Funny enough, it so happened that I’ve played in both the Witness 5 and now the 6 for the exact same amount of time. The only difference is I had the ability to switch it up with some indoor hoops with this one. With that, here’s my detailed indoor & outdoor LeBron Witness 6 review from a hooper, to a hooper.
I HIGHLY encourage you to delve deeper into some of these less expensive takedown models like those in Nikey’s LeBron Witness line, as most of ’em proved to be excellent performance sneakers for the money. They’re not exactly groundbreakers but they’re such good cost-effective shoes and the 6 looks to do more of that.
But did it succeed after the fantastic 4 & 5 models that I had such a good time with? Let’s break it all down.
SHOW TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Spec Sheet
- 1-Min Review
- Fit & Comfort
- The Build
- Alternative Options
- What Do YOU Think?
- LeBron Witness 6 Review: The Verdict
I. SPEC SHEET
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THE LEBRON WITNESS 6 IS AVAILABLE HERE
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II. 1-MIN REVIEW ?
For those in a hurry: the LeBron Witness 6 from Nike might just look like a further improvement from last year’s model but it’s more than that. Mostly not in a good way.
It gave me a good fit for my wide feet since the toebox is fairly roomy, as well as solid traction with deep groves capable of lasting a long time, even for outdoors.
The open mesh & nylon build is about what we’d come to expect in the current era of performance footwear, and this upper performed well after a short break-in period.
The problems started the moment I began playing a more intense match close to full pace.
The lateral portion of the shoe’s Air Max cushion is exposed, causing it to overcompress upon a more akward foot plant and make the shoe roll outwards.
This is a pretty serious issue as I actually rolled my ankle twice due to this. I haven’t rolled my ankle for a full 2 years up until this point.
This is why it’s tough to recommend this one to anyone who’s a hooper.
It could’ve been a very decent shoe but now, all that’s left is a pretty silhuette for casual wear, an option quick shootarounds with your pals, or if you’re a linear-dominant player that doesn’t play at a high pace, you might just be able to get away with it.
> The full review is below
III. FIT & COMFORT
How’s the sizing situation and are these comfortable? Anything else to know fit-wise?
The LeBron Witness 6 is a better wide footer’s choice than the last two models, I’ll give ’em that.
Regardless, most guys should stick with their usual size for these. I found that the midfoot & heel portions fit just how you’d expect from today’s average basketball shoe: snug and secure.
The forefoot is where things got a little more roomy than usual, and while I greatly appreciate such nuance for my wide feet, hoopers with a more narrow foot or those who are more accustomed to a one-to-one fitting formula might find these a little ways from ideal.
Still though, I wouldn’t recommend going down half a size for anyone. The length is pretty much perfect, so stepping down might do you more harm than good.
The back of the toebox (right above the little Nikey logo) is fairly tall, and I’ve seen users report having a bit of room over there. Nothing crazy, just something to remember.
I’ve also got a tall midfoot bone which is why these fit me pretty much perfect right from the start. Yes, by now you realize my feet are thiiick.
I did feel some pressure on the lateral portions of the forefoot though, particularly where the foam of the midsole comes up to the material.
It just so happened to align with the widest part of my foot, so I did feel some discomfort at first.
But as the days went by, this soon resolved itself as the material stretched out a little. The little foam barrier did its part too, slightly softening up and better moving with my foot.
Now, I’ve reached a point where I can still feel my pinky colliding with the material at certain movements but it doesn’t get in the way anymore. It kind of just happens without consequence. No pain, no suffocation, or anything like that.
Taking sizing out of the equation, the Witness 6 is a fairly comfortable shoe.
I didn’t have rocket-level expectations just like I didn’t with the 4 & 5 and it’s exactly what I got: distraction-free action. Comfort-wise that is.
There’s a bit of padding on the seriously large tongues of the shoes and the ankle area isn’t padded that much. Though it sits in place very securely and that’s all I need over there.
The sneaker is also pretty light-feeling for a LeBron model despite the beefy bottom portion. The extremely minimal build up top is the biggest factor here.
I did feel some slight pressure on the area where the second and third lace eyelets reside (counting from the top). It seems that the pressure from the laces goes right through the thin tongue and my tall midfoot bone is there to soak it all in.
It’s not as laughably terrible as it was on the LeBron 18 but still something I thought about from time to time. Not a dealbreaker by any means though, so don’t get it twisted.
Overall, nothing terrible can be said about the fit of the LeBron Witness 6. It should fit most foot shapes well, the laces allow for plenty of customization, and they’re nice and easy to put on.
How does the shoe grip a variety of surfaces? Do dust/debris matter for these? What about outsole durability?
The shoe sports a classic herringbone pattern from heel to toe along with a large flex groove in the midfoot area for weight-reducing & flexibility purposes.
