New Balance Kawhi 3 Review 2023

Here is the summary of the New Balance Kawhi 3 review. For a detailed review, continue reading!

*We may earn a commission if you buy through our affiliate links*









Fit & Lock


Outdoor & Durability




User Reviews


Expert Reviews


Our Verdict

Best for Ankle support & Guards

Kawhi 3 basketball shoes have the fantastic ability to give excellent foot containment. The sturdy support will add speed to your game. Traction is tricky, but In my opinion, it takes time to break in. Overall, cushion, support, and durability are highlights of this new Kawhi signature shoe.

Facts & Specs

Release Date: Feb, 2023 | Signature: Kawhi Leonard | Weight: 310g | Top: Low Top | Lockdown: Lace up | Midsole: Fuel Cell | Material: Synthetic


  • Durable
  • Suitable for outdoor basketball too
  • Comfortable and responsive cushion
  • Consistent grip
  • Outstanding support and lockdown
  • Material conforms to foot
  • Extremely lightweight


  • Expensive

Our Detailed New Balance Kawhi 3 Review

Unboxing Kawhi 3 From New Balance

Kawhi Leonard’s 3rd signature sneaker with New Balance. New Balance has brought innovative renditions to the design that turn the deceive moments into an action-filled winning second. 

The Predator Alpha Colorway of Kawhi 3 comes in a black box with an elegant and attractive look in white. The top of the box reads Kawhi Leonard, and the front side has the New Balance logo.

Under the 2nd flap of the box, I have my Kawhi III shoe. The shiny snakeskin and mesh upper complete the upper silhouette with the strategic placement of the Suede. Let’s unveil what’s exciting about Kawhi III.

See: 10 Best Basketball Shoes for Ankle Support

What’s Exciting About Fun Guy’s 3rd Signature Sneaker?

I always appreciate the retro touch in a basketball sneaker. Speaking of that, the Kawhi III is a simplistic design. It resembles Jordan 11 with its snakeskin patches on Predator Alpha Colorways. 

New Balance’s Energy ARC is integrated into the midsole for better jump height and energy return. NBA All-star Kawhi Leonard has helped New Balance design a lightweight, explosive, responsive sneaker three times. 

Kawhi needed a supportive shoe after the last year’s injury, after which he spent the whole season out. So the latest sneaker compliments the need to support and balance his explosiveness.

Also Check out: New Balance Kawhi 2 Review

Key Features Reviewed

1. Traction:

New Balance uses an entirely translucent material on the shoe’s outsole. The wavy pattern has a new balance logo under the football. The hollowed-out area just above the heel shows the placement of the energy Arc plate. 

The traction worked perfectly for me. On the lateral and side-to-side stops, it felt slippery initially. But it got better after the brief break-in period as I kept playing. 

So I recommend the shoes to the Guards for their ability to stop at a dime. These are 100 percent my go-to shoes. 

2. Cushion: 

The cushioning in New Balance Kawhi 3 is full-length Fuelcell. It is a nitrogen-infused foam with a unique feature to enhance the player’s performance by increasing responsiveness. It is heavier at the bottom. 

The part of Fuelcell is visible in the heel of the shoe. The cushioning is not dense. It’s lighter, where you get a perfect court feel and good responsiveness. However, given the thin cushioning, I think it can bottom out soon. 

3. Material:

The upper shoe material in the New Balance Kwhi 3 is a shiny snakeskin design with suede material underneath. The lateral and medial sides are covered by mesh. 

Most of the heel is mesh. However, the mesh is padded underneath. So the material feels extraordinarily cozy and hugs snugly in the forefoot. 

At the same time, the material has more of a retro look. The material is lightweight and not stretchy at all. It’s nice and does the job very well.

4. Support: 

As always, you will never get a shoe from New Balance, whose support and lockdown sucks. The same goes for Kawhi Leonard’s 3rd signature sneaker. He needs a supportive shoe, so they made one with maximum ankle support. The hard TPU piece containing the back is the shoe that hugs the ankle snugly. The ankle mobility is not reduced at all. It’s comfortable and supportive.

The fuel cell foam comes up on the sides. The snakeskin patch with suede overlays runs through the sides of the basketball shoe. That provides maximum lateral stability and support.

The energy Arc plate in the midsole and carbon fiber shank plate give the torsional rigidity protecting the foot muscles.

The shoe base is broad with a small outrigger area. So it has no lateral containment and stability problem. It’s a top-tier support setup.

5. Fit

Kawhi III is a snug-fitting basketball shoe. So narrow and medium footers buy true-to-size shoes. Sometimes its heel part feels so tight that it pinches the back of my feet.

Other than that, the shoe has an excellent one-to-one fit. It has no heel slippage problem. The lace loops going all the way to the ankle part allow you to adjust its lockdown according to your liking. 

The tongue passes through the laces to keep the tongue in place. For the players who like a snug fit shoes. Then Kawhi 3  should be your ultimate choice.

6. Looks / Appearance/ Colorways:

It’s a decent pair of basketball shoes. Only teh tongue has the New Balance logo. Rest all parts of the shoes covered in simple and excellent material. But for the price point, the material is cheaper.

I won’t say that it’s something that looks dope. But it’s a decent-looking sneaker. Predator Alpha is a lovely colorway. Since the sneaker has just dropped in, we expect more colorways in the next few months.

7. Outdoor/Durability: 

The Kawhi 3 basketball shoes are one of the few that would be perfect for outdoor and indoor basketball courts. The traction grips well on outdoor surfaces. Moreover, the shoe’s upper material is durable for abrasive outdoor surfaces.

The outsole tread pattern is very thick and deep. Also, it is well separated. So it does not allow the dust to stick to the outsole. Moreover, the thick grooves won’t become flat. 

So New Balance Kawhi 3 is excellent for outdoors too.

8. Breathability/Ventilation: 

New Balance Kawhi 3 basketball shoes are well padded from the inside area. Even where they  have mesh, that part is also padded from underneath. So breathability is average.

I would not wear them on a hot day. Because it’s going to get sweaty and stink.

9. User Review

Kawhi 3 basketball shoes are one of the most hyped sneakers of Los Angles Clippers’ star basketball players. Users appreciated its performance and tech features. So it received a 

4.3 out of 5 .

10. Expert Review


“ tractions, high score, I love the looks, I love the clips, the shank plate is there. So there are a lot of good things about it. This shoe has enough support for big and clumsy players. The material will contain your foot and energy. You get real good ground feel too. But it is overpriced”

2-Evan Yee

“It’s definitely an expensive shoe. It’s a solid hoop shoe and will last longer. Support is great. Material and technology are top tiers. The traction is grippy. I love everything about it.”

3-SSoled Out Review

“Heel slipping comfort is an issue. The padding is very low. The sheo is aesthetic. But it’s not going to last more than a season. Let me know next year.”

4-Sole Drop

“New Balance Kawhi 3 is soft and lightweight. I didn’t like traction and heel slippage. The material and cushion feel nice on the foot. The aesthetics are not as good as kawhi 2, and it looks more like a budget shoe.”

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *