TRUE TEST: NIKE LEBRON 16 ‘FRESH BRED’
Three colorways in, the LeBron 16 seems to be the new favorite amongst players and weekend warriors. Historically, the LeBron signature line was built specifically for James, built like a tank and strong enough to contain his Greatness. With tech innovations such as BattleKnit, Nike Basketball was able to make LeBron’s sneaker so much lighter but still tough enough to withstand battles in the paint. The LeBron 15 was a favorite and the 16 is shaping up to just as great, if not even better, than its predecessor. If you’re still on the fence for the LeBron 16, this edition of TRUE TEST should answer some, if not all, your questions surrounding the sneaker.
We delayed the review of the sneaker on purpose so that we can truly get a better assessment of the sneaker. Our True Tester for the LeBron 16 is Pat Giron, a retail/licensing manager with mad skills on court, has played 3+ games with the LeBron 16 and here’s our assessment of the sneaker:
CUSHIONING – 8.5/10
Pat has been playing with adidas (Boost) shoes and was pleasantly surprised that there wasn’t much difference with the LeBron 16. Cushioning is great and the Max/Zoom Air combination provided that bounce. The combination of Max and Zoom Air gave that extra bounce when jumping and landing. He felt more confident getting up there knowing the cushioning will provide the proper support he needed. Compared to previous models, the shoe felt softer (especially for a LeBron sneaker), but was still stable.
LeBron’s sneakers were always built tough and sometimes became a downside for guards and wing players. They would opt for a lighter option such as the Soldier or a Low top rather than use the signature. The LeBron 16 scores big on being lightweight while providing proper cushioning.
FIT – 10/10
Compared to the 15s, the BattleKnit 2.0 provided more protection and lockdown. Although most ‘knit’ uppers prides itself for its flexibility, BattleKnit 2.0 focuses more on support. In Pat’s runs, the fit and lockdown provided him with the confidence to change direction anytime without worrying about the ‘movement’ inside the shoe. When compared to the 15s, he shared that the former had so much more give with its upper. The 16s were a good combination of both comfort and support. With the lower cut on the ankle versus previous models, the LeBron 16 still felt more secure than previous models. We thought the 15s were pretty groundbreaking for such a solid shoe, the 16s seem to be even better.
BREATHABILITY – 10/10
After several runs in a sneaker, you get a better sense on how it feels on feet. Pat never felt ‘hot/warm/ while playing in the 16s. Pat enjoyed playing in the adidas Crazy Explosive, as it provided great fit, cushioning and breathability. The LeBron 16 seems to perform better than the former, especially when it comes to fit and breathability. A lot can be attributed to BattleKnit 2.0, as it provides the best balance of stretch and support.
TRACTION/FLEXIBILITY – 10/10
Pat had a preconceived notion that the LeBron would be a stiff shoe. He was pleasantly surprised at how flexible the shoe was considering its tough build. Traction was also solid regardless of surface. Having played on both cement and wood floors, traction was pretty comparable to the 15s. After using the shoe on four different occassions, there hasn’t been any traction or slippage issues.
If you play with a lot of explosiveness and sudden changes in direction, the Nike LeBron 16 is the shoe for you. The shoe provides the proper lockdown and support you need. Designed to complement LeBron’s game, the shoe is built for the strongest — a combination of power and speed. This shoe is meant for someone who needs the right amount of support with the appropriate amount of flexibility.
The Nike LeBron 16 retails for Php 9,895 and is now available across Titan, Nike Park and Nike Forum stores around the metro. The ‘King’ colorway is slated to drop this week as the NBA season tips off this Wednesday.