Several months ago I tried out the latest Asics Gel Resolution shoe. I had always liked the brand’s running shoes, and the Resolution came highly recommended by one of our racquet testers. The moment I slid my feet into the pair I could tell they were sturdy, stable pieces of equipment; the type of shoes that could effectively absorb hours of direction changes and pounding on a hard court. I definitely enjoyed a sense of security wearing them and would have no trouble depending on their performance.
However, something did not entirely click. While they were responsive, I never felt a complete connection with the court, particularly around the arch area of my foot. Some of that could be attributed to the thick cushioning and support features in that area of the shoe. I also prefer a more low-to-the-ground ride, which is not easy to find in a shoe of the Resolution’s weight class (16.7 oz., size 12).
But it’s something that’s readily apparent in the lighter Gel Solution Speed 2. While perhaps not the foot armor of the Resolution, the Speed 2 still offers enough stability, cushioning, and support to handle aggressive movers. Given the lightweight design, I had anticipated it being primarily a clay-court shoe, but I’ve actually enjoyed them just as much on hard courts.
The upper is fairly soft, requiring almost no break-in period. There’s lots of mesh, which helps that immediate comfort as well as keep the weight down, and promotes good ventilation. Once the Northeast sheds its arctic conditions, I might be able to put that trait to the test. However, early returns from our weartesters in warmer climates have put the breathability and lightweight design as the shoe’s best assets.
I don’t have narrow feet and found the fit to have a nice level of snugness. Those players who do need a lot of room in the forefoot may find that part of shoe a little too tight. It undoubtedly will stretch, but heavy movers could then encounter some stability issues. There is no outsole warranty, which is also a detraction for players who pound the court and trash their shoes. Same goes for the cushioning, which a few weartesters wished was a bit more plush.
These concerns didn’t bother me; my biggest complaint is that when I lace the shoes up tight, there’s a small bubble of fabric that forms in the forefoot. I don’t notice at all when I’m playing, but I can sometimes feel it when I’m walking between points.
That minor issue aside, the Gel Solution Speed 2 proved to be a quick, comfortable, and dependable all-court shoe. Those players who favor lightweight, responsive, low-to-the-ground shoes are sure to become fans as well.
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