Nike Lebron Soldier 9 VS Nike Lebron 13!

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Nike Lebron Soldier 9 VS Nike Lebron 13

Keeping up with the spirit of the Cavaliers’s victory in the NBA Finals, today the Sole Brothers match up two shoes by Nike made for the 3 time NBA Finals MVP, 3 time champion, and 4 time NBA MVP, Lebron James. The shoes that will be competing against each other are the Nike Lebron Soldier 9 VS the Nike Lebron 13. The Lebron Soldier 9 is a “team” model shoe, meaning that it is designed to be less expensive than a signature model and does not use the most advanced tech like a signature. That does not mean that a team model shoe is not good, as we have mentioned here at the Sole Brothers site and the Youtube channel, it is more about how the tech is implemented, not the quantity or novelty of tech used. The Soldier 9 is considered a team model, but it does bear Lebron’s branding and name, so it is kind of like a budget signature model. The Lebron 13 is James’s 13th (duh) signature shoe with Nike, and aims to be at the forefront of performance basketball innovation. Can Lebron beat Lebron?

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The Lebron 13 utilizes a multi-directional traction pattern and, depending on the colorway, features either a translucent or a solid rubber outsole. The translucent outsole does not perform particularly well, but the solid rubber is excellent. In the Lebron 13, you stick to the floor very well, stop hard and fast, do not have to wipe, and it will break your eardrums. The Lebron Soldier 9’s outsole uses hexagonal sections divided into smaller geometric shapes to bend and flex, helping you to stop harder. Sammy reported that he did not stop as quickly in the Soldier 9 as he did in the Lebron 13. The Lebron Soldier 9’s outsole does need to be broken in, and once it is, it performs nicely and never requires wiping.
Winner: Lebron 13



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The Lebron Soldier 9 utilizes a Phylon midsole with a Zoom Air unit in the heel and the forefoot. The Zoom units are very hard to feel in the shoe, and Sammy reported that he could barely feel a slight bounce in the forefoot. The Lebron 13 utilizes 4 max volume hexagonal Zoom Air pods in the forefoot and heel. The impact protection is good, the Zoom pods feel very bouncy, the cushion is also responsive, and provides good court feel. The Lebron 13’s cushioning system feels nice, and you feel pretty low to the ground which is great if you want to feel explosive.
Winner: Lebron 13

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The Lebron 13 features a one piece mesh bootie reinforced with fuse in high wear areas and Hyperposite pieces for added support. The upper is very stiff, abrasive, and takes a long time to break in. The Lebron Soldier 9 uses a foam and mesh upper with fuse in high wear areas for added durability, flywire cables across the forefoot, and two straps. The Lebron Soldier 9’s upper is pretty stiff, but not as stiff as the Lebron 13.
Winner: Lebron Soldier 9

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The fit for the Lebron Soldier 9 is a normal-wide fit, but the flywire and the straps help tighten the fit which does help. The Lebron 13 uses a one bootie construction that fits too widely in the forefoot. To make matters worse, the lacing system in the Lebron 13 does not cover the affected area, so tying the laces tighter does little to improve the fit.
Winner: Lebron Soldier 9

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Both shoes provide good lockdown and Sammy did not report any slipping in the heel or ankle in either shoe.
Winner: Tie


The Lebron Soldier 9 does a good job of providing ankle support and lockdown with its strap system, but the Lebron 13’s stiff upper and higher ankle collar make it a more supportive shoe.
Winner: Lebron 13


The Lebron Soldier 9 wins in the ventilation category by a slim margin, but both shoes are pretty hot.
Winner: Lebron Soldier 9


Both of these shoes are made with solid, quality materials and were designed to take the brutal punishment of James’s explosive style of play.
Winner: Tie

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The Lebron Soldier 9 is a more appealing silhouette than the Lebron 13 which is a hideous silhouette. But in some colorways, the Lebron 13 can be a decent to good looking shoe.
Winner: Lebron Soldier 9

The Lebron 13 is a very expensive shoe, or at least it was before a few colorways went on sale for as low as $100 (presumably at outlet stores). The Lebron Soldier 9, however, retailed at a decent $140, but you can cop it online for as low as $80-90. If price were not a factor, Sammy would pick the Lebron 13, since he does not enjoy playing in the Soldier 9’s since the traction and cushion are not particularly good and the shoe feels awkward. So the overall winner is the Lebron 13, but it should be noted that your experience in this shoe can vary a lot, since Don did not like them at all due to the fit for his foot.

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