ASICS Tennis Shoes
ASICS was founded by a Japanese military officer, Kihachiro Onitsuka, in hopes of boosting post-war esteem through athletics. In fact, the name ASICS is an acronym that loosely translates to “a healthy body with a healthy soul”.
ASICS was the inspiration for Phil Knight who would go on to found a little company known as Nike. And to this day, the company still inspires many by producing some of the most respected tennis shoes on the market.
In this article, we’re going to break down how ASICS’ technology improves your tennis game, and then we’ll help you choose the best pair of shoes for you.
How ASICS tennis shoe technology improves your performance
ASICS Resolution series -- ASICS’ premium durability shoe
ASICS Resolution model, or “The Res” as it’s known, has developed somewhat of a cult following among fans. This shoe is their most durable and stable high-end tennis shoe. The shoe has Dynawall tech on the outer side of the foot helps you make lateral stop-and-start movements, side-to-side.
It’s not as soft as other models with FlyteFoam, which not everyone wants in a tennis shoe. Also, if you’re looking for a light and flexible tennis shoe, this would not be the shoe for you. And because the upper is a bit thicker, for stability, your feet can get a tad warmer than in some of the other models.
What you’ll notice:
- Great pivots.
You’ll really notice how the Dynawall helps you make quick lateral movements, stopping and starting on a dime.
- Hefty feel.
Make no mistake, one of the reasons this shoe is so popular is because of their durability. Not only is your foot protected, but The Res can take a serious beating on the court, without wearing away at the Goodyear rubber outsoles.
ASICS’ Solution Speed series -- ASICS’ premium speed shoe
Designed to be light and extremely flexible, the Solution is ASICS top-shelf speed tennis shoe. Your feet are free to move about in this shoe, with no stability technology holding them in place. And they’ve added their FlyteFoam cushioning to make each pivot light and springy.
Of course, the tradeoff with a lighter, more flexible shoe is that you won’t have the ankle support that you would in a stability shoe like The Res. It’s also likely going to wear out a little quicker than The Res as it’s not built for durability.
What you’ll notice:
- The soft FlyteFoam.
Even the FlyteFoam was intended to make the shoe lighter, which it does. Many fans agree that the Solution is even softer than it’s Stability counterpart, The Res.
- This shoe does not get in your way.
Some tennis players prefer stability for side-to-side movement. Some prefer freedom. The people in the freedom category will truly appreciate the Solution Speed. The FlyteFoam absorbs impact and offers a bouncy push-off when you need it, and then the shoe gets out of your way.
ASICS’ Court FF (Novak) series -- ASICS’ most elite shoe in the entire lineup
ASICS worked with Novak Djokovic, the top-ranked tennis player in the world, to design his ideal tennis shoe, and the Court FF 2 (a.k.a. The Novak) was born.
The FF 2 is a hybrid of the Res and the Solution. It borrows from the Res’ stabilizing technology, and also from the Solution Speed’s light flexibility technology. This makes it ideal for players who use aggressive movements.
It’s also got grip towards the back of the foot so you can halt when you need it, and it’s slick near the toe so you can slide in for shots as well. It’s a truly premium tennis shoe.
What you’ll notice:
- No tongue, glove-like feel.
This model doesn’t have a tongue, which can make putting it on a bit unique. But once it’s on, it’s on. This thing isn’t coming off your foot during a match.
Because the design fits your foot like a glove, the laces are essentially window dressing. But because the laces are so thin, they can tend to come undone, so you may need to double-knot them.
- Both slick and grippy.
This feature may take a little getting used to, but once you do, most players love it. When you slide in for a shot and shift your weight to the front of your foot, the shoe allows you to glide across the court. And when you need to change direction quickly and you pivot off the back part of your foot, the shoe grips the court, allowing you to stop.
How do I choose the best ASICS tennis shoe for me?
In order to find the best shoe for you, you’ll need to answer a few questions:
- What type of tennis player are you?
- What type of court will you be playing on?
- Do you prefer agility so you can move freely, or stability to protect your feet?
First, what type of tennis player are you?
- An aggressive player -- This is someone who doesn’t wait for the ball to come to them. An aggressive player brings the action, and they need the ability to move quickly in any direction. They need a shoe that won’t weigh them down, or hinder their unpredictable movement, like the Solution Speed FF. Or if you want a hint more ankle support, the Court Speed FF gives up just a little bit of flexibility in exchange for stability.
- A baseline player -- This is a player who tends to hang back on the outer end of the court, letting the shots come to them. They spend most of their time running side-to-side. If this sounds like you, you’d want a sturdy tennis shoe that will support your repetitive lateral movement like the Resolution 8. Or if you want just a hint more flexibility than the Res, and perhaps a little more foot room, the Challenger 12 would be your best bet.
Next, what type of court will you be playing on?
And finally, do you prefer speed & agility or stability?
Some players prefer a stability tennis shoe that has a thicker upper built to help with stop and start lateral movements. Other players would rather be freed up to make multidirectional movements, with a lighter shoe so they can move quickly.
Here’s a little tennis shoe picker Cheat Sheet, breaking the shoes down by speed & agility, versus stability:
ASICS Court FF 2 (Novak)
Combines the best features of the Res 8 & the Solution Speed -- ASICS’ most elite tennis shoe. This model has the best of both worlds—stability and speed—for an all-around amazing experience on the court.
(Wider fit, more durable)
ASICS Resolution 8
Top of the support & stability silo -- This is the high-end stability and support model. Your foot has the most protection in this shoe.
ASICS Challenger 12
Next step down from Resolution -- This model trades a little bit of stability in exchange for added agility. It’s the middle of the road support shoe.
ASICS Dedicate 6
Entry-level on the Resolution silo -- A great shoe for entry-level tennis players. This shoe has a little less stability than the Challenger, which means it’s lighter and more flexible.
(Narrow fit, less durable)
ASICS Solution Speed FF
Top of speed silo -- An extremely popular shoe, known for being light and offering tons of agility.
ASICS Court Speed FF
Next step down from Solution -- This model trades some of its flexibility for a hint more support. It’s the middle of the road speed shoe.
ASICS Game 7
Entry-level on the speed silo -- An ideal shoe for New tennis players. It’s a lighter, faster shoe. But it still has some stability technology to help while you adjust to the sport.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use ASICS running shoes for playing tennis?
If you’re like many ASICS fans who love both running and playing tennis, you’ll likely want to have a separate pair of shoes for each. Running shoes aren’t designed with the supportive technology for the linear stop-and-start movement required in tennis.
However, if you had to pick just one, then most tennis shoes would probably be okay for typical runs.
What if I’m not sure which type of court I’ll prefer playing on yet — which tennis shoe would be best for me?
If you’re not yet sure which type of court you prefer, you may want to start with an all-court ASICS tennis shoe. The tread on these shoes has a modified herringbone design which gives decent coverage for whatever type of court you play on.
Once you learn which type of court you prefer, then you may want to purchase a pair of tennis shoes designed for the best performance on that specific court type.
How often should I replace my ASICS tennis shoes?
This always depends on your level of activity, the type of shoe you play in, and how you play.
But a general rule of thumb is that the shoe technologies tend to wear out between 45 - 60 hours of play. This usually translates to 6 months to a year before you need to invest in a new pair.
Here are some indicators to help you know when it’s time to replace your shoes:
- When your shoes stop squeaking on a harder court
- If the tread is no longer gripping as it should
- If you’re experiencing achy joints or sore feet after playing. Or if you notice low back pain after a match.
Can I machine wash ASICS tennis shoes?
ASICS recommends you do not put your tennis shoes in the washer. And especially not the dryer as the banging around, and the heat can damage the shoe material.
What’s the best way to clean my ASICS tennis shoes?
The best way is to wash your shoes with a soft brush and mild soap.
- Remove the Sockliner and the laces from the shoe
- Use the brush to delicately scrub the shoe
- Use cold water to rinse the shoe
- Air-dry the shoe, without placing it directly in the sun
I need help deciding — What are the best ASICS tennis shoes for a beginner?
- Gel Dedicate 6 -- For new players who prefer a little more stability. It’s not packed with as much stabilizing technology as the Challenger 12 above it, or the Res 8 above that, which makes it lighter and more flexible. The Dedicate 6 weighs in under 10 ounces, while the Challenger jumps up to 12 ounces, and the Res comes in at 15 ounces.
- Gel Game 7-- This is a great entry-level tennis shoe for those who plan on playing more aggressive and therefore prefer speed and agility. It isn’t as durable as the Court Speed above it, or the Solution Speed above that, but it’s the lightest of the Speed models.