Nike Lakota 3 Lacrosse Head Review

In 2021, many high-school midfielders picked the Nike Lakota 3 lacrosse head on the field due to its versatility. Although I was not a fan of the Nike Lakota 2, I tried the latest version to note the differences. 

To my surprise, I scored 28 goals in the most aggressive games, and it didn’t break. Built with strong, durable PowerForm plastic and a slimmer design, the Nike L3 is incredibly lightweight with a tight face shape for control and accuracy. 

Nike Lakota 3 Lacrosse Head
Nike Lakota 3 Lacrosse Head (

Key Features and Specifications

Position Midfield (LSM and Offensive) | Attackers
Weight 4.63 ounces
Pocket Location Mid-Low | Mid-High
Stiffness Stiff
String Holes Top holes: 6 | Side Holes: 17 on each side
Face Shape Slightly Wide
Ground Pickup Wide
Ball Release On-time
Ease of Use Intermediate | Advanced
Spread on Shot Minimal
Level of Play All
Legality Conforming with NCAA and NFHS Rules
Colors While | Black (Special Color)
Release Year 2021
  • Powerfoam plastic built
  • Round scoop for easy ground ball pick-ups
  • Light-weight but stiff
  • Shorter throat with no cutouts
  • Versatile all-position head especially for high-school players
  • Nike offers a 60-day return policy.
  • Average shooting speed
  • Lack of string-protection-lip
  • Not flexible enough for face-off middies

Nike Lakota 3 Lacrosse Head Ranking

I rate the Nike L3 an 8.2/10 on the Drip Meter.

Accuracy of Shot and Pass 8.5 Passing accuracy is impressive for short ranges. For long ranges, it is somewhat low speed.
Checking 8 Performs exceptionally well for snatching up loose balls and checks. Its stiffer build PowerForm plastic profile makes it durable.
Ball Security 8.5 The rigid and sharp angles along all sidewalls help deflect checks on the head andallow for increased ball security.
Catching 9 It is perfect for catching high-speed passes.
Ground Pickup Performance 9 The Nike L3 is great at picking up ground balls with a round scoop that funnelsground balls into its secure mid pocket.
Faceoff Performance 5 The head has a wide face profile that’s not ideal for faceoffs.
Stringing 8 This head has an average amount of stringing holes allowing for multiple versatile pocket setups.
Durability (Material andThickness) 9 Durable design with the right amount of stiffness and thickness.
Drippiness/Aesthetics/BrandIntegrity 8 Nike has kept the Lakota 3 simple and more modern than its predecessor.
Cost  9 Great value for the quality.
Total 8.2/10

Who’s This Head Made For?

Nike released Lakota 3 lacrosse head with a round scoop for attackers and mid-fielders (LSMs and Offensive) in 2021. The head’s new PowerForm plastic enhances stiffness without adding weight, keeping it lightweight at 4.63 ounces. 

During my high school years, I used it for two straight seasons and found only minimal wear and tear. I wouldn’t be wrong to say that it’s one of the most lightweight lacrosse heads in the market for men and is of amazing quality. 

Its simple design that cuts up in the back makes it an adaptable head suitable for offensive midfielders

Nike has also modified the throat design to improve shooting accuracy and easier hand placement. 

Let’s see if the stiffer successor of L2 had better feedback and response on the field.

Nike Lakota Series
Nike Lakota Series (

Read More: Best Nike Lacrosse Heads

Accuracy of Shooting and Passing

On the field, I noticed that the Nike L3 lacrosse head’s narrower throat and wider face profile significantly improved my long-range passing accuracy. The throat of the Lakota 3 has been redesigned to be shorter and beefier, allowing players to grip higher on the stick.

Compared to the Lakota 2, the Nike L3’s better shape did improve my shot accuracy. However, sometimes, I felt the stiffness of the L3 a little too much. It waivered my shots; especially when I tried to make quick short-range passes under pressure.

The traditional stringing creates a mid-pocket. Since I prefer a mid-high pocket, I used the 17 side holes to customize it for increased balance. You can set up your head pocket to mid-low or mid-high.

NIke Lakota 3 Strung
NIke Lakota 3 Strung (

The stiffer pocket reduced speed gave me an average shot pace compared to other high-end attacking heads. But if you’re looking for a head with more flex, the Maverik Optik 3 and Nike CEO 2 might be a better fit.

