Dec 4, 2004
very interested in these for ball. i wanna know for those who've balled in them already or for those who were involved in testing, how did these perform? how were they compared to the zoom 20.5.5?

interested in these categories:
comfort & fit
ankle support

any help would be greatly appreciated. =]
Team Philippines
Member #23
Hey pogibearx123;

I got the Soldiers yesterday, and played in them for 3-4 hours. The previous shoes I was playing in where the XXII's and the the LBJ IV's, can't compare them to the 20.5.5's cause I never had those.
I am a small forward, 1.85 and 78kg. We where playing inside, summer practice *(a couple of players from the Dutch-NBA, and mainly the dutch Develp-league).
Now on to the review;

comfort & fit:90%
The Soldiers' fit is 0.5 smaller, I wear 13 (XXII's / LBJ IV's), but the soldiers are a good fit at 13.5. They are a narrow shoe, which I personally love, because It feels tight around your mid-foot, and has good toe-cap space (XXII's don't have much toe-cap room).
The Soldiers' comfort is very good straight out of the box, still will need at least 2-3 days of breaking them in.

The cushioning on the Soldiers was excellent as far as I am concerned, it gives you really good court feel, and still provides more then enough impact absorption (at least at my position). Its a bit harder then the LBJ IV's and a bit softer then the XXII's.

traction120%ed playing, and most of the players did fall cause of that. I was gonna slip on one of the fast breaks, but the shoe really didn't allow that. traction is far superior to the XXII's. (can't really recall the LBJ IV's traction)

ankle support??%
This one is tricky, I tried to lace the up in several different ways, but at no point did it feel like it mattered much, the mid foot is locked down, but the top / ankle part feels free, as a guard you can move your ankle freely, which is great. I still have to get used to it though, and I'll update this part again cause I am not sure.
Thanks a lot for the review faithlesshox! Any other review comparing the Soldier to the 20-5-5 would be appreciated!
awesome review. thanks for taking the time to write that down and for being willing to update the ankle support department, as this, along with cushioning, is my main concern.

keep the reviews coming, they're much appreciated.
Team Philippines
Member #23
great review :D

ill be looking to pick these up.
the ankle support is similar in aspect to the 20.5.5, and the cushioning is similar as well. they fit true to size for me, but i don't really like the laces since they feel thin
So after having played in my little soldiers for 10-12hours now, I am gonna update my review. But first pictures of my size 13.5 Soldiers, once they are broken in:

As for the review, I am sticking to my original review. Once you figure out the right lacing way for you, the shoe will fit tightly. And the wear and creasing seem pretty minimalistic over the first wears, so I am still very happy with this shoe,

One big plus point, its a light shoe, even if it doesn't look like it.
They are too narrow for my wide feet and the ankle is not that great . I need a shoes that has good toe spaces like the ZKII. So i give these 8/10. There are much better shoes for that price.
the bottom of the outsole looks like a cross between the ZK1 and ZKII.
That's a great colorway.
Let's hope we make the most of this Warrior's offseason!​
sexy shoe, best lebron out..
how do they fit? true to size or what?
faithlesshox, your input, now!
Definitely true to size. The toe box isn't very roomy, but that's fine for me. I don't have wide feet, and if I did I wouldn't even consider these. They are pretty narrow at the forefoot, especially with the strap.

First thing I noticed was how narrow it was, and how the heel feels higher off the ground than the forefoot. Kind of like a slope. Nothing that would turn me off of the shoe, but I liked the Kobe II's court feel better.

Typical zoom air cushioning, I don't think it's anything remotely like the 20-5-5's, not that it's good or bad, but different.
First thing I noticed was how narrow it was, and how the heel feels higher off the ground than the forefoot. Kind of like a slope

thats because the heel has a double stacked zoom air i believe and the forefoot has a regular zoom air unit in it. just a thought on why you may feel that way.
1. They fit true to size for me. As it's been said before they are narrow, but the middle strap adds awesome lockdown.

2. They are very light!!! People consider ZKII ultralight, however, according to eastbay Kobes weight 16.8 oz. and Soldiers Wt. 16.4 oz. check out:
Lewis - Scott - Stills - Suggs - Reed - Landry - McAlister - Rolle - Pryce - Ngata - Johnson​
I'm pretty sure there's no double stacked zoom anywhere in the shoe.

That would bring the price up significantly from $110. It's just the design of the shoe.

After playing in them again, I'm actually starting to really like them. I just don't like them for casual use, but no bball shoe should be used for casual purposes anyway. They're great, really light, slim and snug. Cushioning is great and so is traction. Flexibility is also a strong point, contrary to it's appearance it's actually a very flexible shoe.

I've only played in these, the IV's and II's. I'd rank these as the best out of those, with the II's close behind and the IV's nowhere near either of them. I like the LBII Lows a lot for indoor ball, but I'd take the Soldiers over all of them.
worthless shoe. what are the straps for? can't tighten the top unless you want to cut off the circulation. stick with the jordans, must better in fit and quality.
^That statement reminds me of this:

There was a Simpsons episode where the town of Springfield re-enacts the Civil War.

Homer asks Apu (Kwik-E Mart) if he wants to join because they need Indians for the battle.

Apu responds by saying he doesn't know which part of that statement to correct first.
From my experience:

1) This shoe is pretty narrow compared to other shoes. Feels good for me because I don't have wide feet, very comfortable.
2) Great cushioning, again very comfortable. The Zoom Air in the heel and forefoot feel very responsive to me.
3) Doesn't take a long time to break in. Like faithlesshox said, maybe a few games/days. Not too long at all. They already feel comfortable out of the box though.
4) The mid-foot strap gives me very good lockdown. I don't get any side-to-side movement compared to other shoes, and my toes don't jam on the front on very hard stops.
5) Traction is amazing, really great traction, similar to the 20-5-5. This shoe works great for outdoors as well. I played a few games and it is a really durable shoe (thought I use it indoors now)
6) Looks heavier than it really is, but it's very light (16.4 oz)

1) The back strap that goes behind the heel doesn't do anything for me at all, no matter what I do to it, it feels the same.
2) Ankle protection is need to know how you want to lace it up depending on how much protection you need. For me, I laced up the front 3 holes, and it gives me pretty good ankle protection. I don't need that much since I play the 2. If I do need to loosen up though, I just do the front 2 holes for less protection (better for guards)
3) Not applicable for all pairs, but some do have stitching problems near the LBJ23 Logo in the middle, I think there's a thread about that issue. If you get a good pair though, no worries. Mine has a little problem, but very minor and doesn't affect anything at all.
4) Not for all people with wide feet.

So that's it for me. To me, it's a really great shoe that's easy to break in, very comfortable if your feet aren't wide. Amazing traction. Durable, both outdoors and indoors. Low-cut socks feel fine with this shoe as well.
^^^the ankle strap seems to be for added support. the shoe seems alot less stable with the shoe undone in certain colorways like the black/gold, which doesnt have a leather upper.
Alright, how does this shoe fit for you guys. The Lebron IV i wear a size 9, and the 9.5 in the soldiers just seem really tight in the toe box, so i'm thinking of getting a 10, because it was much more comfortable out of the box.

What is your sizes in the Lebron IV's and the Soldiers, thanks.
It's true to size for those with narrow feet and for most with normal feet, definitely small for wide footed people!
Personally, I wear a sz 11.5 on the ZLIV and 12 on the Soldiers. The Soldiers fit tight which I personally love!
Top Bottom