Shoe Review: Nike Air Max Courtballistec 3.3

by: Richard Pagliaro March 18, 2011

SBy Dr. David G. Sharnoff and Richard Pagliaro

Price: $125
Weight: 17.5 oz.
Sizes: 6.5-12, 13, 14, 15
Colors: White/grey/black/crimson; Black/white/yellow
MSRP: $125
Foot types:Neutral, supinated
Warranty:Six-month outsole limited durability guarantee
Wear testers’ rating: 8.0
Dr. Sharnoff’s rating: 7.5

Likes: Nike is known for integrating cutting-edge cosmetics with its athletic shoes, and the Air Max Courtballistec 3.3 has gained international attention as Rafael Nadal’s footwear of choice. The white/grey/black/crimson version of the shoe features the distinctive Rafa bull logo on the heel. If physicality is part of your game, this shoe can withstand the wear-and-tear of stampeding play on multiple surfaces. Nike incorporates its DragOn 2X material in the heel flexors and mid-sole for durability, flexibility and support.

Dislikes: The weight wore some testers down. This is a heavy shoe with a narrow fit. Off-set lacing is designed for comfort and to reduce the risk of breaking laces from dragging, but some wear testers said the shoe was tough to put on.

Bottom Line: This is a shoe designed for the young, strong, powerful, aggressive player. If you don’t have the requisite size and strength, you may find yourself burdened by the heft of the shoe. Another option for Nike wearers is the Lunar Vapor, a lighter and more comfortable shoe that's gentler on the feet than the Air Max Courtballistec.

Dr. David G. Sharnoff is a podiatrist practicing in Shelton, Conn. He has served as TENNIS’ shoe adviser since 1986 and as a consultant to the WTA since 1989. A graduate of Ohio State, he played on the university’s varsity tennis team for four years.

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