Nike gave LeBron another on-court model to be a part of his brand and the LeBron Zoom Witness is what it’s called. How does it hold up on the hardwood with its hex Zoom cushioning, lightweight materials, and Featherposite heel piece? Find out with the official WearTesters.com performance review of the LeBron Zoom Witness.
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Traction: Using a diamond pattern for the traction, the LeBron Zoom Witness does an good job keeping you covered on a variety of surfaces. On clean floors the traction is above average, offering substantial coverage in all areas. On dusty floors wiping will be necessary because dust will get caught in between the grooves of the tight traction pattern; the pattern also has a number of flat areas, especially where the two hex Zoom pads are placed, which can cause some slippage.
However, the outdoor coverage is excellent. On tennis court-like surfaces the LeBron Zoom Witness’ traction is at its best; on asphalt courts the traction isn’t as good but still provides better coverage on the blacktop than it does on the hardwood. This makes the Zoom Witness an excellent outdoor option even though there are areas where the traction can wear down quite easily, the high wear areas are relatively flat and should last a decent amount of time outdoors.
Cushion: Every once in a while Nike will drop a budget model that has a decent cushion setup from the price but the Zoom Air Witness falls just short of satisfactory. The two hex Zoom units in the forefoot are actually quite pleasant as they provide that responsive Zoom experience with a little bit of energy return that we’ve all come to know and love, but I can’t help but think that this was an isolated experience. There just isn’t a lot of Zoom underneath the user’s foot and if one doesn’t apply pressure in the right place, the two hex Zoom units will go unnoticed.
As for the rest of the cushion, it’s pretty unremarkable. The Phylon midsole does provide lightweight cushioning but offers little to no impact protection, which is bad news for players who strike with their heel. Even though I’m a forefoot-heavy player and my heel barely touches the ground in motion, I still felt the lack of cushion in this area and it was enough to cause some discomfort after just a few runs. I honestly was expecting a lot worse from the cushion in the Zoom Witness but that does not mean the Swoosh couldn’t have done better. The lack of impact protection in the heel is jarring and unless you land perfectly on the two hex Zoom units in the forefoot, the cushion in the Zoom Witness will have you wishing, you weren’t a witness.
Materials: This is where the LeBron Zoom Witness makes its living. The fully exposed mesh upper has no fuse overlays; instead, the upper gets its structure from a light fuse underlay that is designed in a web-like structure allowing for optimum airflow, breathability, and flexibility. Meanwhile, the heel uses what the Swoosh is calling ‘Featherposite’ which consists of a lightweight Phylon foam, identical to what can be found on the midsole. Due to the mesh being fully exposed, the LeBron Zoom Witness’ materials aren’t very durable and will leave the mesh material damaged with just a few outdoor toe drags. The Featherposite isn’t very durable as well; chaffing and signs of wear showed up in the heel after just a few hours of use. It’s clear that Nike decided to sacrifice durability for ultra-lightweight breathability, but the good news is that the Featherposite does a decent job at making up for the lack of support the mesh material would’ve had without it.
The Featherposite isn’t very durable as well; chaffing and signs of wear showed up in the heel after just a few hours of use. It’s clear that Nike decided to sacrifice durability for ultra-lightweight breathability, but the good news is that the Featherposite does a decent job at making up for the lack of support the mesh material would’ve had without it.
Fit: Wide-footers usually have a hard time finding a model that will accommodate their broad feet and often feel like there aren’t enough wide-footer-friendly on court models, forcing them to either go up half a size or deal with a suffocating fit. The LeBron Zoom Witness does not have this problem. If you’re looking for a wide fit, in the midfoot specifically, go true to size. If you don’t have a wide foot and prefer a snug fit, we would highly recommended that you go down half a size. The LeBron Zoom Witness does fit a little long but the overall width of the Zoom Witness is substantial which is great news for wide-footers but for those with neutral-sized or narrow feet will find the Zoom Witness has a spacious fit.
I tested the Zoom Witness in my true size and to compensate for the spacious fit, I had to tie my laces extra tight which caused the mesh material in the forefoot to bow inward, making for an uncomfortable fit that wasn’t worth the hassle. As a result, we experienced a whole lot of problems with the fit in the Zoom Witness in just about every area. But again, if you’re a wide-footer these problems won’t be as pronounced and should provide a comfortable fit that will accommodate your foot.
Support: Providing sufficient support while maintaining a lightweight feel is very hard — not impossible — but still very hard, and the LeBron Zoom Witness does exactly that. The extremely wide base in the forefoot and Featherposite heel component work together to provide everything you need to stay on your feet, while the rounded outsole on the heel ensures that you get smooth heel-to-toe transition.
It’s quite remarkable how light the Zoom Witness is given that it’s a mid-cut model that doesn’t skimp on the support features. It gives you the sense that there isn’t a whole lot of support but in reality, the Zoom Witness has enough to support you without making itself known. Nike could have implemented some dynamic Flywire for a more lockdown secure fit, but what works here is just enough to keep you protected at all times.
Overall: If you’re looking for a wide-foot friendly model that is extremely breathable and lightweight, the LeBron Zoom Witness is going to be exactly what you’re looking for. If you value cushion, fit, and durability, you’re going to want to look somewhere else as the Zoom Witness has minimal cushion, a sloppy fit — unless you’re a wide footer — and while the traction does perform well outdoors, the rest of the shoe won’t last because the materials used lack any durability whatsoever. Even with all these problems the LeBron Zoom Witness does have some enjoyable features. This is by far the lightest “LeBron” shoe ever made and the mesh upper is extremely breathable.
There are better budget models out there, even from Nike, but the Zoom Witness is not the worst budget model I’ve ever played in. My legs and feet felt no strain after any duration of play, but there was enough here to distract me during use. Thus, the Zoom Witness is unlikely to make it back into my gym bag. At least I know what I’ll recommend if someone asks me, “What shoe should I get if I have a REALLY wide foot.”