I was really unsure of what to expect as I started my review of the LeBron 12. Of particular interest was whether the fit issue experienced by some had been solved. I was also quite interested to experience this latest and different integration of Zoom Air. Read on for my take on how the Lebron 12 performed oncourt.
The inner has no flaws or other issues that cause any issues from a comfort. Another point is that the Lebron 12 fits true to size, so make sure you get your normal size in order to enjoy the maximum fit benefits. I got a larger size than I normally do, and while the fit was not compromised, by in large, when I would lace the shoe up tighter to get a more snug midfoot fit, the upper across the instep would bunch together and that impacted the level of fit I was able to achieve. I want to say this was because of the sizing mistake on my part and not the actual fit attribute of the Lebron 12.
Despite the size oversight on my part, the Lebron 12 did a great job of not allowing my foot to move, either front to back or side-to-side. Fit was also good at the heel, as it prevented my heel from slipping. I would have liked to been able to tighten the shoe more around the top of the collar but it seems the sizing issue coupled with the inherent stiffness of the Hyperposite material limited the tightness of the fit I could achieve and this remained the case for the duration of my time in the Lebron 12. I want to reiterate that despite this, the Lebron 12 still did a good job of not only keeping my heel in place but also still providing adequate support as well.
The cushioning was one of the aspects of the Lebron 12 that intrigued me most prior to my review of the shoe. The phylon midsole is fairly standard as is the large Zoom Air bag in the heel but what I had a keen interest in was the zoom bags in the forefoot , or more specifically their implementation. Five visible units are strategically placed to provide cushioning where you needed. Was it groundbreaking? In a sense yes, especially considering this incarnation of the tech took four years of research to bring to fruition. The cushioning was excellent and I like that Nike continually searches for new ways to implement Zoom-Air and other technologies. The phylon broke in relatively quickly, I’d say toward the end of my 1st or early in my second wearing and that really allowed the responsiveness of the Zoom to come to the forefront.
The traction was impressive on the Lebron 12. The traction pattern reminds me of the KD VI and like that shoe, the 12 provided a high level of traction. The colorway I played in has a solid rubber outsole and it was fairly flexible and that allowed it to grip the court fairly well while also providing a good level of court feel. I found that I did not experience any slippage while making moves. The high performance of the traction was confidence inspiring in that I knew the shoe would allow me to do what I needed and wanted it to do. I did not have to think about it ( for other than purposes of the review) and that is a testament to the high level of performance of the outsole.
Dust and debris sticking to my colorway was not really a factor for me but if you will be playing in some of the colorways that feature clear or translucent outsoles the dirt sticking could be an issue,as those materials can start off sticky. Nonetheless,despite whichever rubber is on the colorway you take to the court, the Lebron 12 will stick to the court and that’s exactly what you want.
The Lebron 12 is a shoe that offers excellent fit, traction, cushioning and support. It also is built well and holds up to wear quite well. Is it perfect? No but it is extremely good and carries the Lebron line forward. It is suitable for most players but if you want your shoes super light or want less shoe, you may want to pass.
Nike Lebron 12
weight: 18.6 oz (In a size 12)
Pros: solid fit; good traction; better than I expected cushioning: stable and supportive.
Cons: less than optimal fit around midfoot and top of heel (however this was likely due to the afformentioned sizing gaffe on my part); may be too much shoe for some; a bit heavy