Decided to write a quick review on why the Lebron Soldier VI still remains in my top 5 despite being almost four years old. I stocked up when they hit clearance racks because I knew I found a near perfect shoe. 

Pros: traction, real Zoom, fit, support and stability, price

Cons: some deadspace on top forefoot, hard forefoot area can cause pain to big toe 

Best for: all positions 

Sizing: true to size 

Weight

  

So I had never weighed these until today and wow 13.5 oz. lighter than a lot of today’s shoes including the Curry Two, Rose 6, Lebron XIII, Soldier IX

Traction
So simple yet effective . Still one of the best patterns I’ve used and one of the reasons it remains in my top 5. 

  
Soft pliable rubber on this pattern doesn’t pick up dirt but just brushes it away. 

The heel doesn’t have the same pattern but I don’t stop and change directions with my heels and I’ve never had a problem.

  
Cushioning

If you’ve never experienced what Zoom is supposed to feel like, go find a pair of these. The Soldier IX does feel pretty good but these feel less “foamy” to me and just feel great. Firm yet bouncy in the heel and forefoot. The Soldier VII and VIII didn’t come close to this feeling.
Fit

I bought my normal sz 11 and these me perfectly with no movement side to side and a finger width at the toe. There is a little deadspace on top of the foot but I have never felt that deadspace on top of the foot hurts a shoe’s performance. 

  

No heel slippage at all 

  
The strap does help lock the ankle down but it isn’t the main component to locking in the foot. Most of the lock down comes from the lacing set up

 
 
 
The wrap around strap acts more like an enhancement to the lockdown whereas the straps on the IX are very important to how the shoe plays. 

The Soldier VI is made of mostly of Hyperfuse and some mesh, not the other way around like a lot of today’s shoes. It doesn’t feel plasticky like Nike’s lower end or older fuse models and only takes a few wears to break in. Nike removed some weight and retained strength  by cutting out sections of upper and overlaying it with mesh.
  

  
The only flaw with the materials is the hard toe box.

 
 I’ve lost one or two toe nails during tournament play when I stopped full speed and had my toe slam into the Fuse. It still looks like this. 

 You’re welcome, enjoy your dinner.

Support and stability
Support comes from the fit as well as its assymetrical ankle collar (eat your heart out AJ XXX). 

  
 It isn’t uber flexible like the Clutchfit Drive but it isn’t overly stiff either; it’s just right and does its job. Although there is a little midfoot shank, I do wish there was a little more midfoot support because over time I feel the shoe gets a little “saggy” in the middle as the midsole foam breaks down. 

Stabilty is excellent thanks to the forefoot outrigger and wide sole. 

  No tippiness in the heel either. I don’t think I’ve turned my ankle at all in these after three or four years of wearing them.

Containment

Lots of shoe companies have thrown this performance aspect at the wayside but the Lebron line has always been solid in this regard. 

  Containment is excellent on the Soldier VI due to the use of Hyperfuse, and a big footstay. If Nike would just use Fuse in the right places, mesh uppers would work for me. If I’m counting correctly, I count three to four layers.  

  1. Skeleton 
  2. Mesh
  3. Outer fuse 
  4. Fuse toe box has another layer 

Nowadays it seems like one layer all the same width and depth. 

 

Conclusion 

The Soldier VI takes a licking and just keeps on ticking. Every year I find one or two shoes that make my rotation but the Soldier manages to stay in my top 5 year after year. Sometimes it moves up because I realize it really has no weaknesses but it consistently just beats out the latest and greatest. I picked up a ton of these when they hit clearance shelves (I think I have 12-15 pair). I searched eBay a few times for friends and they are slowly becoming more and more scarce and closer to retail prices. Slightly used pairs go for sub 80 prices.   If you want an exceptional all around performer  for $130 or less, pick up the Soldier VI. 



26 Comment on “My top 5: Nike Lebron Soldier VI 6 Performance Review

  1. Pingback: My Current Top Ten | schwollo.com

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