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New Balance Kawhi 2

Released 3/2022, High Top, Kawhi Leonard, 
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8.3
EXPERT RATING
8 reviews
9.5
USER RATING
3 ratings
The Kawhi 2 is an improvement on the 1 in almost every way.

Best Suitable For:

Best for forwards and centers that need strong traction and stability.

Price Comparison:

Available at 2 shops | Official Retail Price: $159.99
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Category Performance Ratings:

Expert Ratings (8)
User Ratings (3)
Traction
8.3
Cushion
7.8
Materials
8.6
Support
8.5
Fit
8.0
Outdoor
71%

Weight & Sizing:

Weight:
light
heavy
Sizing:
small
large
Width:
narrow
wide

Comparison to Similar Shoes:

New Balance Kawhi 2
New Balance Kawhi 2
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Expert Rating8.38.3(0.0)7.7(0.6)7.8(0.5)9.1(0.8)8.5(0.2)
User Rating9.58.5(1.0)7.6(1.9)8.9(0.6)9.3(0.2)9.0(0.5)
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Gray Mist / Pale gold
Gray Mist / Pale gold
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New Balance Kawhi 2 Review

Pros:
Improved materials
Grippy traction
Cons:
Not the best for impact protection
No additional width options with this model

Performance of the New Balance Kawhi 2:

Kawhi Leonard's latest signature model with New Balance is a solid step in the right direction. The traction bites on just about any surface after an initial break-in period. New Balance keeps the shoe feeling low to the ground and responsive with the full-length FuelCell setup. It isn't the plushest, but it helps players feel nimble. The materials used on the upper of the shoe are lightweight, breathable, and make the shoe feel very supportive. Working together with the materials, the heel counter and outsole tread that wraps up the shoe, keep your foot feeling secure. These features make support and lockdown a non-issue in the shoe. Most reviewers had no issues with the fit, but they did mention that New Balance doesn't seem to offer this model in extra widths. Overall, the New Balance Kawhi 2 is a strong performer that provides excellent traction and stability.
See all 8 reviews

Expert Reviews of the New Balance Kawhi 2:

Expert Rating: 8.3 (ranks #141 of 233)
10 - Amazing
0
9 - Great
2
8 - Good
6
7 - Average
0
6 - Subpar
0
5 - Poor
0
8.6
April 1, 2022
Once I broke in the New Balance Kawhi 2, I really started to enjoy the stability, grip, and nimbleness that the shoe provides. I'd recommend this shoe for any larger players.
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8.5
The New Balance Kawhi 2 is pretty damn good. There are no glaring flaws. I would definitely recommend this shoe to anyone looking for an all-around shoe.
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8.3
June 6, 2022
The New Balance Kawhi 2 is a great shoe for players that rely on footwork to give them advantages. The cushion feels low to the ground, and the traction is incredible.
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8.3
April 3, 2022
The New Balance Kawhi 2 is my first ever New Balance shoe, and I do not regret picking it up. If you have a stop-and-go, run-the-floor style of play, I'm sure you'll love this shoe.
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8.2
March 29, 2022
The only downside of the New Balance Kawhi 2 is that I wish they kept the same cushion found on the Kawhi 1. Every other aspect of the shoe is on par or better than the previous model.
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8.2
March 31, 2022
The New Balance Kawhi 2 is a solid performer for the price point. It's a step in the right direction for the Kawhi lineup but still isn't quite as good as the Omn1s.
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8.0
April 12, 2022
The New Balance Kawhi 2 is a solid shoe, but I wouldn't say it's my favourite. It's a lightweight, supportive, and minimal shoe.
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The New Balance Kawhi 2 is not flashy but gets the job done. It's one of my preferred shoes to play in because of the balanced performance it provides.
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User Reviews of the New Balance Kawhi 2:

User Rating: 9.5 (ranks #5 of 233)
10 - Amazing
2
9 - Great
0
8 - Good
1
7 - Average
0
6 - Subpar
0
5 - Poor
0
10.0
May 15, 2022
It had awesome traction and a good fuelcell cushioning.
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10.0
March 29, 2022
User didn't add a summary.
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8.4
August 12, 2022
User didn't add a summary.
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Traction of the New Balance Kawhi 2:

Expert Traction Rating: 8.3 (ranks #139 of 233)
User Traction Rating: 9.3 (ranks #42 of 233)
10 - Amazing
2
9 - Great
3
8 - Good
6
7 - Average
0
6 - Subpar
0
5 - Poor
0
9.0
April 1, 2022
The outsole tread is my favourite part of the shoe. It grabs just about any surface.
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8.0
The traction is pretty good. It picks up dust often, but it still performs.
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9.0
June 6, 2022
The shoe has incredible traction. I didn't have to wipe once.
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8.0
April 3, 2022
I had no issues with traction whatsoever.
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8.0
March 29, 2022
The traction of the shoe was gripping nicely on clean and dusty courts. It does take a bit of break-in time, though.
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8.0
March 31, 2022
The traction is, for the most part, pretty good. At first, you slide a bit, but it gets better as you break the shoe in.
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8.5
April 12, 2022
You need to break in the traction, but after a couple of days, it performs damn well. It picks up dust easily, but it still performs as long as you wipe.
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The traction provides lateral coverage for both sides of the court, and I barely needed to wipe.
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Cushion of the New Balance Kawhi 2:

Expert Cushion Rating: 7.8 (ranks #185 of 233)
User Cushion Rating: 9.3 (ranks #35 of 233)
10 - Amazing
2
9 - Great
1
8 - Good
5
7 - Average
3
6 - Subpar
0
5 - Poor
0
8.0
April 1, 2022
The FuelCell provides energy absorption but isn't the best at energy return. It's an effectively engineered cushion.
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9.0
The FuelCell is well constructed. The comfort is on point. This shoe has the perfect blend of court feel and impact protection.
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8.0
June 6, 2022
I feel low to the ground in this shoe. It's a good cushion for players that rely on footwork, such as their first step.
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8.0
April 3, 2022
The front half of the cushion is caged, so it isn't as comfortable as the back half, but I still liked it. I also enjoyed the impact protection in the heel.
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7.0
March 29, 2022
The FuelCell foam on the Kawhi 2 is thinner than the Kawhi 1. I enjoyed the setup, but I liked the Kawhi 1 setup better. It's a shoe that's low to the ground and responsive.
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8.0
March 31, 2022
The Kawhi features a partially caged, full-length FuelCell midsole. The cushioning feels better than the Kawhi 1 but not as good as the Omn1s. It still feels good and offers impact protection and responsiveness.
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7.0
April 12, 2022
FuelCell cushion is usually soft, has a lot of compressions, and provides a good amount of rebound. In the Kawhi 2, it felt caged to the point where it's stiff.
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The cushion feels average at best, but the shoe still provides impact protection and smooth transitions while feeling low to the ground.
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Materials of the New Balance Kawhi 2:

Expert Materials Rating: 8.6 (ranks #65 of 233)
User Materials Rating: 9.7 (ranks #5 of 233)
10 - Amazing
2
9 - Great
6
8 - Good
3
7 - Average
0
6 - Subpar
0
5 - Poor
0
9.0
April 1, 2022
The materials are light and breathable. They also do a good job of adding to the performance.
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9.0
The upper materials use what New Balance calls Fit Weave Lite. It keeps you secure in the shoe, and it feels damn good.
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8.0
June 6, 2022
The materials feel light, and they did break in over time.
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9.0
April 3, 2022
The materials feel comfortable from a step-in perspective. It's comfortable and breathable for the most part. I love the materials.
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9.0
March 29, 2022
The upper is one of the biggest changes on the Kawhi 2. It's thin and light. I like the way that it feels.
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8.0
March 31, 2022
New Balance uses a material called Fit Weave Lite. It's basically a textile, but it feels really good on foot. It also feels good to the touch.
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9.0
April 12, 2022
New Balance uses Fit Weave Lite throughout the entire upper. The materials feel soft and supportive. I love how minimal it feels.
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I can't complain about the performance of the materials. The Fitweave Lite upper is supportive, and the break-in time is minimal.
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Support of the New Balance Kawhi 2:

Expert Support Rating: 8.5 (ranks #104 of 233)
User Support Rating: 9.7 (ranks #10 of 233)
10 - Amazing
2
9 - Great
6
8 - Good
3
7 - Average
0
6 - Subpar
0
5 - Poor
0
9.0
April 1, 2022
The ankle support and stability are some of the best on the market. These shoes also have one of the most supportive uppers I've played in this year.
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8.0
The stability plate starts out feeling stiff, but it breaks in and feels nice after a few hours of play.
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8.5
June 6, 2022
The support feels balanced, especially when I make cuts and elevate. Overall, the shoe has pretty good support.
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8.0
April 3, 2022
The shoe has a great lockdown in the heel area. I had no issues with stability and lockdown overall.
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9.0
March 29, 2022
I feel very supported and stable in this shoe. My foot does not slip at all.
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9.0
March 31, 2022
I had absolutely zero issues with the support in the shoe. I didn't have any heel slippage or side-to-side foot movement either.
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7.5
April 12, 2022
For lateral containment, I was good to go. The upper and outsole provide a lot of lateral support. I did have an issue with lateral stability because of the rounded heel, though.
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The heel lockdown is great, and there's a tremendous amount of torsional support.
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Fit of the New Balance Kawhi 2:

Expert Fit Rating: 8.0 (ranks #164 of 233)
User Fit Rating: 9.7 (ranks #7 of 233)
10 - Amazing
2
9 - Great
1
8 - Good
6
7 - Average
0
6 - Subpar
0
5 - Poor
0
8.0
April 1, 2022
The fit is the biggest bummer of the shoe for me. Unlike other New Balance shoes, these do not come in multiple widths. Other than that, they do fit well enough.
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8.0
June 6, 2022
The shoe started out snug but broke in the more that I played in it.
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8.0
March 29, 2022
The lacing system on the shoe is also improved. It helps to provide a better fit.
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8.0
March 31, 2022
The front half of the shoe has a narrow and snug fit that creates some pressure around your pinky toe. It does break in the more you play, though.
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8.0
April 12, 2022
The shoe fits me very well. It is snug in the toe box, however. The materials also don't loosen much.
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Overall, I get a solid fit from the shoe. It feels snug and provides just enough wiggle room in the toe box.
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Durability of the New Balance Kawhi 2:

User Durability Rating: 10.0 (ranks #2 of 233)
10 - Amazing
3
9 - Great
0
8 - Good
0
7 - Average
0
6 - Subpar
0
5 - Poor
0

Outdoor of the New Balance Kawhi 2:

Expert Outdoor Rating: 71.4 (ranks #65 of 233)
User Outdoor Rating: 75.0 (ranks #60 of 233)
Good (100%)
5
Fair (50%)
3
Bad (0%)
1
good
April 1, 2022
The rubber is very durable.
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fair
June 6, 2022
I'm not sure if this shoe will hold up well outdoors.
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good
April 3, 2022
I think that these shoes will play well outdoors.
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good
March 29, 2022
The rubber is thick and durable.
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good
March 31, 2022
The rubber is actually really hard. I would say that the shoe should be durable outdoors.
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fair
April 12, 2022
The rubber is hard, and the grooves are deep. The outsole seems durable.
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I wouldn't recommend playing in these outdoors.
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Width of the New Balance Kawhi 2:

very narrow
0
slightly narrow
3
regular
4
slightly wide
0
very wide
0
regularly wide
April 1, 2022
Narrow footers can go down half a size, and wide footers (above a 2E) can go up a half size.
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regularly wide
March 29, 2022
Go true to size if you have a wide foot.
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slightly narrow
March 31, 2022
The forefoot and toe box areas are narrow.
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slightly narrow
April 12, 2022
If you have a wide foot or want a roomier fit, I suggest going up a size.
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Size of the New Balance Kawhi 2:

very small
0
slightly small
1
true to size
6
slightly long
2
very long
0
true to size
April 1, 2022
Unless you have a narrow foot, you can go true to size.
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½ size large
Going true to size felt loose. I'd suggest going down half a size.
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true to size
June 6, 2022
I went true to size, and it worked for me.
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½ size large
March 29, 2022
If you have a regular foot shape, go half a size down.
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true to size
April 12, 2022
I went true to size.
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true to size
I would recommend true to size for most foot types.
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