Our verdict

In our opinion, up to a certain extent, the LeBron Witness 7 is practically just the Nike LeBron 20 but less pricey and more suitable for outdoor use. From aspects that are truly important such as traction and cushioning down to matters that are only peripherally valuable such as looks, we found that the LeBron Witness 7 delivers.

Pros

  • Highly effective traction
  • Impressive impact protection
  • Optimum comfort
  • Breathable upper
  • Reliable heel lockdown
  • Good lateral stability
  • Great outdoor option
  • Fashionable design

Cons

  • Lacks court feel
  • Poor upper durability
  • No outriggers on the sole

Audience verdict

89
Great!

Who should buy

We believe that LeBron James' Witness 7 best suits basketball players who:

  • are price-conscious or have a limited budget
  • prioritise impact protection over anything else
  • love to take their games outdoors, especially on asphalt courts
  • look for stylish performance shoes that they can use as lifestyle trainers 

Nike Lebron Witness 7 review

Who should NOT buy

Players, especially the more agile ones, who love to get a lot of ground feedback may find that the LeBron Witness 7 sits way too high off the ground. For them, we recommend the Lebron NXXT GEN - a little pricier but has a perfect balance of impact protection and court feel.

Being a more affordable option, the LeBron Witness compromised its upper durability. But we've seen even cheaper hoop shoes that did better with abrasion resistance like the Nike Air Max Impact 4 and the UA Lockdown 6.

Nike Lebron Witness 7 lab test

Breathability

The Lebron Witness 7 beats breathability records among our lab-tested basketball shoes!

Featuring soft materials, the shoe's upper allowed a good deal of smoke to pass through in our smoke-pumping test. Not only did the smoke get through the tongue and eyelets, but also seeped through the toebox itself. That rarely happens in hoop shoes.

The shoe gets a high score of 4 out of 5 for breathability.

Looking at the toebox fabric through a microscope, we can see that it is tightly woven and yet much more porous than most upper materials.

Nike Lebron Witness 7 microscope

Test results
Lebron Witness 7 4
Average 2.5
Compared to 38 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

But there is a big downside to all that airy softness. It's a total lack of wear resistance.

The toebox material failed to hold up to our 12-second Dremel test which resulted in a large see-through tear. On a 1-5 scale where 5 is the most durable, we rated the shoe as low as 1. 

For comparison, the woven upper of the Nike Cosmic Unity 3 did significantly better in the same conditions. But to be fair, it also costs £70 more than the Witness 7.

Nike Lebron Witness 7 toebox durability comparison

Test results
Lebron Witness 7 1
Average 3.8
Compared to 29 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

The shoe's plush and cozy heel padding performed just as badly. After only 4 seconds of holding the Dremel against it, we saw considerable wear.

We had to rate this Nike shoe with yet another low score - 1 out of 5.

Nike Lebron Witness 7 heel padding

Test results
Lebron Witness 7 1
Average 3.6
Compared to 26 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

Fortunately, the shoe comes back strong in the outsole. This must be the toughest part of the Lebron Witness 7.

Using a durometer to check its rubber hardness, we found that it is a head taller than most basketball shoes on our list.

Nike Lebron Witness 7 Outsole hardness

With a reading of 85.8 HC, it is notably harder than average! And that always implies a more hard-wearing outsole.

Test results
Lebron Witness 7 85.8 HC
Average 81.8 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 38 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
59.5 HC
Outsole hardness
91.0 HC

Outsole thickness

The amount of rubber used for the outsole is also quite substantial. We measured it at 4.1 mm which is a solid thickness for a £110 shoe.

Nike Lebron Witness 7 Outsole thickness

Based on its hardness and thickness as well as performance on the court, we can wholeheartedly recommend the Nike Lebron Witness 7 for outdoor play. That also includes the most abrasive concrete courts.

Test results
Lebron Witness 7 4.1 mm
Average 4.0 mm
Compared to 38 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
6.9 mm

Weight

Given that the average weight of LeBron basketball shoes hovers around 14.3 oz (406g), the Lebron Witness 7 is among the lightest in the series. But it's not the lightest compared to other brands.

Tipping the scales at 13.7 oz (387g), the shoe weighs the same as the average of all our lab-tested hoop shoes.

Nike Lebron Witness 7 laces

Test results
Lebron Witness 7 13.65 oz (387g)
Average 14.22 oz (403g)
Compared to 38 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
11.29 oz (320g)
Weight
17.46 oz (495g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

It's pretty impressive that this Nike shoe keeps the weight low despite its massive stack height.

We used a caliper to measure the shoe's heel height and it returned a whopping 34.1 mm! This is by far the tallest shoe in our catalog! This is primarily due to the large Max Air unit embedded into the midsole.

Nike Lebron Witness 7 Heel stack

On the court, this Lebron Witness shoe offers top-notch impact protection. All the shock coming from our aggressive heel strikes and harsh landings was sufficiently absorbed, leaving our feet and legs free from pain all throughout the playtest.

Test results
Lebron Witness 7 34.1 mm
Average 30.2 mm
Compared to 38 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
25.2 mm
Heel stack
38.4 mm

Forefoot stack

The shoe's forefoot is just as generously cushioned. With a caliper measurement of 25.2 mm, this Lebron shoe is a few millimeters taller than average.

Nike Lebron Witness 7 Forefoot stack

Getting up on the toes in this shoe feels very supportive thanks to the forefoot Max Air.

Nike Lebron Witness 7 design

Test results
Lebron Witness 7 25.2 mm
Average 21.9 mm
Compared to 38 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
18.2 mm
Forefoot stack
29.2 mm

Drop

It also turns out that the LeBron Witness 7 has a higher-than-average drop of 9 mm. This is a couple of millimeters higher than the average 7 mm.

