Since the Soldier 12 launched I’ve been asked about reviewing it fairly constantly but my answer has always been the same “I’m going to wait until some good discounts”. And guess what, Nike had a end of season sale I got these for 80 bucks. I’m sure I could wait a little more but I think $80 is about my why not price.

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

Cons: straps come undone until schwollo’d (aka gerry rigged)

Best for: any position

Weight:

15.5 ounces

Average weight for a mid

Traction

So simple so effective.

Nice pliable rubber with a simple blade pattern just works on every surface with minimal wiping. The thing I like about this blade pattern is that the blades run perpendicular to desired movement (ie, the blades run more front to back on the lateral side to help with side to side movements while the majority of the blades run right to left)

One of the soldier’s best traction patterns in a few years (ix was up there too) in fact, although the XI was no slouch either.

Well done Nike!

Cushioning

Zoom in the forefoot and heel with less protrusion than the Soldier XI but still feels pretty good especially in the heel. Forefoot Zoom feel isn’t ultra springy since the protrusion has shrunken a bit (plus it’s bottom loaded) but it is adequate.

Heel Zoom is standard Soldier/Hyperdunk size and does a nice job. Nothing out of this world but feels good overall.

Thanks to good ol Fastpass you can see the difference between last year’s and this year’s Soldier. Right is Soldier 12

Heel

Forefoot

I was very surprised about the increased volume of the forefoot but it just comes to show you that the protrusion makes a difference in how it feels.

Overall, I’m happy with how the Soldier XII feels underfoot. It isn’t KD 9-11 good or Lebron 14-15 but it works and feels more than adequate.

Fit

True to size. Ahh so simple

Fit is very good overall with the Soldier XII without any heel slip or wide to side movement and no deadspace in the forefoot at all.

No laces again which I guess is the Soldier’s MO now.

The criss cross set up is similar to what you find on ankle braces like the Mcdavid or Zamst so it does a nice job cross right where it is supposed to to pull the ankle down and back.

Strap Velcro issues

The first few times I wore the XII I was POS bc it kept coming undone. You do have to pull hard on the straps to get maximum Velcro grip/surface area. The straps are slightly stretchy though so you should be able to get them across. After I figured this out and I could pull them across a little more I had no issues. Those with high insteps may have issues pulling them enough FYI

Of course if you do have trouble pulling all the way across, buy another set of Velcro and just stick it on top of the existing Velcro to improve its grip strength.

The upper part of the heel of the Soldier XII doesn’t really hug the ankle so it feels kind of like a low. Overall the fit was very good and excellent in the forefoot. Pull those straps tight to get it locked in.

Materials

Engineered circular knit upper for her pleasure

Fancy textile names and synthetic leather make and the Soldier feel and look like a premium shoe. Seriously the synthetic leather feels very premium and the knit looks very similar to Battleknit. Once again it’s a bang for the buck kind of thing with materials for me but it does look and feel nice.

Support and stability

Support is average with a pretty flexible sock like upper.

Midfoot support is good as well since I can’t bend it in half like a lot of today’s shoes.

Stability is great thanks to a flat outsole and less Zoom protrusion plus this outrigger of sorts

No rocking since the protrusions are pretty much gone too.

No issues at all here.

Containment

No issues here either just a nice raised midsole. Who would have thunk containment would be such a big deal…oh wait me

Good once again!

Conclusion

I know my review doesn’t sound super enthusiastic but it’s probably because it’s just more of the same year over year which is a good or bad thing depending on what you’re looking for. Newer almost never means better despite how it’s marketed to the consumer. No hype with the Soldier XII since Lebron didn’t pin a ball on the glass in the waning minutes of game 7.. he barely wore these if I’m not mistaken. But no hype is good because that means they are sitting and sitting means price cuts and price cuts makes happy consumers.

Overall the Soldier XII is an excellent shoe IF you can get the Velcro to stay and if you can’t just add extra strong velcro.

  • Great traction: yep. By far the most important aspect to me
  • Good cushioning: yep even though there are better set ups that might feel better underfoot this just plain works well
  • Good fit (if you get the Velcro set)
  • No support or stability issues
  • Great containment
  • Cheap thanks to discounts

If you want a shoe that does everything very well, this is your shoe. I think it does everything just as well or better (traction) than the Soldier XI but just barely. I’m on the fence about giving it a first team rating due to the Velcro issue that can arise for some but for me I just had to pull tighter to eliminate the problem. If not for that possible issue I’d give it a first team rating but for now I’m going to give it a second team rating.

24 Comment on “Nike Lebron Zoom Soldier XII Performance Analysis and Review

  1. Pingback: Nike Lebron XVI 16 Performance Analysis and Review | schwollo.com

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