In this day and age, there’s a mammoth variety of tennis shoes available from many different brands and choosing the right one can be a Herculean task. But when it comes to adidas, each line of shoe that they offer heroes one distinct feature that the rest of the shoe is built around. For their Ubersonic line, that hallmark is lightweight responsiveness. If you know that one attribute you can’t do without, that makes the process of selecting a new shoe infinitely easier. I prioritize a lighter weight over every other feature. And so as I unwrapped my new adidas Adizero Ubersonic 3 shoes to playtest, I expected nothing short of a match made in heaven.
Cushioning & Stability
The cushioning is phenomenally responsive. From the get-go, these shoes delivered exactly what they had promised and more. They provide top-notch comfort and optimum stability, all in a snug, lightweight package. That isn’t to say that it is plush or rich like the cushioning that the adidas Barricade line offers, but there is enough to enable explosive energy return while maintaining comfort. In terms of stability, I was interested to see how these shoes performed given how lightweight they were. To my surprise, they offered a stable, low-to-the-ground feel and ample support so I was confident making quick and lateral movements. I would prefer more ankle support ideally, but what the shoe offered wasn’t insufficient by any means.
The first thing that I noticed as soon as I put these shoes on was how responsive and light they felt. I was able to execute lightning-quick steps on the court, that allowed me to make quick changes in direction and race around from baseline to net and back easily. Fast play is the main promise, and the Ubersonic 3 does full justice to the claim with their speedy, explosive energy.
Breathability & Fit
One of the many reasons I loved playtesting these shoes was how comfortable and snug they felt. With my wider midfoot, I often struggle to put shoes on, and have to go up half a size but that wasn’t the case with the Ubersonic 3’s. My feet slid in easily and the shoes delivered a glove-like fit. As promised, the Torsion system did indeed work to wrap around my midfoot for a supportive and secure fit. There wasn’t a lot of extra room in the toe-box, but that’s just how I like it. If you do prefer that extra space, I’d recommend going up half a size. I noticed that these shoes offered a low arch support, but that isn’t a monumental issue for me. That was especially the case because the shoe performs exceptionally on all counts of responsiveness and a lighter weight, which are my main requirements in a shoe. The breathability was astonishing; the double-knit mesh upper was really put to the test in the scorching Houston heat, and it’s safe to say that it did not disappoint. The airflow prevented excessive sweating, and my feet didn’t feel overheated throughout the play.
The widely-accepted notion is that lightweight shoes sacrifice durability. The Ubersonic 3’s overthrow the idea and prove it to be nothing more than an outdated belief. I had initially expected to see considerable outsole wear-and-tear, especially because of how light the shoes were. But the outsole offered significant resilience during the 4-5 weeks of the playtest and only displayed minor wear-and-tear. However, I did see noticeable wear on the toe guard within the first week of playtesting. I am a toe dragger so that is usually the first area to display damage on all my shoes, but there is definitely room for improvement there.
As a staunch proponent of lightweight and responsive tennis shoes, I’ve often struggled to find sufficient durability and stability in many of the lightweight shoes that I’ve played in. The Ubersonic 3’s were a delight to playtest because they don’t offer a lopsided trade-off in those departments. Add to that the explosive energy and speed that they offer, and you’ve got yourself a winner. These should be your shoe of choice if you prefer lightweight and speedy shoes that deliver top-notch performance and comfort.
About the Reviewer: Ammara Mukhi currently works at Tennis Express on the Content/Social Media team. An avid badminton player growing up, she now plays both badminton and tennis recreationally.