Back in November last year I reviewed the latest Asics Court FF 2 shoes, and since then they've been my tennis shoe of choice replacing a pair of Asics Gel Resolution 7's I was using.
However, in December Asics launched the Gel Resolution 8 shoe with a few new features and I had to give them a try.
I was a massive fan of the previous Gel Resolution iteration as they're an extremely durable tennis shoe while still providing excellent levels of comfort.
That's not an easy feat and one of the reasons I never really liked they Adidas Barricade line. While they lasted far longer than something like Nike Vapor's, I could never get to grips with how uncomfortable they were, and after playing a few sets, you couldn't wait to take them off.
That was never the case with the Gel Resolutions as while they were quite bulky when they were on, they felt lightweight and fit my feet nicely.
So how do the new Asics Gel Resolution 8 shoes perform and does the new Dynawall feature make them a marked improvement compared to the 7s? Let's take a look.
About the Asics Gel Resolution 8 Line
Shoes are very important, I need to trust them and the first thing I look for in tennis shoes is stability – stability and comfort. It’s no secret that I am an extreme mover on the court, and with these shoes, I feel confident and balanced to return any shot. I've been putting GEL-RESOLUTION 8 to the test and the stability and grip is unreal, no doubt ASICS has exceeded my expectations again. Gael Monfils on his new Gel Resolution 8 Tennis Shoes
The Gel Resolution is one of the most popular tennis shoes ever made. Several pros wear them like Gael Monfils, Johanna Konta, Fabio Fognini and formerly Novak Djokovic before he switched to the Asics Court FF 2.
Those of you who are eagle-eyed will also have seen Tennys Sandgren sporting a pair of them when he nearly took out Federer at the Australian Open although I'm unsure if he's a sponsored player.
You'll also see them all over the Futures and Challenger circuit, and that is one of the things I like about Asics. Hundreds of pros are choosing to wear them. We all know the big stars have endorsement deals, but the fact that lower-ranked and up and coming players who don't have that luxury are choosing Asics shoes out of their own pocket is testament to their performance as a tennis shoe.
The Gel Resolution line has historically been the brand's durable shoe with one of the best toe guards around for players who drag their feet on the pinpoint serve or on certain shots. The Gel Resolution 8 maintains that durability/stability angle but also brings in some new features to increase comfort.
Asics Gel Resolution 8 New Features
The first new addition is a feature one Asics calls DYNAWALL, and you can see it on the picture above. The Dynawall sits under the midfoot and is designed to blend stability and flexibility.
It's done by using a solid piece of TPU that acts as a brace so when a player hits the brakes to change direction, the upper part of the shoe stays over the midsole, preventing the chance of slippage or rolling an ankle.
The next new feature is DYNAWRAP which is essentially some thicker textile pieces in the lacing system that cradle the foot when pulled tight.
Compared to the Gel Resolution 7, the upper has also had a redesign with a new PU star-like pattern, done to increase the flexibility of the shoe.
The last change is the new outsole pattern, which according to testing at the Institute of Sport Science, produces 7.2% more dynamic braking force than its predecessor the Gel Resolution 7.
Ultimately the GEL-RESOLUTION 8 tennis shoe reflects ASICS’ commitment to understanding the mechanics of tennis. In contrast to running, which is principally about moving in straight lines, tennis involves a lot of different movements. It’s our job to focus on those, and every new release takes that to the next level. We’ve been selling tennis shoes since 1952, and as playing styles have evolved and become more physical – from the pro ranks right down to youth tennis – our shoes have adapted to meet those requirements. Tatsuya Ishikawa, Lead Researcher with the ISS Footwear Function Development
That's the marketing stuff out of the way, how do they perform on the court?
Testing Out The Asics Gel Resolution 8 Tennis Shoes
I tested the Asics Gel Resolution 8's on an indoor hard court over several hitting sessions that started with a general warmup and progressed to playing competitive 10 point tie breaks.
After taking the shoes out of the box, my first impressions of the shoe were that it looked decent. It felt lightweight, well made, a good colour combo with red and blue, and the PU upper felt very soft and flexible. More so than the Court FF 2 which has a more stiffer plastic feel to it as it's a bit like a shell that surrounds the mono sock.
I think purely on design; I prefer the design of the Court FF 2 as it's unique with that internal mono sock, but the Gel Resolution 8 will probably appeal to more players. Which do you prefer? Let me know in the comments.
I have fairly wide feet, but getting the Gel Resolution 8's on was no problem and once laced up my feet felt snug. That was expected given I've worn the Gel Resolution 7's previously with no issues and for me, they fit true to size.
However, for those worried about width, Asics offers the Gel Resolution 8 in a wider width option which is an excellent addition.
Other than trying the shoes on when I got them, I gave them zero break-in before taking to the court, and I had no issues whatsoever after an initial 90-minute indoor session — no pain, blisters or wanting to take them off ASAP.
The new lacing feature that Asics call DYNAWRAP seems to work too as they work against each other when you pull on the laces to give a very snug feeling.
Of course, it's got a silly name as it's essentially just thicker pieces of fabric that cinch the shoe together, but I have a feeling this will be useful for players with thinner feet who need to lace up their shoe ultra-tight to get that feeling their foot is secure.
Compared to the Gel Resolution 7's the comfort has jumped up a notch and I feel that there's more cushioning and room in the forefoot area as the toe box is slightly more rounded.
FlyteFoam is still there in the midsole along with the GEL cushioning in the rear and forefoot areas which do an excellent job for cushioning, and you get a springy feeling when split stepping and pushing off on the return.
The Gel Resolution 8's have been designed with the help of Gael Monfils who is one of the most athletic players out there.
The Frenchman is constantly sliding, changing direction and moving explosively so if the shoes provide stability for him, it's safe to assume that for a club player like me then there's going to be zero problems.
One criticism a lot of customers had of the Resolution 7's was that it sometimes felt like their foot was bulging over the side of the outsole during quick direction changes. However, with the new DYNAWALL which solidifies the side of the shoe that issue has been remedied.
I tested the shoes indoors on a reasonably quick court which requires rapid movements as the points are short, and I found the Resolution 8's incredibly stable.
I'm not much a slider on hard courts so I can't vouch for their performance in that department, but I felt secure in all my movements. When moving out of the corners on the defence, I was never worried about the shoe feeling loose or the possibility of rolling an ankle.
The durability of the Gel Resolution 8's is hard for me to assess having only worn them for a handful of hitting sessions but so far they are showing no real signs of wear.
Asics also back this product line with a 6-month outsole warranty as it's one of the Asics High Abrasion Rubber soles.
That's a good deal for anyone who has a track record of wearing out shoes. It's not something I've ever used, but a quick search suggests Asics offers excellent customer service and the warranty isn't one that's filled with caveats making it hard for customers to enforce.
The AHAR Plus outsole on the Gel Resolution 8's has seen the grooves redesigned which according to their lab is shaped and enhanced for better court grip, slide control and stopping power.
As mentioned in some of the marketing info, the Asics lab tests show it has 7.2% better braking than the previous model.
I'm not sure how that is tested, but the traction on the Gel Resolution 8's is top-notch, and I had plenty grip on the indoor hard courts.
That is expected of course given indoor courts are bone dry and a fairly rough texture which creates plenty of friction but I've used Nike Vapors, Gel Resolution 7, Asics Court FF 2's and now Gel Resolution 8's on this same surface and I reckon the 8's offer the most traction of those four. I'll also be testing them outdoors once the weather picks up too and will post an update.
On my scales the weight came in at 439g which puts them 6g heavier than the Asics Court FF 2, both were US Size 11, UK Size 10 or EU 44.
As I've said in previous shoe reviews, you can't expect featherweight tennis shoes as they won't last you 5 minutes with the wear and tear they are subject too.
The Gel Resolution 8's are a mid-weight shoe, but like the Court FF 2 which feel lighter due to the mono sock hugging the foot, the lacing system on the Gel Resolution 8's gives a very snug feeling which makes them feel less clunky.
I said the Asics Court FF 2 were the best shoes on the market right now when I reviewed them, and I'll stick by that statement, but I have to say the Gel Resolution 8's are on a par.
Put them side by side, and I am hard pushed to pick a favourite. I do like the internal sock on the Court FF 2's but the Gel Resolution 8's provide a great blend of comfort and stability while still feeling light.
Seen as though I have both pairs to hand; if a favourite emerges in a month or two and I'm continually wearing one pair over the other then I will update this review, but for now, all I can say is these are the best Gel Resolution Shoes to date.
If you have worn 4, 5 6 or 7 in this line then you will likely be a big fan of the 8's, and I expect this to be a best seller relatively quickly.
Have any of you guys tested the Asics Gel Resolution 8 shoe? What do you think of the latest version? Let me know in the comments.