Nike Lebron XVI 16 Performance Analysis and Review
Yes I know the Lebron XVI was released ten or eleven days ago but sometimes a shoe doesn’t need three weeks of break in time to get everything working correctly. I do want to note that my pair had some broken Zoom fibers which I can honestly say I’ve never seen but it didn’t affect the cushioning at all.
Maybe I’ve just been eating too much ????????♂️
Pros : much improved traction, same cushioning, maybe a touch lower and firmer, fit, improved stabilty and containment
Cons : still rides high, some heel slip to start
Sizing advice : true to size or whatever you got in the XV
Best for : Players wanting maximum balanced cushioning, bigger guards-bigs
Buying advice: hypebeasts will go nuts for these since Bron is in LA but players should still wait. $185 is the priciest bball shoe out there due to the Nike and Lebron name. $150 or less is fair $80-95 is around the bottom.
I could care less about the weight and at 18.5 ounces the XVI is a chunker even for a mid . Most mids weigh around 15 ounces while lows average about 13.5-14 ounces. Hit the gym kids if you can’t handle a few extra ounces.
Easily the most improved area from the XV to the XVI. The XVI incorporates a pattern very very similar to the Soldier XII which coincidently I reviewed last month. It isn’t quite as thin and pliable like the Soldier XII but it works well, far better than the XV.
The rubber used on the XVI is softISH but the blades are thicker than what the Soldier XII used so it doesn’t bite or brush quite as well. You also have to break in the traction a few hours especially in the forefoot to get better bite but it doesn’t take long. Some occasional wiping is needed on dusty floors as well but not often. Easily the most improved part of the shoe from the XV and it’s the best traction on a Lebron sig since the X.
These started out a stiffer than the XV but broke in within a few hours to give a very similar albeit still a little stiffer ride to the XV. If you loved the cushioning on the XV you’ll love these.
Both the XV and XVI ride fairly high so if you prefer a lower ride don’t buy these. Last year’s XV rode very high so at least these are back down to Lebron X range.
These still sit around 25-26 mm on the forefoot and 30-31 in the heel which is a good 3-4mm lower than last years so if you like Kobe or Curry low to the ground these are not for you. I personally like them lower but it’s all preference and there is no right or wrong answer here. One of the best players I know who is an ultra shifty guard, Lifetime Fitness Ultimate Hoops MVP, semi pro MVP and one man wrecking crew loves his XV’s so just comes to show you it ain’t the shoes.
Zoom done right is a perfect balance of impact protection and responsiveness and well, that’s what you get with the XV and now XVI.
I went true to size with the XV and I went tts with the XVI as well . I tried on half a size down as well but I just preferred true to size. I’ve said it many times before but you can fit more than one size so experiment with each shoe if you can.
Notice how the “tongue” pulls up for easier access. I’ve never had issues putting one piece shoes on but this should help those who do.
No deadspace at all in the toe box for my fat feet but I did have a little heel slip in my left shoe the first few nights in the XVI. I decided to use the lower eyelets to help and it really worked since it is lower and further back. HOWEVER, it is a pain in the as* to do it because there is glue inside and between the holes so it took a solid ten minutes to relace just the top eyelets! Maybe arthritis is setting in but it was difficult and made the Harden V1 relacing seem easy. Let’s just hope Nike doesn’t call extra eyelets something like “lace customization technology” #marketing
Here you can see how far back the eyelets are set up a standard Kobe VI
This is how you accelerate break in time
What was really affecting the heel fit was the stiffness of the midsole out of the box. It really wants to stay straight but if you bend them like I do with a lot of shoes, it helps soften up the foam so it conforms to your foot much faster. Once again this is a mid called a low so heel slip really shouldn’t be an issue.
Overall the fit was very good but the heel took some time to break in. After break in, it felt a lot like the Hyperrev 2016 heel where it’s locked in but just feels kind of “floaty”. Very similar design in terms of how the padding is set up around the Achilles.
If you don’t like the feeling, go find a Kobe or another shoe but it just takes some time to get used to it.
I think shoe companies and so called shoe experts are finally realizing that softer and stretchier doesn’t equal better. Nike’s Battleknit 1.0 was soft with more reinforcement than previous Flyknit applications.
Knit 2.0 feels like it’s backed by a thicker backing but remains flexible but with less stretch. It wouldn’t shock me if it’s the same type of fuse used on the Lebron X but covered in knit. I really like how these were done and feel nice to the touch. Flyknit really allows a lot more texture and color blocking that mesh doesn’t allow. That’s the main benefit of Flyknit…well that and higher profit margins.
The NBA has gone postionless and so have the shoes.
We now have mids called lows and lows called mids . These are lower tops not low tops but are higher than my Soldier VI. The only difference is how the slope of the shoe is more gradual. Whatever
Regardless of nomenclature, support is minimal and comes from the heel counter and fit just like the XV.
Stability drastically improved just by adding a tiny outriggers along the entire lateral side.
I didn’t worry about tippiness at all because those little millimeters added a lot of extra stability. Thanks Nike, no consulting fee this time around.
Actually it’s a combination of the large heel counter, thicker Battleknit and the raised portion of the toe. No issues here
Maybe Nike and Lebron visit my site after all haha. I’m not that egotistical nor do I care but everything I didn’t like about the XV was fixed. Better traction, better stability and containment. Hell, next thing you know, a leather hole puncher will be included with each shoe.
So should you buy the XVI now for $185? Ten dollars more than the upcoming AJ 33 ???? btw. Nope, I walked into Dicks had a 20% off coupon and got these for $148 plus tax. Like all basketball shoes that aren’t artificially limiting supply , these will be coupon eligible and then eventually discounted and then discounted again as the season progresses. Expected these to get down the $149 mark within a month or two then slap a 20% coupon to get you down to a solid $120. The longer you wait, the more you save #rulesofretail
Although I prefer a lower ride height, this is the best all around Lebron to come out in years. Great traction, cushioning, fit, stability and containment make this a great shoe for most players. Great performer all around with no major weaknesses which sounds a lot like the shoe’s namesake. Finally a Nike sig shoe done right.
Great review. How do I get the coupon ???? ?
Dicks is pretty liberal with coupons so google it or look on retailmenot. I got one from son’s little league lol Look on Eastbay finish line etc they all do coupons
LEGEDARY SHOE FOR LEGENDARY PEOPLE. GREAT REVIEW SCHWOLLO!
I ordered the 15s and 16s this weekend. I can’t wait to play in them. My first lebrons since the 8 v2 low which I wore to the ground walking in the rain, snow, sun and playing basketball outdoors.
The top eyelets don’t seem high enough. Did you feel any lace pressure around the ankle when you lace em tight?
Top eyelets high enough I’ll try to add some comparative pics when I get home. Some lace pressure but nothing horrible
@kupunao: Hi kupunao; its me again Just wanted to ask if youve played in the Peak Streetball master and if so how did you find the cushioning? Im getting confusing reviews because one said that he was reminded of adidas bounce but then two reviewers on youtube said that the foam was stiff
Never played in the Peak Streetball master or anything that shares the same tooling/platform, so unfortunately I can’t answer that question.
I do know that Peak has shifted their focus to real estate business instead of sportswear , and their bball department is only putting efforts on Parker & Howard. I wouldn’t count on their recent team shoes too much. Even the upcoming DH4 looks really generic and boring. We are witnessing the fall of Peak.
I kinda feel sorry that I’m using schwollo’s site as a message board. You can find me on instagram as wukezhang, with a black n white portrait. Just send me DMs if you got other questions.
Haha np I didn’t know any of that info about Peak but it doesn’t surprise me either.
This shit messed my ankles up esp on the inside ankle where the bone protrudes. the top eyelets are pretty far back and goes up right towards my bones and there’s not much coverage from the shoe itself just the material that let’s the tongue extend out.
Try working it around with your hands to soften it up or use mole skin above the areas that it hurts . Hope that helps!
I had some Kd 9s with fuzzy zoom fibers also. Figured it was just manufacturing defects. Not too excited for any current shoes being light with narrow feet. Lebrons are roomy, kds feel too tipsy, and new Kobe ads seem a little cheap. Hopefully Kyrie 5 and curry 6 come around soon. Excited for harden vol 3s
Jokes aside , why won’t you send this pair back since it has broken zoom fibers? Thanks for looking into this issue ????
