$90 and a LeBron signature is a rare combination to put into one sentence. Well, today I might have a treat for you – welcome to my comprehensive Nike LeBron Witness 3 review!
LeBron’s lesser-known Witness line comes at extremely affordable prices, yet I had quite the expectations for this one, as the general reception of the Witness line is pretty positive.
So, the question for today is, can you really hoop in a quality shoe for just around 90 bucks? Let’s get right into it!
SHOW TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. SPEC SHEET
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II. 1-MIN REVIEW 🕒
Saving time? Here’s the speedy version: the Nike LeBron Witness 3 didn’t particularly blew me away but a few things should make it appealling to some hoopers.
It features a secure, ultra-snug fit but most guys will want to stick to their true size. Unfortunately, these are a no-go for wide footers.
Traction was fine (nothing crazy grippy) and these should hold up a bit for outdoor play.
The encapsulated Air cushion setup is nothing to write home about: it’s a cheap, low-to-the-ground setup that offers responsiveness and precision but you can forget about bounce or enhanced ride comfort.
I didn’t have issues with security but heavier, more explosive guys might. The basic knit upper barely has anything on it to hold it together, so it’s best for guards and/or guys who aren’t jumping out of the gym when they play.
Overall, I wouldn’t be able to tell this is a LeBron shoe. You can get it for mad cheap nowadays but it’s far from a versatile shoe. If you like a very minimal feel though – this one’s for you.
> 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?
Right off the bat – the shoe is NOT for a wide foot. I did have worries before trying these as I’ve seen people report on the fit but I had hoped for a longer break-in time, which would eventually fix it for me. I mean it’s just a knit, right?
Well, if you take a narrow-ass frame KD shoe and slap an extremely tightly knit upper – this is what you get from the Witness 3.
It fits just a tad bit long for me (not much of an issue though) but the main problem is the width. They’re just crazy narrow – even after a couple of weeks.
Yes, the upper did break in and molded to my foot to an extent but I never felt fully comfortable in these.
They’re still overly tight, there’s no room for the toes to even slightly move, and each slightly shiftier movement hurts due to the foot not having any room to breathe, so there’s uncomfortable contact every time I want to do something quicker.
So, wide footers – I’m pretty sure it’s a skip for you, even if go up half a size. Regular/narrow footers – you can go true to size but expect the fit to still be on the snug side.
If you prefer a more forgiving, roomier fit – going up 1/2 size might be a good idea. But then again, there’s the length issue too – so you’re going to have to find the sweet spot for you.
By telling you this, this doesn’t make me the ideal candidate to review the shoe’s fit as my foot is just not for these. However, I can surely see these being comfortable if they’d fit me properly.
The upper is soft, there’s a TON of achilles padding, the shoe feels extremely light & minimal, so if quickness is what’s all about for you – the Witness 3 will have you covered there.
Overall, I’d suggest giving them time to really adjust to your foot and don’t be afraid to feel uncomfortable at first as this upper is very tightly knit. Once the period of adjusting goes away, I think you should be good to go.
Does it grip various surfaces well? Is dust/debris a factor? How long will the outsoles last outdoors?
A classic herringbone pattern is used throughout the outsole with a few storytelling elements and it’s exactly where it needs to be for a budget model.
Herringbone is the way to go – it’s grippy, the pattern isn’t the worst in keeping dust away and the rubber used is also quite strong it seems. The grooves are mildly spaced out & they’re pretty deep, so you’ll be good to go outdoors.
Not the craziest bite I’ve ever had but more than enough to forget about ’em completely when it’s game time. I had good multi-directional coverage, stopping power is there and even though I did wipe periodically, it wasn’t the most annoying experience.
I’ve had shoes where they needed to be wiped off every 1-2 plays – otherwise, I found myself sliding all over the place. This isn’t one of those cases and I was more than happy with how the outsole performed.
A good job here!
How’s the impact protection? What about step comfort and energy return of the foam? Is it stable?
If you’re familiar with old-school, Retro-style tech setups – this one will be and feel right at home for you.
Full-length encapsulated Air is in place as the shoe’s cushion setup. And besides the fact that you can actually see through the outsole into the tech, it’s barely anything special.
Sure, we shouldn’t expect anything crazy for $90 – I wasn’t hating the overall setup but this one will work best for certain players/playstyles for sure.
The Air implementation in these feels extremely minimal – you’re super low to the ground, there’s barely any give or contortion to the foam upon movements, so responsiveness is as good as it gets.
You’re also very stable with this kind of setup, as the foam doesn’t rise up high & there’s no need to cage it.
The downsides to this type of ride will of course be the lack of any real spring back or impact protection. You’ll be feeling light, fast and precise but if I had to say the shoe’s ride is versatile, I’d be lying.
For anyone who’s heavier/plays more explosively than a 5’9′ light guard, I think you’ll feel the lack of any real protection upon your landings, jumps, and cuts.
I personally didn’t enjoy this one, and I’m not a heavy dude. There’s simply barely any give to the foam and if actual “bounce” is what you’re looking for, you can forget about that completely.
So, in a nutshell, this will be a niche-orientated setup. For a low-profile light guard, someone who’s all about quickness and court feel – the Witness 3 definitely gets the job done.
But for anyone who’s looking for some more impact protection and just more cushion in general, I’d spend my money elsewhere.
Not a bad setup – just very focused on one side of the coin. And you can’t blame ’em – the shoe costs 90 dollars.
How much all-around security does it offer? What about the build’s stability and foot containment? Any restrictions in result?
