Let’s take a look at one of LeBron’s ultimate flagship performance hoop shoe releases! Presenting you the most comprehensive LeBron 17 review, updated and revisited 2+ years after the sneaker’s release.
Comfort, performance, overall build quality, value for the money in 2022 (and beyond), versatility, and durability after 6 months of indoor & outdoor action: all will be broken down.
There’s just something about these that make me lace ’em up even today…
SHOW TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. SPEC SHEET
click for a full-sized sheet image
BEST DEALS OF THE LEBRON 17 🛒
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II. 1-MIN REVIEW 🕒
In a hurry? Here’s the quick version: The Nike LeBron XVII will feel right at home for true fans that followed most models in LeBron’s main signature line.
The sneaker will surely fit most guys true to their usual size, including wide footers.
The traction is the shoe’s most questionable aspect as planting the foot and biting into the floor felt a weird initially.
Not the best bite either but enough to not think about it on-court.
The forefoot Zoom Air & heel Max Air cushion setup is brilliant for top-notch cushion and maximum impact protection but not everyone will like the elevated ride and less-than-stellar stability on lateral movements.
The Knitposite upper is awesome though – it’s super comfy for the foot and moves well with each move without taking away mobility or containment.
> The full review is below
III. FIT & COMFORT
Do they fit true to size or should you go up/down? How comfortable are they? Anything else to know fit-wise?
Let’s start the LeBron 17 review off with the need-to-know first.
Right away after putting the LeBron 17’s on my wide-a** feet, I’ve actually found them to be extremely comfortable.
You can go true to size with these, no matter your foot shape, in my opinion. Most should expect a regular fit – not too tight, not too roomy.
Some people felt like they ran a little short but I haven’t personally experienced such a thing.
Even if you do – this build does stretch out so you’re not stuck if you feel like your toes are ramming the shoe initially. Give ’em a bit of time – let the knit do its thing.
Since the shoe’s materials consist of extremely soft knit along with some minor reinforcements, plus the padding inside and some really premium insoles (which is kind of rare these days, but hey, it’s a $200 shoe), I’ve truly found these to be as awesome of an experience as it can get, purely from a comfort perspective.
Optimal fit pretty much from day one (unless these run a bit short for you initially), foot mobility is not an issue thanks to the large form factor and lightweight materials, and the cushion. Oh, the cushion. We’ll talk about that later.
The LeBron’s are always these pretty large form factor shoes, relatively wide-based, and can be worn by just about any kind of foot shape/preference.
These ones are no exception.
Now, whether you like more compact models that feel, and are lighter, or larger, heavier models that emphasize comfort and a pleasant experience overall, that’s up to you.
But I’d say Nike definitely did a solid job in blurring this line as much as possible, while still making a tank of a shoe for a tank called LeBron James, so I encourage you to try these even if you’re used to lighter, more agile shoes like a Kyrie or a Curry model.
Does it grip various surfaces well? Is dust/debris a factor? How long will the outsoles last outdoors?
After reading some other reviews, I was a bit worried about what was going to happen in terms of the shoe’s traction.
Now despite the fact that I can’t say it was totally perfect for me, it was still better than I expected, based on what I researched before getting these, just to get a feel for some opinions from the side.
I’ve played with the LeBron 17’s inside on a wood court and outside on a synthetic rubber surface.
Inside, the shoe performed nicely, I didn’t slip and didn’t experience any major issues that would take me away from the actual game.
I do have to mention that the shoe’s grip with the court does feel a bit more sticky than straight-up grippy, which has to do with the pretty soft rubber compound of the outsole.
That’s not always a bad thing, but I’ve surely experienced better traction on some other shoes with a different traction pattern implementation. Perhaps weight distribution plays a bigger role here and a heavier player would find these to bite the court better than I did?
Also, the weird separation between two forefoot Zoom air units that you’re sitting on makes it kind of unnatural for the foot to stick to the floor at times, so you lose traction.
Once again, that might be true, or it might not. Let me know in the comments below what do you think might be the case here!
