For some fans, the ‘90s was the best time for tennis. We had rival competitors, bad boy attitudes, stylish rock-n-roll clothing, and phenomenal tennis matches. The NikeCourt Tech Challenge 20 shoe is a reminder of those days bringing chills to tennis and sneaker fanatics alike. It’s been three decades since we saw Andre Agassi wear the Air Tech Challenge 2 tennis shoe on court which defined the ‘90s attitude. It introduced both an iconic design and an unmistakable construction that can never be forgotten. The Tech Challenge 2 was one of the first tennis shoes to incorporate Air Max technology into the midsole and feature vibrant upper graphics. The new 2020 model puts a modern spin on a court favorite mixing traditional feel with new innovative materials. Let’s take a closer look at the updated Tech Challenge model:
Modified Upper Construction
Not much has changed on the upper’s construction except for the outer design and cutting-edge technologies to make it feel a little lighter. It still consists of a synthetic leather and bright graphics to mimic the design of the original Air Tech Challenge 2. Rubber on the toes adds increased durability and an asymmetrical collar to support ankles during fast-cutting movements. Holes are drilled all-around the upper for some ventilation and airflow during play. The biggest changes Nike integrates are Flywire cables at the top of the laces so players can secure their feet. Additionally there’s a 1/2-length sleeve that wraps around the foot for additional support and a more snug fitting.
The visible Max-Air unit, from the original design, is what helped the Tech Challenge make it’s mark in the industry. The newest model keeps the same midsole technology giving players plenty of heel cushioning with every step. The medial side is hidden for extra durability during slides. An integrated crash pad promotes a smooth heel-to-toe transition for exceptional court feel.
The rubber outsole is slightly modernized with a herringbone pattern that still provides excellent traction and durability. Although the outsole isn’t exactly the same as the original Air Tech Challenge 2, its better for the modern tennis game.
Fit, Sizing and Weight
I personally found the Tech Challenge 2 and Tech Challenge 20 to be very similar in terms of fit, sizing, and weight. My ankle felt more secure when I tied it up tight, but the length and width still felt true to size. There is a slightly higher arch in the beginning, but after a couple hours of break-in the shoes didn’t affect me. The weight is still on the heavier side so for me this would be a good practice shoe but maybe not a match-day shoe.