A $40 decrease in price will get you the most changes in the entire history of the LeBron low iterations. But are all of those changes worth it?
This is the Nike LeBron 17 Low performance review. Let’s get it!
WEIGHT: 386.9 g. / 13.65 oz
TECH: MAX AIR, REACT
FIT: TRUE TO SIZE
RETAIL PRICE: $160
BD RATING: 8.8/10
KnitPosite out. The mesh/synthetic leather combo in.
The new generation knit setup on the original LeBron 17 had to be one of the best feeling & performing uppers in the entire existence. That’s just my opinion.
Nonetheless, this main mesh bootie with synthetic leather side panels is something you wouldn’t call “a budget tear” setup at any rate. The build quality is still there, matching the price point, exactly how a signature sneaker should be. Same goes for the performance as you won’t be missing any of the main features.
The break-in process was fairly quick & unpainful too. However, that supreme one-to-one fit and overall ability to accommodate your foot in no time were definitely missed in the lows. But if you’re upgrading from the LeBron 16 or lower, or if you’re a new guy to the line, you shouldn’t be missing any of that.
The heel section is what makes us – cushion lovers – scream like little girls in Ed Sheeran’s concert. In other words, the Max Air craziness stayed untouched in the 17 Low. On the other end, how it should be for a low-top version, the forefoot cushion tooling went more guard-oriented. Well, it tried to…
Taking away the spot from Zoom Air, React is something I didn’t mind to get in exchange. It’s that true React experience, similar to what we can found in running shoes, which is exciting news for our cushion lovers.
The forefoot still remains heavily packed with impact protection. And if the amount of plushness in the forefoot on the original version wasn’t enough – the lows should leave you completely satisfied. Yet, for that you will sacrifice a bit of responsiveness, which made the front end play a tad slower. That’s why I would prefer sticking with the Zoom Air setup on the original pair.
But, hey, how about guard focused performance?? Well, maybe next time, folks.
Following the same situation found in the cushion department, the traction pattern only receives pattern changes in the forefoot. Due to the appearance of React foam, the platform went from being articulated to completely flat in the low version.
Bigger surface coverage, means better grip? Theoretically, yes, but I couldn’t feel any tangible difference comparing both of the versions once hitting the court. But it’s all right, though. The traction was already beastly.
Dust was never a problem since the dust collection was rather minimal, therefore wiping is something that can be neglected to still have that beastly performance.
Let’s talk lacing system first. It’s quite a unique one to say the least. The laces are individually connected between the loops of Flywire and the ribbon that goes through the middle of the system. Not going to lie, it does sound & look something that would lock the heck down your foot. And it does just that, but in the same fashion as the regular version itself. Though, worth mentioning, that this lacing system forces you to adjust the laces individually, which makes the lacing process double the time. That having said, it’s more of a gimmick than performance booster.
When it comes to sizing, I would say that the construction is somewhat narrower compared to the original version. But not that narrow to go up a size when it comes to regular footers. Whereas for wide footers I recommend going half a size up or even a whole size if you have a really wide foot.
Nothing was taken or added in this category. All of the main support components featured on the LeBron 17 can be found on the Lows as well. That also transfer onto the hardwood as I didn’t find any area of the shoe to be lacking stability or containment.
For lateral support you do have leather panels on top and two outriggers down below. So even though you sit quite high off the ground, busting of the footbed was not a concern. While the internal heel counter in conjunction with that fancy lacing system does ensure your foot is completely locked in place.
The LeBron 17 Low with its $30 lower price tag will not take away any of the main features found in the original version. A few small changes like updated cushion setup or different material choices, although, make the difference in the specification sheet, the performance outcome was kept somewhat identical.
One thing for sure, this is way far from a guard focused on-court performer. Unless you’re one of those retired dudes who are trying their best keeping their knees and rest of their bones alive.
Other than that, this is a shoe for those who want an all-around performance, and that crazy amount of cushion in a smaller, lighter form factor.
BALLER FROM EUROPE? WE GOT YOU.