Verdict from 1 expert and 8 user reviews

8 reasons to buy

  • Older models  like these well-known basketball shoes from Nike are made with more materials and seams, making them more rigid and supportive.
  • A number of users say that the Soldier 1 Retro can be used outdoors since the shoe’s outsole rubber is thick and its tread pattern does not wear out easily.
  • A couple of reviewers are happy with the shoe’s outsole because the rubber that it is made of and its widely spaced herringbone pattern does not pick up dust easily.
  • The majority of wearers are impressed with the premium feel of the materials used in the upper.
  • The leather upper feels extremely nice when the shoe has already been broken in, say several reviewers. They say it works like the Kobe 1 Protro of the Swoosh.
  • The LeBron Soldier 1 Retro is wide-footer friendly like the first Air Jordan sneakers.
  • Many affirm the shoe’s durability, saying that it is built like a tank. One user shares that he still plays with a pair he bought from 2007.
  • A lot of wearers comment that this is the “best-known model” and “best-looking model” from LeBron James’s Soldier line.

4 reasons not to buy

  • Some wearers find the midfoot strap annoying when they lace up their shoes.
  • Most buyers who purchase these LeBron James shoes for basketball use feel that they are bulky and heavy.
  • According to one tester, the LeBron Soldier 1 Retro feels so high off the ground that it doesn’t anymore provide sufficient court feel.
  • Several users say that the heel strap is practically unnecessary.

Bottom line

Although this LeBron James basketball shoe’s technology and construction are quite outdated, the Soldier 1 Retro is still built to protect and withstand a rigorous beating on the court. These Nike sneakers are sufficiently equipped for show-stopping strength and pleasing aesthetics.

Tip: see the best basketball shoes.

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Good to know

The first shoe and one of the most popular models under LeBron James’s Soldier line, the Nike LeBron Soldier 1 was initially released in 2007 and is retroed in 2018. The shoe was worn during James’s first championship appearance against the San Antonio Spurs. The King’s Cleveland Cavaliers lost that year, but little did everyone know that that was only the first of LeBron James’s several NBA Finals appearances.

Cushion. Embedded within the forefoot and heel sections of the Phylon midsole are two Zoom Air units. This technology involves tensile fibers in a sturdy polyurethane pouch. When pressure is applied, the fibers compress to absorb impact energy. Upon takeoff, the fibers spring back, creating a snappy and responsive feel.

Traction. The LeBron Zoom Soldier 1 Retro's outsole is articulated into different parts so that it splays and bends when the foot flexes, pretty much like what the Nike Free’s outsole does. Herringbone and diamond-shaped patterns are molded onto each of the segmented pods. These grooves provide friction against the court’s surface.

Length and Width. According to shoe testers, the Soldier 1 Retro runs large. They recommend going half a size down for a more snug fit. The shoe is wide-footer friendly.

Lockdown. The shoe’s primary source of lockdown is its traditional lacing system. The lace holes in the ankle collar can be adjusted depending on the desired fit and size of the player’s ankle. Secondary to that is the midfoot strap that runs across the top of the lace. It pulls both sides of the upper to create a tightly shut and compact shoe that’s ready for battle. The shoe also features an additional heel strap that reinforces the internal TPU heel cup.

Built like a luxurious tank, most of the shoe’s upper is outfitted with premium tumbled leather. For the straps and ankle collar, dyed nubuck is often used.  Patent leather is added on the forefoot for a nice touch of detail. The largely Phylon midsole has two Zoom Air units, one at the forefoot and another at the heel.

Although far from the sleek and minimal silhouettes of today, the LeBron Soldier 1 Retro is said to be the best-looking shoe in the Soldier line. The shoe utilizes an effective color-blocking technique, accentuating the shape of the foot. Compared to the 2007 OG’s the Retro version does not have the word “WITNESS” printed on the lateral side of the shoe.

The 2007 release of the LeBron Soldier 1 debuted five original colorways, namely:

  • Black/Gold
  • Gray/White/Olive Green
  • Navy Blue/White/Blood Red
  • White/Black/Gold
  • White/Gold

Nike LeBron Soldier 1 Retro 25 Straight

To commemorate the 25 straight points that Lebron James scored in a game against the Detroit Pistons in the 2007 NBA Playoffs, these Nike shoes are rendered in the same colors as the pair that the All-Star player wore during that movie-ending game. Dressed in navy blue, white, and gold, these Nike basketball sneakers are sure to capture eyes on- and off-court.

Nike LeBron Soldier 1 Retro Desert Storm

Consistent with the military theme, the Soldier 1 was released in a camo printed upper that is perfect to wear with casual jeans and shirt. The shoe is primary composed of wheat-colored nubuck with hits of black and gold on its logo and brandings.

Nike LeBron Soldier 1 Retro Ohio State PE

Ohio is well-known to be LeBron James’s state of origin. Although he never played for his state’s university, many LeBron shoes feature a colorway doused in Ohio State University’s team colors. These exclusive LeBron James basketball shoes come in “Home” and “Away” versions that match the school’s official uniforms.

How LeBron Soldier 1 Retro compares

This shoe: 78
All shoes average: 82
55 95
This shoe: £150
All shoes average: £130
£40 £470
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.