What’s good everyone! We’re back with another performance review, this time for the Lebron 14. We’ve been going through a series of weekend trainings held by Nike Philippines, along with select media, to test out Lebron’s 14th signature shoe. Led by FEU trainer Jonathan De Guzman and assistant coach Ryan Betia, we were put through a series of drills to bring out the best features of the shoe and give us a glimpse of what it takes to get to the level of a Lebron James. Is this the best Lebron shoe yet? Let’s find out!
Look at the size of those pods! The Lebron 14 returns with the hexagonal zoom pod setup that started back in the Lebron 12 and they’re bigger and better than ever. Fresh off the box you know you’re in for a really smooth ride. The zoom pods are placed evenly in strategic areas of the foot with a huge zoom unit lying under the heel for maximum impact protection. Personally, I love this setup. It won’t give you that bouncy feeling in one particular area, but you’ll get max cushioning and impact protection from heel to toe. You won’t be as low to the ground as compared to the Kyries, but the flex grooves allow the shoe to make better transitions and give it that added versatility even guards would love.
These fit true to size in my opinion but it would still be best to drop by the store and try it on first. The Lebron 14 features a one-piece bootie construction that might not always be perfect for everyone’s foot. You won’t get that one to one fit for everyone but for me this fit really well. Flywire technology is used for dynamic fit and added lockdown, while it features an internal heel counter along the medial side and an external one on the lateral side. This worked well and I didn’t encounter any heel slippage throughout the whole training. The midfoot strap does wonders and provides instant lockdown to keep your foot in place at all times. The ankle collar is cut low so it actually feels more like a low top which gives you more range of motion and less restriction unlike the previous Lebrons that used posite materials. The footbed is wide and gives you more stability, and is also a welcome feature for wide footers.
One thing to note though is that the laces come off easily, so you either have to do a double knot or lock them under the strap. Other than that, you’re good to go.
Less of the bulky materials and more mesh. What Nike did with the Lebron 14 was make it lighter and feel like a faster shoe overall by using layers of mesh on the upper to make it more comfortable and less restrictive without sacrificing support. This allows your foot to move naturally without the feeling of bulky and heavy materials wrapped around your legs.
I can’t quite make up the design of the traction pattern but it works. The hexagonal pods feature a digicamo-like pattern with little nobs popping out and this setup did its job well. Throughout our training sessions we’ve used clean courts and slightly dusty courts and I never felt any slipping. It’s not your usual herringbone or blade type of traction but it gets the job done. Clean courts you’ll be fine. On dusty courts just do occasional wiping and you’re good.
Most of the support comes from the lockdown provided by the midfoot strap along with the heel counters for that overall containment. The wide base of the shoe also helps a lot and makes sure your foot is always on the footbed. This prevents you from rolling over during sudden stops or change of direction. Overall, the Lebron 14 has enough of the support features to keep you in check.
Overall, I loved playing and training in the Lebron 14. You get awesome cushioning, great lockdown, maximum impact protection and it’s light on your feet. The new design is sleek and versatile and is the best performing Lebron shoe for me, personally. I think nike has found that balance in a Lebron shoe that both big men and guards would love to play in. It’s just a solid shoe to hoop in and you’ll experience a comfortable ride all day. Plus, the price has dropped from previous models which is another W for this shoe. You get better performance overall for a lower price.
The Lebron 14 is out now at Titan and select Nike retailers around the metro for P8,845.