Our verdict

The Nike LeBron NXXT Gen is a badass shoe, we just have to be very clear on this. As a lightened version of the LeBron 20, it fuses LeBron's famous impact protection with an excellent ground feel which results in more solid control over footwork. We highly recommend getting this shoe if you plan to get aggressive on the court.

Pros

  • Top-notch traction
  • Lightest LeBron shoe (as of 2023)
  • Nice bounce in the forefoot
  • A fine balance of court feel and impact protection
  • Effective foot containment
  • Very comfortable wraparound feel
  • Quality materials
  • Standout design and colours

Cons

  • Surprisingly not for wide feet
  • Still kinda expensive

Audience verdict

87
Great!

Who should buy

In addition to Lebron James' fans, we think that this signature shoe from Nike is perfect for players who:

  • want a quick, responsive, and light hoop shoe
  • look for a cheaper alternative to the LeBron 20
  • love stylish silhouettes that stand out and make a statement on the court

Nike Lebron NXXT GEN review

Who should NOT buy

Unexpectedly for a Lebron shoe, the NXXT Gen has a snug one-to-one fit. Wide footers are going to be better off with the Nike LeBron Witness 7 instead.

Even though it is a step-down version of the Lebron 20 and is £40 cheaper, it still remains among the priciest options on the market. If price is a deal-breaker for you, check out Kevin Durant's signature shoe, the KD 15.

Nike Lebron NXXT GEN lab test

Breathability

The NXXT GEN is a toasty one. With its sturdy upper materials, the shoe doesn't allow heat to escape from the interiors. Having pumped smoke through its upper, we saw only a little streak coming out on the other side. Thus, the shoe gets as little as 2 out of 5 for breathability.

Looking at the upper material through our microscope, there is not even a slight hint of perforations.

Nike Lebron NXXT GEN microscope

From the inside, the upper is also reinforced with foam padding and neoprene-ish lining, leaving no "breathing room" either.

Nike Lebron NXXT GEN microscope upper

There is a small ventilation spot on the inner side of the upper though. It can be seen in our transparency test below. This little window is not covered by the in-shoe padding allowing mesh to do its job.

Test results
Lebron NXXT GEN 2
Average 2.4
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

The shoe's upper material has an average level of durability for a basketball shoe.

After a 12-second encounter with our Dremel at the speed of 10K RPM, the shoe's toebox got only moderately damaged. We didn't get to a see-through hole and the shoe remained wearable.

For that reason, we rated its toebox durability as 3 on a scale from 1 to 5.

It is certainly not as sturdy as the Lebron 20 but it has more abrasion resistance than the cheaper Lebron Witness 7.

Nike Lebron NXXT GEN toebox durability comparison

Nike Lebron NXXT GEN vs. Nike Lebron Witness 7

You can also see a suede piece embracing the toebox upfront. That really helps to protect the upper mesh from the aggressive toe drags.

Test results
Lebron NXXT GEN 3
Average 3.8
Compared to 41 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

The heel padding of the NXXT GEN also showed off its wear resistance. This delicate part of the shoe performed a little better than most hoop shoes in our lab.

After 4 seconds of drilling it with a Dremel, the tear was not detrimental to the shoe's overall performance and comfort, earning a rating of 3 out of 5.

Test results
Lebron NXXT GEN 3
Average 3.6
Compared to 38 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

Assessing the shoe's rubber outsole, we found its durability to be quite promising too.

First, we pressed a durometer against the rubber to measure its hardness. With a reading of 84.5 HC, it turns out to be harder than average. That translates to a higher chance of longer shelf life.

Nike Lebron NXXT GEN Outsole hardness
Test results
Lebron NXXT GEN 84.5 HC
Average 81.7 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
59.5 HC
Outsole hardness
91.0 HC

Outsole durability

The tongue is very generously padded in the NXXT GEN shoe. We measured its thickness at 10.2 mm. It offers plenty of in-shoe comfort and guards the instep from lace pressure.

