The Zoom Soldier IV surprised us with its early European release last month. The shoes, which were also released in Asia, are starting to pop up at selected locations in the U.S. We were used to see them coming out around the Playoffs when LeBron James makes the switch from his season to playoff shoes. Although the switch was made… it wasn’t in favor of the Soldiers this year. King James introduced the Nike LeBron VII P.S. in the 2010 NBA Playoffs delaying the premiere of the ZSIV till late Summer. With the FIBA World Championships coming soon they might get a decent outlet if LeBron James decides to play for the U.S.A. However, that’s a very big IF right now. I was able to get a pair for a quick review and the first thing I checked was the weight, of course. Continue reading for more information and visit the updated weightionary.
The myth about LeBron’s shoes being bulky and heavy is no longer valid, but since it’s an Air Max based shoe I was afraid the problem would come back. The Soldier III broke all records, the VII P.S. felt like a feather too, but the regular AMLVII wasn’t as light in a head-to-head comparison. Seeing the ZSIV on pics I had a feeling these would be closer to the LBJ7 other than the previous Soldier. Fortunately, that was misleading. They weight 15.25 oz. / 432 grams in size 10. Not only Nike was able to make them lighter than the 7 P.S. on a scale, but they also feel great on feet. For a Zoom Air / Max Air combo they are surprisingly flexible (unlike Penny’s retros) and thanks to the midfoot strap the lockdown is very good. The cushioning setup with Zoom Air in the forefoot for a quick first step and Max Air in the back for a better impact protection is quite enjoyable. It’s an unique combination, especially for the LeBron line. More test are needed in order to determine its efficiency, but so far, so good. The only weakness I’ve noticed after a couple of first wearings was a possibly weaker ankle support, especially when compared with the profiled asymmetrical ankle cut featured in the Post Season VII’s. All in all, I am glad Nike were able to keep the Soldier spirit and still improve their product. One last tip: in my opinion they fit small so you might want to get them half size bigger (comparing with the ZSIII).