Since nothing is really interesting right now I decided to go back and review the Lebron IV when Lebron and Cavs were made it to the finals in the 2006-2007 season. Here are Nike’s tech specs: 

Nike Zoom Lebron IV Men’s Basketball Shoe by Nike is built for the next generation of player and is loaded with ultra-progressive features. Slow-recovery memory foam in the upper collar for the perfect balance between flexibility and support Full-length TPU plate in the midsole for torsional support during quick lateral movements Foamposite technology in an integrated upper/midsole delivers seamless comfort and support Full-length Zoom Air unit provides the ultimate responsive ride Clear outsole with solid rubber herringbone pods delivers the best in on-court traction


Pros: traction, plush cushioning, support and stability, containment 

Cons: HEAVY, too plush for my taste, clunky, sum of parts not as good as individual aspects 

Sizing: go down half a size

Best for: big guards or bigs, too much shoe for most

Weight: 

19.5 oz. or basically double the weight of the Kobe VI. Usually I don’t gripe about weight but the combo of Posite and this weight didn’t work for me. I love the Lebron II and it weighs 21 Oz! 

Traction 

Full length herringbone equates to excellent traction on all surfaces. You can see they segmented the sole to allow for a little more flexibility. I say a little because there is a 3/4 length shank so you aren’t getting Crazy Quick  flexibility. 

No story telling equals excellent traction on clean and dusty floors with minimal wiping. 

Keep it simple Nike! 

Cushioning 

There is such thing as too much of a good thing 


Full length Zoom encased in a thick foam drop in insole.  Very reminiscent of the Lebron XI insole but with the Zoom being top loaded instead.


Having the Zoom on top let’s the player feel the Zoom more but the foam below is soft and it creates some lag on quick movements.  Some people love this cushioning set up and I think it feels great underfoot but in this shoe, it makes a clunky shoe feel even slower. 

*and yes I get the insole pinching between the upper but not too bad in this shoe*

If you like cushioning, you’ll love this set up though. I haven’t really swapped these out with other shoes although I really should. 

 
Fit

When I initially bought these back in 2007, I went with my normal size 11 and I immediately returned them for a 10.5. These fit long, no two ways about it. Even half a size down, the shoe still looks long even though it isn’t. The Foamposite is very thick so it makes the shoe look huge even though the thickness of the Posite tightens up the toe box. If you like a tighter fit go a full size down.

The LBJ IV features and full length inner sleeve

The story of the upper is obviously the full Foamposite upper.

Foamposite is the same material  as what was found on, well.. the Foamposite One.  It is heavier and thicker than the Hyperposite you can find on today’s shoes. I think part of the problem comes from having a conforming, flexible inner sleeve and a hard stiff Foamposite upper. The inner sleeve works great on the Hyperrev 2015 but the entire upper is flexible so they work in tandem. 


With the LBJ IV, the sleeve and upper just dont match up well as one is a soft sock and the other is a hard shell. Nike did make the upper a little more flexible with the grooves so the upper bends naturally.

The lacing set up also adds to disconnect of the shoe. Firstly, the lace set up is hard to lace up and tightly because you have to put your fingers in between these. Secondly if you’re going to use Foamposite, the shoe better sit on your foot like a second skin (think the original Flightposite). With the hidden lace loops and the “bridges”, the upper can’t be pulled all the way down to the top of the foot. I think if the set up were traditional and there were no “bridges” the fit would have been a lot better.
Thankfully the real MVP of the fit for the LbJ IV is the ankle strap. It really does a good job pulling and locking  the heel in place and gives some one to oneness to the shoe.



Overall, the fit is good in terms of no space side to side or heel slipping but the shoe doesn’t feel like one with the foot. 

Support and Stability

As always, the Lebron IV does a good job with support and stability. The Posite is stronger and stiffer than most uppers.

One of the best support features of the IV is the huge foot bucket. It looks like an extra layer of Posite but it is just a separate thicker  piece fused to the rest of the upper.  It’s nice and protective but not really necessary in my opinion especially when the entire upper is already Foamposite. Modern applications of Posite like the Lebron XII make a lot more sense where Posite is only placed where necessary. 

Of course I can’t forget about the 3/4 carbon fiber shank


Combine the shanks and the nice flat outsole and you have a nice stable ride with no tippiness. 

Containment 

I really don’t need to say a word about containment just look at this


In addition the “bridges” between the lateral and medial side provide additional support by not letting the lateral side flex as much. 

Well done Nike!
Conclusion 

The Lebron IV is a lot of shoe. I never got a one to one feel with the shoe and that’s a very bad thing when the shoe weighs 19.5 oz. I usually don’t complain about the weight of a shoe but  it’s a lot of weight for a shoe that doesn’t feel like an extension of your foot.  Despite weighing almost 3 oz more, the Lebron II has that one to one feeling we are all looking for. The blend of leather and mesh made for a perfect fit while the Foamposite upper of the IV is just too much. 

I think less mobile players or players looking for more cushioning will enjoy the IV. I’m hanging on to these because I know  eventually when my body really starts to break down and my speed says bye bye, this is what I’ll reach for to keep playing. 

10 Comment on “The Archive: Nike Zoom Lebron IV 4 Performance Review

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