Nick back at it again with yet another performance review. This time we got a review on the Nike LeBron 14 Low, which released sometime last Summer. I was able to scoop a pair up on Finish Line for the low so why not try out one of my first LeBron models. I haven’t tested a LeBron shoe in what feels like forever so I was glad I was able to grab a pair. The LeBron14 Low may be one of the better shoes I have worn in the past while. Lets get into it…
The 14 Lows have a very weird pattern on the outsole. It consists of a multi-directional nub patterns with certain “nubs” protruding out just a little bit. For the first thing… DO NOT play in these outdoors if you want to keep the traction pattern on the sole. It probably has one of the thinnest patterns to date and it was gripping on the outdoor and indoor courts I played on with it. I’m a huge outdoor player so when I put these on court I knew I was probably going to at least a little bit of some wear and tear. Surprisingly there hasn’t been a lot in the little while I have been able to play in them. Indoors you’re going to have to wipe. How often? Pretty frequently. Your usual traction outsoles require wiping every few plays, which is expected nowadays. These guys required wiping any chance I got. It’s not necessarily a dealbreaker for me, but it was kind of annoying if I didn’t get a stop in game. Overall, watch out if you are an outdoors player and just know you’re going to need to do some wiping on indoor courts if you plan to purchase a pair. Outdoors nothing was wrong. They grabbed and I didn’t have to wipe. The thin layer of traction nubs is soft and very pliable do don’t expect durability to be at its finest.
These guys are surprisingly GOOD. I was shocked to see how bottom loaded hexagonal zoom units were able to cover me when in play. They were luckily able to cover me impact protection wise through out my wear testing process. One thing is you sit very high off the ground which might be an issue for some people. I didn’t personally notice it that much when playing and it didn’t bother me. I’m a guard and didn’t have any issues. Stability was surprisingly decent with these guys as well since the 14 Low zoom pods are encased in rubber and phylon sitting on top of it. You don’t get that “bouncy” feeling out of them like you’d get from a shoe with full length zoom but I personally REALLY enjoyed the cushion. I could for sure feel the max zoom heel unit and the two forefoot ones just a bit. The outsole has three hexagonal units and one max heel unit. One unit is in the middle of the outsole, and two in the forefoot. You could consider it full length cushion but everyone has their own opinions on it. The only reason I would call it full length cushion is because the hex zoom pods cover most of the outer layer of your foot. Overall. the cushioning is stable, gives me maximal impact protection, and just works.
Let me just start off by saying is we don’t get anything groundbreaking from the LeBron 14 Low material wise. It does have a different upper from the high version, which had a foam backed mesh. Some color ways will differ with the material along the upper with some being a woven, mesh, and more. I have the military/camo themed color way which features a perforated woven upper. It almost feels like a mesh in hand, but is an actual tightly woven upper when zooming into the small details in pictures. Along the toe rand and mud guard area we have a synthetic leather overlay for added support and durability which didn’t do much to restrict my movement when playing with them on court. All I can say is that they’re not the best materials in the world, especially for a $150 model, but they’re thin, durable, supportive, and breathable, which is a plus. I enjoyed them on court, they didn’t bother me and they gave me adequate support on lateral movements. Flywire is evident for that extra lockdown along the tongue and it does its job perfectly fine. They just don’t feel like $150 materials, but it’s alright since they feel good on foot and I got them for the low anyways!
For a LeBron model and myself being a very skinny guy, these worked well. When I wore thicker socks in this specific model I had no issues. The fit was solid and there’s the least bit of toe room above my foot. The material bubbles up a bit during the break in process, but once broken in it sort of gives you that custom fit that a lot of hoopers look for in the shoe. One thing I liked that they changed with the low top model of the 14s was that they finally got rid of the one piece construction. I don’t mind one piece constructions as long as the fit is alright. Either a hit or miss with me. In this particular model, I enjoyed the little bit of toe room above my foot as it didn’t feel suffocating, no heel slippage, and no major issues. For once in a LeBron model I didn’t feel like I was swimming in the shoe. Solid job on Nike on their end for finally giving a LeBron model for suitable options for skinnier and narrow footed players. Also, on another note, stay true to size with this model!
Are these sleepers? Kinda. $150 is a harsh price point to put on the majority of basketball shoes nowadays, especially a model that doesn’t do anything spectacular, but just worked well for what it was on court. Overall, the LeBron 14 Low didn’t do anything spectacular on court. It’s definitely a steal right now on Finish Line and other sneaker websites if you were interested in trying apair for a low as I did. I actually personally really enjoyed the LeBron 14 Lows once broken in. It didn’t do anything spectacular, but just met my expectations, which was good. But $150 is steep for a model that features the same tech we have seen in Nike models for years. A solid model to bust up outdoors like I’ll be doing. They take care of everything you need on court and got the job done. THANK YOU for all the support with the new site and we appreciate everyone’s kind words. This is just the beginning.