The Max Air unit elevates the heel a little more to maximize protection for those heel-dominant strikes. Just like all LeBron shoes, it makes for an excellent option for centers.

Nike Lebron Witness 7 Drop
Test results
Lebron Witness 7 8.9 mm
Average 8.3 mm
Compared to 38 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
4.4 mm
Drop
14.8 mm

Midsole softness

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

The primary cushioning foam of the LeBron Witness 7 feels a little of the firm side. Our durometer shows a reading of 30.3 HA, which is 9% firmer than average.

Nike Lebron Witness 7 Midsole softness

We found that the firm nature of foam helps to make the platform more stable in lieu of its tall stack height.

Test results
Lebron Witness 7 30.3 HA
Average 26.0 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 38 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
11.0 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
35.9 HA

Secondary foam softness

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

On the other hand, the foam layer underneath the Max Air unit is very plush. It creates space for bounce by being extra squishy.

We measured the foam to be as soft as 14.1 HA! That's a whole 115% plusher than the primary cushioning. As a result, the shoe feels perfectly balanced underfoot.

Nike Lebron Witness 7 Secondary foam softness
Test results
Lebron Witness 7 14.1 HA
Average 28.6 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.

Insole thickness

Of course, this highly cushioned hoop shoe from LeBron had to have a very well-padded insole. We measured its thickness at 5 mm, a little cushier than average.

Nike Lebron Witness 7 Insole thickness
Test results
Lebron Witness 7 5.0 mm
Average 4.4 mm
Compared to 38 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Insole thickness
8.6 mm

Stability

Lateral stability test

Nike made sure to throw a whole bunch of supportive overlays onto the shoe to really level up its stability.

Overall, we think that the brand succeeded. But if you are an agile and super shifty player, you may want more support around the forefoot. We found that the material was a little too soft to hold the foot in place.

For a firmer foothold, consider the LeBron NXXT GEN.

Torsional rigidity

The platform is rock-solid in the LeBron Witness 7. Attempting to twist the shoe with our hands revealed that it is exceptionally stiff. We rated its torsional rigidity with the highest score of 5/5.

According to Nike, it's the Max Air unit that's responsible for the shoe's lateral stability and it also "helps harness and direct your force." 

Test results
Lebron Witness 7 5
Average 4.5
Compared to 38 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

The shoe's heel lockdown is very much on point too. We never had to worry about wobbling or heel slippage while wearing the shoe.

Test results
Lebron Witness 7 4
Average 3.6
Compared to 38 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

The shoe's base is not the widest out there but it does its job well. However, if you are someone who relies heavily on those outriggers on the side, this is not the right shoe.

Measuring the widest part of the forefoot, we got 110.5 mm - a little narrower than average.

Nike Lebron Witness 7 Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Lebron Witness 7 110.5 mm
Average 114.0 mm
Compared to 38 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
106.2 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
122.2 mm

Midsole width in the heel

In the widest part of the heel, we also found it to be a few millimeters narrower than average at 86.3 mm.

Nike Lebron Witness 7 Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Lebron Witness 7 86.3 mm
Average 91.3 mm
Compared to 38 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
82.4 mm
Midsole width in the heel
105.1 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

When it comes to the shoe's stiffness, the LeBron Witness 7 is not that much different from the rest of our tested basketball shoes.

It took about as much force to bend the shoe to a 90-degree angle as it takes on average. Our force gauge shows that it required 38.8N, only 8% less than the average.

Test results
Lebron Witness 7 38.8N
Average 40.6N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 38 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
29.9N
Stiffness
67.2N

Grip / Traction

The Nike LeBron Witness 7 showed phenomenal traction on the court! The multi-directional pattern on the sole was able to pull off quick stops and swift direction changes throughout our field tests.

Nike Lebron Witness 7 outsole

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

With the soft and slightly stretchy nature of the upper material, it feels like this Nike shoe offers a little more wiggle room.

Nike Lebron Witness 7 fit

In the widest part of the forefoot, we measured the Witness 7 at 103.1 mm - that's about 3 mm wider than average!

Nike Lebron Witness 7 Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Lebron Witness 7 103.1 mm
Average 101.0 mm
Compared to 38 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
92.6 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
108.2 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

Repeating the measurement in the shoe's big-toe area, however, we got 76.5 mm - this is the same width as the average. It indicates that the toebox doesn't taper more than usual in this shoe.

Nike Lebron Witness 7 Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Lebron Witness 7 76.5 mm
Average 77.0 mm
Compared to 32 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
71.2 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
85.1 mm

Tongue: gusset type

Given the shoe's budget-friendly price point, a gusseted tongue is not to be expected here. But the standard non-attached tongue of the Witness 7 is still doing a pretty good job of staying in place and holding the foot.

Nike Lebron Witness 7 Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Lebron Witness 7 None

Comfort

Tongue padding

The tongue is sufficiently padded on this LeBron shoe. Based on our caliper measurement, it is 9 mm thick. About the same as the average.

Nike Lebron Witness 7 Tongue padding
Test results
Lebron Witness 7 9.0 mm
Average 9.3 mm
Compared to 38 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1.3 mm
Tongue padding
15.1 mm

Heel tab

A fabric finger loop at the back helps with getting the shoe on with less effort. It also adds a stylish flair to the overall look of the Witness 7.

Nike Lebron Witness 7 Heel tab
Test results
Lebron Witness 7 Finger loop

Removable insole

The shoe's insole is easily removable. It can be replaced with a custom insert is needed.

Nike Lebron Witness 7 Removable insole
Test results
Lebron Witness 7 Yes