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There’s nothing like a good surprise. Whether it’s an unexpected gift, or finding $5 in your pants pocket, that brief moment of joy and excitement can turn your whole day around. This season, the K-Swiss Hypercourt Express was that surprise for me.
While I was looking forward to testing a myriad of shoes about to hit the market, including the Asics Solution Speed 3, the Prince T22 Lite, and the Adidas Energy Boost, the Hypercourt Express wasn’t even on my radar. Once the shoes arrived, I tried them on and immediately appreciated both the comfort and fit, but still questioned whether or not they would hold up to aggressive play.
Fortunately, they grew on me even more after a couple of days of wear. In addition to the high level of cushioning, the plush Ortholite sockliner, medium to slightly wide fit, and padding in the ankle collar and tongue all conspired to create a winning on-court experience. Plus, the mesh upper is incredibly pliable at the forefoot flexpoint, which kept me feeling agile and unrestrained by the shoe.
But after a week, it was time to move on to another playtest. I set the Hypercourt Express aside, and didn’t think of them again for some time.
Once all of the testing had wrapped, I started contemplating which model I’d actually like to wear on court all day. As such, I found myself alternating between the Prince T22 Lite and the Asics Solution Speed 3. Then, one day, I remembered these K-Swiss shoes and decided to revisit them again. Memories of the initial playtest came flooding back. “Man, these things are comfortable,” I thought to myself as I stepped on court. They’ve been in my rotation ever since.
As I’ve played with them since the “rediscovery,” I’ve continued to appreciate the plushness of the Hypercourt Express. What’s more, the outsole has the right balance of traction/give, which keeps the shoe from slipping on gentler moves, but allows for sliding on more aggressive direction changes. The softness of the outsole also contributes to the flexibility at the forefoot. While some might find this to inhibit the durability of the shoe, I found the wear on the tread to be on par with most lightweight models.
If I were given the opportunity to improve the shoe, I would look to swap out the mesh above the toe box for a looser weave to increase breathability. I’d also like an additional eyelet or two at the top of the lacing system to better lock in the foot; while I felt secure laterally, I did have some instability during forward movement, and I’d prefer a little more ankle support.
However, these small improvements are not necessary to win me over. K-Swiss did a great job with these shoes, and both teaching pros who stand on court all day, as well as players with wider feet, will enjoy the features of the Hypercourt Express. Aggressive movers might prefer a little more support, but will still have a hard time criticizing the impressive comfort of this shoe.
Mitch Case tests racquets, shoes and strings for Tennis Magazine and tennis.com. He is also the tennis director at Woodridge Lake in Goshen, CT, a PTR professional, and a USRSA-certified master technician.