Outsole thickness

Measuring the shoe's outsole with a calliper, we found it to be of average thickness at 3.8 mm.

Combined with the hardness, this gives us a solid base for hundreds of hours on the court. We can even recommend the shoe for occasional outdoor use for that reason.

Nike Lebron NXXT GEN Outsole thickness
Test results
Lebron NXXT GEN 3.8 mm
Average 4.0 mm
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
6.9 mm

Weight

LeBron basketball shoes have earned a reputation for being heavy. But the Nike LeBron NXXT GEN breaks away from that. At 13.1 oz (372 g), it is a lot lighter than the average for LeBron shoes (14.3 oz or 406g).

Nike Lebron NXXT GEN jump

It also turns out to be lighter than our lab-tested hoop shoes on average (13.7 oz or 387g). 

Test results
Lebron NXXT GEN 13.12 oz (372g)
Average 13.90 oz (394g)
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
11.29 oz (320g)
Weight
17.46 oz (495g)

Cushioning

For those who need to use custom orthotics with the shoe, the NXXT GEN has a removable insole.

Heel stack

The amount of cushioning in the NXXT GEN is exactly the same as in the Lebron 20. Using a calliper, we measured its heel stack height at 26.9 mm.

Nike Lebron NXXT GEN Heel stack

The shoe also features the exact same Zoom Air units as its older sibling. This gives a green light to those hard landings and heel-dominant strikes.

Nike Lebron NXXT GEN stack height

Test results
Lebron NXXT GEN 26.9 mm
Average 29.3 mm
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
23.6 mm
Heel stack
38.4 mm

Forefoot stack

Measuring the forefoot stack height, we found its thickness to be the same 22 mm as in the Lebron 20. The large Zoom Air unit is still there, adding a sweet bounce to every jump.

Nike Lebron NXXT GEN Forefoot stack
Test results
Lebron NXXT GEN 22.0 mm
Average 21.7 mm
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
18.0 mm
Forefoot stack
29.2 mm

Drop

The heel-to-toe differential in the Lebron NXXT GEN turns out to be 4.9 mm. This is lower than the average 7 mm of our lab-tested basketball shoes.

Nike Lebron NXXT GEN Drop

Placing the foot more parallel to the ground results in a more grounded experience. We are happy with the fine balance of cushioning and ground feel that the NXXT provides. It follows in the footsteps of the Lebron 20 in that regard.

As you can see from the photo below, the cushioning setups are pretty much identical in these two shoes.

nike-lebron-20-inside-view.JPG

Nike Lebron 20

Test results
Lebron NXXT GEN 4.9 mm
Average 7.7 mm
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
4.0 mm
Drop
14.8 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

While those Zoom Air units do an amazing job of adding spring to the feet, the carrying foam remains on the firm side.

Based on our durometer, the foam has a thickness of 30.6 HA. This is 10% firmer than the average.

Nike Lebron NXXT GEN Midsole softness

But we aren't here to complain about that! This is what makes the shoe so grounded and stable. We actually think that this is one of the best setups for balancing impact protection and court feel.

Test results
Lebron NXXT GEN 30.6 HA
Average 25.6 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
11.0 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
38.6 HA

Insole thickness

A padded insole complements the shoe's primary cushioning. Measuring it with a calliper, we found that at 3.6 mm it is a little thinner than average.

Nike Lebron NXXT GEN Insole thickness
Test results
Lebron NXXT GEN 3.6 mm
Average 4.5 mm
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Insole thickness
8.6 mm

Stability

Lateral stability test

For a s compared to the original Lebron 20, it retains a solid level of support and stability.

From the stiff shank in the midfoot to the firm hold of the upper materials, our feet felt safely contained inside the NXXT GEN.

Torsional rigidity

The stiff midfoot shank is very helpful in stabilising the foot for agile multi-directional movements. Having twisted the shoe sideways in our manual test, we rated its torsional rigidity as 4 out of 5. Nearly the stiffest in our range!