The thread of this pattern is deeeep. And I mean Retro-level deep. The rubber is also thick and hard, so all of this immediately tells you it’s a cheaper Nikey shoe built primarily for outdoors.
I did manage to put some hours in a high school gym for the Witness 6. I hooped on a rubberized court which is even softer than your classic hardwood, so shoes that don’t have good base bite usually don’t perform too well over there.
Luckily, I had a decent time with these on this court.
Such hard rubber actually needs some time to break in and allow for better compression which means the pattern will be able to cover more ground upon each foot plant.
This is why I didn’t get an ideal bite during the first few hours but things quickly stabilized without me even noticing. We had a lot of guys in the gym on that particular day of initial testing, so we started a 5v5 match with me thinking about how subpar this traction is.
About an hour in, I didn’t even notice that I was seamlessly playing and biting the floor about how I normally would, and only at the end of the game, I actually stopped and realized that all is good now.
The base level of grip was nice, stops were decent with no huge delays or slip-outs, and an occasional wipe or two even now and then was all I needed to maintain a healthy bite.
Granted, the floor I played on is regularly maintained since it’s a high school gym.
Now, I’m not saying this is elite-level traction. It’s not, despite the ultra-aggressive-looking outsoles. You can tell it’s a setup catered more towards outdoor play since such hard and thick rubber isn’t as good at catching your movements on a less abrasive surface.
The thread simply doesn’t move as well as it does on more traditional indoor outsoles which are thinner and more pliable. It’s a bit of a trade-off in durability and actual traction indoors.
I was still fine though, just don’t expect something you’d find on Kyrie or a Curry model in terms of grip.
This is where these outsoles straight from the 2000’s really start to shine. Outdoors, I take my shoes on a classic concrete surface and a rubberized tennis court-like stadium surface.
Both surfaces brought no issues for the Witness 6, just as I expected. This is about as good as it gets for those who are primarily outdoor hoopers and looking to get the most bang for their buck.
You’ll be able to forget about dust/debris piling up in the thread as well. Well, almost. Such a deep pattern might easily attract a lot of nasty stuff inside but since the grooves are so deep, it barely affects the traction.
And that’s exactly how it was with the LeBron Witness 6 for me. No sliding, no wiping, no hassle. I did wipe ’em down periodically but mostly out of habit rather than out of necessity.
No surprises here – outdoor players who are looking to get a cost-effective shoe for a long time should definitely consider this one.
Such outsoles should last a damn while, and I’m talkin’ multiple seasons. It’s really a shame most higher-tier Nikey shoes don’t offer such reliability since they’re primarily focused on their signature athletes and performance for the hardwood.
I guess we can’t get everything.
So, about 4 months of on and off action with these in the park meant almost no damage to the rubber of the outsoles. Not visually, not performance-wise. They’re dirty but that’s about it.
I also regularly clean out my outsoles almost after every session, and that helps with preserving almost out-of-the-box traction every time I step on the court.
I do expect the thread to get a little thinner by the end of the season but that doesn’t mean traction will completely get messed up.
I’ve had plenty of outdoor shoes still biting very well despite their outsoles being visually torn apart.
Good rubber beats all.
How’s the impact protection & energy return of the cushioning? What about ride height, step comfort, and stability?
The shoe utilizes a large Air Max unit as the main component of the cushion along with a traditional foam midsole (likely Phylon) to accompany the rest of the ride.
The Air Max unit isn’t actually full-length, despite Nikey claiming otherwise. It runs all the way to the beginning of the forefoot area but it’s all foam from there.
The flex groove you see on the outsole basically separates foam from Air Max, so everything you see on the medial side from the flex groove is all foam.
It is known that Air Max can take a bit to offer the feedback that it intends to. It’s also known that it’s one of the less resilient compounds from Nike.
Both of those statements were true to the Witness 6. The ride definitely felt a little stiff and clunky the first day of playing and things gradually got smoother.
The heel area is surrounded by rubber which makes heel plants anything but Air Maxy and step-in comfort is decent at best the rest of the way. Even after giving this setup some time to break in.
Air Max is chunky too which means ride height will be elevated and I felt that. Definitely not a low-profile setup here, so shifty guards or quick shooters might not find this ride optimal.
Even the forefoot portion felt more slightly elevated than a traditional setup where things get gradually thinner going to the forefoot and court feel becomes the priority there.
This ties us into the biggest issue of the shoe. The only place where I’d actually feel nicer feedback from the cushion is the lateral portion. This is where the Air Max unit is fully exposed and there’s nothing to keep it in check.
But why? This is the most critical area for hoopers as we need to ensure the elevation created from the cushion is as stable as possible to prevent awkward foot plants or ankle rolls.
You’d usually see this area of the midsole protected the most, while here it’s quite the opposite.
