Review Request: Zoom LeBron III Wht/Blk/Var Crimsn

Joined Jun 22, 2000
Please provide an in depth review of this shoe and try to follow the template we have posted in the sticky or create your own.

The better your review the better the thread will be when we eventually archive it.

In addition to providing a review, please vote on how many stars you'd give this particular shoe with five stars being the best and one star the worst.

Thanks in advance to whomever provides us with reviews.
[hr][/hr] Questions or comments regarding the board, another user, or any moderating I do should be directed to my ezInbox, found in my profile, because I rarely subscribe to threads.
Joined Nov 5, 2005
the Zoom Lebron III. the third installment of lebrons new shoe does a great job in showing the balance of modern technology and high design especially in its first colorway of white/black/varsity crimson. at first glance the shoes may remind you of another certain classic, the Air Jordan 11 but does it perform like it? as soon as you put your foot in the shoe, you are locked in and ready to go to work on the hardwood just as LBJ would. make sure to try on the shoe first because the shoe tends to be on the narrow side this year so my people with larger size feet might wanna step up a half size or so. now the shoe may seem uhhh............bulky or clunky at a glance but once you start actually making cuts and running in them they are very light with very responsive cushioning(after a light wear or two). the traction on the Lebron III is the best yet from his line. the outsole does a great job of not picking up dirt which would hence affect traction. you wont be afraid to make those quick backdoor cuts to the rim with the great ankle support that this shoe offers you. one thing i did notice about the shoe is breathablilty. the shoe IMO did tend to get on the warm side, at least warmer then usual for the lebron shoe line so do take note of that. also, chaffing maybe a problem if your not wearing higher cut socks. just above the achilles should be fine, no need for bill walton tube socks. this is why i think long term comfort maybe an issue for this shoe but shouldnt affect everyone that wears it, more for people with wider feet.
SIZING-sz14; narrow feet should run true, wider feet should try at least a half size up.
WEIGHT/POSITION-very light shoe that can be worn for all positions
Joined Dec 1, 2005
My main problem with this shoe is that they are way to stiff to play in. The complete sole feels like one big piece of rubber. I therefor find these shoes better for show then basketball. I personally prefer the 2k5.
Joined Dec 4, 2005
Quote:[hr][/hr]that they are way to stiff to play in[hr][/hr]
once there broken in, there a great basketball shoe. every shoe is different as far as "out of the box" performance, it just takes a couple of wears to get the stiffness out of the shoes.
Joined Sep 9, 2005
will the leather tab around the upper ankle rip/tear off? looks like it might over time.
Joined Sep 29, 2003
I DONT UNDERSTAND why they would make a shoe that was 9 feet off the ground. Who the hell wants a basketball shoe where you feel diconnected from the court, and know traction, THAT IS UN-ACCEPTABLE for a signature, HEY NIKE NOT EVERYONE PLAYS ON A NBA CLEAN COURT. MAKE SHOES WITH GOOD TRACTION.

b1lly hoyle

Joined Jan 23, 2005
Nike Zoom Lebron III

What size do you wear in the shoe you are reviewing? Other shoes? Do you believe that the shoe is true to size, runs small, runs big etc.
I am naturally a 13.5, but am forced to buy 14 nearly for every pair I play in simply because of availability. However, I was fortunate enough to find a 13.5 on these, and they fit exactly true to size. My Lebron IIs were sz. 14, and those felt just right and fit a half size small. Size wise, the III is true to size.

Is the shoe narrow or wide?
I was very surprised how much more narrow this shoe felt than the II and even the Generation. The reduced room at the toebox can cause a cramped feel for some, and coupled with the lack of a pronounced outrigger or as wide of a base as the IIs, side-to-side stability is definitely lacking compared to its predecessors. I'd def. suggest trying them on in-store before purchasing, as the room may be a large factor for those with feet on the wide size.

In regards to fit, another thing I immediately noticed is how stiff the upper seems. This holds the foot in place, but i litterally had to forcefully pull on the laces to get a tight fit, and even then the laces would come undone time and time again. This would cause a little slippage every now and then from side to side around the ankle area as i couldn't get a real locked down feel for more than 30 minutes at a time. Yes, I indeed double knotted them, but still the laces managed to loosen up on me.

Immediately on the court these felt great. Both the heel and forefoot zoom air bags are tuned to be more responsive than the IIs and its easily noticeable right when you lace them up. The shoe also features a sphere liner around the ankle, and although it is not used full-length as in the AZG, the liner still provides great padding and comfort against your feet, and there is a soft neoprene (i think?) liner that extends to the toe box..

Ankle Support
This shoe is a little tricky in this department. The III provides by far the highest cut of Lebrons three shoes, but unfortunately imo has the worst base and side-to-side support, with a need for a more defined outrigger. I came down on a rebound and turned my right ankle on what seemingly was a normal landing, it's just the shoe couldn't withstand the pressure on the lateral side of the shoe and tipped over. The ankle area extends pretty highly, and Id STRONGLY suggest wearing a higher-cut sock, as the top cross-piece of leather could possibly dig into your ankle, or rub and cause irritation. In the four times I played in them I didnt feel much pain, but my roommate immediately mentioned it as being a problem and had some visible rubbing on his ankle after playing in them.

