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Look at These Nike Lebron 15 Deconstruction Test

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Look at These Nike Lebron 15 Deconstruction Test

We’ve begun testing the Nike LeBron 15 but if you wanted to know all the ins and outs of LeBron James’ latest sneaker then here is a detailed deconstruction by

While I don’t particularly enjoy seeing a perfectly good shoe cut in half when someone less fortunate could have used them, it’s for educational purposes and the findings are usually not mentioned by the brands themselves.

However, this is my favorite look at these deconstruction breakdowns. As a shoe nerd, it’s just really freaking cool to see the shoe and all of its “guts” like this — really freaking cool. The Nike LeBron 15 has been examined top to bottom; every component that makes up the sneaker is carefully deconstructed and dissected.

The tooling is what most tend to focus on because it is the extension of your foot and it can make or break your wearing experience. Are they comfortable? Stable? Supportive? Not only do we test these attributes personally, but it’s nice to actually see what makes up those attributes within the design.

You can see the sockliner/insole and it’s Ortholite. Often, people ask me which OrthoLite is the best or most premium. These light blue ones aren’t it — they’re the cheapest but provide decent step-in comfort. I’ve found that the denser dark blue ones are some of the best, along with the yellow ones. Those offer the most cushion and last the longest.

A popular thing to do nowadays is add a thin foam layer in addition to the typical strobel board. While thin, it does add an extra level of comfort — I know it may be hard to believe, but it’s true. If you were to try on the same shoe but one featured this additional layer while the other did not, you would (or should) feel a small difference between the two. Located under this foam layer is the more traditional strobel. It’s what the upper of the shoe is sewn onto once fit and shaped around whichever last the brand decided to use on the shoe.

Another interesting thing note is that signature shoes are not fitted to a last that is specific to the signature athlete. The athlete’s personal pair is fitted to a custom last, but the retail runs are fitted around lasts that the brand and design teams feel suits the market best.

In Asia brands tend to use a wider last due to wide feet being more common in that part of the world. In the U.S. we can see a variety of lasts used — usually not on the same shoe but spread across different models — that cater to those with normal, narrow, and wide feet. There are even some brands like New Balance that will make one model using different lasts that vary upon widths. You’ll usually see those widths listed when looking for a pair in your size.

A much larger torsional plate is used on the LeBron 15 than what we see in Nike’s lower priced offerings. With the tooling here being so flexible, the added support and coverage is needed to avoid overstraining and foot fatigue.

You can see here that the midsole sculpt is meant to cradle the foot a bit. Something I’ve noticed while testing the sneaker is that this is actually negated by the additional layers like the dual strobel boards and sock liner. The scuplt should have lipped up a bit more to truly cup the foot properly — at least in the lateral forefoot.

However, the shoe still doesn’t ride quite as high as it may look at first glance. This is why I love these breakdowns. You get to truly learn about the footwear that you wear.

The forefoot Zoom unit is roughly 16mm thick. I say roughly because the midsole is still partially attached. But you get the point, it’s a fat Air unit.

It isn’t quite as fat as the midfoot Zoom unit, which is roughly 17mm.

And neither is as fat as the rear Air unit which sits at roughly 19mm thick. Which is really thick for an Air unit — Zoom Air that is. This is why Nike combines Air Max pillars within the Air bladder alongside the Zoom Air’s tensile fibers. At this thickness the heel would be unstable, but the pillars help maintain stability while still allowing the heel’s strike zone to sit directly over the Zoom Air.

The heel has an additional layer of foam injected into the pillars, something we first saw implemented with the Nike LeBron 14. This makes the heel a bit more forgiving upon impact — for those that happen to strike with their heel, of course.

The upper is what Nike calls BattleKnit, aka really thick Flyknit. The layer in between your foot and the Flyknit is there to add some comfort and protection against anything that may be considered rough or unfinished — knots, seams, pressure from the Flywire cables, etc.

This is the inside of the BattleKnit. You can see where things are glued (darker portions) and where things are tightly knitted together (everything else).

Trusting Flywire cables to be your only source of lockdown from the lacing area is risky. So far, it’s been working, but I get more peace of mind when there are more traditional lace holes in addition to Flywire acting as reinforcement rather than the front line.

The heel counter is slimmed down but has been effective so far. It lips and cups the foot better than the forefoot section of the midsole, which you can see below.

That takes care of the Nike LeBron 15 deconstruction. Stay tuned for performance reviews in the coming weeks and let us know what you think about the Nike LeBron  15 so far down below in the comment section. I know some people are currently playing in the ‘Ghost’ colorway so any input you have from your experiences thus far are always appreciated.


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