Verdict from 5 experts and 45 user reviews

7 reasons to buy

  • Overall performance: Several wearers say that the Kawhi Leonard's first signature show with New Balance just performs really well.
  • Style: Many wearers are impressed with how stylish the NB Kawhi is; they say they can wear this shoe with jeans and other casual wear.
  • Cushioning: The proprietary NB foam that the Kawhi shares with the OMN1s gives dependable impact protection, according to some wearers. 
  • No blisters: A few people point out that this shoe does not give them blisters. 
  • Support: A handful of users declare that these mid-top shoes keep their steps aptly supported by their sturdy collar and upper materials. 
  • Traction: Multiple players say that this shoe has a nice grip on the floor.
  • Comfortable: A number of wearers report that the Kawhi feels so comfortable on their feet.

2 reasons not to buy

  • Width: A few wearers are disappointed that this shoe is not wide enough.
  • Break-in: At least one wearer warns that the New Balance Kawhi needs a break-in period.

Bottom line

Kawhi Leonard's signature line with New Balance is definitely off to a good start. As intended, players who hold various playing positions find the New Balance Kawhi comfortable and generally satisfactory. 

Tip: see the best basketball shoes.

New Balance Kawhi: For positionless play

The basketball game has become more and more flexible. To be effective on the court, players have to deliver way beyond what their positions demand. The New Balance Kawhi affords its wearer such kind of flexibility through the following:

  • Data-driven traction. The outsole of the NB Kawhi is beyond ordinary. Its grooves are based on data collected from actual players to provide the right amount of traction where they need it.
  • Stability. New Balance ensures stable sprints by adding a full-length performance plate in the midsole of these mid-top basketball shoes.
  • Highly energized steps. Due to the FuelCell foam in the midsole, the New Balance Kawhi is able to efficiently propel its wearer as they drive to the basket. 

NB Kawhi on the court and beyond

The New Balance Kawhi is engineered to deliver comfort for not only on-court games but also leisurely walks around the park or even all-day wear at work. Given that it comes out in several attractive colorways, this pair of New Balance basketball shoes is surely one that its wearer can really be proud of. 


How New Balance Kawhi ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 41% basketball shoes
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Bottom 1% New Balance basketball shoes
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Bottom 1% kawhi leonard basketball shoes
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The current trend of New Balance Kawhi.
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Dimitrije Curcic
Dimitrije Curcic

Dimitrije Curcic has been playing basketball for over 22 years. Like Manu Ginobili, he’s a left-hander whose moves led him to a better career-shooting percentage than the Argentine himself. After playing professionally for 10 years, Dimitrije moved to coaching for two seasons before he became a basketball statistician for StatScore, and FanSided contributor for the San Antonio Spurs. Dimitrije loves to tell hoop stories through numbers and graphics and has been featured on Fansided, FiveThirtyEight, Eurohoops, and TalkBasket among the others.