I actually rolled my ankle twice about a month in of play with the Witness 6. One time I landed on someone’s foot following a rebound and the other, it was just a simple change of direction laterally.
Granted, neither situations were severe sprains and I was ready to go back on the court the same day. The point is, I haven’t rolled my right ankle for a good two years now. Not once.
I worked hard on solving this issue as I couldn’t rack up more than a few games without at least partially spraining my right ankle a few years back.
It seems that hooping in a shoe like this caused enough instability for it to happen after all this time and I feel like I needed to be super aware of my foot placement for the next 3 months I spent with the sneaker.
The Air Max unit simply overcompresses if I planted my foot in a more awkward position or landed on the side of my foot, thus promoting an outward motion of the shoe and possibly endangering myself to an ankle roll.
The last time I saw something like this was on the Nikey Air Zoom BB NXT it wasn’t as intrusive there. The LeBron 17 was also quite unstable (if I remember correctly) but none of the shoes came close to this one.
And remember what I said about the reliability of Air Max? About 3 months in, the experience got even duller as the Air Max started bottoming out which took away some of the compression where it was most felt.
I’m not saying things are completely dead now – they’re not. In fact, I think it actually helped with the stability issue as the unit doesn’t compress as much now, plus it’s a bit lower to the ground now.
For a hundred bucks, I can appreciate we’re still getting some tech in our shoes but at what point does that become obsolete when actual performance doesn’t live up to the visual flair this ages-old Air Max idea is still standing on?
Regardless, I still believe this setup could’ve been saved by ensuring it’s optimized and stable, even if it is Air Max.
Now, I feel like it doesn’t make sense to recommend the shoe to anyone because of the dangers associated. Not even for a casual hooper going out to play with the guys on Sundays.
How much support vs. mobility does the shoe offer? How about foot containment?
The LeBron Witness 6 has all the critical support features you’d see on most shoes implemented.
There are excellent internal heel counters for ankle & heel lockdown along with these plastic shark fin-looking plates on both sides of the heel for containing the back of the foot in place.
The forefoot area of the shoe is also protected with subtle foam sidewalls, again, for proper containment at the front.
There are also these nylon bands on each side that run through the laces and go around the midfoot to further pull down on the area for a locked-in feel.
No complaints there – works as intended and my foot never moved an inch inside the footbed.
Torsional rigidity is also there due to the stiff nature of the midsole.
But all of this doesn’t save the shoe from the fact that the cushion isn’t properly stabilized laterally. I feel like Nikey was aware of this and threw everything else they got support-wise (for the budget they had to work with of course).
I don’t think I have to tell if it’s a sub-optimal solution. Lateral stability can be straight-up awful with these at times, despite other aspects delivering.
They could’ve at least widened the base of the shoe at the forefoot to help save some of the stability but even that’s not the case. No real lateral outriggers either.
Some of the decisions behind the creation process of the shoe just seem strange to me. I’m sure there were reasons behind this but we’ll never know.
However, that doesn’t justify the downsides a lot of hoopers could potentially experience. Especially when we’re talking about an increased risk of injury.
VII. THE BUILD
What are the materials used throughout the shoe and how do they perform on-court? What about reliability?
The Nike LeBron Witness 6 features an upper fully in line with the rest of the performance shoe lineup of the modern era.
Lightweight open mesh serves as the base layer and nylon cables run all the way throughout the upper on top of the mesh for added strength.
The back portion of the shoe seems to feature a screen mesh type of material that’s scratchier and cheaper but sturdier. The build as a whole is extremely thin and lightweight though which is always nice to have.
The tongue & ankle areas are lightly padded with foam, the heel sidewalls are made from TPU (hard plastic) and the outsoles is, of course, all rubber.
The shoe utilizes a traditional construction with laces and a separately sewed-on tongue. No internal booties or inner sleeves are to be found here.
I didn’t have any major issues with the performance of such a build, as we’ve all come to expect that now.
The upper, particularly the forefoot, actually started off a bit stiff as each linear motion that caused the shoe’s flex point to bend caused some discomfort. I do believe my thick feet played a role in this but still.
This went away fairly quickly and a few days of action resulted in a solid experience. The build moves well with each movement, containment is great for such a minimal setup, and the breathability of this mesh actually surprised me.
We rarely get properly ventilated basketball shoes nowadays (and even less so in the past), not that I’m eagerly looking for that.
However, the Witness 6 definitely offered a cool ride as there’s a good amount of airflow due to this open design.
Guys who are constantly hooping in a hot climate under the sun – you shouldn’t feel any worse than you normally would with these.
Honestly, this performance shoe industry has become so good in providing modern synthetic builds that are both minimal AND durable, that it’s becoming less and less relevant to even mention the build’s reliability at this point.
Brands are constantly innovating in this aspect, consistently making small changes to their product each year and coming up with solutions of how to make a shoe light & comfy but also properly structured.
This can be seen on the Witness 6 – thin mesh by itself would be pretty flimsy but add strategic nylon reinforcements to the mix and we’ve got an upper that will both last and perform.
I’m not seeing any severe damage with these 4 months in beside a few small frays along the toebox. The outsoles are looking solid as well.
I feel like this Air Max cushion setup will completely bottom out faster than this build will get damaged to the point where it would matter.
Of course, it’s not the MOST durable upper you can get today as there are much thicker and better-structured builds for the likes of athletic high-flyers, 7-foot big men, or 260 lbs attackers built like tanks.
But if you don’t happen to fall in any of the categories – you’ll be fine. This upper should last as long as you need it to.
Closing out the LeBron Witness 6 review: are they worth it? How versatile are they? Worthy of an upgrade from last year’s model?
The LeBron Witness 6 review is coming to a close and so are my expectations for the next Witness shoe. Unfortunately. They say expect disappointment and you’ll never get disappointed, right?
I’ll keep it to myself as to where I got that quote from.
Well, the shoe could’ve been very decent for the money if the core issues would’ve been addressed and corrected. But in this case, these issues simply make the shoe a hard sell for just about anyone, honestly.
I had moments of fun with these since they’re not all terrible and the stability issues didn’t plague me 100% of the time. But I’d be lying if I said I’ll continue playing in the Witness 6 after this review is done.
The LeBron Witness 6 will give you solid traction, especially for outdoors, you’ll also get a comfortable & lightweight build that doesn’t break the bank and lasts.
You’ll also get a proper fit and wide footers should find these suitable. I also gotta admit they’re looking pretty damn beautiful. The Witness line has always been a looker for me.
But that’s about where the good stuff ends. Lateral stability can be terrible at times, to the point where it can be dangerous to intensively play in these.
The Air Max cushion setup is honestly a thing of the past and there’s no reason for Nikey to include it besides a clever marketing trick. They are giving you their proprietary cushion technology for just $100, right?
Stick to the previous Witness shoes if you’re looking for that all-around package that doesn’t hurt your wallet. Unless you’re looking to rock these casually or just take ’em for shootarounds.
For me, the flagship LeBron 19 is next! Boy, I’m excited for those.
? BEST DEALS ON THE WITNESS 6
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IX. ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS
Perhaps you’re feeling a type of way about the Witness 6 but you still want a similar experience? I’ve got some potential options for you
NIKE LEBRON WITNESS 5, $100
The previous Witness 5 is just a more refined and better-crafted shoe with no questionable decisions in terms of performance or quality.
It’s still a $100 shoe, so don’t expect anything crazy, but I had a ton of fun in those.
It’s also a comfortable, lightweight package that has good responsiveness, a decent cushion setup that’s stable and efficient, a mesh build, and decent outsoles for outdoor play.
NIKE LEBRON WITNESS 4, $100
The 4th Witness shoe almost felt identical to the 5 but there are a few differences. The upper on the Witness 4 uses a bit stiffer mesh that could probably be considered as cheaper-feeling but for guys who are looking for a tad bit more structure, the 4th shoe will give you that.
Don’t think big about this one though, the difference is pretty marginal.
The outsoles are also considered slightly more durable than those on the 5. At least by judging from the thickness of the rubber and how each looked after a few months of outdoor action.
Both shoes will last quite a while but if I was a betting man, I’d bet on the 4 for a slight edge in reliability.
X. WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Sharing your thoughts below is greatly appreciated! I’m looking forward to chatting with you!
That takes care of the LeBron Witness 6 review! I hope you found it informative & enjoyable as always! I really wanted to like the shoe and I did like parts of it.
Unfortunately, in this industry, it doesn’t quite work that way here – everything has to operate properly in order to provide the wearer with efficiency, comfort, and safety. That was not the case with the Witness 6.
But I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts on it. I’m sure there will be people who aren’t experiencing such issues that most of us do with the shoe.
What’s your take on it? Perhaps you’ve got the shoe yourself? Or maybe you’ve got a question I haven’t answered in the review?
I’ll be happy to provide any kind of information I have on the shoe or anything about hoop shoes in general.
Drop a comment down below and let’s talk!
LIKE THE WITNESS LINE? DISCOVER MORE
XI. LEBRON WITNESS 6 REVIEW: THE VERDICT
My final shoe ratings, main takeaways, and final recommendations
Nike LeBron Witness 6$100
Fit & Comfort7.5/10
Value for the Price7.0/10
- True to size will do the trick for most
- Narrow footers - expect a roomier fit in the toebox
- Can take a few days to break in the cushion & traction
- Lateral instability can be a dealbreaker for most
- Linear-dominant movement patterns
- LeBron shoe collectors
- Outdoor hoopers