It’s not you, it’s me.
That’s how I felt about my time on court with Fila’s Axilus 2 Energized. There’s a great deal to like about the shoe. It’s attractive, comfortable, stable and grips the court well. It has a nice balance of weight to support features and doesn’t feel as sluggish as recent Fila models such as the Cage Delirium. I can understand why with all these merits the shoe has become prevalent on the pro tours.
However, it’s just not an ideal fit for my foot. The Axilus 2 has a wide, roomy forefoot, which provides a nice stable platform when covering the court. Players who need a more spacious fit will undoubtedly appreciate it. But I have a narrow foot, and try as I might, I couldn’t seem to elicit enough security out of the shoe. I wrenched the laces until the eyelets were about a thumb-width apart and I still couldn’t find a sweet spot where my feet didn’t ever slide on aggressive cuts. The mesh and molded support cage around the forefoot also bubbled up due to the tight lacing. And having to straightjacket my feet didn’t do wonders for breathability.
On the plus side, the Energized Rubber cushioning under the heel and forefoot does its job well. I had zero issues with harsh court impact. The tongue and heel collar has just the right amount of padding to protect top of the foot and ankle without overdoing it. It was step-in comfort, too, as the shoe took no time at all to break in.
From a composure standpoint, the TPU midfoot stabilizer gave the shoe good backbone when stressed. I could use more arch support, but the shoe didn’t roll or feel overwhelmed on a hard stop. The Evergrind outsole also had a good blend of grip and give, and toe-draggers with appreciate the extra rubber around the cap of the shoe. Still, there were several instances when I could feel my foot and heel slide just enough that my break into the next move was slightly hampered. This caused responsiveness issues I don’t incur with shoes that afford me a more glove-like fit.
When my playtest with the Axilus 2 came to an end I enjoyed our time together, but I felt I needed to try other shoes. I do think, though, with the right guy (or gal) there’s the potential for a deeper connection. The shoe feels light and flexible, but with enough substance to instill confidence during serious play. It’s well-cushioned and comfortable, while still having a low enough profile to feel the court. And the fit seems perfectly suited for players with wider feet and lower arches. It didn’t work out between us, but your experience with Axilus 2 may result in a long-term relationship.