Catching and Cradling

The face profile of the Nike Lakota 3 lacrosse head is slightly wider than other middie heads, providing a wide catching area that doesn’t pinch in much. It’s a few millimeters wider than L2 which offered me enough surface area for swift catching of high-speed passes and easier ball cradling and security when dodging defenders.

Since the stiffer pocket sits in the middle of the head, it makes catching and cradling easier and more consistent. It’s a promising feature of the Nike L3 to help young players improve their catching skills.

I got some strong checks from the opponents, however, the consistent shape and stiffness of the head ensured that the ball stayed secure in my pocket while cradling. I conveniently caught the ball and confidently handled it during fast-paced play. 

The only thing that affected my performance was the absence of string protection lips on the scoop. It damaged the pocket strings more frequently during aggressive movements on the field. 


When it comes to checking, the Nike Lakota 3 lacrosse head performed exceptionally well with its durability and stiffness. Compared to L2 breakable plastic, its PowerForm plastic is significantly tougher. 

The opponent’s checks only caused slight whips, but I didn’t lose the ball or observe any bend after months of using it. I even tried to bend it with my hand, however, it required some good force to bend it even a little. It’s super solid. 

I enjoyed the solid control of the ball while cradling it and liked the sleek design. The cool Nike logo adds a stylish touch. For just $99, you get a long-lasting head that performs on the field. 

Ground ball pick-ups

The Nike Lakota 3 lacrosse head’s rounded scoop smoothly directed the ball to the center of the pocket. The offset is somewhat situated at the center which provided me with easier ground ball scooping experience. 

NIke Lakota 3 Scoop
NIke Lakota 3 Scoop (

The improved stiffness of the head ensured that it didn’t bend or warp, maintaining the accuracy I needed in high-pressure situations.

Although the Lakota 3 provides an amazing response on the field, it tends to flex during shots compared to CEO 3. However, I had difficulty scooping loose balls cleanly, mostly on the wet turf. The pocket stiffness gives the ball away slightly as you scoop, causing the ball to pop out (if not managed properly).

Well, the issue was resolved after a week of break-in period. I felt much more confident with ground balls and shots. However, if you are a face-off specialist, consider alternatives like the Nike CEO 3

People Also Ask

What Makes the Nike Lakota 3 Lacrosse Head Suitable for Midfielders?

The Nike Lakota 3 is lightweight and durable with a tight face shape, ideal for control and accuracy, making it versatile for midfielders.

How Does the Nike Lakota 3 Lacrosse Head Perform in Ground Ball Pickups?

Its rounded scoop and offset center make ground ball pickups easier, although the pocket stiffness may initially cause the ball to pop out.

Is the Nike Lakota 3 Suitable for Face-Offs?

No, the Nike Lakota 3’s wide face profile and stiffness are not ideal for face-offs. Consider alternatives like the Nike CEO 3.

What Are the Main Pros and Cons of the Nike Lakota 3 Lacrosse Head?

Pros include its durable PowerForm plastic, lightweight design, and easy ground ball pickups. Cons are average shooting speed and lack of string protection lip.

How Does the Nike Lakota 3 Lacrosse Head Compare to Its Predecessor, the Lakota 2?

The Lakota 3 is stiffer, lighter, and has a redesigned throat for better accuracy. It offers improved shot accuracy and durability over the Lakota 2.

Nike Lakota 3 lacrosse head is a versatile head for LSM, offensive middies, and attackers. With an aggressive scoop, high durability, and a wider profile, it provides a good shooting experience and feeding accuracy.

Even though pocket stiffness might be a turn-off for face-offs, its responsiveness and feeding accuracy will win you goals. Consider stinging a loose pocket to adjust the feel, or choose Nike CEO 3 or Maverik Optik 3 for a better experience.

About Author

Picture of Connor Stifel

Connor Stifel

As a lifelong lacrosse enthusiast, I've had the privilege of playing the sport from a young age, honing my skills on the field and developing a deep appreciation for the game's speed, strategy, and camaraderie. With a decade of experience under my belt, from childhood to high school, I've carried that passion with me into adulthood, always eager to share my knowledge and enthusiasm with others.

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