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2024 ASICS Tennis Shoes Buyer's Guide

ASICS has been king in the tennis shoe world for the better part of a decade now and there is something for everyone in their lineup. Speed, stability, support, elite modern playability, you want it, you got it.
2024 ASICS Tennis Shoes Buyer's Guide Featured Image


About a month ago, Asics released the new Solution Speed FF 3. It was the last shoe on the chopping block for their 2023/2024 update cycle, and it completed a fantastic lineup. The Japanese brand has always been known for its support and durability, but recently, it's been at the forefront of technological developments, and each of its shoes offers unique playability.

Asics offers three top-end shoes: the uber-popular Gel-Resolution 9, the brand-new Solution Speed FF 3, and, of course, Novak Djokovic's Court FF 3. They each have key differences, with two of them much more similar than the other, a theme you'll start to sense throughout this review.

Before we get into any specific playability, I want to talk about the shoes' weights because it will better help explain what to expect from each.

All in a size 9.5 US, the Court FF is heaviest, coming in at 416 grams; the Gel-Resolution weighs 386 grams; and the Solution Speed weighs in at an astonishingly light 329 grams. These weights are important because Asics has always claimed the Court FF to be a hybrid shoe between the Resolution and the Solution Speed, but that's never been the case. It's heavier and more structured than the Resolution, so if there is one that lies between the others, it's the Gel-Resolution.

That's always been a pet peeve of mine, but it does not matter in the grand scheme of things. Let's get into some more specific playability.



Fit and Construction

Fit-wise, the three shoes are similar, which shouldn't be too surprising; Asics likes to stick to a similar shape throughout most models. Their shoes are easily distinguishable, with a relatively narrow, pointy toe box and an especially slim fit around the fifth metatarsal. They aren't necessarily narrow and also not all identical in having that "asicsy" fit; the Gel-Resolution is the most traditional and the narrowest.

It's a good thing then that they offer a women's D and men's 2E in the Gel-Res. It actually has a similar silhouette to the Solution Speed, but there's so much extra rubber on the Resolution that it will not give nearly as much after break-in. That's one of the major updates Asics made to the Solution Speed FF3; they removed most of the upper's rubber, so despite still being fairly narrow, it fits more naturally and will adapt over time to a wider foot.

The Court FF is the widest of the three and has the most ergonomic shape, where it gets a little wider around the ball of your foot and your fifth metatarsal. Width shouldn't be an issue for most players with the Court FF, but if you have a very wide foot, it's best to stay away since it has even more rubber than the Resolution and certainly won't stretch after break in.

All three of these shoes are pretty roomy in the midfoot (another very "Asicsy" feature), so you won't feel the upper cradling your arch, but what that gives you is a fantastic platform to put an orthotic into. The Court FF and Gel-Resolution are particularly primed for an aftermarket footbed because they have so much width through the mid-foot that there is a ton of room to play around with. You won't have a problem putting one into the Solution Speed, but it is narrower than the other two.

One important thing to note with the mid-foot fit on the Court FF is that the shoe has a one-piece tongue. It fits like a tube synching down on your foot, which makes for great lockdown, but if you have a tall arch, the compression may be too much. My navicular comes up pretty high, so I need a good couple of days to break in my Court FFs, but the material is less stiff on the Court FF 3 than it was on the 2.

We don't need to say much about the heel fit in the Resolution and Solution Speed because they are pretty standard. The Gel-Res has an open and low cut heel while the Solution Speed's is a little tighter but nothing too intense. The Court FF 3 is where the heel gets really interesting.

The heel counter adds a ton of compression on the Court FF 3, and when you combine that with the one-piece neoprene tongue, the shoe has some of the best lockdown you can get. Like it was with the tongue, though, be careful that the compression isn't overbearing. You will feel the heel counter pushing inward, and when you combine that with the tongue's compression, it isn't an uncomfortable shoe, but it is the least instantly comfortable of the three.

Because the Solution Speed has so little rubber, it has the most natural and comfortable fit. If it is a bit snug at first, don't worry; the mesh upper will adapt and eventually fit like a glove after a break-in. The Resolution is a Resolution; if it fits your foot, it will be comfortable, it gets more comfortable with every generation.



Outsole and Stability

When it comes to the platform you are standing on, the Solution Speed's and Gel-Resolution's outsoles have a slight angle to them. This is common in most tennis shoes since it helps put you in the proper stance when your feet are shoulder-width apart, but it's a less intense angle than what you'll find on many Nike shoes.

Interestingly, the Court FF's outsole is pancake flat, which was instantly noticeable when I threw it on one foot with the Resolution on the other. You get a very grounded feel from the flatter platform, but I did miss that angled sensation because it does feel more natural most of the time; there is a reason this has become industry standard.

The midsole is where we begin to see the Gel-Resolution and Court FF set themselves apart from the Solution Speed. The latter has a plush midsole, while the Resolution and Court FF have firmer, traditional stability shoe midsoles.

Moving on to the outsole, the Solution Speed is very rockered — something you'll see more often with running shoes but not so much with tennis shoes. When you combine that rocker with its bouncier feel, you get a shoe that is significantly more springy than the other two.

