It’s that time of year again where we’re looking back at the most innovative, highest-performing tennis shoes of the year. We have a lot to cover, so let’s jump right in. Please note: Given how subjective the fit and performance of shoes can be, we’ve ranked our list in no particular order. These are our top 10 tennis shoes released in 2019:
1. ASICS Court FF 2
2019 started off with a bang for the brand from Japan. Then world #1 Novak Djokovic switched from his adored GEL-Resolution 7s to the new Court FF 2, and won his staggering 7th Australian Open title. The shoes themselves represent the best of both response and comfort from ASICS. They are supportive and stable, yet highly dynamic. We’ve found them to be one of the best all-around shoes in the game.
2. Nike Air Zoom Vapor Cage 4
The Nike Cage 3, shoe of Rafael Nadal, got an update late in the year to conclude the major releases of 2019. The Air Zoom Vapor Cage 4 includes “Vapor” in its name to signify that this model is faster and more dynamic than any previous Cage. It offers an exceptional blend of durability, stability, and response, and is one of the more unique looking shoes of the year. It is backed by a 6-month outsole warranty.
3. Lotto Mirage 100 Speed
After shaking up their footwear offerings in recent years, Lotto appears to be all-in on their new Mirage lineup capped off by the Mirage 100 Speed. Designed to be light and flexible, these shoes also keep support, stability, and comfort in mind to reduce your risk of injury, and provide a great all-around experience on the court. They’re unique in that they come with additional shoelaces, as well as two pairs of insoles (one thick and one thin) for a customizable fit. You can see this shoe on the feet of several pros, such as Matteo Berrettini and Alison Riske.
4. K-Swiss Aero Knit
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The K-Swiss Aero Knit is billed as the brand’s lightest tennis shoe to date. On top of this, it features a crazy new upper construction that makes it impossible to leave off of our list. Infi-knit fabric covers the laces for an aerodynamic and breathable experience, while new Surge midsole technology powers the shoes from within.
5. New Balance FuelCell 996v4
New Balance upped the ante this year by incorporating their most propulsive performance foam, FuelCell, into the new 996. The FuelCell 996v4 enters the fray as the brand’s premier lightweight shoe, offering excellent levels of breathability and response. Given its weight, the shoe is remarkably soft, and offers a solid level of durability. It will be worn on tour by rising-star Coco Gauff, as well as some other notable names. Surprisingly, the 996v4 is even backed by a 6-month outsole warranty.
6. Wilson Rush Pro 3.0
If you ask me, Wilson’s Rush Pro 3 is one of the most underrated performance shoes of the year. It represents an innovative leap from the 2.5 in that it offers great comfort, stability, and control in a lighter, more dynamic package. It comes with a host of updated technologies, and is backed by a durability guarantee.
7. Nike Vapor X Knit
We all know about the popular Vapor X, but Nike mixed things up this summer when they released the Vapor X Knit: A Vapor X with a totally new upper construction. This innovative take on a court classic offers high-tensile strength for support, but remains both breathable and lightweight. We even saw a couple limited edition versions of this shoe in Shapovalov’s Arctic Wolf, and the TC Knit, a callback to Agassi’s Tech Challenge.
8. FILA Axilus 2 Energized
FILA’s Axilus Energized of 2018 has been upgraded in the form of the Axilus 2 Energized. Fans of the original can still expect a slightly wide, low-arch fit from the update, as well as a few key tweaks that take performance up a notch. The shoes come with a 6-month durability guarantee, and promote a solid combination of responsiveness, stability, and comfort. If a pro is sponsored by FILA, they’re more than likely competing in these shoes on tour. A couple notable names include John Isner and Ashleigh Barty.
9. Mizuno Wave Exceed Tour 3
The secret’s out, Mizuno is making a major push into tennis, and a highly calculated one at that within the US marketplace. The Wave Exceed Tour 3 is an excellent performance shoe that offers all-around characteristics for a variety of tennis players. Powerful, speedy, and stable, this shoe also features a 6-month durability guarantee. You’ll find a number of ATP and WTA pros sporting this shoe on tour.
10. ASICS GEL-Resolution 8
ASICS’ new GEL-Resolution 8 rounds out our list of the top 10 shoes released this year. It was developed with direct input from top-10 ATP singles pro Gael Monfils to promote a more responsive stride and close-to-the-court feel; of course, while maintaining the durability, support, and cushioning the Resolution is known for. This shoe is without a doubt one of the most comfortable shoes on the market, and is backed by a 6-month durability guarantee.
With the number of shoes released this year, we had to add in a section for some notable shoes left off our list. Perhaps most unique were Nike’s Vapor X and Cage 3 Glove tennis shoes that we saw during the clay-court season. They represented a creative spin on two staples within the tennis shoe market, and were capped off by a one-of-a-kind Rafa iteration.
Also from Nike, we saw several versions of the extremely-limited Vapor X Kyrie V. Nick Kyrgios and Kyrie Irving, both Australian natives, teamed up to bring basketball’s distinct style to tennis.
If you saw our top 10 video from last year, you’ll remember that we kicked things off with the adidas SoleCourt Boost. Well, the SoleMatch Bounce will give you much of the same great stability thanks to its wide base, but in a lighter, more breathable package. Bounce cushioning underneath powers the shoe with familiar shock absorption and energy return.
Lastly (I promise), Diadora released their Speed Blushield 3 and Speed Blushield Fly 2. While not major updates from the previous models, they’re still some of the more comfortable tennis shoes on the market.
That concludes our list of the top 10 tennis shoes released in 2019. Don’t forget that you can check out these shoes and more at TennisExpress.com, and subscribe to get product updates on upcoming 2020 shoes. It’s been a great year in tennis as far as footwear’s concerned, and we can’t wait to show you what’s in store for the new year.
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