Ranking Every Nike LeBron Signature Shoe Based on Playability

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LeBron James plays with a deft balance of power and precision. Now at eleven Nike signature models (plus a few Elite, PS, or V2 versions of those), James’ shoes have been designed to match both his immediate needs and his evolution as a player. Of course, not every player is LeBron James. But, many can benefit from the distinct performance benefits of each shoe.

Zac Dubasik and Nick DePaula, both of Sole Collector, have chronicled LBJ’s signature sneakers since day 1. They obsessed over colorways, debated aesthetics, and, most important, gave every model a run on the court. For Sneaker Report, Nick and Zac take each to task (all sixteen) and rank the shoes based purely on playability.


RELATED: Ranking Every Air Jordan Based on Playability
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  • mike

    this has to be a joke right? The Lebron 9 Elite is ranked 10th, which is lower than the original 9 that had the worst flexibility and cushioning. Sneaker Report, please try not to sellout and associate yourself with depaula, whose basketball skills are mediocre at best.

    • NickDePaula

      Pick a court.

  • Sneaks

    Yea I have to agree these are rated ABSOLUTELY horribly. Only in terms of nostalgia can the 1 and 2 models beat out the 10 and 11 models, let alone be placed at number 1 and 2. The lebron 9, which I have played in and have had no memorable basketball experiences what so ever honestly, is ranked above the 11 which is an absolute performance machine. People who know sneakers all suddenly think they’re performance reviewers and honestly 9 out of 10 of them have probably never played above a high school level. That being said, I tend to just laugh at articles like these because of their extreme lack of credibility.

  • dom

    I would never say it’s the best shoe in the line, but the Lebron XI is by no means plagued by playability issues IMO — in fact I think the court feel and transition properties are excellent

  • LOVEtheXIV

    Lebron 5 is full length zoom. Not heel forefoot. But I absolutely agree with all these ratings. I’d rate the 9 elite higher.

  • mars

    does someone actually play in these b4 giving the ratings, this list is terrible…
    azg is by no means better than xi, the xi are one of the best ball shoes i have ever worn

  • Ljsnumber1fan

    I’m a lebron shoe fanatic and have been balling in them forever at all levels of the game… I have no problem putting the 1s and 2s up front… They were In fact amazing no matter what a lot of you say.. BUT, putting the 9 PS elite so far back is a disgrace. That shoe has become my favorite playing shoe of all time.. I found the 10s to be unplayable in and I remember my time in the 3s, 4s, 6s and 8s to be a whole lot better In performance than what is described here.. Then again I could be bias because all my life I have been a lebron junkie and have never played a game in a non lebron shoe in my life

  • dylan

    Is the is a joke? Theres no way the both version of the 9 are so far back. The 11 atthe 15 spot?!? This list must be a big joke

  • Daniel Dustin Manaligod

    *sigh* I’m facepalming here because of the utter stupidity and inconsistancy of solecollector’s performance reviews. So my suggestion here is, let Nightwing2303 or KickGenius do the playability ranks! Chris, Tre and J. Jones know what they’re talking about whenever they do performance tests

  • Will Thrill

    Well I have to say that the list will never meet everyone’s expectations but certain
    points were made that I agree with such as the 2 being the best..

    However, no need to argue, who cares really.
    My list is definitely different 2, 4, 3, 8, 11, 7 …

  • Benjamin Woo

    Didn’t the 2s have full length double stacked Zoom bags?

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