Of course, there is a reason most tennis shoes don't have a rockered outsole. Rocker is great for complementing the foot's natural running motion, but it also adds a layer of instability because it can never be as grounded as something flat. That's where the Resolution and Court FF are much more traditional tennis shoes with flat, rigid outsoles. The Court FF has a slightly higher heel-to-toe drop than the Resolution, so it will give you a more on-your-toes sensation, but both are firm and unyielding, again, like you would expect from this style of shoe.


Lockdown and Support

Lockdown and support are determined by how well the upper hugs your foot and how well it holds up when pushing it from side to side. All of the rubber on the upper means that lockdown is fantastic on the Court FF and Gel-Resolution, but especially so on the Court FF — no other shoe competes with it in that regard. It's not just the rubber wrap that makes it so exceptional; as I mentioned earlier, all the compression in the heel and the tongue makes it a shoe that, once you are in, you are in for good. It's a similar sensation to what you'll have with a ski boot, although not nearly as unpleasant.

The Gel-Resolution doesn't have the same vacuum-like fit as the Court FF, but it still has plenty of features that give it great support. The Dynawall sidewall comes up very high on the lateral side, and the heel counter is almost as stiff as the Court FF's.

Lockdown and support are nowhere near as good on the Solution Speed, but I need to make it clear that I'm comparing it to two of the best shoes in this category. There is very little rubber, so you will experience rollover when going for big lateral cuts, but it's also that lack of rubber that makes it so light and so comfortable. You do need to be more careful when moving in this shoe — you can't bank on it holding up under any type of sloppy footwork — but if you move with proper technique, it will be perfectly fine. Just know that you have to make a slight sacrifice in lockdown and support to benefit from the shoe's other positive movement characteristics.



This is where the Solution Speed really starts to shine. Of course, movement encompasses several different things, lateral movement being one of them, so the Court FF and Resolution beat it out in that regard, but it's everywhere else that the Solution Speed is so impressive.

The feeling of weightlessness when moving around in this shoe is unique. Comparing it side by side, especially with the Court FF, the Court FF feels like a brick, and the Solution Speed feels like nothing. You gain a flutteriness to your footwork, making it feel like you can move with more precision and agility, a sensation you won't fully appreciate until you go back to something heavier. Then, when you combine its springy, rockered profile with its narrow outsole, it won't give you a very grounded feel but instead makes you want to move around the court, which is crucial in tennis nowadays. It's a shoe that may not be for everybody, but there's no denying how special it feels, especially compared to the two more traditional Asics shoes and a lot of other shoes in the industry.



The Court FF and Gel-Resolution feel nothing like the Solution Speed — they don't have nearly as much of that modern movement — but they're certainly no slouches. It's only if you compare them directly to the Solution Speed that they will feel sluggish and clunky, but they pack in plenty of modern tech to make them move quicker than average for stability shoes in 2024.

The Flyte Foam gives the Court FF an "airy" sensation, and the Gel pocket does a similar thing in the Resolution. Then, the Court FF's Twisstruss shank provides a great blend of torsional stability and snappy energy return. It's the Gel-Resolution's Dynawall sidewall, though, that impressed me the most in terms of how it enhances movement. It holds your foot firmly in place during lateral cuts but then pushes it back in the other direction with much more energy than you would expect.

We can't talk about movement without at least mentioning sliding, and if you've worn an Asics shoe at any time in the past five years, you'll know that they are some of the best shoes for sliding. The Resolution is the best — it has been for years — and the Court FF comes in at a close second. The Solution Speed is also great, but because it's a little squishier and less stable, you need to be a bit more careful and precise with your technique when you slide.


Which one will work for you?

If I haven't made it clear yet, I will now: the Gel-Resolution 9 and Court FF 3 are pretty interchangeable. The Court FF may be slightly more "impressive" because of how great the lockdown, lateral support, and stability are, but the Gel-Resolution is also excellent. It's not as in-your-face impressive, but slightly more refined and classic in how it achieves great performance. It's a testament to the saying, "if it ain't broke don't fix it," because Asics has basically perfected the Gel-Resolution with each new model for the better part of two decades. These are made for players looking for the same maximum support and stability they got with traditional tennis shoes but also expect modern technology and playability, especially great sliding.

The Solution Speed FF3 also has an impressive factor but accomplishes it entirely differently. If you want a shoe that perfectly complements scrambling around the court, and that weightless sensation sounds like something you would like, this is about as good as it gets.



I just want to touch on durability, and here, the Court FF 3 is the best and probably the most durable shoe on the market right now. The Resolution isn't far behind, but Asics did soften up this version's rubber, so it has gotten a little less durable, but it's still going to last you a very long time. The Solution Speed is by far the least durable of the three — it has significantly less rubber, so you will eventually poke a hole through the upper if you push it hard enough, but that's a sacrifice you have to be willing to make if you want something with this unique quickness.

I also wanted to mention the Asics Gel-Challenger 14. It may be a takedown, but it will give you 85% of the Gel-Resolutions playability in a much less expensive package; it's a very impressive shoe.

All ASICS Women's Court Shoes

All ASICS Men's Court Shoes

If you want to try on a pair, come into the store and visit our awesome shoe fitters, or you can check them out online.


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