Love him or hate him, it is more than safe to say that Lebron James is in the conversation for GOAT. I mean the guy averaged a triple double in the finals against the Warriors and we barely batted an eye. When phenomenal numbers becomes pedestrian, you need to appreciate it before it’s gone,  that’s all I’m saying. 
   One the other hand or foot,  his signature line has been more about showcasing Nike technology than creating an aesthetically pleasing shoe. Some of the shoes performed well on court but for the most part Lebron sneaker reception has been luke warm aside from the consumers buying the Lebron name. Despite rarely being in the mix for favorite or most memorable Lebron sneaker, the Lebron V performs very well on the court even if it’s weight was Cleveland Shaq-like. 

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

Cons: starts a little clunky but breaks in, more support than some may want, heavy

Best For: bigger players

Weight 


19 ounces in a size 11. Pretty much 5-6 ounces heavier than today’s average shoe. 

Traction


As I’ve I’ve said in past reviews, traction has never seemed to be a strength of the Lebron line but the V is an exception to the rule even if it’s not perfect. I’ll call this a sun ray pattern and it works well on clean and lightly dusty floors but still needs wiping on dusty floors. The rubber compound is soft and pliable while the blades are abundant. Overall though the pattern works well and is definitely one of the best of the  Lebron signature line. 

Cushioning
Legit Zoom! That’s all I want Nike. It isn’t super soft like the KD IX or Lebron X but it’s the feeling I associate with Zoom. I’ve read it’s full length Zoom and double stacked in the heel but it doesn’t feel like the double stacked Zoom to me. (Thanks to reader Danimal  for the correction). Doesn’t look like it either based on this video

Lebrons have always used a lot of cushioning. Have you ever seen what the Zoom looked like on the Lebron II? Amazing. That’s like two and half pairs of today’s shoes worth of Zoom. 

Thanks to my buddy Ben for the pic, I’ll fix them next time I see you. 

Fit


True to size although the V looks big on foot due to the endoskeleton design. I have my normal finger width at the toe box and as a wide footer, these fit great because Nike didn’t stray from what works. 

Lacing up the LBJ V reminds me a lot of how the HD 2016 just wraps up the foot and pulls the ankle back. In addition the strap adds some additional lockdown thanks to its placement right across the ankle. 

There is also plenty of padding in the heel to help with comfort and lockdown. 


Once laced and strapped, the V just doesn’t let go. Note to shoe companies, get the basics down first before venturing into new and “better”. 

Materials

Check out the quadruple stitching. Ah, when Nike really gave a sh*t about quality or at least the appearance of quality

PETA would highly disapprove of the suede and leather on the V. My sweat glands also disapproved due to being overworked. 
There is nowhere for heat to go except the tongue. I highly do not recommend wearing these outdoors in the hot sun unless you want your feet to melt off. If you want a luxurious feel, you use leather simple as that. If you disagree, let me know when mesh is an upgrade on a car. Ahhh the sweet smell of mesh. 

Support and Stability

Just plain fantastic, maybe even over done by a hair. The V feels a little clunky to start but once you get used to the feel, you can ball out without fear. The key design feature of the Lebron V is the Phyposite Skelton. 

Photo courtesy of Nikelebron.net

Rather than submerge the entire shoe in a Posite variant, Nike just made a skeleton to add strength and structure to the Lebron V.  You can literally see it from heel to toe.

All the white portions are Phyposite. 

Below: more Posite on the medial side that you can see connects to the lateral side. 


The foot just slides into the V and deep into the endoskeleton and really keeps the foot from moving around excessively. Some players will want more freedom and flexibility but for safety purposes the V is great. No issues at all with stability either due to a flat outsole. 

In addition to the skeleton, Nike added a carbon fiber shank for midfoot support. 

I can safely say the Lebron V is the antithesis to the Mamba Instinct in terms of support. Don’t buy a Prius to do the job of Ford F-150. As I work my way back, I plan on using these and the Curry 2 because I know I can trust them. 

Containment 

The Lebron signature line rarely disappoints here and the V is no different. There isn’t a need for any external raises midsole since the skelton keeps the foot in place on hard cuts. Lovely just lovely. 

Conclusion 

    I watch a lot of hoops and Lebron has done a lot of great things over the past fourteen years but I can’t remember a signature moment when he was wearing the V. I’m sure he did something monumental but the shoe itself gets lost in the shuffle of his sneaker hierarchy. What I do remember is these sitting on the Finishline clearance rack and still passing on them for $69 bucks. Even today these don’t go for much more than $125 on eBay deadstock. 

   Overall, I don’t feel the V gets the respect it deserves. I put the V at number two behind the II in terms of overall performance. Certain Lebrons do some things better but none really do everything well like the II and V. If you feel nostalgic or want a good performer that I guarantee that nobody else will wearing, scour eBay and get the Lebron V. 


17 Comment on “The Archive: Nike Zoom Lebron V Performance Review

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