Performance Review: Nike LeBron 8 V2

Thanks to the groundbreaking cushioning first seen on the Nike Air Max LeBron VII, the LeBron 8 (and its subsequent follow-up, the V2) have quite a reputation to uphold. In this Performance Review, the latter version is put through the rigors of on-court usage and tested to see if it is a worthy successor. Flashy and technology-laden, the LeBron 8 V2 is yet another great LeBron shoe, though it is not without a couple of flaws. What are they exactly? Read below to find out.

Strengths

Cushioning
Lockdown
Comfort

It’s easy to believe that a sneaker that sits on a full-length Max Air unit will have great cushioning and a soft ride. There’s a reason why . The above-mentioned Air Max LeBron VII was the first to use this revamped system and Nike designer Jason Petrie felt it did the trick and could do it again on the LeBron 8. As expected, it offers the same smooth step and impact protection.

Despite it’s rather heavy weight, one can rest assured that this sneaker will not be flying off their foot any time soon. A full-shoe inner bootie keeps the underside of the tongue pressed against the wearer’s foot, a wide midfoot allows for maximum lace adjustability and a high cut means those who like their ankles secure can lace up all the way to the top. The midfoot’s eyelets are perfectly spaced and bunched in just the right places to allow the sneaker to be worn in a variety of ways. It’s especially advantageous for those players who like the tongue to wrap around the front of their ankle and help secure their foot.

Obviously comfort was a key consideration when designing this model, as the 8 is hands down the most comfortable shoe in the LeBron lineup, especially for players with relatively wide feet. The thick, perforated insole is very soft and makes for a cushioned landing with every step. There are of course drawbacks to this design, which are addressed below.

Weaknesses

Response Time
Flywire Tongue Design

As noted above, the insole on this sneaker provides a high level of comfort, thanks in part to its thick insole. This design, however, greatly reduces response time and can make the wearer feel outright sluggish. Add in the by-nature slow response time of Max Air-cushioned sneakers, and the 16.6 oz (Men’s size 9) weight, and this sneaker can make a player feel anything but explosive. Considerations should be made about the type of player you are if you are considering purchasing this sneaker.

The Flywire tongue is attractive and a functional part of the lockdown design, but its large size creates a pressure point where the ankle and foot meet. This problem doesn’t occur for every player however, as it’s largely based on the shape of each individual’s foot. Trying this sneaker on is highly recommended.

Overview: If you liked the Air Max LeBron VII, you’ll likely take to the LeBron 8 V2. The breathabilty, which was a concern with the VII, has been addressed and the comfort level is practically unmatched by any other sneaker on the market. It’s by no means a lightweight, highly responsive sneaker though. In an age where the options have never been more diverse, as available designs range from featherweight and cut like a running shoe to ultra-cushioned “bruisers” like the LeBron line, a buyer has all of the power in the world and should definitely be able to find what they like. If you fall in to the latter category and want to do your knees, ankles and back a favor, consider giving the Nike LeBron 8 V2 a try.

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