The well-known German brand, adidas, returned to the drawing board after they discontinued the popular Barricade tennis shoe. Now the brand is looking out towards the future creating a next generation tennis shoe for all players called the Stycon. It fuses 3 simple terms: Stability, Style, and Icon, in hopes of creating a powerful, disruptive shoe in the market. 3 of our playtesters break down their thoughts about this iconic and unique shoe.
Sam Jones’ Thoughts:
I thoroughly enjoyed the “ski-boot” aspect of the Stycon. When I put them on, they felt more like armor to go to battle with, than they did fancy tennis shoes. The look is very stylish, and I was reminded of Back to the Future Part II with Marty McFly’s future automatic lace-up shoes. Without laces, the first thing I thought before trying them on, was that they’re going to be too loose, and I could not have been more wrong. If anything the shoes fit too much on the “snug” side of things for my liking. I think the sizing is true, but the elastic fitted system makes the shoe fit a little tighter than I would tie with actual shoelaces. The downside of this is there’s no adjusting the fit. For a heavier shoe, the Stycon helped me feel connected to the court, and not sluggish in the slightest.
All in all, The Stycon is trying to push the tennis shoe world forward the way Apple pushed the cellphone forward with the first iPhone. The first iPhone was solid, but didn’t really hit it’s stride until the 3rd or 4th generation models. With the Stycon, I see a shoe adidas will unquestionably improve on the next go around. I have struggled for years with shoelaces breaking during matches, sometimes even the eyelets tearing. The Stycon eliminates this fear, and it is nice to have less worry during match time.
- Very cool look
- Love not worrying about broken laces on a tennis court
- Built to take a beating
- No way to adjust tightness of the fit
- Unsure which socks are best for this shoe
- Heavier than most other tennis shoes
Playtester Sam Jones:
Sam currently works at Tennis Express on the Content Marketing team. He previously played at Southwestern University, taught tennis for 10+ years and earned his Master Racquet Technician Certification in 2011. He is an active USTA League and Tournament player at the 5.0+ level. He secretly wants Djokovic to become the GOAT in tennis.
Christopher Worman’s Thoughts:
I went into this playtest with tempered expectations. Yes, it’s an adidas shoe, but it’s also very innovative, and a first-generation model. That said, the Stycon exceeded my expectations after I got accustomed to the unique fit. Players should expect a very locked-down, responsive feel. I had no issues with the shoes coming lose. They’re also very stable and durable, but do get a little heavy the longer you play. Getting them on wasn’t too bad after a few tries with the help of the handy shoehorn that comes in the box. My main criticism is that the arch was too high for my flatter feet, and I couldn’t adjust the locked-in nature of the shoe, causing some discomfort as they broke in.
- Locked to my foot much better than I thought
- Excellent stability
- Very supportive
- Arch was high
- Difficult to get comfortable since the shoe locks down so effectively
- Difficult to put on at first
Playtester Christopher Worman:
Chris currently works at Tennis Express as the Content Marketing Team Captain. He primarily participated in soccer and track & field at Homewood-Flossmoor High School outside of Chicago, Illinois. He is an avid weightlifter and nutrition enthusiast that enjoys Cycling and various outdoor activities.
To me, at first I truly didn’t like the way the shoe felt because they are so different from what I’m used to. They were very tight initially around the bridge of my feet and took me time to break-in. Once I got them on court and started to play though they truly changed my perspective. The support and stability is unlike anything else I’ve ever had before. I felt locked-in the court whenever I moved and I never felt off balanced when I had to defend. Although the shoe is still difficult for me to put on due to my big foot size (Men’s 14), I enjoyed playing in them for longer periods of time.
- Best stability and durability on the planet
- Locked-in feel
- Can easily move around without noticing how heavy the shoe is
- Difficult to put on and take off
- Needs a break-in period
- Inner bootie construction absorbs moisture and may smell after awhile
Playtester Chris Virk-Brown:
Chris currently works at Tennis Express on the Content Marketing team. He previously played at Neumann University and coached at the collegiate level for 3 years. He is USPTA Certified and is an active USTA League and Tournament player at the 4.5+ level. He really wants Gael Monfils or Jo-Wilfred Tsonga to win a grand slam.