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New Balance Kawhi 1

Released 11/2020, Mid Top, Kawhi Leonard
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8.5
EXPERT RATING
4 reviews
8.7
USER RATING
3 ratings
Kawhi's first official signature shoe is a solid performer.

Best Suitable For:

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

Price Comparison:

Available at 7 shops | Official Retail Price: $159.99
Finishline
$85.00
$160
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Category Performance Ratings:

Expert Ratings
User Ratings
Traction
8.5
Cushion
8.5
Materials
7.8
Support
9.4
Fit
8.3
Outdoor
75%

Weight & Sizing:

Weight:
light
heavy
Sizing:
small
large
Width:
narrow
wide
7 likes
"New Money" - Grey / Blue
"New Money" - Grey / Blue
in 7 shops
$85.00
$160
12 likes
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$109.99
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Pink / White / Multi
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Blue / White / Blue
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Red  / Vision Blue
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Black / Royal Blue
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White
White
No stores found
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Vision Blue / Aztec Gold
Vision Blue / Aztec Gold
No stores found
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Pink / Neo Flame
Pink / Neo Flame
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New Balance Kawhi 1 Review

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 4 reviews

Expert Reviews of the New Balance Kawhi 1:

Expert Rating: 8.5 (ranks #86 of 196)
10 - Amazing
0
9 - Great
1
8 - Good
3
7 - Average
0
6 - Subpar
0
5 - Poor
0
I'd recommend the Kawhi 1 to everyone who is okay with a little bit of break-in time. They will be good for any playing style and especially cater to bigger athletes looking for more support.
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8.4
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.
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8.2
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.
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8.2
May 6, 2021
The New Balance Kawhi 1 is a good first entry in Kawhi's signature line. It's a supportive and secure shoe with a decent cushion that provides impact protection. The traction also grips nicely, and the compound appears to be durable.
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User Reviews of the New Balance Kawhi 1:

User Rating: 8.7 (ranks #61 of 196)
10 - Amazing
0
9 - Great
3
8 - Good
0
7 - Average
0
6 - Subpar
0
5 - Poor
0
8.8
December 30, 2021
The Kawhi 1 is really good. But i don't like the heel, it is a bit hard.
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8.6
Sunday at 12:07 AM
User didn't add a summary.
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8.6
December 29, 2021
User didn't add a summary.
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Traction of the New Balance Kawhi 1:

Expert Traction Rating: 8.5 (ranks #97 of 196)
User Traction Rating: 8.7 (ranks #78 of 196)
10 - Amazing
0
9 - Great
4
8 - Good
3
7 - Average
0
6 - Subpar
0
5 - Poor
0
The data-driven outsole performs well. Dust was heavily attracted to the translucent part of the outsole, but the more aggressive traction under the ball of the foot gets rid of dust well.
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9.0
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.
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8.0
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.
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8.0
May 6, 2021
The compound is hard, and the grooves are thick. The traction is on point.
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Cushion of the New Balance Kawhi 1:

Expert Cushion Rating: 8.5 (ranks #104 of 196)
User Cushion Rating: 8.7 (ranks #67 of 196)
10 - Amazing
0
9 - Great
4
8 - Good
3
7 - Average
0
6 - Subpar
0
5 - Poor
0
The FuelCell foam used in the midsole is thicker than the OMN1S and the ride isn't as smooth because of it. Court feel isn't as good, but there is ample impact protection indoors. Not my favorite cushioning, but much better than others.
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8.0
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.
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9.0
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.
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8.0
May 6, 2021
The Fuelcell cushion is thicker than on the Omn1s and does a good job of providing impact protection. It has a bit of bounce but not too much.
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Materials of the New Balance Kawhi 1:

Expert Materials Rating: 7.8 (ranks #154 of 196)
User Materials Rating: 8.3 (ranks #75 of 196)
10 - Amazing
0
9 - Great
2
8 - Good
3
7 - Average
2
6 - Subpar
0
5 - Poor
0
The material construction is even more elaborate than it appears at first - which is a good thing. The one-piece bootie is not as stretchy as you may expect but they broke in and aged nicely.
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7.0
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.
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7.0
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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8.0
May 6, 2021
The embroidery and leather on the colourway I had felt premium and durable.
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Support of the New Balance Kawhi 1:

Expert Support Rating: 9.4 (ranks #3 of 196)
User Support Rating: 8.3 (ranks #96 of 196)
10 - Amazing
2
9 - Great
4
8 - Good
0
7 - Average
1
6 - Subpar
0
5 - Poor
0
The support is the best attribute of the shoe which makes sense considering these are designed for Kawhi. They almost felt too supportive at first, but they broke in nicely and are one of the most secure pair in my rotation.
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10.0
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.
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9.0
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.
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9.0
May 6, 2021
The ankle support and heel containment are excellent with the thick heel counter. The combination of fuse, mesh and leather around the upper also does a good job of keeping your foot secure.
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Fit of the New Balance Kawhi 1:

Expert Fit Rating: 8.3 (ranks #110 of 196)
User Fit Rating: 8.7 (ranks #71 of 196)
10 - Amazing
1
9 - Great
1
8 - Good
5
7 - Average
0
6 - Subpar
0
5 - Poor
0
The fit is very snug and it was a little hard to get my foot in the shoe at first. As these break in this becomes easier and the fit improves.
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8.0
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
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.
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8.0
May 6, 2021
The shoe fits well, but it is kind of snug around the midfoot.
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Durability of the New Balance Kawhi 1:

User Durability Rating: 8.7 (ranks #55 of 196)
10 - Amazing
0
9 - Great
2
8 - Good
1
7 - Average
0
6 - Subpar
0
5 - Poor
0

Outdoor of the New Balance Kawhi 1:

Expert Outdoor Rating: 75.0 (ranks #44 of 196)
User Outdoor Rating: 100.0 (ranks #4 of 196)
Good (100%)
3
Fair (50%)
1
Bad (0%)
0
Use these outdoors with caution.
 More details
good
November 25, 2020
The durability of the outsole is really good.
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Width of the New Balance Kawhi 1:

very narrow
0
slightly narrow
3
regular
4
slightly wide
0
very wide
0
regularly wide
True to size for wide footers.
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slightly narrow
November 25, 2020
User didn't add a summary.
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regularly wide
November 19, 2020
I am a slightly wide footer and had no issues.
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regularly wide
May 6, 2021
The midfoot area is a bit snug.
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Size of the New Balance Kawhi 1:

very small
0
slightly small
1
true to size
3
slightly long
3
very long
0
½ size large
I went a half size down.
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true to size
November 25, 2020
I went true to size and it was good for me.
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½ size large
November 19, 2020
I'd recommend going down half a size from your normal shoe size.
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true to size
May 6, 2021
If you have a regular foot, go true to size, and if you have a wide foot, you might want to go half a size up.
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