Price: $149 (Purchase now at

Weight: 15.5 oz. (men’s 10.5); 12.2 oz. (women’s 8.5)

Size Run: 6-13, 14, 15 (men); 5-12 (women)

Outsole Warranty: 6-month

What’s New

The Mondo Forza is an entirely new model from Fila. For its 50th anniversary in tennis, the brand wanted to create a high-performance shoe that caters to the aggressive baseline movement of the modern player.

Designers sought a minimalist construction with a blend of natural and recycled materials for a streamlined profile. This includes a leno weave mesh upper and a midsole wood-based support plate.

A key element is the innovative split-surface outsole that maximizes the balance between traction and transition.

What Works

When you put certain shoes on your feet, you can almost immediately tell which ones are designed to take a punch: They comfortably cushion the foot on impact, have an upper that’s reinforced in all the right places, provide good stability and support during lateral movements and sport an outsole that’s built for the surface.

That essentially sums up the design of the Mondo Forza.


Fila Mondo Forza

Fila Mondo Forza

Generally in my shoe reviews, I approach the shoe from top to bottom, getting to the outsole last. However, in this case, that would be burying the lead. The outsole on the Mondo Forza is probably its most notable feature. It’s split nearly down the middle into two very distinct patterns.

The lateral side is the most unique. Upon first inspection, it appears to be nearly bald. On closer examination, there’s a thin, tire-like tread designed to amplify surface contact. This allows the player to extend out, slide into shots, and smoothly transition in the opposite direction. Rather than the typical squeak produced on a hard court, it emits an unusual, almost zippering sound as it glides across the surface.

The medial side possesses a chunky, wave pattern that supplies the traction. As you transition off the smooth half, this serves as the brakes to stop on command and shift in any direction. It’s a clever, 1-2 combination that encourages assured and efficient lateral movement. The outsole on this side also climbs up and encapsulates the toe box, bringing added protection for foot-draggers.

Another unique piece of technology is the wood-based midfoot plate. A portion of it displaying the Fila logo can be seen and felt through a cutout in the outsole. Typically, these aspects of the shoe are constructed with a hard plastic. Even with the natural material, it still provides a noticeably sturdy platform and keeps the shoe stable and composed during intense movement.

Cushioning in the midsole feels thick and solid. It’s not as plush or bouncy as some competing models—the firm arch support adds to this sensation—but still reasonably comfortable. More importantly, it fills its job description of soaking up court contact, and helps propel the foot into the next stride.

The upper is made of a strong, woven mesh. Strategically placed leather and plastic pieces provide additional support in high stress areas. The gusseted tongue is nicely padded, as is the heel collar and tab. Integrated loop eyelets allowing for effortless lace cinching and a locked-in fit. In action, it offers a highly supportive feel without being restrictive.

The colorways for the women's Mondo Forza

The colorways for the women's Mondo Forza


What Needs Work

A player’s mileage may vary on the Mondo Forza’s cushioning. It feels full and dense, rather than soft and yielding. Throw in the obvious arch support and it could be too hard, especially for those with flatter feet. It does subside with usage, but some may simply prefer something more forgiving out of the box.

The breadth of features also gives the shoe plenty of mass. Whether it needs a diet probably depends on user wants and needs. It shouldn’t feel sluggish or cumbersome to the already fast and aggressive movers—its target audience—but it does favor stability and support over lightweight quickness.

Along the same lines, the upper’s compacted mesh feels strongly reinforced, but the downside is there’s not a great deal of airflow through the shoe. Depending on playing conditions, it could potentially use more breathability.

Bottom Line

The Mondo Forza ups Fila’s shoe game. It’s stable and supportive with an innovative outsole that promotes swift and confident movement, and is a most worthy option for the sturdy and dependable crowd.