The LeBron 9 P.S. Elite has been one heck of a surprise on-court. I’ve played in the LeBron 9 & the LeBron 9 Low… these by far are the most versatile of the three and the best performing.
The traction doesn’t look like much… if anything, upon a visual inspection I’d have chosen the LeBron 9 to be a better performing shoe in the traction category. However, this is not the case. The rubber is so soft and flexible that it can handle almost anything you can throw at them. Sharp cuts and quick stops are no problem for the traction at all.
As stated above, the traction can handle ALMOST anything you can throw at them. The outrigger gave me issues in the LeBron 8 (all three versions) and the same can be said for the LeBron 9, LeBron 9 Low & LeBron 9 Elite. I’m not sure if ‘slashing’ is the appropriate term for what I had done but I was moving at a fairly high speed which put a lot of torque on the shoe. Since I can’t see myself play I’m not quite sure the angle I was at – I tend to get pretty low while ‘slashing’ – but for whatever reason my foot literally slipped out from under me resulting in a turnover. This didn’t occur again as I was able to adapt my style of play accordingly but for those who place a ton of pressure while moving around opponents; this is something to look out for.
Within the last Teaser I had mentioned the Carbon Fiber caused a bit of pain. This pain may have been caused by the socks I had been wearing as this did not occur again. I wore the Nike Elite Crew Sock when I had pain & I was wearing the adidas Team Speed Crew Sock when I didn’t feel anything at all. adidas’ Team Speed Crew socks are quite a bit thinner than the Elite so I believe that was the issue.
With that being said… I had a different area cause some pain. Again, I believe this is due to the socks for the most part as I didn’t have this issue before. There was a hotspot somewhere around the collar and I tried to re-lace my shoes a few times but nothing was working. Basically I had to lace up my right shoe without using the top two eyelets. I usually don’t recommend doing something like this but in this particular situation, it wasn’t a bad idea.
After inspecting the shoes post game, the highlighted area is what ended up causing the hotspot. There is a small section of internal stitching that is a bit thicker than the other side – this issue isn’t present on the left shoe and they are stitched perfectly fine – so once the laces were tied it was painful. Again, the socks I wore were much thinner than the previous times I wore these on-court so I wasn’t able to feel this at the time.
In case you are wondering why it was okay for me to lace them up partially… it’s because of two things.
1. The lockdown tabs – or wings – do most of the work as far as keeping your foot in place so using the additional eyelets is just to ensure a secure fit all the way up the shoe.
2. This version of the LeBron 9 is built very similar to a Huarache. Huarache sneakers are essentially low tops with additional material on the upper making the wearer feel as if they are wearing a high cut when you actually are wearing a low.
In addition to the low cut and lockdown tabs, the Pro-Combat sleeve is nicely sculpted in the heel which also promotes additional lockdown, keeping your heel nice and secure.
I have really enjoyed playing in these and they may actually be one of the better shoes I’ve played in this year.
The one question that keeps coming up is; are they worth $250? Honestly, I can’t justify any shoe which retails above $200. I understand Foamposites are now $225 – which is ridiculous – but this is where Nike and Jordan Brand are headed with their products… unfortunately, I can’t do anything about that so I am forced to judge these products based only on their performance.
If you think that Nike and Jordan Brand are the only company’s taking advantage of the Sneaker Market… think again. From what I’ve been told, the adidas adiZero Rose 3 are said to be listed around the $160 price range when they hit retail… crazy right?