Outdoors though, while it still performed pretty much the same as inside, the rubber is pretty damn shallow and the grooves are keen to bring in lots of dust inside the pattern, so durability outside won’t be really good.
And after about 6 months of indoor & outdoor action with the shoe, not much has changed in terms of performance but the rubber has been slowly chipping away ever since the first day.
It’s good that the rubber compound is still holding the traction together and now that the grooves of the pattern aren’t as tall anymore, wiping off dust becomes less relevant as the buildup gets pushed outside easier.
Having said all that, I wouldn’t give these more than a couple of full seasons of mixed indoor/outdoor hoops at optimal performance.
If you’re an outdoor hooper yourself, see if you can find the EP version of the shoe (which features more durable XDR rubber outsoles) OR click here to check out my picks for the best outdoor shoes.
How’s the impact protection? What about step comfort and energy return of the foam? Is it stable?
A 200 dollar shoe better have some amazing cushioning for us, right? I strongly agree, and luckily, it’s exactly what we are getting here with the 17th LeBron.
We got two Zoom Air units in the forefoot area, Max Air in the heel area and there’s also a soft Phylon midsole throughout.
I LOVED this setup. It might not always be for the reason I usually love a cushion setup, but man were these fun to play in.
Yeah, these are going to be for those who want to go all out for pure cushion, bounciness, and impact protection. If you’re looking for some court feel, you’re looking to maximize movement mobility and speed, you’re going to want to skip these.
Your foot sits pretty high inside the shoe, so forget about actual court feel.
Since I’m personally an explosive player and do tend to use my legs quite a bit when driving to the basket, I always love to have some fun with something like this.
You feel you’re on clouds every time you jump and even land, and I could barely name three shoes that offer more impact protection than the LeBron 17 off the top of my head at the moment.
With that though, comes the elevated ride height and it’s something you’ll definitely notice if you’re stepping off a Curry, Kyrie, or even a Dame sneaker that’s a bit more balanced.
How much all-around security does it offer? What about the build’s stability and foot containment? Any restrictions in result?
Compared to the more classic LeBron’s shoe releases, these ones feel more modern and a bit less tank-like, as we were used to seeing.
It’s technologically extremely difficult to make a shoe with such a present cushion setup but make it equally as supportive.
While the shoe isn’t the most supportive shoe in the world, me and my playstyle didn’t feel compromised at all, which is awesome, ’cause I can feel secure and also have fun with that crazy setup.
Forefoot and heel outriggers are implemented for lateral protection, the shoe’s base is pretty wide, there’s an internal heel counter and the shoe’s fit is pretty contained, so the total support package is definitely good.
Overall though, I don’t think most people will find any issues in terms of the shoe’s security and support. Pair that with the shoe’s comfort and the fun factor, and you got yourself a cool little package.
VII. THE BUILD
What are the materials used? How well do they perform on-court? How’s the quality & reliability of the build?
Knitposite is the shoe’s upper which is basically a soft knit reinforced with synthetic Fuse yarns in key areas for additional support and longevity. The knit just by itself would likely break down pretty quickly and stretch out too much, compromising an optimal fit.
The shoe features a standard lace & tongue construction, so no one-bootie designs here. The tongue bends separately and allows for easy entry into the shoe.
There are also external heel counters in place that cup your heel section and they’re made from TPU.
Nike calls this setup Knitposite – take it as you like, but one thing I can say is that it’s a pleasant material for the foot, and truly does feel like a flagship shoe (which is absolutely not always the case these days).
Breathability was also pretty good thanks to the open-knit construction, and you will have virtually zero break-in time. They feel awesome right out of the box.
The important thing is this knit is smartly enforced with some synthetics on certain areas which makes the shoe well-contained where it needs to be, all without compromising comfort and sense of mobility that we so often lacked on older LeBron models.
Don’t get me wrong, this is still among the heavier shoes numbers-wise but once I got used to them, I really can’t say these are among the heaviest-feeling hoop shoes.
Does a Curry 8 feel faster and lighter in comparison? Of course. But the LeBron 17 never had intentions to out-feather its competitors.
