One of the core tenets to winning tennis is playing to your strengths. Sure, it’s always wise to shore up shortcomings, but when the rubber meets the court you’ve got to lean on your best assets. The Asics GEL-Resolution has earned its reputation and popularity for having rock-solid stability and support. There are some that are lighter, others more plush feeling, but few can match its all-around performance. And the eighth installment of the franchise does nothing to disparage its status as one of the most dependable shoes on the market.
From a design perspective, Asics set out to improve the overall comfort of the shoe—what they felt was a weakness of the previous model—while bolstering the stability even further. The former is partly addressed with the new full-length Flexion Fit upper which has greater multi-directional flexibility for a more forgiving ride. It also has a seamless construction to avoid rubbing or irritation. And the Personal Heel Fit provides two layers of memory foam to the collar lining for the dual purpose of plusher padding and a tailored fit.
To augment stability, a new technology—Dynawall—has been added to both the medial and lateral sides to strengthen the shoe during side-to-side movements. Same goes for Dynawrap, a clever take on a lacing system. There are two “straps”—one connects the lateral edge to the medial lace and vice versa. As pressure is applied on the lateral side, it pulls the medial lace to create a secure, almost customized feel. For players with narrower feet, this also allows for a more locked-in fit. The result was tons of confidence and dependability in and out of breaks and moving laterally across the court.
The one issue I incurred—which was probably my only hang-up with the shoe—was that the laces were somewhat thin and, since I am a player with a narrow foot, occasionally dug into the top of my foot when I pulled them tightly. It took some trial-and-error during changeovers to get the requisite level of tightness and support without experiencing too much of a straightjacket squeeze. It became less of an issue as the shoe broke in and could probably be remedied immediately with a thicker, flatter pair of laces.
The overall fit was what I’ve come to expect from the shoe, with perhaps some subtle improvements. In previous editions, the front of the shoe would narrow—getting that clown shoe look—and the material around the forefoot bubble. Neither were an issue this time around. I also found that the rear-foot padding could give the shoe a high heel feel before it settles in. Again, now not as much of a problem.
The weight of the shoe remains substantial. It wasn’t overly heavy or cumbersome—the mass felt nicely distributed—and responsive enough, with decent court feel. But it won’t be confused with a lightweight speed shoe. If that's what you generally look for, it's a fairly safe bet that the GEL-Resolution has never been in your wheelhouse.
Even though lighter materials were incorporated, the amount of support features found in the shoe will always pack on the mass and give it a beefy feel. The upshot was it did a fine job of absorbing shock. I found myself repeatedly trying them on an unforgiving hard court, and the combination of Flytefoam in the midsole and GEL cushioning in the rear and forefoot easily handled the pounding.
The AHAR Plus outsole has also been revamped for better stability and braking force than its predecessor. The grooves have been shaped and enhanced for better court grip, slide control and stopping power. Additionally, the three pivot points—mainstays on the shoe—are thicker for improved grip during rotation. The PGuard toe protector provides extra protection to that high wear area of the shoe. And the six-month guarantee is always a welcome bonus. Add it all up, and traction and durability should be up to the test for even the most aggressive movers.
If you’re already a fan of the line, the GEL-Resolution 8 will not disappoint. It reinforces and expands on what the shoe does effectively, while making some welcome improvements. Players who seek high-end support with just enough quickness and agility should definitely take it for a ride. It’s just a solid, stable, well-cushioned and dependable shoe. Those kinds of strengths are a tough combination to beat.