Nike LeBron 15 Review 2019: Is It Worth The Hype?
In a decade or so, many of us will be bragging that we were there to witness the greatness of LeBron James in action.
We watched him move to the Miami Heat, come back to Cleveland to break the infamous “Cleveland Curse”, and now we get to see him shine at the Lakers.
He is already a living legend. His name is capital. It is, therefore, not surprising that Nike has produced so many signature LeBron James Shoes. We will take a look at one of them: this is a Nike LeBron 15 review.
Is King James’s 15th signature Nike shoe good enough?
Overall, the LeBron 15 looks premium, comfortable, and stylish. In other words, it looks like its price. It looks worth it. If you are able to afford it, this is definitely a shoe you are going to enjoy.
Features and Benefits
Our LeBron 15 performance review begins with examining the uppers, the materials they are made of, and how they feel on your foot.
The innovations happening nowadays in the sports shoe industry are dizzying. Shoe companies like Nike pull out all the stops to make shoes that solve any problems athletes face when playing, and are in the process moving closer to making the perfect sports shoe. Take Nike’s Flyknit technology, for instance.
Flyknit technology makes lightweight uppers using high-strength fibers which target certain areas on the upper to give the shoe more stretch, support, and breathability. The Flyknit material consists of lightweight but strong strands of yarn which are woven into a one-piece upper. The material gives your foot firm and secure support, as snug as a sock.
The knit patterns vary across the surface of the upper. For instance, the pattern will involve a tighter weave where support is required, and then prioritize flexibility and breathability in other parts. Nike bases the patterns on the insightful data it has gleaned in its decades of studying the foot.
For the LeBron 15, the design team invented BattleKnit, a new iteration of Flyknit. It was made specifically for LeBron James. The goal was to provide better containment and strength. They also wanted the advantages of Flyknit to remain intact: great fit and less waste.
BattleKnit was supposed to give LeBron lockdown, protection for his feet, and freedom to move freely and react accordingly to the action on the court. A LeBron phrase that inspired them was: “Lock me down so I can fly.”
Zoom Air Cushioning
Nike has another innovative technology in Air, a cushioning used in the midsole which absorbs the impact pressure as a player runs or jumps. The technology comprises of a flexible but tough bag which has pressurized air within it. The idea is to give a shoe flexibility and spring while still maintaining its structure.
The LeBron 15 design team created a new Air unit for the shoe, combining Air Max and Zoom. The result is a cushion that gives you great impact protection and a lightweight ride. Thanks to the energy return and rebound, and the quick response feel of the Zoom Air, LeBron James (or you) can jump and run at full speed.
When you come down with force from a huge jump, the LeBron will absorb the impact, enabling you to sprint off instantly, returning energy to every step you take.
Fit has two aspects: true to size or not, and lockdown. On the first one, true to size, it depends on the wideness of your feet. Since the shoe is designed for LeBron, there is some dead space in the toe box. If you have normal-sized or narrow feet, it would be better to go down half a size.
On the other hand, if you are a wide footer, you can go true to size. Of course if you want to be absolutely certain, you can try them out in a store and then come back to shop online.
On the second aspect, lockdown, the LeBron 15 has a full-bootie construction that uses Flywire technology to ensure lockdown. Flywire is a thread made of nylon or Vectran, a Nike invention, which the company uses in the uppers of a shoe to cut weight and increase support. It gives one-to-one fit, so your foot won’t feel loose within the shoe as you move.
The extra thickness and stitching added to the upper by the BattleKnit weave does not make the LeBron 15’s heavy as one would fear. Thanks to the retained lightweight design of the original Flyknit weave in the BattleKnit, the shoe is not heavy.
Furthermore, the upper of the shoe is designed as one whole piece of material. What this means is that a big part of the LeBron 15 consists of lightweight BattleKnit material rather than thick heavy plastic or the synthetic materials you usually see on the uppers of basketball shoes.
In addition, the air pads in the soles also help cut the shoe’s weight since the space that would have ordinarily been filled with plastic or synthetic material is instead taken by air-filled cushion bags.
This lightweight quality is an improvement over previous LeBron shoes, which were often quite heavy. In this regard, they resemble the Nike Air Max LeBron VIIs.
Lightweight shoes help you maneuver the court with greater ease and more nimbleness. You run faster and jump higher
The LeBron 15 has a unique tread pattern consisting of repeated diamonds. Each diamond has multiple tread teeth which grip on the court as you walk or run on it. The grip enables you to make quick starts and stops and change direction abruptly.
The traction is incredible. Sliding and slipping while running up and down the court is not very likely with the LeBron 15.
It wouldn’t be a complete LeBron 15 review without discussing the shoe’s look. The LeBron 15 is gorgeous. You can absolutely wear it off-court. As a fashion piece, it’s beautiful. Match it with jeans and a good jacket and you are set. The beauty of the shoe belies its performance and the deep work and innovation that went into creating it.
The BattleKnit upper, in particular is unique. The weave pattern really arrests your eyes. The sole and the heel counter go for a clean, simple, minimalist, but stylish look.
It’s wonderful that the design team did not over-pronounce the size of the heel counter as this can lead to an unattractive, blocky look. Large heel counters tend to add to a shoe’s weight and make the shoe look too large.
The looped straps are made of synthetic leather and have an imprint of the LeBron James collection logo and his signature. The logo and signature actually fit in quite well with the overall minimalist stylishness of the shoe.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do this fit true to size?
It depends on the size of your feet. They were made for LeBron James. If you have wide feet, then they do fit true to size. However, if you have narrow or regular-sized feet, consider taking half a size smaller. For accuracy, you can test the shoe in a store and shop online afterwards.
2. Can I play with them on an outdoor court?
Yes. They have very good traction. The spikes on the outsole rubber give them excellent court grip, even when you are playing on a dusty court. However, given the price, it might be best to think about the shoes’ durability and use them in indoor courts.
3. What is your LeBron 15 performance review on stability?
The answer is two-edged. On the one hand, linear stability is just great. On the other, lateral stability is a bit tippy. If you are a player who has a linear style of play, that should not be that much of a problem.
However, if you often incorporate abrupt side-to-side movements or quick lateral cuts in your style, you will feel some instability. This could affect your performance.
4. Is the cushion good?
It probably has the best-feeling cushion setup in any LeBron shoe. It’s comfortable, bouncy, and plush. You will struggle to find any cushion that is as good elsewhere. That said, it’s a bit high, if you prefer your shoes closer to the ground.
One of the best things about these shoes is the comfort you get from the Zoom Air. The cushioning is absolutely marvelous. It is not only comfortable, but also bouncy. The only thing we did not enjoy is the lack of lateral stability.
One thing is for sure about these shoes. They will leave a dent in your pocket – but are they worth the high price? After testing them and doing our own in-depth research on the shoes, we have to conclude our LeBron 15 review by saying yes. They are indeed worth it.