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New Balance Kawhi 1

New Balance Kawhi 1
New Balance Kawhi 1
New Balance Kawhi 1
New Balance Kawhi 1
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8.6
Kawhi's first official signature shoe is a solid performer.
based on 3 expert reviews
based on 3 expert reviews

Best Suitable For:

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

Price Comparison:

Available at 5 shops | Official Retail Price: $159.99
Champs Sports
$89.99
$160
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Category Performance Ratings:

Traction
8.7
Cushion
8.7
Materials
7.7
Support
9.5
Fit
8.3
Outdoor
75%

Facts & Figures:

Type:
Mid Top
Release Date:
11/2020
Sizing:
small
large
Width:
narrow
wide
25 likes
Black
Black
from Champs Sports
$89.99
$160
27 likes
Vision Blue / Aztec Gold
Vision Blue / Aztec Gold
in 2 shops
$89.99
$160
25 likes
Red  / Vision Blue
Red / Vision Blue
from DICK's
$159.99
13 likes
Black / Royal Blue
Black / Royal Blue
from New Balance
$159.99
4 likes
Pink / Neo Flame
Pink / Neo Flame
from New Balance
$159.99
3 likes
Uv Glo / Velocity Red
Uv Glo / Velocity Red
in 2 shops
$160.00
23 likes
Blue / White / Blue
Blue / White / Blue
from StockX
$134.00
18 likes
White / Team Red
White / Team Red
No stores found
9 likes
White
White
No stores found

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 3 reviews

Reviews of the New Balance Kawhi 1:

The 8.6 average overall rating ranks #61 of 165 shoes overall
9.1
Jalique Gabay [weartesters.com]
February 1, 2021
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.
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 8.7 average traction rating ranks #67 of 165 shoes overall
9.0
Jalique Gabay [weartesters.com]
February 1, 2021
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.
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 8.7 average cushion rating ranks #77 of 165 shoes overall
9.0
Jalique Gabay [weartesters.com]
February 1, 2021
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.
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 7.7 average materials rating ranks #139 of 165 shoes overall
9.0
Jalique Gabay [weartesters.com]
February 1, 2021
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.
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 165 shoes overall
9.5
Jalique Gabay [weartesters.com]
February 1, 2021
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.
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 8.3 average fit rating ranks #99 of 165 shoes overall
9.0
Jalique Gabay [weartesters.com]
February 1, 2021
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.
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.
Watch the video
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 75.0% average outdoor rating ranks #37 of 165 shoes overall
fair
Jalique Gabay [weartesters.com]
February 1, 2021
Use these outdoors with caution.
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:

regularly wide
Jalique Gabay [weartesters.com]
February 1, 2021
True to size for wide footers.
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:

½ size large
Jalique Gabay [weartesters.com]
February 1, 2021
I went a half size down.
true to size
The Sole Brothers
November 25, 2020
I went true to size and it was good for me.
Watch the video
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
Black
from Champs Sports
$89.99
$160
Vision Blue / Aztec Gold
Vision Blue / Aztec Gold
in 2 shops
$89.99
$160
Red  / Vision Blue
Red / Vision Blue
from DICK's
$159.99
Black / Royal Blue
Black / Royal Blue
from New Balance
$159.99
Pink / Neo Flame
Pink / Neo Flame
from New Balance
$159.99
Uv Glo / Velocity Red
Uv Glo / Velocity Red
in 2 shops
$160.00
Black
$89.99
on Champs Sports