Adidas returned to the drawing board to bring the sport of tennis something truly unique: The Stycon Tennis Shoe. The concept fuses 3 simple terms in the hopes of creating a powerful, disruptive shoe for 2020 and beyond. The terms are Stability, Style, and Icon. Stability is driven by the shoe’s laceless construction that locks down the midfoot for ultimate support and control during lateral movements. Style comes from the shoe’s innovative look that matches its uncompromised performance. Icon is derived from the fact that this shoe smashes conventional tennis shoe wisdom for a truly iconic experience. It will be seen in action on a major stage for the first time at the 2020 Australian Open. You can find it on the feet of Stefanos Tsitsipas and Kristina Mladenovic.
Adidas Stycon Tennis Shoes
We’ve seen a few tennis shoes on the market with a full exterior bootie construction, but nothing quite like the Stycon. As mentioned above, these unique shoes do not have traditional laces. Instead, the Stycon features a series of elastic straps, and a sort of double bootie. The shoes are also a bit different when it comes to their performance. They feel pretty dynamic, but in reality are not that light. My size 10 weighed in at 455 grams (roughly 16oz). This deceiving feel is likely attributed to the lock-down nature of the elastic straps. They also offered good levels of support, stability, and comfort. As many will likely point out, the biggest downside to the Stycon is figuring out how to get it on, but we’ll get into that. Let’s break this shoe down:
Adidas refers to the shoe’s exterior as a “fully-feathered silhouette”. It’s designed to offer both exterior protection and a one-of-a-kind look. It has an elastic quality that moves naturally with your foot’s movements, but also adds support.
Perhaps the most unique aspect of the Stycon is the fact it has no laces. This is possible thanks to its full inner bootie. The material is comfortable with an elastic quality. It features a number of straps that are designed to lock down your foot, yet still remain dynamic. This results in solid levels of both support and response. The construction runs from your toes to your ankle, where a knit collar is engineered to naturally expand to your foot shape for greater ankle support.
RPU reinforcement covers the toe and medial forefoot for greater levels of durability. It’s complemented by a raised outsole, and rubber outriggers that help control the forces applied to the medial side. While these durable materials take up a lot of surface area, they still manage to move with the shoe without catching uncomfortably.
Heat-pressed reinforced mesh creates a heel cage to better secure your heel. Despite the speedy look of the Stycon, the S comes from stability. This feature plays an instrumental role in maintaining stability, support, and protection in the rear of the shoe.
New BOUNCE 2.0 drop-in foam offers improved energy return and cushioning, helping the Stycon feel responsive during quick changes in direction. An EVA footbed provides further stability and comfort. Inside, a torsion bar enhances overall stability and lateral control.
Adidas’ traditional ADIWEAR material finds its way into the Stycon for a strong level of durability. Its herringbone pattern offers excellent multidirectional traction. The outsole is slightly curved near the heel to promote a smooth striking phase, and shows off BOUNCE 2.0 midsole material in the center.
Fit and Sizing
Regarding fit, the shoes may feel constricting at first, but our playtesters have found them to loosen up a bit as they’re broken in. Overall, I thought they did a good job of locking to my foot and moving with me, but you may not want to wear low-cut socks for obvious reasons. For my flatter feet, the arch seemed to run rather high; however, some of our other playtesters had no issues, and felt the arch was closer to a standard medium. Perhaps the best way to describe the fit of the Stycon is to say it feels like a tightly-tied shoe, but without major pressure points. We encourage athletes to try on a couple of sizes if at all possible. Expect a locked-down feel that stays relatively consistent through the life of the shoe.
How to Put on Adidas’ Stycon
The biggest knock I foresee with this shoe is putting it on. While daunting at first, it actually isn’t so bad after a few tries. The Stycon comes with a shoehorn that helps greatly. There are also two loops to grab a hold of on the inner bootie (one in the front and one in the back).
To check out all of the colorways for this high-performance tennis shoe, visit TennisExpress.com. Be sure to keep an eye out for our full review on this shoe in the coming weeks!
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