is elite, but it’s versatile and ready for any surface you want to throw at it, which in my book is a huge plus. Dainty traction patterns that only work well on pristine indoor courts aren’t very useful for the average basketball player.

Nike LeBron Witness 8 Cushion

Cushioning on the Witness 7 (and the Witness 6 for that matter) was a big selling point for that model. For a very reasonable price, you received a 3/4 length Air Max unit making it one of the most comfortable budget basketball shoes on the market. But, it also made that shoe unstable until that Air Max unit broke in.

The Nike LeBron Witness 8 offers a very different setup. What we have is a Phylon midsole with an Air Max Unit in the heel. This setup is much more stable and reactive, but, of course, it’s less plush with less impact protection. I prefer this setup, but if you’re looking for a max cushion budget basketball shoe, this is not it.

Nike LeBron Witness 8 Materials

Here is where we find the biggest upgrade regarding the Witness 7. Not so much the quality of the materials themselves, but the performance upgrade they provide. The Witness 8, simply put, is much more sturdy than the 7. What we have is a mostly textile upper with some synthetic leather details which provide much better containment and durability.

The textiles used on the upper are overlaid with a plastic mesh that boosts the shoe’s lockdown significantly, and the plush cushioning in the interior of the shoe helps it conform well to your foot. On top of that, the shoe is equipped with 4 lace cables in the forefoot.

To be fair, the materials are far from premium. The shoe does feel plastic-y in hand but, this is a budget shoe, and the materials perform well, so there isn’t much to complain about.

Nike LeBron Witness 8 Support

Support, thanks primarily to the upgraded materials, is much better than on the Witness 7 and pretty decent all around. The cushioning, as I have mentioned, is much more stable, we have a wide base with plenty of contact area with the court, the shoe is equipped with a torsional shank plate, and, again, the new materials and those forefoot lace cables do a good job in terms of lockdown.

The Nike LeBron Witness 8 isn’t elite in terms of support, but it is nice to see the changes Nike made to solve the issues in the previous model. It’s a secure-feeling shoe on court, that’s for sure, and I have had zero issues up to this point, but there are beefier shoes out there if that’s what you need.

Nike LeBron Witness 8 Fit

Fit might be the shoe’s second-best feature in my opinion. The Witness 8 fits true to size, so go with your usual size with Nike, but it does fit very snugly. The interior padding and those textile materials help the shoe to conform well to your foot and require no break-in time whatsoever.

Nike LeBron Witness 8 Overall

Overall the Nike LeBron Witness 8 is a big improvement on the Witness 7. It’s a much more low-to-the-ground, responsive, and secure feeling shoe on court thanks to the improved containment and the switch in the cushioning system. The Witness does lose the status of a “Max Cushion” budget shoe, but it’s a fair trade-off.

All this being said it’s still a “good but not great hoop” shoe all around. Everything just feels very basic. As far as budget shoes go it’s one of the more solid options, but also one of the more expensive ones. If this shoe were $90 it would be a much more attractive budget option but with shoes like the Giannis Immortality 3 ($90), the Nike Air Max Impact 4 ($90), or the adidas Dame Certified ($90) out there, it’s hard to pick the Witness 8 over those options.

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