The zoom air units are very responsive, and its going to take a few more weeks of wearings to determine if the units will be more durable than the II, as some have complained that the BronII zoom air bottoms out prematurely. Under high impact, the heel provided great cushion and the forefoot zoom air is far more responsive than the II. The carbon spring plate is also effective, though the transition of the shoe doesnt seem to be as smooth as the AZG.

I was real pleased with the traction, as it was along the lines of the AZG and II in being superior than most other shoes available today. The non-traditional design still performed great, and even on a dusty floor that I played on if you simply swipe the bottom of your shoes once every 10-20 minutes the grip is outstanding. I'd say the III has the best traction thus far in the Lebron line, and I thought the first two were outstanding as well.

I generally play 1-3 position-wise. Im 63, 185 lbs, and love to shoot the 3, slash and drive, and run the break and dish. For an active guy like myself, the cut of the shoe was a little restrictive, as I dont have terribly weak ankles and the support seemed to be a little too much. The AZG seemed to be more of a guard oriented shoe, while the Lebron II were great for a wide range of players, and the III seems to be more narrowed in on providing the best shoe for Lebron specifically and not as much the general public. The height of the shoe will protect a big man like Lebron, and the responsiveness of the zoom air will help propel a guard and active players (like Lebron as well pretty much damn that guy. :lol:
). If you normally lean toward better transition, less restriction, and still want great cushioning, go with the AZG, I myself have 5 pairs of the black/white colorway. If you want a little more ankle support and great side-to-side stability, Lebron II is for you. For the Lebron III, you'll be getting much more in the ankle support dept. if you can keep the laces under control, and you'll also get more responsivenes at the expense of some transition, freedom, and weight.

Overall, I was pretty pleased with the performance and the zoom air felt awesome right away. The III improves on the responsiveness of the II and the ankle support of both the AZG and II, but if youre a smaller guard or simply someone who prefers a less restrictive upper (like myself), than the higher cut may seem unnecessary and an annoyance.

Also a major problem of the shoe is a result of the more heavy duty upper: The Weight. The shoe is far heavier than the II and considerably heavier than the AZG. Im not sure on specific weights but according to Eastbay, the III is 17.8 oz., and I wanna say the II is two ounces lighter and the AZG a full 3.5-4 ounces lighter. This added weight may also deter the more active guards out there from buying the III. After about 10-20 minutes of playing I didnt notice the added weight as much, as the responsiveness of the zoom air helped to alleviate the weight problem and because of the shoes solid transition it was less noticeable. The BronIII may look clunky at first, and the flat outsole may not be very convincing, but heel-toe-transition was very above average, and as I often take outlet passes off rebounds to run a fast-break, the III flowed smoothly down court.


Comfort & Fit : 4/5 (get those laces tied tightly, higher socks needed, toe box a little snug)
Cushioning: 5/5 (zoom air is nuts)
Ankle Support: 4.5/5 (height is high, but laces loosen up to compromise fit and the shoe may tip on you on a sharp landing.)
Traction: 5/5 (outstanding)

Overall: 4.5/5

While I loved the responsiveness and grip of the III, I'd still say I prefer the transition and lower-cut of the AZG. I'm kinda torn between the II and III, because the II fits like a glove and feels great out of the box, it's just that they bottom out a little sooner. If the III had a slightly lower cut and marginally wider toe box and base, I'd be all over them, but for now I'll stick to the trusty AZG's in the long run.

If you play the 3-5, you'll really like these and the support they offer along with the responsiveness that hasn't really been offered in a big man's shoe (much thanks to zoommax). If you're a more active 3 the cut may be a little too much for you, but they're def. worth a try regardless.

This is my first in-depth review, and I'm sure I missed all kinds of aspects of the shoe, so if you have a specific or general question or have played in the III, feel free to ask away or comment!

Thanks for reading,


b1lly hoyle

Joined Jan 23, 2005
^ Yep. I'm the same way, although the III is just an improved in every aspect version of the II with more ankle support and added weight.

The AZG isn't really simlar to the II or III.
Joined Apr 6, 2005
worn them about 10 times, ball and chillin.

comfort is great, inner lining is super. a lot of people seemed to have problems with wearing low socks and getting schaffed. i have worn low socks everytime and there hasn't been a problem. the top support strap never came close enough to cause any discomfort. the extra flexability under the forefoot was quite noticeable and greatly appreciated. the build quality is really a high point on these

not as snug as the 2's which makes them good to chill in but i really couldn't get the tight fit i like for my ball shoes. also the laces would always be A LOT looser by about 5-10 mins into the run. and on the white/black/varsity crimson colourway the tounge slipped beneath the top row of laces everytime i wore them. (i just got the east regionals and the tounge is noticeably longer so that problem looks to be solved.)

the cushioning is AWESOME. maybe the best i've ever experienced in a hoops shoe. right up there with my personal faves (shox vc 2, and lbj2) in general the feel in transition and overall movement was buttery smooth. howeverthe extra large heel counter was sort of a hidderance on a few occassions as it seemed to restrict my ability to quickly move and adjust in a certain direction. this was not a huge problem as it didn't happen very often. also on occasion it felt as if the shoe had a tendancy to tip a little bit. the shoe never once went over, but i did get that feeling a few times.

apparently they are the heaviest in the lbj line so far but i didn't notice and they dont feel heavy on your feet. im a point guard and i like to get to the bucket and they never weighed me down. (although i usually pick well cushioned shoes with disregard to weight. some of my past ball shoes include shox vc2, signature players and air zoom gp 3, all of which are quite heavy)

overall i think this is a fantastic shoe. and tho i will probably stick to my Lebron 2's for ball, i will be wearing the 3's everywhere else i go. awesome with some jeans as well. i just cant seem to take these shoes off of my feet. just fun to wear.

comfort 10/10
fit 7/10
cushioning 10/10
feel oncourt 7/10

the style, comfort an cushioning of this shoe far outweigh the downsides. as far as im concerned this shoe is a 10

Nascar,and Poker ARE NOT SPORTS!!!
Joined Aug 13, 2005
i placed my vote in the poll

then i gave my in depth was a long post :\
but i didnt realize it took me to the damn "Review Archive" forum where this post also is at. only 'mods and admins' can post in that thread so my whole post got lost. :rolleyes


to sum up


probably as good as the azg and better than the 2s

im 6'4 215, play the 3-5 and im really good (like t-mac + diaw, odom)


Joined Aug 6, 2004
Quote:[hr][/hr]The ankle area extends pretty highly, and Id STRONGLY suggest wearing a higher-cut sock, as the top cross-piece of leather could possibly dig into your ankle, or rub and cause irritation. In the four times I played in them I didnt feel much pain, but my roommate immediately mentioned it as being a problem and had some visible rubbing on his ankle after playing in them.[hr][/hr]
This is a real problem with these shoes for me. The joint between my ankle and foot seems to be to low for me to run in such a high shoe. The top brace on the heel of the LeBron III seems unnecessary and creates an overly strong heel base. If I am unable to break the strength of the heel down I will probably go back to my AZL II's for normal basketball and switch to another shoe for serious play.
Joined Nov 26, 2002
am I the only guy here who prefers Lebron II over Lebron III in terms of the performance?

the III's are awesome but they are too high for my taste.....and I have some problems lacing them tightly to fit well......I could feel some movement within the shoes, it's not a big problem but it's annoying.....

I also thought the traction is a bit better on the II's as well.

Joined Jun 11, 2001
i heard they are on the heavy side...comparing to the VC 1 which one is heavier or are they similar?
Joined Apr 4, 2004
the toebox is pretty tight

i tried on the size 12 at footlocker and i had to go a full size up (no size 12.5) but im thinking about trying to get the 12s again but im not sure
Joined Oct 13, 2003
I cant seem to get my lebrons 3s tight...the toebox feels too roomy because i cant tie em tight...anyone have any tips???
Joined Feb 6, 2003
My main problem with them is the fact that they made the last lace hole higher than the height of the tongue. During play, the tongue would slide down and the lace knot would be rubbing against just your leg...kind of annoying. Wonder why they didn't notice this problem during wear tests... >:

"If you don't believe in yourself, no one else will." ...Kobe Bryant
Joined Apr 6, 2005
^ the tounge is a fair bit higher on the other colourways, only the flagship colour has the short tounge. they must have noticed the problem after the original colourway was already in production.
Nascar,and Poker ARE NOT SPORTS!!!
Joined Feb 6, 2003
^ OMG....I can't believe that....stupid NONE of the wear testers figured that out during the testing period?? How can they do that on their FLAGSHIP model??? >:

"If you don't believe in yourself, no one else will." ...Kobe Bryant
Joined Jun 11, 2001
tried the east in store today. length is good..feel kinda hard do have court feel. The down side is the front area near the toes of my feet feel roomy even i tightened the laces.
Joined Jan 4, 2005
The shoe itself feels like a snowboarding boot I'm sorry to say. But, I love the look of the shoe and the first colorway is the best IMO at this time. Although, I just got the AS editions so I'm waiting to see how they look in person. I think that the shoe would feel more secure around my ankle if I wore an ankle brace. But, the shoe itself has great ankle support. I haven't balled in them yet but I will report back when I finally do.
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Joined Jul 25, 2000
Yea i love the look of this shoe,but the lacing system completely ruins wearing the shoe for basketball
click-a-ty clank, click-a-ty clank, our money goes into Nike's piggy-bank.
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