Haha I’m going to contact them soon but shouldn’t be an issue exchanging them
Thanks for another in depth review Schwollo. As always, you da man. I’ve tried on the 1-5s and breds and both times they felt TTS for me. Just trying them on the shoes felt like Nike improved the areas I found lacking in the 15s – containment, ride height, traction, and lateral stability. It’s great to hear your extended experience with the breds shows these are real improvements. As I get older , I’ve had to change my game and I’ve become more selective about shoes to ease the pounding on my knees and back. I’ve found many of the past LeBrons to be overbuilt and lacking in key areas . This sounds like the first LeBron in a while that performs well overall and will fit my needs. I’m excited to try them out.
I was able to get the 1-5s via SNKRS. The colors really pop on those, but I decided to take them back because I wasn’t excited to pay $220 for a shoe I was going to beat up on the court. I’d much rather get a GR for $120-150. I can save that extra money to grab another pair of shoes.
Lastly, can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the Jordan 33s. The “technology” is mostly about marketing IMO. Straps and cable systems are such a gimmick and looks terrible. Style looks like they are trying too hard for appeal to casual market. Materials look iffy but ventilation may be better with the more open weave of the fabric in the forefoot and midfoot. Forefoot zoom looks awesome – big and unlocked. Heel zoom is double stacked but is hex bag . In the Complex article Tate K. said there will be a low that will change up the shoe a bit. Curious if they will go regular laces on that one.
Haha yea I feel the same way about a lot of lebrons but these are very good all around for once. Aj33 lacing technology smh.. jb ran out of ideas, it’s just another way to tie your shoes. Double stacked hex zoom will be fine but tiny in terms of surface area. As far as looks, this is to capture the teens and twenty year olds . Very six rings, Nike LeBron 16 Low BHM Black White True To Size mars, yeezy meets jb look to it. Not excited at all about it.
What about the mid-late thirty-year-olds!? Hahaha! I’m hype for the tan-based ACGish ones, mainly because that’s a wild colorway you don’t see too often. But like S said in their comment, I would wear them for casual probably… unless they make the Schwollo First Team . But yeah, that whole contraption seems prettt gimmicky.
Lol the acg ones look too flat in color but maybe in person they look good? Just not my style haha
Do you mean flat like matte ? Or just lacking bright colors or something?
It just looks matte which is fine but something else is lacking but maybe it’s just pics or angles not sure hahah
“Lacking”!? Bro, they’ve got everything but the kitchen sink! ???????? The only thing that design lacks is moderation or restraint. It’s like the Twelve Days if Christmas—they’ve got one flux capacitor gizmo, two heel zoom units, NINE different colors , and an asymmetrical upper and eject loop! Hahahahaha!!!
I kinda like that they’re over the top but still somehow cohesive.
I like the protro more bc I like the lower to the ground cushioning and ride
Hi schwollo. Thanks to your nice review. I have question about XVI’s sizing since I can not go trying on in store. I usually plays with US 8.5~9 and I have varied sizing issues with Lebron signature series. Here are my previous sizing: Lebron 8,9,10,11,15: US9; Lebron:12,13,14: US8.5 I can only buy 16 online so I really need your suggestion about sizing. Thank you.
Damn, dude, you’ve been on a roll! I haven’t commented because none of the shoes you’ve reviewed recently has appealed to me more than the V2s, with which I’m still very content. Actually ordered a second pair—good looks on posting the adidas discoaunt! Oddly, I’m having break-in issues that I don’t recall having with my first pair. The timing is good, though: upper starting to separate from Boost on first pair . Anyway, thanks for all the reviews, keeping us all informed!
Now that’s weird ..do they feel smaller or something ? Barge cement is good too but shoe goo should have worked though haha Can’t wait to test my 33 dollar harden B/E’s from that sale
Right? No, I don’t think they feel smaller. I mean, they feel tighter across the widest part of my foot, but I just assumed that was because I’d broken in my first pair, and they’d stretched out some. Yeah, I was kind of surprised the Shoe Goo failed.
Hey, speaking of glueing soles, I’m excited about your LeBron II project! My gray IIs have at least one Zoom bag down, and I’ve wondered if it would be possible to like inject some expanding foam just so there’s not a void underfoot. Your scheme seems a little more surefire . Anyway, I’m cheering for you on that one and eagerly awaiting the results .
Nice re. sale pickups! I’m curious how the LS ones would play. Are they the ones with the strap or laces?
It’s a pain in the butt but I finished one shoe and the heel feels pretty good while forefoot is still lacking. Boost def needs volume to feel good. I also though about injecting a foam bc the cutting was such a pain but at least it’s playable now. I got the ls w laces . Never seen the ls in stores so if they suck they can go back
That’s what’s up! I hope to see pictures once the pair is completed. Bummer the forefoot doesn’t feel ideal.
Gotcha re. laces LS V2s. Hope they treat you well!
LB 16, Why not, protro, UA Hover havoc and KD 11 in which order ?
Awesome review! Just curious, which would you choose between this and the Protros? Which performs better?
I like the protros better mainly due to the lower to the ground cushioning. If you want thicker cushioning go Lebron if you want lower cushioning go Protro. The rest is pretty similar
Thanks man! I agree with you 100%. I’m currently loving the Protros. They seem bulky and stiff at first but once broken in, they conform to your foot and you can really feel the zoom cushioning. Materials are premium and they slightly cost less than the XVIs! ????
Idk if it’s just me but I measured my foot, which is exactly 26cm – size 8. All the shoes I try on fit me perfectly but I always have to size up to 8.5 or 9 in order to feel the cushion. For example, I have the Lebron 15 in my true size but the ball of my foot only strikes in the foam that encases the forefoot bag instead of striking directly in the middle of the bag. Does anyone experience the same issue?
Did you measure your foot on a branock device? How much space do you have at the toe box In your size 8? It could also be your toes are long or short compared to averages.
Not sure how accurate or how consistent shoe companies use centimeter charts but according to this a 26 cm is a size 9. I don’t know the official conversion but zappos seems pretty reliable. s.com/c/shoe-size-conversion
Hmm. On nike website it says 26cm is 8. I did use something to measure my feet. I stood on that thing and it gives like thermal map that shows what size my feet are. I have no dead space in the size 8 toebox but recently I just felt my toes slamming more often. Maybe time for a size up?
You should have a finger width of space at the toe box That’s what a brannock device measures off of. Yes def sounds like you’re about half a size to a size off.
Are you going to review the new Kobe AD model? just curious as i really respect your opinion. Thanks.
Appreciate it.. I’m waiting on a good coupon lol
Schwollo what do you think about the Anta KT 4
Curry 2 Lebron VI Kobe IV KOBE VI Kobe I . Rose VII technically wins on performance but Ive just played better in the rotation above.
Thank you for answering my question. Great review
Looks better in cushion and outdoor playable compare to adidas drose 6?
Zoom set up is a lot different feeling than Boost . A little more responsive /stiffer feeling . I guess you could play outdoors with them but the battle knit will fray with toe drag and abrasion from outdoor courts. Not any more durable than the rose 6 mesh or primeknit
Kudos on the review! Quick question: Is the fit/sizing of the Lebron XVI the same with the KB1 protros? I recently bought the XVI and just loved how it fit. I have a wide feet btw. Unfortunately, I couldn’t try the protros at the store and can only buy it online. TIA!
my brand new pair has broken zoom fibers as well.
what are your thoughts on lebrons pair having 12 columns of eyelets on his pair as opposed to 10 on the GRs? This might be a thing for size 15s or it may be just his, not sure
I think it’s a size 15 thing but the xvi has enough eyelets so doesn’t bother me
I think I’ll struggle to get these way under retail due limited releases and hype beasts here in the UK..I think some people are stashing Lebrons for reselling. Ho hum. Maybe, just maybe a pair in a really funky CW if I’m lucky. Having moved to the middle of nowhere doesnt help either..
Hahah overseas I can see the difficulty in getting sneakers. Although the UK doesn’t seem that bad but then again I don’t live there haha
Great review as always — trying to add a few shoes to my rotation since my current shoes are near the end of their hooping life. Need your opinion on the following: KD 11, Bron 16, Kobe 1 Protro. In no particular order I look for cushion , traction . Those are the big two for me, if I can deal with those I’m usually good to go from there. Thanks in advance and keep up the good reviews.
