If you think you’re going to war every time you step onto the court then these should be your combat boots…
Cushion – I have’t really enjoyed the cushion from the Soldier models that released after the Soldier 6. They’ve been pretty lackluster and firm whereas the 6 was super comfortable. Luckily they finally decided to give us something closer to the 6 than before which made these really enjoyable from a cushion standpoint. I wish I could tell you what type of Zoom Air units were implemented within the midsole, but I couldn’t remove the insole to check and see. Just know that there is Zoom located in the heel and forefoot, and I believe they are pretty thick, you can feel them, and they’re awesome.
Materials – The entire upper is one piece, and it’s comprised of mesh, nylon and a little bit of Fuse. The only thing I dislike about the materials is that the tongue or opening of the shoe doesn’t stretch at all so getting them on is pain. Other than that I thought they were great. No pinching or hot-spots occurred while wearing them – no matter the type of sock I wore. Mesh isn’t extremely durable, so that might be considered a negative to some, but it creates a shoe that requires no break-in time and moves with the foot perfectly – and that helps create the feeling of wearing something that is one with the foot instead of something that the foot must adapt to wearing.
Fit – They fit true to size, and lockdown is the shoes greatest feature. In fact, my local House of Hoops only had a size 9.5 in stock (I prefer to wear a size 9), and the tiny bit of dead space within the shoe didn’t even bother me because once I strapped the shoe up my feet weren’t going anywhere. Nowhere.
The heel strap locks the heel into the shoe so perfectly that the only sneaker I could compare them to were the Ektio models. It’s attached to the shoes heel counter so the entire heel and ankle collar section of the shoe are pretty much one solid piece when all things are said and done.
Then there is the forefoot strap… this one is the game changer. This strap locks the foot into the shoe across the medial side of the forefoot first. Then it comes across the midfoot to lock that area into place. That portion of the strap is connected to the Flywire which is then activated once you pull to tighten – locking in the lateral side of the forefoot. Yeah. F***ing awesome!
Support – As we all know, the support relies heavily on the shoes fit. And in case you couldn’t tell from the fit section, support is pretty. Damn. Beastly. You’re foot is literally supported at all points, at all times. Medial forefoot support? Check. Lateral forefoot support? Check. Heel support? Check. Midfoot support? Check. Yeah… Nike may as well have named these things the Nike Zoom Hakuna Matata. Once you have them strapped up, you’ll have no worries.
Overall – I’ve been liking Nike’s lower end models a whole lot more as of late when comparing them to their more expensive signature counterparts. I don’t know what it is, but they’re just shoes that offer you more bang for your buck. No, you probably won’t see LeBron wearing them on-court anytime soon, but they’ll take care of you on-court either way. Great traction, solid cushion, lockdown better than most shoes you’ll find on shelves right now which translates into some of the best support you’ll find. All of this without restricting any movement or making you feel as if you’re carrying extra weight with you. I really enjoyed playing in the LeBron 12, but I’d take these over them any day of the week. Unless I’m going to the mall… then I’d bust out the LeBron 12’s. Because these things are hideous.