Due to the nature of the shoe’s extremely condensed fit & the upper knitted tightly – support wasn’t that bad.
Most of the support and overall sense of “safety” is always felt from a proper fit first. And if you can get the sizing right for this one – the fit will surely lay a solid foundation in properly supporting your movements.
The shoe is extremely minimal though – there are no distinctive support features you’d usually see, besides a minimal heel counter.
No real lateral outriggers, no shank, no real structure to the upper – seriously? BUT, they’re still not bad. I can see these being competent for those lighter & lower profile guards.
It’s tough for me to judge the support element of the shoe when they were so uncomfortable for me. One thing I did feel is the upper’s simply not up to par with holding a heavier dude’s foot in place properly.
The lack of any structure to the upper kind of makes it an open case in terms of containment. If you’re light and not that shifty – these should be fine. However, if you play athletically – your foot might roll out of the footbed more than a few times. No joke.
So, once again – extremely minimal, extremely orientated to specific playstyles. Or, Nikey cutting costs AND weight at the same time. You choose.
VII. THE BUILD
What are the materials used? How well do they perform on-court? How’s the quality & reliability of the build?
The shoe’s upper is a full-on knit. There are shades of synthetic suede on the tongue as well.
Let’s look at this realistically. For $90 – is this a good upper? Yes, absolutely. It’s a knit that feels really damn nice, the upper is definitely comfy (if you can get the fit right) and ventilation is quite good.
But, is it a great knit in general? Not the best in my eyes. It’s not Primeknit or Flyknit – there’s no real stretch for this one and it’s knitted so tightly, you almost forget the shoe’s supposed to feel soft and premium-like.
But again, it’s $90 we’re paying, not $140+. For this price, I think it’s a great offer. I don’t see these as extremely durable as it’s just a knit but weirdly enough, I’d give this upper the edge over most versions of Flyknit in terms of durability.
I played in these mostly outside and I don’t yet see any signs of wear. The upper is looking like it can hold its own for a while.
So if pure bang for your buck is what you’re looking for, I think the Witness 3 isn’t a bad deal at all. In fact, it’s a great deal. Just don’t expect god-like qualities and a Primeknit/Flyknit level of softness and you’ll be good to go.
Rounding things up: are they versatile? Who’s best suited for the shoe? Is it a good deal amongst the competition?
The Nikey LeBron Witness 3 is a weird one but a solid budget option for sure. It doesn’t feel like a LeBron shoe at all. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing – it’s up for you to decide.
I still have to give credit where it’s due. The shoe’s traction is great and outdoor-friendly, cushion is fast and responsive, support is minimal but works for that type of player, and for $90, you get more than what you normally would.
The fit has its issues but if you’re no circus-level type of wide footer like I am, I don’t think you’ll have issues with it.
BUY THE LEBRON WITNESS 3 🛒
IX. ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS
Not feeling too confident on the LeBron Witness 3 but want something similar? I’ve cooked up a few potential alternatives for you
NIKE PRECISION 5, $70FULL REVIEW 🛒 AMAZON
For those that want that same ultra-minimal feel with a feathery upper, a low-profile cushion setup but a bit more refined (in some areas), AND for even cheaper – the Precision 5 from Nikey is exactly that.
It’s still not the best option for wide footers but I dealt with those much better than with the Witness 3. The Precision 5 is also a pretty decent outdoor choice.
The ride will feel similar to this one – minimal, quick, slapped low to the surface but still somewhat comfortable.
However, the Nike Precision 5 handles the support department better in my opinion, while being just as incredibly light as the Witness 3. If you’re bigger/more explosive but looking for a fast shoe – this might be a better option.
NIKE LEBRON WITNESS 5, $100FULL REVIEW 🛒 NIKE
Staying loyal to the Witness line but wanting something more well-rounded? The 5th model in the series is probably the best-balanced option out of the whole catalog.
It’s also got solid traction for all surfaces, a better cushion setup this time, and decent support qualities. The upper’s just basic mesh but I didn’t have major issues with foot containment.
NIKE ZOOM FREAK 2, $120FULL REVIEW 🛒 AMAZON
Finally, for a more distinct upgrade, check out Giannis’s Zoom Freak 2 if you’re willing to spend a bit more. It’s still a great low-profile shoe for a quick guard but this time it’s got the structure to handle even the biggest and most ferocious of players.
I had no issues with grip (besides the subpar durability for long-term outdoor action), the Zoom Air cushion setup is nothing special but got the job done and the upper’s definitely beefed up in comparison to the Witness line.
It’s still not overly heavy or clunky, just better structured.
X. WHICH WITNESS IS YOUR FAVORITE?
Share your opinions and questions below!
That’s a wrap for the LeBron Witness 3 review! I truly hope you found it informative! I do expect some of you to not feel satisfied based on the shoe’s performance. For that, I HIGHLY recommend checking out my guide and list for the best budget shoes under $100. You’re getting a ton of value there!
I’m also going to leave you with a few related posts that you might find interesting or useful.
I wanna know your take on it though. Perhaps you’ve played in them and would like to share your experience? Or maybe you’ve got a question?
Leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you ASAP!
XI. LEBRON WITNESS 3 REVIEW: THE VERDICT
My final takes, ratings, and recommendations
Nike LeBron Witness 3$90
- Not recommended for wide footers
- Regular/narrow footers can go true to size for a snug fit
- Questionable foot containment: explosive/athletic players could find it lacking
- The rest of the shoe is solid considering the price
- "Low to the ground" players
- Lighter players