$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?
THE REVIEW: HOW IT’LL GO
I’ve played and tested the shoe for about a couple of months – mostly outdoors but did have a chance to play inside as well. I’ve actually already extensively played in both the Witness 3 and the newer Witness 4, so check them both and see which one you like more!
But for now, here’s what I’ll break down for you:
- The shoe’s fit & comfort level
- On-court performance
- Overall build quality & value for the price
- Final takeaways & to whom the shoe is best for
Let’s get right into it!
Model: Nike LeBron Witness III
Weight: 12.94 oz / 367 g. (size 10 US)
Retail Price: $90
Cushion: Full-length encapsulated Air
Best Offer On: Amazon
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I. COMFORT & FIT
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.
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!
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.
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.
V. BUILD & MATERIALS
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.
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.
Overall, I think it’s a solid release. Now, onto the Witness 4 review!
Why Amazon? Click to find out!
I’ve been ordering a solid 70%-80% of my hoop shoes from Amazon and can confidently say it’s almost always the most trustworthy and convenient option to buy your shoes.
Yes, it’s great to find the shoe you’re looking for on an original retailer such as Nike or Adidas but the reality is a bit different – a lot of times, especially for shoes older than 1-2 years, it’s a very small chance you’ll find the shoe or better yet find it in your size & color.
You’ll mostly find the latest releases directly from the brand’s store but the period is usually pretty short until they’re out of stock.
This is where Amazon comes in.
Amazon is not strictly one retailer giving you the products, it’s a whole chain of thousands of different sellers, all supplying different products, including basketball shoes. You will mostly find more color and size options on Amazon for your desired shoe than on an original retailer or even a general sporting goods store.
Sure, there will be exceptions where Amazon won’t have a particular shoe but that’s on the rare side.
And the best part is the pricing – you can find older shoes and at times new shoes priced under retail, sometimes at crazy low prices, which is something you’ll never see on Nike.com, adidas.com, and other retailers (except during discounts/sales of course).
To sum things up and give you a generalized idea of why Amazon beats other stores more often than not, I’ve compiled a shortlist of the most notable advantages the massive store chain has over its competitors.
- Usually, higher stock, size & color/edition availability compared to other stores
- Blazing fast shipping times (sometimes delivered the SAME DAY if you’re close to the seller’s stock)
- A good chance to find shoes priced under retail
- Extremely convenient return/refund policies
Still not sure? I’ve made a comprehensive guide and compiled some general tips on where to buy basketball shoes online. Check it HERE!
Comfort Rating: 7.5
Performance Rating: 7
Value for the Price Rating: 9
Suitable for Outdoors: Yes
Recommended for: light players | low-profile playstyles
Overall Rating: 7.9
That’s a wrap for the 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 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?