Tiny changes actually helped this time 

 Although the Lebron XII featured the latest and greatest, I was not a fan of the shoe. Here is my review of the XII 

Lebron XII Review
The main issues I had with the shoe included its ankle collar and overall “shoeness” as it never felt natural to me. 

Here are the offficial changes per Nike:

  • The LeBron XII Elite Men’s Basketball Shoe is built for quicker, more physical post-season play with a redesigned upper that enhances lockdown and an extra Nike Zoom unit for added cushioning.
  • All-new Vertical Takeoff wings—super-strong “beams” that frame soft, protective Phylon foam—integrate with the laces and wrap your foot for extreme lockdown and lateral stability. The upper has less material than the LeBron 12, which gives it a lighter, stronger feel.
  • Five visible Nike Zoom units in the forefoot deliver ultra-responsive cushioning, and a maximum volume Nike Zoom unit in the heel provides excellent impact protection.

I have no idea why Nike says they added an extra Zoom unit because they didn’t. And I counted six units but the realized that the inside unit near the shank is just a hex shape piece of rubber with a hole to expose the shank.


Anyways onto the review


Exactly the same. Still can’t feel the Zoom in the forefoot and heel Zoom is nice although takes a little time to break in to feel response.


Exactly the same. Still good on clean courts, still not great on dusty floors.


So here is where there are some nor changes that were not mentioned by Nike but make a difference. First and foremost is the ankle collar. Nike Pro Combat has replaced the standard lining and although that’s not a huge change, the addition of extra coverage around the ankle is. 

As you can see Nike extended the foam collar to wrap around the sides and front about 1/2 inch more and this  makes a world of difference in eliminating dead space around the ankle collar (one of my original gripes).



Full coverage, no deadspace   

Above: I can get my finger in there. I tried forever to get Hyperposite collar to tie correctly and I couldn’t bc of the short foam ankle collar. The fit around the ankle reminds me a lot of the Lebron IX Elite due to the Pro Combat and overall shape/cut.

Another small change is how much glue was used on the megafuse or how much closer together and thinner the striations are. By doing so, the glue/Megafuse acts more like regular mesh but is still reinforced . Right when I took the shoe out of the box I noticed how much softer the upper felt. I thought maybe it was due to the heat of being outside on the porch but there is actually less glue overall to give it a more flexible/ pure mesh feel. During a game or after break in it won’t matter but it feels better right out of the box.


Nike also eliminated a row of laces and slanted the lace loops. Can’t really tell a difference but I’m guess the top loop was eliminated due to breakage like my original pair or to look cooler ? The top lace loop before the ankle collar is now Flywire rather than fuse (which is what broke on mine).  Lacing up the shoes is still difficult but the more open pattern let’s my fat fingers get in more easily.


Whoa Nike switched the side the swoosh is on! Performance benefit! 

The shoe fit the same overall but the lengthened and improved ankle collar really made the shoe fit better by eliminating that dead space around the ankle collar.


Nike replaced Hyperposite with TPU to make the shoe lighter by cutting out some of the TPU. I weighed the shoes and here are the results:


So there goes the lighter and stronger statement from Nike.  That’s a full 2 oz heavier between using TPU vs Hyperposite and that’s with cutouts to save weight. 

I can’t tell a difference between how the TPU and Hyperposite performed  on court at all. I could hardly discerne the difference when I bent wings with my hands either. At least we know that Hyperposite is indeed lighter than TPU now.  

Stability and support is the same as the regular XII which is one of the XII’s strong suits.


Same as the regular XII which is good not great. 


A $75 up charge for a cheaper and heavier swap of Hyperposite to TPU leaves a bad taste in my mouth. In my eyes TPU has always been a last resort type of material that shoe manufacturers use because it is cheap and durable, not “Elite”.  I do really like the improved fit at the ankle and the thinner glue but  not for $275. If you’re going to call a shoe Elite and charge exorbitant prices, at least make the changes substantial and worth the price. 

7 Comment on “Nike Lebron XII 12 Elite Performance Review and Comparison 

  1. Pingback: EntourageBBall Inc. presents: Sneaker-Lore | ENTOURAGE BASKETBALL INC.

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