Men’s Nike Apparel for Sale
Cushioning 1) Kd 11 and bron 16. Depends if you want more foam or less foam. Both feel Great I think the kd feels a little softer 2) traction protro, bron, Kd Hope that helps !
Hi Schwollo Just a quick question, i hope you can help me out here, Im 40 years, 240lbs I still ball leisurely twice a week on wooden indoor court Few months ago i hurt my knee The doctor says i need to rest for at least 3 months So i did. Now i start to play again but still i feel a little discomfort on my knee I wear bauerfeind knee support with side bar but still it doesnt help. Currently im wearing Air Jordan 32 Now im looking of a better cushioned shoes So in your opinions what should i get ? This lebron 16 ? Kobe protro? or boost ? I just need the best cushioned shoes to ease my knee pain, thank you so much .
I suggest going to your doctor again to see what the issue is and rehab it first and foremost. Lebron xvi xv xi X all great for cushioning. LeBron James Nike LeBron 16 I Promise Black/Multicolor AO2595-004 Kd ix-xi as well. Rose 6 softest Boost imo. Protro firmer compared to others even your 32. Hope that helps !
I did , and the dr said that i must lose some weight Because the knee is just too “old” ???? Anyway it’s hard to find an “old” shoes in my country I did wore lebron x and d rose 6 before but mine is too old and broken to be worn again. So for new releases, what do you suggest i buy ? Thanks.
Kd 9-11 Lebron xv-xvi should all work well for you
I like this shoe. The only gripe is QC was not good and some weird stitching on my left shoe is digging into my ankle. Also, when doing harden or kyrie stepbacks or crossovers where you plant your whole foot into the ground to push off, it’s very clunky. The segmented outsole doesn’t touch the ground at the same time and there is a noticeable snapping sound as the heel plants followed by the forefoot
You could argue this is a linear movement shoe designed to lebrons specifications
It’s a great shoe a big improvement from the xv but it isn’t the most nimble as you have stated.
Awesome review mate ! I bought this thanks to your advice. I just wonder how to relace it…. I think i’d like better containnment but I can’t figure out how the hell this double eyelet system works… Do you have nay pics on how to relace this bad boys ? Thanks
Search on YouTube I’m sure someone has a video of it. Lol
AJ32 Low VS Lebron 16 Which one you will pick?
PS. For outdoor use, budget is not a problem. Want a real great shoes which can last long because I only keep one shoes until it cant function
What’s important to you? Both will get torn up uppers outdoors when you drag your feet
Hey man, Love your site and appreciate all the help you’ve given in the past. I’m about 6’6″, 240, and wear a size 13 in shoes.
I’ve worn the Lebron Solider 6 for the last 4 years and loved the shoes. I had to go up a size 14 in them, and started to look for different shoes partially because the hard toe had removed a couple toenails in the past.
I bought the Lebron 16’s in size 13, and it felt a little tight . I ordered a size 14 and then read that once you break them in you get a little more room. With the size 14, I have 3/4th to a full inch of room. Would you recommend going to the 13.5 based on your usage?
I’d go down to 13.5 if you can. That hard piece on the soldier vi is a b*tch!! Lol
Thanks a bunch, and the 13 may even be fine, but had been kinda paranoid about the toes being close w/ the VI issues.. gonna see if I can find some 13.5’s… appreciate all your help!
found a legit new pair for $94 shipped on ebay and played in em last night. great traction and cushioning plus no break in time. damn near perfect shoe for me!
Lebron 16, lebron 16 low, or protro 1 for a guy who runs circles around the court and shooting and tight defense
Protro i. LeBrons just sit too high for me and cutters imo
Do you recommend these for a Power Forward? I like to play as a stretch big and take 3’s. I wear size 11.5 in Nike Kyrie Flytraps because they were the only shoes that cold accommodate my slightly wide feet. Should I go up half size of TTS?
I don’t think you have to go up half a size. You can always try on in store as well .
