The very first PEAK shoe most of us in the shoe review game got to try out was the Team Lightning, about six years ago.
The shoe was a heavy fused plastic and rubber upper that was well-cushioned, had great traction, a well-padded inner, and played great on court despite the materials (which, at the time, were exactly what the other companies were doing). Some things change, some stay the same, but here it is: the latest PEAK Lightning 2018.
Going away from the fused materials, except in high-stress areas, the PEAK Lightning 2018 uses PEAK Surface for the upper; it’s the mesh/woven first seen on the TP9.IV (TP4) and is flexible but durable. Containment should be serious with the combination of the Surface and something labeled PEAK STA, found on the lateral outrigger. This is the name for the midfoot wrap, I assume, that comes up over the footbed and holds the foot in on lateral moves.
The cushioning isn’t labeled on the shoe and feels a lot like the PEAK Streetball Master, so I’m assuming cushioning is straight EVA. It wasn’t bad on the Streetball Master, there just wasn’t a lot of feedback/response — it was more on the impact protection side of things.
The traction pattern is a hard rubber that has a little stick to it and resembles a cross between the Harden Vol. 1 and the Crazy Explosive. Those two shoes had excellent traction but serious durability issues. The rubber on the Team Lightning 2018 feels much more durable.
This is the limited edition Lightning 2018 ‘Year of the Dog’ for Chinese New Year and PEAK has made special gold-infused colorways for all of its basketball shoes (stay tuned for the DH3 review). The tongue logo is one of the best I’ve seen because it looks like a balloon animal a birthday party clown made — a different approach to YOTD. By itself, the black and white contrast is killer but once you add the gold details this Lightning 2018 goes over the top.
Of course, a performance review is on the way. For now, enjoy the images and let us know what you think below.