Test results
Lebron NXXT GEN 4
Average 4.5
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

Our heels and ankles felt securely contained inside the NXXT GEN.

On a 1-5 scale where 5 is the stiffest, we rated its heel counter stiffness as 3. This is a little less rigid than the average but solid enough for a proper hold.

Test results
Lebron NXXT GEN 3
Average 3.6
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

The NXXT GEN doesn't have as wide an outrigger as the Lebron 20. Measuring the widest part of the forefoot with a calliper (107.9 mm), we found that it is a few millimetres narrower than the original.

But in our opinion, this is a rather small sacrifice to make if you want to experience the lightest Lebron shoe in the series. It is in no way detrimental to the shoe's stability.

Nike Lebron NXXT GEN Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Lebron NXXT GEN 107.9 mm
Average 114.5 mm
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
106.2 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
122.2 mm

Midsole width in the heel

To reassure you of the shoe's ample stability, the widest part of its heel (90.3 mm) is still the same as the average.

Nike Lebron NXXT GEN Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Lebron NXXT GEN 90.3 mm
Average 90.4 mm
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
82.4 mm
Midsole width in the heel
105.1 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

The Nike Lebron NXXT GEN finds a way to be flexible despite the shank and the Zoom Air unit embedded into its sole.

We used a gauge to measure how much force it takes to bend the shoe to a 90-degree angle. Turns out, only 32.4N! This is 30% less than it takes on average.

Test results
Lebron NXXT GEN 32.4N
Average 39.8N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
23.8N
Stiffness
67.2N

Grip / Traction

Whether the court is clean or dirty, it doesn't make any difference to the mighty bite of this Lebron shoe. It requires minimal wiping and remains consistent on both indoor and outdoor courts.

Cute fact: The shoe's tread pattern replicates the map of Akron, OH. This is a nod to LeBron James' roots.

Nike Lebron NXXT GEN outsole

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

At 98.9 mm in the widest part of the toebox, the shoe turns out to be a little narrower than average.

Nike Lebron NXXT GEN Toebox width at the widest part

For our medium-width feet, the NXXT GEN feels rather snug and precise. There is not much breathing room so if you need more space, it's better to go half-size up.

Nike Lebron NXXT GEN fit

Test results
Lebron NXXT GEN 98.9 mm
Average 101.5 mm
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
92.6 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
108.2 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

This LeBron shoe also tapers a bit more than the other basketball shoes we've measured. With a width of 74.9 mm around the big toe, the NXXT GEN is narrower than the average by a few millimetres.

Nike Lebron NXXT GEN Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Lebron NXXT GEN 74.9 mm
Average 76.7 mm
Compared to 44 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
71.2 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
85.1 mm

Tongue: gusset type

A fully-gusseted tongue really enhances the lockdown capacities of this shoe. There was no sliding of the foot or the tongue even during the most shifty situations on the court.

Nike Lebron NXXT GEN Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Lebron NXXT GEN Both sides (full)

Comfort

Tongue padding

The tongue is very generously padded in the NXXT GEN shoe. We measured its thickness at 10.2 mm. It offers plenty of in-shoe comfort and guards the instep from lace pressure.

Nike Lebron NXXT GEN Tongue padding
Test results
Lebron NXXT GEN 10.2 mm
Average 9.5 mm
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1.3 mm
Tongue padding
15.9 mm

Heel tab

The shoe has a small finger loop at the back but it acts more as a decorative element. It comes with an "XX" embellishment to signify the shoe's relation to the LeBron XX (or 20).

Nike Lebron NXXT GEN Heel tab
Test results
Lebron NXXT GEN Finger loop

Removable insole

For those who need to use custom orthotics with the shoe, the NXXT GEN has a removable insole.

Nike Lebron NXXT GEN Removable insole
Test results
Lebron NXXT GEN Yes