With its combination of stability, cushioning and toughness the Eclipsion has become Yonex’s premium flagship shoe. For the third generation, the company has added to its formula with enhancements to the shoe’s shock absorption, torsional integrity and responsiveness. The innovations refine what makes the Eclipsion a comfortable and dependable model. If you’ve been a fan of the previous offerings in the line, this one will not disappoint.
Taking it from the top, the shoe’s upper offered a good balance of support versus flexibility. There is a fair amount of the Durable Skin cage and if you cinch the laces tight—as I tend to need to do—it can puff in the forefoot. When the shoe is fresh out of the box, that billowing can be felt and heard when moving until the shoe breaks in.
Fortunately, it only took a couple of outings for that problem to subside and for the upper to become quite plush. From a breathability standpoint, the material has numerous cutouts with mesh underneath to enhance ventilation, although I would rate it as somewhat ordinary in that category.
The fit of the shoe reminded me of an hourglass: It’s wider in the forefoot and heel regions with a noticeable narrowing and firmness through the midfoot—a sheet of graphite has been added in the area to prevent twisting on lateral movement, as well as to propel forward into the next shot. Much like the upper, this part of the shoe took a little time to work in. There’s also the possibility it could be too restrictive for players with wider feet.
Even though I never felt like my heel was as completely locked in as it could be, it never caused any hesitation or insecurity. The Toe Assist Shape allowed my forefoot to spread on contact and remain in control. I moved quickly and confidently in and out of breaks without a concern for catching an edge or rolling over.
Once again shock absorption is provided by the Power Cushion underfoot. It runs the length of the shoe with Power Cushion+ added to the forefoot and heel. And once again there were no complaints to report. There was enough substance to soak up court contact and return the energy into the next step without feeling overly spongy, keeping a connected feel. Even the tongue was well-cushioned, allowing me to cinch the laces tightly without any unwanted pressure applied to the top of my feet.
The Endurance Rubber outsole is constructed with one piece from heel to toe, to also foster improve stability. I demoed the all-court model which is a multi-directional pattern. It provided good grip and give on hard courts and had zero traction issues on clay. However, for those who want an even tighter grip to slide on the dirt, for the first time a pinpoint clay-court outsole pattern is being offered.
Overall, the Eclipsion 3 made a good case to be in the conversation with any competing high-performance shoe. After an initial break-in, it was comfortable, supportive and kept its composure at high speeds. I could have used a tighter squeeze around the rear-foot, but I have a narrow heel. And it didn’t prevent me from wearing them in matches. Aggressive movers looking for an all-around dependable shoe should consider doing likewise.