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New Balance Kawhi 1
New Balance Kawhi 1
New Balance Kawhi 1
New Balance Kawhi 1

New Balance Kawhi 1 Review

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8.3
Kawhi's first official signature shoe is a solid performer.
based on 2 expert reviews

Best Suitable For:

Best for bigger players who need a very supportive and rigid shoe.

Category Performance Ratings:

Traction
8.5
Cushion
8.5
Materials
7.0
Support
9.5
Fit
8.0
Outdoor
100%

Facts & Figures:

Type:
Mid Top
Release Date:
11/2020
Sizing:
small
large
Width:
narrow
wide

Colorways of New Balance Kawhi 1:

6 likes
Black / Royal Blue
Black / Royal Blue
in 5 shops
$159.99
14 likes
Black
Black
in 6 shops
$160.00
14 likes
Red  / Vision Blue
Red / Vision Blue
in 5 shops
$160.00
11 likes
White / Team Red
White / Team Red
in 4 shops
$160.00
6 likes
White
White
in 5 shops
$160.00
15 likes
BBKLSJR1
BBKLSJR1
in 3 shops
$160.00
13 likes
Blue / White / Blue
Blue / White / Blue
in 6 shops
$160.00

Summary of 2 Expert Reviews:

Pros:
Very supportive
Durable outsole
Cons:
Heavy
Could have more premium materials

Performance of the New Balance Kawhi 1:

Kawhi Leonard's first real signature shoe provides good traction on indoor and outdoor courts, but you will need to wipe regularly on dusty courts. The FuelCell cushion setup is very similar to the OMN1S, but with caging in the heel. Overall this setup is very responsive and bouncy with a lot of court feel, but the heel is a little firm. The materials are decent, but considering the premium price, they could have been better. Reviewers found them to be stiff even after breaking them in. The support is the highlight of the shoe - it's top tier! You won't be sliding on the footbed or experience any lateral instabilities thanks to the sturdy materials and good fit. Overall, the Kawhi is a solid first signature shoe that works especially well for bigger players who value stability and durability.
See all 2 reviews

Reviews of the New Balance Kawhi 1:

The 8.3 average overall rating ranks #101 of 153 shoes overall
8.4
The Sole Brothers
November 25, 2020
I didn't like playing in the Kawhi, especially for $160. If you need a rigid and supportive shoe then these are for you, but if not I'd stay away from these.
Watch the video
8.2
RicheeKim
November 19, 2020
The Kawhi retails for $160 and is a great performer. For the price I expected a little more, but overall these are nice.
Watch the video

Traction of the New Balance Kawhi 1:

The 8.5 average traction rating ranks #72 of 153 shoes overall
9.0
The Sole Brothers
November 25, 2020
The traction pattern on the Kawhi reminded me of a brain. The bite is great indoors and outdoors, but they pick up some dust so I had to consistently wipe.
Watch the video
8.0
RicheeKim
November 19, 2020
This traction pattern reminded me of a maze. I had no problems with grip on clean courts, but I did have to wipe on dusty courts to maintain a good bite.
Watch the video

Cushion of the New Balance Kawhi 1:

The 8.5 average cushion rating ranks #84 of 153 shoes overall
8.0
The Sole Brothers
November 25, 2020
This cushion setup is very responsive and offers a lot of court feel. Impact protection is good too, but I wish the heel cushion wasn't caged. Overall, this cushion setup is nice.
Watch the video
9.0
RicheeKim
November 19, 2020
The FuelCell midsole felt bouncier than the OMN1S in the forefoot. The heel is a little firmer because of the caging. Overall, I really liked the cushion setup.
Watch the video

Materials of the New Balance Kawhi 1:

The 7.0 average materials rating ranks #150 of 153 shoes overall
7.0
The Sole Brothers
November 25, 2020
These materials aren't my favorite. On foot, they didn't feel terrible, but they were stiff even after breaking in. There is a piece on the heel that dug into the back of my foot which was uncomfortable.
Watch the video
7.0
RicheeKim
November 19, 2020
The materials used in the Kawhi 1 are alright. The upper is made mostly from hard textile and fuse which is a bit disappointing considering the premium price. Performance-wise these got the job done just fine.
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Support of the New Balance Kawhi 1:

The 9.5 average support rating ranks #2 of 153 shoes overall
10.0
The Sole Brothers
November 25, 2020
Support is what this shoe does best! I had no issues at all and this is a shoe Zion Williamson could play in.
Watch the video
9.0
RicheeKim
November 19, 2020
I didn't have any support issues with the Kawhi. They offer great lateral containment and stability. The heel counter and shank plate kept me locked in.
Watch the video

Fit of the New Balance Kawhi 1:

The 8.0 average fit rating ranks #111 of 153 shoes overall
8.0
The Sole Brothers
November 25, 2020
The fit is pretty snug and the materials don't stretch out at all. They fit well with a little dead space in the toe box.
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8.0
RicheeKim
November 19, 2020
These fit pretty well. There was a little dead space in the toe box and they felt slightly bulky. Other than that, everything was fine.
Watch the video

Is Outdoor Use recommended?

The 100.0% average outdoor rating ranks #2 of 153 shoes overall
good
The Sole Brothers
November 25, 2020
The durability of the outsole is really good.
Watch the video

Width of the New Balance Kawhi 1:

slightly narrow
The Sole Brothers
November 25, 2020
Watch the video
regularly wide
RicheeKim
November 19, 2020
I am a slightly wide footer and had no issues.
Watch the video

Size of the New Balance Kawhi 1:

true to size
The Sole Brothers
November 25, 2020
I went true to size and it was good for me.
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½ size large
RicheeKim
November 19, 2020
I'd recommend going down half a size from your normal shoe size.
Watch the video

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Black / Royal Blue
Black / Royal Blue
in 5 shops
$159.99
Black
Black
in 6 shops
$160.00
Red  / Vision Blue
Red / Vision Blue
in 5 shops
$160.00
White / Team Red
White / Team Red
in 4 shops
$160.00
White
White
in 5 shops
$160.00
BBKLSJR1
BBKLSJR1
in 3 shops
$160.00
Blue / White / Blue
Blue / White / Blue
in 6 shops
$160.00
Black / Royal Blue
$159.99
on New Balance

New Balance Kawhi 1 Performance Review