Basketball shoes have changed a lot throughout the years. But one thing’s for sure, Nike still makes some of the hottest shoes on the market. If you’re looking for something more than just a standard pair of b-ball shoes, shoes that can actually improve your performance and protect you from injury, then you’ve come to the right place. For many, the Lebron Soldier Nikes are the best basketball shoes for ankle support, and maybe the best shoes for the court to date. However, there have been some mixed opinions in regard to whether or not these shoes offer the same type of traction quality that Lebron’s have been known to in the past.
Our Verdict: These shoes are commonly recommended for bigger players in need of both ankle support and impact protection and don’t mind the bulkier design. But despite being bulky, these shoes only weigh in at just thirteen ounces, which is nothing short of impressive. The four included straps more than make up for a lack of laces and allow you to individually tighten certain areas of the shoe so you can add more or less support. The high-top design will support the ankle without applying too much pressure, while the comfortable fit will give you more energy out on the court.
Table of Contents
Overview and Features
Basketball is a fun and challenging sport, but it’s also one that can put you at risk of injury if you don’t take the proper precautions to stay safe when you’re on the court.
For beginners, learning all about the game can be as exciting as playing. You have to figure out what basketball position should I play, what areas you need to work on, and even what type of shoes to wear. High-tops are often worn by injured players or those who have a history of ankle injuries. But these shoes can also be worn to prevent an ankle injury, which happens to be the most common type in the sport of basketball. These latest shoes from Nike also happen to be their top-selling pair. They’re not only supportive and comfortable, but they also offer the type of ankle support you’ll need to stay safe and prevent a serious injury from landing you on the bench all season
Aside from a supportive fit, traction is probably one of the most important aspects of shoe design, which is why it’s so puzzling that many designers seem to get it wrong. The traction on these particular shoes isn’t bad, however, it’s nowhere near as good as it’s been with past Lebron shoes. But again, the traction issue is relatively minor and doesn’t seem to be an issue at all times.
The outsole is thick, with plenty of bounce and flex. As I mentioned, the traction for these shoes is lacking, however, it seems to involve a single spot located on the shoe’s outsole that can cause a player to slide a little on the court.
The cushioning in these shoes is the standard type you’ll find on any Lebron’s. The shoes are equipped with the zoom units that offer top of the line comfort and support. The zoom units tend to slightly protect from the outsole, which gives the shoes a more bouncy feel. But the zoom air units are tightly packed into place this time around, in fact, you can see a little space between the zoom bags and foam carrier. This will allow them to move and compress a little more.
When it comes to size, the zoom units are pretty big. This type of setup is pretty versatile, so the shoes will work for any player, regardless of the type of ball they play or the position. The shoes offer the type of court feel that’s perfect for quicker, smaller players, and just the right amount of impact protection for large players.
These shoes feature a single ballistic nylon mudguard, which has the same type of feel as a woven upper, but it’s much more durable. In terms of breathability, the mesh panels will promote air circulation and work to keep your feet nice and dry as you play.
These shoes feature the one piece design that many other Lebron’s have. This design tends to make it difficult to get the shoes on and off, however, they also make the shoe fit more securely. To remove the shoes you’ll need to remove the four large straps, which work to isolate each section of the shoe. This will allow you to easily tighten a specific area, for a more custom fit. Most players will need to tighten them more in the forefoot area since they have a lot of volume above the toe. The strap in this section will work to lockdown your foot.
Since the last version of the Solider shoes, the support has been modified slightly and has definitely been improved upon. The platform that that shoe rests on is much nicer, since it features a wider design. This is definitely needed considering the protruding air zoom units tend to feel a little wobbly the first couple of weeks of use.
The shoes also feature both a midfoot outrigger and a traditional forefoot outrigger. The addition of another outrigger will help to keep you stable when you’re playing, which is a huge plus for any player. The forefront and heel areas will wrap up onto the foot and can ensure that your feet remain on top of the footbed. This design will minimize the chances of the foot rolling over the footbed. Despite the fact that the shoes have no laces, they in no way shape or form lack support.
This shoe weighs in at an impressive thirteen ounces. It’s currently lighter than most of the current guard shoes and definitely lighter than other Lebron’s. A lightweight shoe is important, regardless of the position you play. This design will help to minimize fatigue while boosting your speed out on the court.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Top of the line cushioning
- Mesh panels promote air circulation
- Eye-catching design
- Traction is lacking
How it Measures Up to the Competition
Back in the day, it used to be everyone had to have the newest Jordan’s and while for some, that’s still true, these days, the best basketball shoes for ankle support are the Lebron’s. These shoes not only have their own unique style, but they’re also incredibly supportive, comfortable, and light.
As I mentioned earlier, these shoes show a lot of promise. The cushioning is supportive and comfortable and won’t wear out after a few months of use, due to the patented air zoom padding technology that you’ll find in every pair of Lebron’s. The four straps are actually better than a lacing system since they allow you to choose precisely which area should be tighter or looser. Without the laces, the shoes still provide more than enough support and without applying too much pressure. The high-top design itself will help to prevent ankle rolling or sprains and can also help to support a weakened ankle or one that is recovering from an injury. The only real area that the shoe is lacking in is traction and it seems to involve just a small portion of the outsole. Aside from that, these shoes offer better than average comfort, support, and protection. If you’re looking for shoes for women that can offer comparable protection, I recommend the And1 Overdrive Women’s Basketball Shoe. Just like the Lebron’s these shoes are specifically designed with support and flexibility in mind, however, they’re a better option for women, as opposed to purchasing the Lebron’s in a smaller size. They easily conform to the shape of a woman’s foot and provide more ankle support than even the Lebron’s which is pretty impressive, due to the interior, built-in bootie.
Conclusion and Rating
Overall, the Nike Lebron Solder basketball shoes offer a much better fit than shoes from Lebron in the past. While the traction could be better, the cushion is a huge improvement. These shoes will work out for every position on the court and provide the type of support you need if you’re looking for a shoe that can prevent an ankle injury, or if you’re nursing a current one. I gave this pair a rating of four and a half out of five stars.