Facts

  • Top

    High-Top

    Basketball sneakers that rise well above the ankle to keep sprints and jumps stable and well-supported. You sure can fly high when you have high-top basketball shoes to tie.

    Mid-Top

    Basketball sneakers that rise just up to where the ankles are. Providing support and flexibility so fine, mid-top basketball shoes surely hold the line.

    Low-Top

    Basketball shoes that leave the ankles exposed for a better range of motion. Be flexible with your blows, get basketball shoes that are low.

  • Signature

    Good to know

    Some basketball shoes embody the athleticism and symbolize the life of certain on-court legends. Hooping will surely be fine when you get kicks from their signature lines.

  • Lockdown
    Lace-Up

    Strap

    Hoop shoes that drop the traditional laces in favor of velcro straps for better efficiency. Secure strap basketball shoes, and have them in various hues.

    Lace-Up

    Basketball shoes that stick with the good old laces for that familiar security and lockdown. Get lace-up basketball shoes to tie because they never go out of style.

    Slip-On

    Basketball shoes with uppers that provide a glove-like fit without the help of any lockdown mechanism. Do nothing but go in with slip-on basketball shoes .

    Good to know

    Some basketball shoes combine the powers of more than one lockdown styles for an improved fit and a much more stable ride. Get more bases covered with these basketball shoes.

  • Price
    $200
  • Weight
    15.6oz

    Good to know

    Basketball shoes usually weigh between 300g and 400g for speed and agility. Write your on-court tale with basketball shoes that barely tip the scales.

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Summary

We spent 8.1 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what basketball players think:

10 reasons to buy

  • According to some reviewers, the Nike LeBron 16’s rubber outsole is super hard and quite thick. They assert that these basketball shoes are OK to use outdoors.
  • The cushioning feels super nice, nearly all testers declare. It provides a well-balanced ride that all types of players will enjoy.
  • These LeBron James basketball shoes feel amazing on foot, many wearers exclaim.
  • Almost all reviewers are impressed at the Battleknit 2.0. It’s the way Flyknit should be - soft, flexible, strong, and supportive.
  • Several reviewers are happy that these LeBron basketball shoes are easy to put on.
  • A few testers note that the LeBron 16 fits like the LeBron 15.
  • Most owners report that these Nike LeBron shoes are straight up fire. They are claiming that it is one of the best looking LeBrons to date.
  • These LeBron James shoes are more stable than the previous version, most players note.
  • Nearly all testers agree that the Nike LeBron 16 has beastly traction. They say that it holds up really well despite the court condition.
  • Most reviewers are satisfied with the overall support, stability, lockdown, and containment the LeBron 16 provides.

6 reasons not to buy

  • The cushioning starts off a little stiff, some observe.
  • According to a good number of testers, the thick cushioning provides minimal court feel.
  • A few owners claim that these shoes feel heavy and bulky.
  • Several testers are saying that the LeBron 16 provides a sloppy fit. They highly recommend trying these Nike basketball shoes in-store.
  • These LeBron shoes are very difficult to relace, many testers gripe.
  • The Nike LeBron 16 is quite expensive, some commenters remark.

Bottom line

Overall, the LeBron 16 is a way better on-court performer than its predecessor and may just be one of the best basketball shoes of 2018. All the improvements Nike implemented made a world of difference.

These LeBron shoes have beastly traction that holds up really well, a balanced cushioning setup that guards to bigs will enjoy, and finally, a strong and supportive upper that is also soft and flexible where it needs to be. The only real drawback is its $185 price point. Other than that, there is no other reason for not copping a pair.

Rankings

Expert Reviews

Experts are basketball players, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

Are you an expert? Apply to contribute here.

89 / 100 based on 20 expert reviews

  • 93 / 100 | WearTesters

    I also feel that this is a huge upgrade from last year's model. I know that the changes are not significant, but the small changes that they did make actually made the performance significantly better and the shoe overall more stable.