Hardest shoe I’ve ever had to relace lol
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Nike LeBron 16 Low Performance Review
Short and sweet. If you liked the Nike LeBron 16 you’re going to LOVE the *ahem* Nike LeBron 16 “Low”…
Same as the “mid” – and we say mid tongue-in-cheek because really, it’s the same shoe. Deep grooves that are spaced wide enough that very little dust gets grabbed and built with a rubber compound that would feel right at home in the 90’s, the traction is some of the best tried this season. Front to back, side to side and on any floor, the LeBron 16 Low held tight on the curves and solid on defense. Just a little wiping in extremely bad floors and it was back to squeaky-squeak and glue grip.
Again, same as the mid, and it is some of the bounciest, responsive cushioning ever. Stiffer than the Max Zoom in the Nike LeBron 15 , the 16 feels springier into the next step or jump and definitely more stable while still giving all the impact protection any player of any size could want. Extremely light players may not be able to compress the midsole to get the full effects, but grown people will who need some extra cushion will love the feel. The ones needing more stability than the 15 offered will be in luck too – the stiffer Zoom bags keep the edges from collapsing under pressure and your foot to stay a little more level.
The midsole isn’t stiff at all, either, like some over-cushioned shoes tend to feel. The Zoom and Max is separated for flex and the transition is serious – the feel of a fast, “guard” shoe with the impact protection of a “big-man” shoe – sounds kind of like a certain “King” huh?
Awww, no Battleknit 2.0? No problem. The mesh/textile upper of the Nike LeBron 16 Low may not be as “premium” as the mid, but it plays every bit as well. There isn’t an official name for it on the Nike website, so we will call it textile. It doesn’t stretch around your foot as much as it molds, giving the upper a broken-in feel almost from the start. While playing, the thinner, lighter feel of the upper contributes to a fast feel most Max shoes don’t have. It’s not running shoe mesh or Kobe AD NXT 360 lightweight but it won’t feel heavy or bulky once broken in.
Around the heel counter we have an unfinished tan leather with the embossed lion’s head logo and the same quality leather patch on the tongue. These touches don’t add anything in the way of performance but in terms of looks they contrast perfectly and give some detail . There is also a small sliver of nubuck on the medial toe for toe drags and side-side-side steps.
The biggest, and really only, improvement from the mid to the low is the fit – I just wrote all these other words to make you interested. I played with the lacing on the mids, moving to all different holes and combinations, and still had some issues with slight heel slip and containment. The LBJ16 Low takes a whole new direction, with the laces running not over the tongue but into the tongue and right back to the sides – no crossing over. This pulls the upper straight down into the foot and the foot straight down into the midsole, locking your foot like a strait-jacket. The last lace hole is a normal criss-crossing over the foot and pulling your foot into the heel counter. With the added torque, the heel slip is gone and lockdown is dang near perfect. The midsole is still a little heavy so it does have a slight “pull down” feeling, but not like the mid.
As far as sizing, I stayed true to size and went with my normal 10.5. The length allows for about a half inch of dead space, which I enjoy. This gives me enough room that if I do happen to have a little front-to-back slip my toes won’t turn black.
Starting at the midsole – there is no real midfoot shank, but with that huge Zoom system you don’t need one. The largest component of the support system is the fit and lacing. The worry with a large midsole is stability and the foot staying upright. However, with the solid lacing your foot is locked in and never slides over the footbed, even on hard cuts. Also helping in upright stability is the outrigger construction. All of the midsole bubbles have outriggers molded into the outsole, helping with any tipping while playing. Where the LeBron 15 had the same cushioning system, it was also one of the most unstable setups I can remember playing in. The 16 fixes the issues and feels the same great Zoom bounce while doing it.
Just like Nike used to do with the Elite series for the playoffs, they have taken the signature shoe of the “best player in the game” and improved it for the late season . If you enjoyed the Nike LeBron 16 , you will love the low. Improved fit, still great cushioning and traction, and, materials that are still nice and functional . If you are an all-around player who needs some extra bounce for those joints, look no further – this is arguably the best cushioning/impact protection combo on the market. Really, the only reason not to try the shoe is the price or if you just hate LeBron . Don’t be scared of the tall midsole – the Nike LeBron 16 Low is fast, flexible, and feels great on court. Just don’t call it a mid.
Good review!! Im always glad to read ur stuff cause u are an older and bigger player… just like me!! I just don‘t like the colorway. 2020 Nike LeBron 16 XVI EP 1 Thru 5 What The BQ6582-900 For Sale