If you look at it from a versatility perspective, it should feel pretty good for most people regardless of their build or playstyle.
And by the looks of it, these won’t break down on you quickly either.
I’ve always said it and I’ll say it once again – LeBron’s main shoe line features some of the most durable and well-made builds in the knit-based category. That includes the 17th sneaker even in 2022.
A full-on leather sneaker should and would outlast something like this but we’ve definitely come far with strengthening new-age synthetic materials while keeping them comfortable and mobile.
6 months of on-and-off action with the LeBron XVII didn’t get the shoe wrecked but it does look a little banged up visually. Most knit-based sneakers will look like that if you put enough hours into ’em and that’s normal.
If not for the questionable outsoles, the shoe would definitely last a while even if it’s your only pair and you’re an outdoor hooper.
But again, I don’t recommend taking these outdoors too often. Unless lashing out another $150-$200 for a new pair 1-2 seasons in isn’t something you care about.
Rounding the LeBron 17 review up: are they versatile? Who’s best suited for the shoe? Is it a good deal amongst the competition?
The Nike LeBron 17 is a mix of extreme comfort, fun, and premium. It’s a shoe that not all players or player builds will like, since it’s obviously catered towards someone who’s heavier, needs loads of impact absorption, and prefer an elevated ride.
I feel like if the shoe’s traction would be consistent for all people who try it, and the cushion setup would be implemented with more versatility in mind, this would be a fantastic package for just about anyone.
However, this is still a great shoe in my opinion. It’s got a fantastic upper, adequate support, and a wide foot-friendly fit.
If you can get yourself a spare 200 bucks, you need maximum cushioning while not losing security, and you also appreciate a very comfortable & premium experience, then you will surely get what you pay for.
And if you’re checking this out a few years after the shoe dropped – you’ll be in for some solid deals that will land you a LeBron 17 a good amount under $200.
BUY THE LEBRON 17 🛒
IX. ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS
Not completely sure if the LeBron 17’s are a match for you? Here are what I believe to be the best similarly-feeling alternatives
NIKE LEBRON 16, $185
If you want a classic, flagship LeBron shoe that will provide the versatility the LeBron 17 might just lack for some of you, look no further than one model back – the 16.
It still has a crazy cushion setup and a fancy upper that’s just as good as the 17’s but the overall experience is a bit more streamlined. They’re more stable, the ride is adjusted and feels a tad bit firmer and they’re much better for outdoor use.
NIKE LEBRON 17 LOW, $170
For the budget buyer that wants the LeBron 17, perhaps you’ll appreciate the low-top variant.
It still carries the DNA of the 17th sneaker but makes a few compromises in the cushion & upper departments to cater towards an audience that can’t afford the $200 price tag.
NIKE LEBRON WITNESS 5, $100
For the cheapest option possible that still feels like a LeBron shoe, I still crown the Witness 5 as the best overall budget LeBron shoe in the last few years.
It won’t feature tons of cushion like the flagship counterparts but there’s still enough to keep most players comfortable and overall performance was definitely there.
X. THE 17’S IN 2022? THOUGHTS?
Would you still consider grabbing these even today? What about the upcoming 19’s?
Alright, that’s it for the LeBron 17 review! I hope you found it informative! Be sure to always let me know if you feel like I’ve missed something, and I will make sure to add it at all times.
Check out my list of the best basketball socks you can get right now if you’re shopping for some gear along with the LeBron 17’s!
How do you feel about these in 2022? Do you think they hold up stacked against the latest models? I think they do for sure, they’re just not going to be for everyone.
If you have any questions still or would like to add something based on your own experience,
Drop a comment down below and I will get back to you ASAP!
XI. LEBRON 17 REVIEW: THE VERDICT
My final personal ratings, takeaways, and recommendations
Nike LeBron 17$200
Fit & Comfort9.5/10
Value for the Price7.0/10
- Wide footer friendly: true to size is recommended for all
- Outsole shape might promote inconsistent traction at times
- Tons of cushion: low to the ground is out of the question
- Big guys
- Explosive/athletic players
- Linear-dominant movement patterns