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Pros - Traction, Support, Overall Comfort
US retail: $200
Canadian retail: $259.99
Weight: 14.06 Oz
Height : 6 foot 2 inches
Weight: 195 lbs
Position 2 or 3
Hrs tested : 30 hours
Size: 10 (please note I usually wear a size 10.5-11 and I was very surprised that 10.5 was too roomy in the forefoot of these....)
Previous ball shoes : Nike Zoom BB, Jordan 28, Jordan 28 SE, Nike Zoom Kobe IV, Nike Zoom Kobe V, Air Jordan 29, Kobe X.
Traction on the LeBron 13 was great. I usually play on semi-clean to dusty floors and the traction on these held up great. Visually when I picked these up I didn't think they would be anything like my Kobe 10's, Jordan 28 or 29s...to my surprise these were at par with those imo (well not as good as the 28..but close). The zoom pods have multi-directional patterns on them which make for great grip on nearly any surface, it didn't matter how I wanted to cut...these held me down with minimal in game wiping! Whether your a slasher making hard cuts every time down the floor or a spot up shooter coming hard off screens you won't have an issue in the traction department because its very reliable.
Cushion is usually at the top of my list in regards to purchasing new ball shoes. These didn't stray far from last years LeBron 12s set-up. I have played in zoom ball shoes dating back to the original Jordan 12s and GP Gloves so it has been hard for me to play in anything but zoom. These don't disappoint. Last year with the LeBron 12's I felt like the heel to toe transition was very poor as the Heel zoom bag was overly large (met with posite that disturbed heel cushion) and the forefoot had multiple ( too many IMO) zoom bags that I could'nt even feel most of the time. Nike hit the nail on the head with the LeBron 13 cushioning by having a large 13mm zoom bag in the heel and one in the forefoot along with two smaller zoom bags. The large forefoot zoom bag reminded me of the Jordan 28 and 29 unlocked zoom...you can really feel that bounce in every step.
Ventilation on the LeBron 13 isn't anything to write home about. With a predominantly mesh/hyper-fuse and posite one piece upper these offer just enough ventilation to not make my feet sweat like the Jordan 28s. I found that my socks were the most dry near the tongue of the shoe as where this is where there is mesh that isn't backed by fuse. Again this isn't the shoes best attribute but neither its worst.
When I first tried these on the fuse near the toe box was very uncomfortable and stiff but after every wear these became increasingly more and more comfortable!
The LeBron 13 offers absolutely fantastic support once broken in. The shoe has a one piece booty style upper that is predominately mesh backed with fuse. There is targeted Posite on the upper that offers additional support through no stretch zones targeted on the top of the foot along with a large portion near the ankle that I found to add additional support once the shoe was laced up tight . The Posite and fuse located near the toe box offered great support and lockdown while making sharp cuts these targeted areas added the lateral support where needed. The plastic midfoot plate adds rigidity to a shoe that is built for a freak of nature, you can bet your money that your foot will have the necessary support there too. I almost forgot that these have dynamic flywire! The flywire on these run all the way down to the foot bed and offer great mid-foot support while harnessing your foot into place.
These shoes fit a little large IMO. I wear a 10.5 in all my on court basketball shoes and I had to go down to a size 10 for these. Once broken in and the upper softens up these are an absolute pleasure to play in. The mesh, fuse and posite combo offers a great fit all the while making these the lightest Lebrons to date at 14.06 Oz.
I would recommend these to anyone from 1-5 . If you can bite the bullet and pay $200 US (or $260 for us Canadians) then do it, the technology packed into this shoe is excellent offering a ton of cushion, support & traction. With the fit and amazing forefoot & heel zoom these are easily my go to shoe and have made me toss my Kobe 10s to the side for now. With the release of more colourways in the coming months these should be an easy grab if you run to your local shop.
OVERALL RATING 9.1/10