Tennis Shoe Review: New Balance Fresh Foam X CT-Rally

The Fresh Foam X CT-Rally takes the place of the Lav V2 in New Balance’s performance tennis shoe category. The Lav was a very stable shoe, and it was anchored by NB’s Fresh Foam X which offered solid cushioning. The CT-Rally takes the Lav v2 and makes it sportier. New Balance drew inspiration from the 3D support systems used in rally cars. It features an elongated throat design which for added flex and breathability. New Balance applied a one-piece woven upper construction, which they borrowed from their stout BB Fresh Hoops basketball line.

Our Tennis Express play testers put the CT-Rally to the test. Here are their thoughts:

New Balance FF X CT Rally Tennis Shoe

Sam’s take:

I think of the CT-Rally in a very functional way. It is not a shoe for lounging around the house or walking 10,000 steps. It is built for a specific purpose, to stabilize and protect your foot while you focus on the match at hand. I love the way my heel locks into the CT-Rally, and it inspires a lot of confidence in my movement on the court. This shoe feels more dynamic than the Lav v2, with more flexibility and breathability as well.

When I first stepped into the shoes, they felt stiff. However, after walking around in them for a few hours, the cushioning seemed to respond more, and they felt very nice. For me, the CT-Rally is one of the most stable shoes on the market, and New Balances’ new cosmetic designs are decidedly less “dad”, which gives them more appeal. It is no wonder runners love Fresh Foam X, the foam is supportive and incredibly comfortable. My only complaint, if I am being picky, is that the CT-Rally is not a lightweight shoe.

Tracy’s take:

I like them. They’re very supportive and comfortable, considering they’re more in line with what I would call a high-performance court shoe. The toe is more rounded than most and took a little getting used to. I’m not sure if this was an optical illusion on my part or just the way the clear trim goes overlaps the toe guard. This shoe is a true B size in width. The toe box has adequate room, but not as much as other New Balance shoes I’ve worn.  

 I like the lacing system and the padding in the tongue. I also like the pull tab at the heel which makes these tennis shoes easy to pull on. The rubberized sole gives excellent grip and the colorway makes a bold statement. I like too what New Balance is doing with some of the design elements by adding some different patterns and textures. I’d love to see these in a lighter colorway with a little extra room in the toe box. Maybe one day soon?


Alex’s take:

When I first saw the new CT Rally, I was very intrigued by the sleek shape and popping colors. If you are like me then the look of a court shoe will play a huge part in your purchasing decision, and the CT Rally checks all the right boxes. 

Putting them on only made me like them more. The CT Rally feels very durable and sturdy, but it does not have a clumsy or bulky feel on the feet like other shoes in its category, which is a huge plus for any aggressive all-court player. They have a very secure fit that holds your foot in from all sides. While it is very snug it is not constricting or uncomfortable and still provides great breathability and airflow.

New Balance has impressed me tremendously with their latest release, and the CT Rally has quickly become my go-to pair of court shoes.

Bryan’s Take:

The sleek appearance of the NB CT-Rally immediately caught my attention. Being a fan of the previous Fresh Foam Lav 2s, I had certain expectations as I tried on this new shoe. Upon wearing it for the first time, I noticed that the Fresh Foam cushion felt somewhat firmer compared to the Lav2s, leading me to pronate more than usual. Consequently, I experienced slight discomfort on the lateral side of my foot. Despite this, I decided to put the shoes to the test. 

After the shoes had broken in, they felt fantastic! They provided excellent support in all the right areas, enabling me to move effortlessly around the court. In comparison, I must say that the Fresh Foam Lav 2s had a smoother break-in period. However, the Fresh Foam X CT-Rally outperforms in terms of long-term fit and durability. 

All in all, I am very impressed with this shoe! It combines style and performance, making it a great choice for any player.


Fit details

Length: True to size

Arch: Medium

6-month outsole warranty: YES!



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