Performance Review: Li-Ning BB Sonic 4 TD

It's light and alright.

Happy New Year everyone, let's start the year right with a basketball shoe performance review. I will be showing you another model from the Chinese brand, Li-Ning. The BB Sonic 4 TD is an entry-level shoe so to speak. The TD would loosely mean take down so it is basically "take-down" which is removing key techs and in this case, cushion so that they would able to price it lower. In case you want to take a quick peek at the shoe's features, you can check them on the Best Foot Forward section <HERE>. But if you want to go straight to the performance review, then just read along as we break it down.

Materials: 3.50/5

Lightweight synthetic mesh upper was used. Not the latest tech, but hey, it's a take down model.

For the upper, a lightweight synthetic mesh was used which in my opinion was good for the most part. Since it is lightweight, guards would really like them especially the nimble ones. The good thing is that it doesn't require any break-in time for the upper. From the get-go, I was able to ball without any worries from pinching when you flex the shoe. A common problem in fuse material is that some of them doesn't flex well from the start, so you have that pinching sensation in the flex point of your forefoot. Here, nada, so all you have to do is enjoy. The mesh areas promote some airflow as well. Since it is lightweight and thin, you will have to experience the full impact of being step on since there is less material between that and your foot.

If you are the type of player who loves playing in no-show socks, you might want to wear a higher length because the inner lining in the collar is made up of nylon and I experienced blisters on the Achilles area because I wore no-shows. So at least keep that in mind. Also, the mesh overlay is also soft so durability would likely suffer in rough ball games.

You can see the breathable mesh area and interior bootie together with the tongue.

Cushion: 3.75/5

Li-Ning's basic foam cushion provides good impact protection.

The BB Sonic 4 TD uses basic EVA foam and I must admit that I really enjoyed it. Maybe some would even assume that since it is a take down model, Li-Ning would butcher you and give you whatever foam they have. Well, I am happy with the foam used as it offers good balance between impact protection and court feel. I am a guard who can sometimes play the 3 position and with this shoe, I have good court feel and still feel secure when crashing the boards or attacking the basket. If you need more impact protection or explosiveness, you might want to look elsewhere but in my opinion, this would really be a good shoe for short ball games as it offers a decent amount of impact protection.

Traction: 3.50/5

Soft and firm rubber were both used. I wish they just used firmer rubber (grey) throughout.

They used 2 different type of rubber densities here, with the grey a bit firmer than the pink one. It features a honey-comb like material with nubs that would give you a multi-directional pattern. I would say they are okay. Wiping will be needed from time to time especially when dust clogs in between the lines. I just wish they just used the grey density rubber all throughout because for one it is a take down model so more or less these would like be worn outdoors where the court condition is more rough and harsh compared to an indoor gym. I wouldn't recommend these to be used outdoors very often, as the majority of the outsole (pink) is softer so it would likely wear down quickly.

Fit: 3.50/5

Getting your right size gives you the support that you will need.

The lateral outrigger helps with those curls or jab steps.

Nothing to exceptional and I wouldn't expect too much from this model. It fits true to size but is kinda narrow width-wise so you might even go half a size bigger. But in general, I say go to your true size for non-widefooters. The fit would be play a major role with entry-level models in general because they don't offer too much support. The inner bootie provides a snug fit inside the shoe as well but since the material is thin, it is there more or less to give you support and a bit of another layer in case the upper rip of due to scratches. The lateral outrigger promotes some stability as well in doing curls or jabs. This is a great addition since you need a wider base as much as possible because lightweight shoes tend to give out a little especially when abrupt force (quick stops or cuts) is exerted.

Price: 4.5/5

The shoe is on the Php 3k mark and you really can't complain about the price. For me, this is another bang for your buck shoe in the market today as it offers a good balance especially the cushioning. The use of synthetic uppers has been in the market for quite some time now and we are already seeing textile uppers being more used. If Li-Ning would put these type of materials in their entry models, it is safe to assume that you wouldn't feel butchered since it is still functional in today's standards.



Overall, I enjoyed playing in the Li-Ning BB Sonic 4 TD. Even though it is a take down model, I didn't feel robbed of a chance in enjoying to play in a shoe that offers good cushion. Sure, the upper materials could improve somewhat by adding more layers and the outsole could be just straight up firmer rubber, but these are just minor things that can be definitely looked on in the future. The shoe is still available in various stores like Olympic World and I suggest you grab them especially this holiday season and they can even be offered at a lower cost.

Analykix Grade: 3.75/5


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