  • 90 / 100 | JAHRONMON

    Now granted, I still am a little salty about that sloppy fit but pretty much everything elso on the LeBron 16 was absolutely spot-on. Nike killed it with this one. That traction was locking me down no matter what court I played on. This cushioning setup was super fun to play in. And again, that Battleknit was extremely comfortable.

  • 95 / 100 | WearTesters

    I can say Nike fixed most of the issues found in the 15, and the 15 was an almost-great shoe. In the LeBron 16 we get better traction, a more stable midsole, more responsive cushioning, and a more contained upper that are all built for a King.

  • 93 / 100 | Schwollo

    Although I prefer a lower ride height, this is the best all around Lebron to come out in years. Great traction, cushioning, fit, stability and containment make this a great shoe for most players. Great performer all around with no major weaknesses which sounds a lot like the shoe’s namesake. Finally a Nike sig shoe done right.

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Profile of Nike LeBron 16

After 15 seasons, LeBron James is still unstoppable and remains the king of the NBA. His natural athletic ability, relentless work ethic, and ability to lead set him apart from the rest of the league.

Made for the most dominant player, the Nike LeBron 16 delivers a potent mix of support, responsiveness, and impact protection. It features extra lace feeds, an innovative tongue, a powerful cushioning system, and a new knit upper called Battleknit 2.0

Performance

Cushion. The LeBron 16 boasts the evolution of the Max Air cushioning system that was utilized on the Nike LeBron 15. According to designer Jason Petrie, “LeBron liked the cushioning so much last year that we just focused on refining it. For this addition, we removed the tendril that connected the forefoot to the under-toe bag, and instead included an outrigger to create some additional support to complement the lower height.”

These Nike basketball shoes deliver unrivaled impact absorption and instant responsiveness with the combination of the Max Air and Zoom Air cushioning platforms. This innovative cushioning system helps absorb impact and then bounces it back for explosive energy return.

Traction. These LeBron James basketball shoes have an articulated rubber outsole for flexibility. The outsole is lined with a modified herringbone traction pattern for superior grip on the hardwood.

Fit

Length and Width. According to most wearers, the Nike LeBron 16 fits like the LeBron 15. Wide-footers are advised to go true to size. Normal and narrow footers can go down half a size. However, it is still best to try the shoes in store to get the proper fit.

Lockdown. These LeBron basketball shoes boast an innovative gusseted tongue for a customizable fit. Flywire cables and extra lace feeds deliver locked-in support.

Other support features include a padded heel collar, internal Achilles pillows, and an external heel counter.

Material

The most notable feature of the Nike LeBron 16 is its new knit construction. “The knit team at Nike are geniuses,” Petrie says. “I don’t use that term lightly. They are mathematical artists and have created a new knit for the 16 that is strong enough to contain LeBron and successfully reduces any layers in the overall build that could slow him down.”

Battleknit 2.0 is designed to contain LeBron’s lateral force on the court. The knit upper delivers lightweight yet ultra strong support precisely where it is needed. “Our knit innovation team has this new technology, called a Shima machine,” Petrie explains. “It’s a brand new machine that allowed you to make a knit in a new way. It allows you to combine the structure of a woven, a really strong, in-all-directions type of construction, and then you knit through it and around it.

Nike LeBron 16 Style

Another noteworthy feature of the LeBron 16 is its lower cut. “The first thing we wanted to do was get a little lower in the cut of the shoe,” James explains. “I wanted to get a little faster, ride a little bit closer to the court and be a little bit more dynamic.”

The Nike LeBron 16’s gusseted tongue allows for seamless entry and also provides more styling options when wearing these basketball shoes off the court. “This is actually structurally the same as the 15,” Petrie says. “We just cut off that soft collar. Wearing a bootie’s cool but you can’t wear it with jeans. We want everybody to get in LeBron’s, including ladies and kids.”

Special Colorways of the Nike LeBron 16

For LeBron James’s 16th signature sneaker, Nike designers are creating a wide range of narrative-driven hues. “We had a renewed interest in going deeper in stories for two reasons,” Petrie explains. “LeBron really started to open up, he’s reaching out beyond basketball. And also it seemed like it was getting kinda boring. It took a refocusing.”

  • Black/Black-Black ‘Triple Black’
  • Black/Metallic Silver-White ‘Strive for Greatness’
  • Black/Multi-Color ‘I Promise’
  • Black/University Red ‘Fresh Bred’
  • Court Purple/Metallic Gold ‘King Purple’
  • Multi-Color/Metallic Silver-Cool Grey ‘20 20’
  • Multi-Color/Multi-Color ‘1 Thru 5’
  • Sail/White/Light Bone ‘HFR’
  • Team Red/Metallic Gold-Multi Color ‘King’

HFR X LeBron 16

This special edition LeBron 16 is the first LeBron sneaker designed by women for women. Designed by Brandice Daniel, Felisha Noel, Kimberly Goldson, and Undra Celeste, the LeBron 16 ‘Harlem’s Fashion Row’ boasts a 3-D molded lion and an iconic leather cuff to provide a powerful picture of strength. “Now is the time for women to really let the world see how powerful we are,” Daniel describes. “How powerful we are as individuals, and how powerful we are together.”

Nike LeBron 16 ‘1 Thru 5’

The ‘1 Thru 5’ or ‘What The’ colorway combines the first five colorways of the Nike LeBron 16. Details from the ‘Fresh Bred,’ ‘20-20,’ ‘Strive for Greatness,’ ‘I Promise,’ and ‘King’ colorways are all incorporated in the shoe’s design.

‘1 Thru 5’ also represents James’s ability to play all five positions. According to Nike.com, “A team with a backcourt of a fearlessly ferocious scorer who brought Fresh Bred to the game and a playmaker with the gift of 20_20 Vision to see the unseen; a player whose desire to Strive for Greatness was matched only by another teammate’s Promise to persevere through adversity and another’s dominant displays fit for a King.”

Nike LeBron 16 ‘20_20’

The Nike LeBron 16 ‘20_20’ is inspired by James’s incredible court vision and passing ability. Nike.com perfectly describes the King’s vision: “A naturally gifted visionary, he sees everything on the floor: he knows his plays, his opponents' plays; he even knows the seat number on your ticket. In any situation, LeBron makes magic happen.”

These LeBron James basketball shoes boast a dazzling multicolored Flyknit upper finished off with a ferocious lion graphic on the tongue.

Nike LeBron 16 ‘Fresh Bred’

Similar to how previous LeBron models were debuted, the Nike LeBron 16 was also unveiled in the ‘Fresh Bred’ colorway. According to Nike, this colorway is inspired by history forged in competition. They explain that “only The Strongest can walk in the shoes of greatness with a Fresh Bred attitude to reach championship-level excellence.”

These predominantly black basketball shoes feature red accents throughout. Other details include James’s signature on the tongue and a predatory lion head on the heel.

Nike LeBron 16 ‘I Promise’

This colorway represents the center position and is LeBron’s favorite. It is inspired by his children and the I Promise School he opened in Akron, Oh. The Nike LeBron 16 ‘I Promise’ features a black-based upper that sits on top of a multicolored outsole. On the heel, the message “We Are Family” finishes off the theme.

Nike LeBron 16 ‘King’

Part of the ‘1 thru 5’ collection, the ‘King’ colorway represents the small forward position. It is dressed in red and features a leopard print on the heel that is reminiscent of the Air Zoom Generation ad campaign. Metallic gold accents complete the silhouette.

Nike LeBron 16 ‘Strive for Greatness’

After 15 seasons, LeBron James is still the King of the NBA. His values, hard work, and tireless effort have propelled him to the top.

Inspired by his personal mantra, the Nike LeBron 16 ‘Strive for Greatness’ represents his family, his hometown, and his unwavering spirit.