Avid tennis players and fans understand the unique challenges associated with the sport, particularly the aggressive, side-to-side movements required. It only makes sense for tennis shoes to take this into account, but where did it all begin? For K-Swiss, it started in 1966 with the K-Swiss Classic. The company’s founders were two Swiss brothers who had a love for both tennis and skiing. They took inspiration from leather ski boots to create the Classic, which was the first all-leather tennis shoe at the time. This truly set the stage for the nascent brand.
As the company grew, so too did its number of shoe offerings. Today, K-Swiss has five primary tennis shoes of differing purposes. They are the Knitshot, Ultrashot, Hypercourt Express, Big Shot Light 3, and Court Smash. Others have made appearances here and there, but these are the main lines that we will focus on today.
The Knitshot Tennis Shoe is K-Swiss’ premier offering for men. It makes use of a specialized, high-performance material in the upper called K-NIT. This unique thread is typically used in vehicle armor, body armor, and climbing equipment because of its moisture-repelling properties and high-abrasion consistency. The midsole is relatively firm, but a plantar support chassis increases heal comfort. Guideglide technology helps the wearer maintain proper foot alignment. Of all the shoes in this list, the Knitshot is the only one that is not created in men’s and women’s sizes.
The Ultrashot Tennis Shoe is K-Swiss’ only current model with a six-month outsole warranty. It offers solid overall durability and cushioning, and utilizes an Ortholite sock liner with moisture management properties. The Dynamic Speed Tongue is wide and thin, and provides a surprising level of comfort. In the outsole, players can expect excellent durability thanks to the Aösta 7.0 high-density rubber outsole with DragGuard tread material.
The Hypercourt Express Tennis Shoe is K-Swiss’ most popular shoe so far in 2018. It’s noticeably lighter than the Knitshot and Ultrashot, but still offers good cushioning and support. The upper mesh ensures breathability, while Durawrap technology provides extra protection in high-wear areas. The overall comfort was noticeable when trying these shoes on for the first time. In my personal opinion, the price and quality of these shoes represent an excellent value.
The Big Shot Light 3 Tennis Shoe is K-Swiss’ lightest shoe. The midsole is rather firm compared to some of the other models in this list, but the padding around the foot ensures a comfort fit. Durawrap in the upper gives these speedy shoes extra protection. At the end of the day, the Big Shot Light 3 is designed for solid performance at a cost-effective price.
The Court Smash Tennis Shoe is K-Swiss’ least expensive model. It was created to give beginners and club players a more affordable option. It’s lightweight, and offers decent overall cushioning and stability. While it is not the most breathable, the Court Smash does offer pretty good protection.
In addition to the standard options mentioned above, K-Swiss offers a couple of leather tennis shoes. Both the Hypercourt Express (below left) and Big Shot Light (below right) come in leather models for those seeking a classic fit and feel.
To learn about other 2018 tennis shoe collections, check out our blog posts below: