Fila has been around the tennis and fashion industries for ages providing classic, trendy looks. They pride themselves in creating designs that are bold and breathtaking. Since the game of tennis has evolved over the years players need light weight and stabile shoes that can handle quick movements on the court. The Axilus Energized Shoe is a new design by Fila that is meant for the modern tennis match. I was excited to take to the court to see how Fila improved their shoe.
When you first step into this shoe, your feet really feel comfortable and relaxed. The breathable quarter and molded sockliner in the upper make the shoe soft to the touch. This soft touch was a pleasant surprise since I am use to Fila shoes that feel much heavier and relied on heavy cushion stability. The softer cushion still provides that same great stability for your feet and lower part of your ankle without the heavy feel. The molded heel cup, molded sockliner and Energized Rubber Cushioning work very well together providing you with great shock absorption. The cushioning on bottom absorbs your foot movement and does a great job protecting your feet from aches or strains after a long day.
The tongue is made with the same material as the upper and it makes for a comfortable fit around your lower ankle. On the downside, these shoes don’t provide a lot of arch or mid ankle support. Players that normally wear custom insoles or ankle wraps will still need to use them. The insole for this shoe is pretty minimal, so it wouldn’t provide any extra support for players that need it. Additionally players that have a history of ankle problems will still need to use an ankle brace, but the molded sockliner and tongue do a great job forming around the lower ankle area.
I really liked using these shoes to move around the court. When I moved at my fastest speeds around the court, my feet didn’t move in the shoe allowing me to easily plant and transition into my next shot. Whether I was moving side to side or front to back my feet always felt ready. The weight of these shoes is what really makes them great. They feel lighter than its predecessor, the Cage Delirium, and still give you excellent support. I never felt like I could be wrong footed on defense because I could bounce my feet back into position to hit my next shot. The TPU midfoot stabilizer does a good job in helping you stay balanced in between shots and works with Energized Rubber Cushioning to provide bounce back on the court.
Breathability & Fit
The breathability of this shoe was the main downfall. Although it has the Breathable mesh in the upper, this shoe stays pretty warm once you start moving. The mesh feels like it is trapping in the air rather than ventilating and letting air out. This is still an area that Fila needs to work on improving and I believe they are almost there. The molded forefoot cage and molded heel cup are what prevents this shoe from breathing more. Breathability is often one of those factors that you have to give up when you want more durability in the upper and forefoot. I would recommend players using thin socks with these shoes so their feet don’t get too sweaty during matches or practices.
In terms of fit, I felt this shoe was pretty standard in width. Thanks to the mesh tongue and molded sockliner construction you can tie the shoe relatively tight around the ankle for a secure fitting. As you move around the tongue does get a little loose, but your foot still feels secure in the shoe. The molded heel cup does a great job in preventing your heel from coming loose even when it’s sweaty. If you prefer a wide shoe, this shoe may work in your favor because of the wider toe box and detached mesh tongue.
The durability levels with this shoe are just as good as before. The rubber outsole and molded forefoot cage do a good in protecting the mesh from scuffing on the court. Players that drag their feet when they serve or hit groundstrokes will appreciate the anti-slide nylon lining that keeps the shoe intact. Traction around the court was very good whether I moved along the baseline or towards the net. I could easily stop and start thanks to the energized rubber cushioning and outsole. Similar to the Cage Dilirium, this shoe provides the same great outsole durability that seems to last for months of play. The only area that doesn’t last as long is the shoe laces. The shoe laces ironically are fairly thin and as you play more they fray leaving you with a little bit of yarn to tie your shoes with. I would highly recommend buying your own extra pair of shoe laces so you can be prepared.
Overall, I feel that is a major improvement for Fila in the shoe category. The cushioned mesh really makes your feet feel comfortable and responsive on the court. Even though the mesh is not as breathable as I would like, the shoe fits well to my feet and doesn’t move as I continue to play. Fila has done a great job in making a more modern shoe that fit with the fast paced game. Players of all levels will truly enjoy this shoe for its durability, comfort and fit.
About the Reviewer: Chris Virk-Brown currently works at Tennis Express on the Content Marketing team. He previously played at Neumann University and coached at the collegiate level for 3 years. He is an active USTA League and Tournament player.