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Shoe Review: Asics Court FF 3
With greater cushioning and support, Novak Djokovic's shoe of choice remains a standout in the high-performance category.
Published Feb 14, 2023
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Weight: 11.6 oz. (women’s 7); 14.5 oz. (men’s 9)
Size Run: 5-12 (women); 6-13, 14, 15 (men)
The Court FF 3’s newly designed outsole is divided into two distinct parts. This is done to provide a larger contact area at landing and buttress the foot on changes of direction. The FlyteFoam midsole is thicker, raising the weight of the shoe, and has been updated with renewable planet-friendly fibers. The Twistruss support system has also been separated into a two-piece to give greater gradual stiffness towards the toe and better manage the torsional stability of the shoe. Most notably, it affords more medial flexibility to promote controlled slides with a faster recovery step.
When a shoe is made to suit the footwork demands of Novak Djokovic—who was part of the design process—it had best be capable of supporting dynamic movement. Where the original Court FF seemed almost minimalist in design, its third installment is built to handle such a challenge. It starts with the tongue-less bootie (dubbed Mono-Sock), as secure as any with this type of construction. It hugs the foot like a parent who hasn’t seen its child in a month. It’s not recommended to play without the laces tied, but you probably could.
Because the foot is so locked-in, there’s virtually no slippage inside the shoe. It also gives the sensation that the shoe is an extension of the foot, making it play lighter than its weight. Yet there’s enough give in the upper and padding around the collar that it never feels too restrictive.
Additionally, the seamless mesh upper has a PU covering that provides a good combination of support and flexibility. A break-in period may be needed, but it will be quick. The length of the shoe seems truer than previous models, with a medium to slightly narrow cut that should suit a majority of players.
The Flytefoam midsole—reinforced organic fibers designed to withstand pounding and reshape more efficiently than typical EVA—is the shoe’s shock absorber. It provides a plush feel on foot strikes and energy return into each stride. There’s also GEL cushioning in the heel and forefoot to provide additional protection against court impact. Overall, the comfort of the shoe is first-rate.
The updated midfoot Twistruss keeps the shoe composed and supported in and out of hard lateral cuts without feeling rigid. Given the style of its signature endorser, it’s designed to weather and control slides with good balance to promote a quicker recovery step. The level of grip and give of the outsole make this an asset of the shoe, even on hard courts. And if clay is the predominant court, there’s an outsole with a tread pattern more suited to that surface.
What Needs Work
Depending on personal preference, mileage may vary on the Mono-Sock. It’s a rather snug fit and legitimately difficult to put on. It wouldn’t hurt to have a shoe horn handy. Players with wider feet may find it a non-starter.
Players with narrower feet who need to cinch the laces tightly may also notice a bubbling of the PU around the forefoot. It’s not detrimental to movement, but can occasionally be felt or produce a popping sound; both of which subside with use.
Earlier versions of the Court FF would probably have slotted into the lightweight shoe category. This one? Not so much. It’s 23 grams heavier than the outgoing model. As the shoe has become more supportive and technical—perhaps due to the Djokovic influence—it has also added more weight. It’s actually even heavier than the new GEL-Resolution 9. By no means is it a clodhopper or in need of a diet. However, true speed shoe enthusiasts may feel less would be more.
When I checked my notes on the original Court FF I found the comment: “I think the “FF” stands for freaking fantastic.” Not much has changed. They’re a little heavier and certainly pricey, but otherwise the Asics Court FF 3 has gotten even more supportive and comfortable, and remain a dynamite high-performance shoe.