Fila footwear fans, you’re in for a treat with the latest offering from the beloved Italian sportswear brand. The Axilus 2 Energized Tennis Shoe is the latest version of their best-selling shoe. A few minor tweaks have resulted in some major improvements that are sure to improve your game. Like its precursor, this shoe is super light, durable, well-cushioned and attractive. It’s really little wonder so many pros, including Ash Barty and Karolina Pliskova, love it. This new model has integrated new features that improve upon responsiveness, traction, fit and overall comfort - and after testing it out I have to say, I’m a big fan.
Cushioning & Stability
It’s a trifecta you don’t often come across in a tennis shoe: durable and light and comfortable. But that’s what you get with the Axilus 2 Energized. This shoe is as suited to the courts as to the gym, running errands or simply going about your day. The cushioning, made from Fila’s patented Energized Rubber®, plays a huge role in the shoe’s high comfort factor. Firm yet forgiving, it provides great shock absorption without affecting responsiveness. The molded heel cup and sockliner gave me a great locked-in, supported feel around my heel without any rubbing on my ankle, and the tongue is long and padded, which I found really comfortable. During playtesting, I never felt at risk for rolling an ankle or developing a blister. That said, I wish the shoe had greater arch support to add that extra sense of stability.
Fit & Breathability
My first impression when I put on this shoe was how roomy the toe box is. I have a slightly wider foot and hate shoes that put too much pressure on the sides of my feet. This shoe gave me some wiggle room in the toes. I was easily able to lace the shoes up for the slightly snug fit I prefer. And despite the extra room, I never felt my foot shift around while I was playing. My foot size falls somewhere between an 8 and an 8.5, but I usually choose the latter to be on the safe side. I find that this shoe runs a little short, so for me the 8.5 was the perfect fit. From a breathability standpoint, I unfortunately found this shoe to be lacking. The rubber cage design on the forefoot seemed to trap sweat, despite the fact that there’s also a great deal of illusion mesh which should promote airflow. My feet don’t usually sweat much, but they did in this shoe. It’s not something I noticed during play, but it was kind of an unpleasant feeling once I stopped.
The Energized Rubber® cushioning, found on the layer between the rubber outsole and the insole, offers just the right amount of give and firmness; not so soft that it affects responsiveness, but not so firm that it causes discomfort. I felt fast and agile on the court thanks to the the lightness of the shoe (a fantastic quality in a durable tennis shoe), and it responded well to any quick changes in direction.
The first iteration of this shoe proved how durable it is, and this latest version promises to be even better. The enhanced rubber outsole was designed to take a beating without wearing out or reducing traction on any surface. Fila’s 6-month outsole warranty is further proof that the manufacturer stands behind the durability of the shoe. The top of the shoe has also been reinforced with a molded forefoot cage for extra durability and support. While most durable tennis shoes take some time to break in, this shoe felt pliable and molded to my foot straight away - as if I had already been wearing it for weeks.
From a strictly aesthetic point of view, the Axilus 2 Energized is a very attractive shoe. The cage design, logo placement and sleek shape combine for a style that’s fresh and fashionable without being over-the-top. Fila makes sure to coordinate their colors perfectly with each apparel collection they release so it’s easy to find outfits that are a perfect match.
I really loved the Fila Axilus 2 Energized tennis shoe. Straight away, it felt like a trusty, broken-in shoe. Super comfortable, light, and fast. As someone with a slighter wider than normal foot, I love how roomy the toe box is. The midsole is cushioned, yet not too soft, and the cage around the upper offered just the right amount of support. I definitely get the sensation that these are long-lasting, durable shoes that could take a beating and still perform. On the flip side, the cage construction really limits breathability, and the limited arch support could eventually become an issue over time given I have a high arch. I would also recommend moving up a half size as this shoe runs a tad short. But overall, I think this is a fantastic shoe for anyone with a slightly wider foot who’s looking for a comfortable, lightweight and durable shoe that can help take their game to the next level.
About the Reviewer: Renee Bergere has been playing tennis recreationally for the last 25 years and currently plays at a NTRP 3.5 level. She also runs marathons and follows a high intensity training program called F45.