Brand new for 2021, the Solution Speed FF 2 is the latest iteration of Asics's lightweight tennis shoe used by players such as David Goffin, Jennifer Brady, and Alex De Minaur.
Compared to the first generation, the new Solution Speed FF 2 features an improved midsole with Flytefoam and Flytefoam Propel combined to provide the softest, lightest cushioning in the Speed line to date.
Asics Grip technology, also new, reduces slipping at takeoff, giving all-court players the confidence and peace of mind that no matter where they move court, they will not slip or lose control.
I was lucky enough to get my hands on a pair ahead of the launch to test them out and see if they really do propel players faster from the baseline, thanks to a lighter and more flexible feel.
Let's take a look at how they perform in this full Asics Solution Speed FF 2 review.
About the Asics Solution Speed FF 2 Line
The hardest thing as a player is to stay ahead of the ball while covering as much of the court as possible. With the new Solution Speed FF 2, I feel lighter and faster, which I didn’t think was possible after playing in the last version for so long. I can also feel a better grip on the court. So, no matter how much I change direction, I always feel confident that my shoes will hold up. David Goffin on the new Solution Speed FF 2 Shoes
The Solution Speed is Asics's flagship speed shoe designed for players who want a lightweight shoe that doesn't weigh them down or leave that feeling of sluggishness when trying to skip across the baseline.
The shoes are worn by David Goffin and Alex Di Minaur, who are extremely quick over the ground. The latter often cited as the quickest player on the ATP Tour when other players have been asked “who is the fastest player they have faced?” in Q&A sessions.
With this release, Asics now have a trio of shoes that fit into the three playing styles they have determined:
Baseline – Gel Resolution 8
For the more defensive player who typically moved side to side at the very back of the court.
All-Court – Solution Speed FF 2
For the more offensive player who moves from baseline to the net and everywhere in between.
Best of Both – Court FF 2 / Novak
For the player who combines baseline and all court. This player can switch between powerful returns and quick volleys with ease.
A Quick Q&A with Rene from Asics
Q. What is the biggest improvement over the original Solution Speed FF 2?
Rene: The Solution Speed FF 2 is built for an all-court playing style which means that this type of player uses the whole court and likes to be quick on his feet. With the new Solution Speed FF 2, we have focused on this by using a special rubber in the forefoot outsole that offers increased grip, and we have increased flexibility in the forefoot. But, the most important update is the improved design of the Twistruss. The Twistruss is extended in the forefoot, and together with increased grip and improved flexibility, this will help to make the player faster on his feet.
Q. For a lot of players, they often shop purely within the ASICS ecosystem for tennis shoes. If a player is undecided on which model to get and they have the Gel Resolution 8 and new Solution Speed FF 2 as the two on the shortlist, what advice would you give them?
Rene: This depends on the playing style if you are an all-court player which means you tend to use the whole court, then I would suggest the Solution Speed FF 2 because it is lighter and more flexible helping the player to be faster.
If the player is most of the time moving from side to side behind the baseline, we call this the baseline playing style, then it is best to take the Gel Resolution 8 because it offers more stability in the midfoot area making sure it supports the player in the right way when moving from side to side.
It’s important that you choose a tennis shoe that fits your style of playing tennis. We have spent a lot of time researching the many different types of playing styles, analyzing the way players move over the court.
By understanding the way tennis players move, we can create tennis footwear that supports the natural movement of their foot and help them stay protected from future injuries.
Q. Did David Goffin have much of a say or play a hands-on role in the shoe design?
Rene: Goffin is for us is the typical all court player – quick on his feet using the whole court. We have brainstormed with him and tested with him to find out what is important for an all-court player. This resulted in the latest Solutions speed offering more flexibility, grip, and push-off power, making the player faster.
Asics Gel Solution Speed FF 2 New Features
The new Solution Speed FF 2 has several few new features.
The lacing system now has what Asics call Dynawrap. This is the introduction of supportive panels that run from the base of the laces and over the forefoot to improve support and to help keep the foot centred.
Flytefoam is Asics's soft and responsive cushioning system to increase comfort.
As seen on several other Asics shoes, the Twisstruss is designed to enhance quick transitions and breaking on the court. The Twisstruss works by preventing the shoe from twisting during movement with shapes designed to the motion characteristics of tennis.
The front and back outsole has been separated to increase flexibility and to reduce the weight for faster movement from the baseline.
The rubber outsole pattern has been redesigned to generate better traction for faster forward moment.
Do those improvements translate into performance or is just marketing speak?
Testing Out The Asics Gel Solution Speed FF 2 Tennis Shoes
I tested out the new Solution Speed FF 2 on an outdoor artificial grass and an indoor hard court over several hitting sessions. The sole on my pair is for hard courts, and that's where it performed best.
- Size: UK 10.5 / EU 45 / US 11
- Sole: Hardcourt / All Court
- Surfaces played on: Indoor Hard Court and Outdoor Artificial Grass
I've been wearing a pair of Gel Resolution 8 and a pair Court FF 2 shoes for the past 12 months so before I opened the box I was expecting the Solution Speeds to be somewhat similar albeit lighter with less support.
In some ways, that was the case, but the outsole has a completely new pattern which is quite a bit different from the Gel Resolution 8 and the Court FF 2. The only similarity being the split outsole like on the Court FF 2 shoes.
Other features included the Dynawrap laces, Twisstruss technology, and Flytefoam which I have discussed in previous Asics shoe reviews.
ComfortMy first hit in the Solution Speed FF 2 shoes came against the trusty tennis wall for 90 minutes. This was a high-intensity session with a lot of side to side movement.
The wall never misses so it's ideal for relentless type hitting and trying to make as many shots as you can without missing (or hitting it over the top, which seen as though this is one of the shortest tennis walls in the world is fairly easy 😀).
The surface was a damp outdoor artificial grass court, which is a carpet type surface with a layer of sand on it.
Compared to the Court FF 2 that has the mono sock design, the Solution Speed FF 2 are a bit different to get on as they feel a bit lower around the ankle and have quite a large, thick tongue, but once on they feel comfy. I wear either a UK 10 or 10.5 and the Solution Speeds were a UK 10.5 which seem to fit true to size.
After around 20 minutes during my first hit, I felt a bit of pain around the top of my foot near the cuneiform bones, and I put this down to me having quite wide feet and the outer of the shoe being a plastic-type material which gives it a bit of rigidity.
The good news is that it was short-lived and I haven't felt that pain again so the shoes either loosened up a bit or it was just a random one-off thing on the day.
In terms of overall comfort, I'd rate the Solution Speed FF 2 highly; they almost feel like running shoes when on with just a tad more bulk.
To explain what I mean here, as I mentioned above it's easy to hit the ball over the tennis wall I play on, and with no gate on that side, you've got a 120 metre round trip of a jog to go collect the balls. When making that trip in the Gel Resolution 8 shoes you often feel a bit heavier footed, but in the Solution Speed, it feels much more like a running shoe.
Generally, I don't mind a slightly heavier shoe to for the extra cushioning, but if fleet of footedness is something you really look for in a tennis shoe, then you will most likely be a fan of the Solution Speed FF 2.
Elsewhere in terms of comfort, one of the big complaints many customers had about the first edition Solution Speed FF was a clicking or popping noise when they moved. Asics seemingly solved that with the interim update they did early last year on the Solution Speed FF, and it doesn't appear to be a problem on this brand new model.
StabilityWhenever a shoe is speed orientated, there's usually a compromise on stability and the Solution Speed FF 2 is no different.
While not detrimental to the shoe, if you are a baseline player that wants a lot of stability in a tennis shoe, then you'd be best off going for the Gel Resolution 8.
Out of the three shoes I've reviewed recently from Asics, I'd rate the Gel Resolution 8's as the most stable. The Solution Speed FF are on a similar level but just slightly under the Court FF 2.
On the Solution Speed FF 2, I've found that the shoe feels very stable around the midfoot and forefoot area, but slightly less so around the hindfoot and ankle. The shoe feels quite wide around this area, so I get a bit of lift-off from the heel when pushing off at speed. However, I was wearing quite thin socks during some sessions, and when I used thicker sports socks, that became less of a problem.
For those interested, the lace thickness on the Solution Speed FF 2 is pretty good, and you can get a firm grip on them to lace them up tightly. I find the tongue slightly weird in shape, but that's more cosmetic than anything else.
On the artificial grass, the durability of a shoe is not really tested, unless you're a foot dragger on the serve or wear out shoes in strange places. I don't do either of those so once the sand is washed off, the shoes looked completely unworn.Once the weather took a turn for the worse, I had about 6 x 90-minute sessions indoors, and I can see that durability will be above average for a shoe in this weight class.
I'm not a guy who wears out shoes like some players out there, but it is certainly higher than one of its main competitors, the Nike Air Zoom Vapor X, which even I needed to replace quite often when I used them.
Based on that, I'd be interested to see how this shoe holds up when used by a player who typically needs a new pair of shoes every month or two. My guess is while it obviously won't outperform the Gel Resolution 8, you'll still get good wear out of them, and considering the weight difference, it's going to be an ok tradeoff if a light shoe is important to you.
One of the big changes compared to the Solution Speed FF model is the outsole which has a new split grip pattern with a different type of rubber.
The outdoor artificial grass I played on can often get very slippy depending on the weather (either very dry in the summer, or wet in the winter) but with the Solution Speed FF 2 I was very impressed by the level of traction.
I don't recall slipping once, even on the lines so in this department the shoes are rock solid. In fact, sliding wasn't really possible on the top sand coat. The sole is the all court/hardcourt one, so it's not really designed for a surface similar to clay, but even in the Court FF 2 and Gel Res 8 hard court versions, you can slide on this surface.
Based on that I'd say this shoe has some of the best traction out there, if you need to stop on a dime and change direction or push off quickly to get to a short ball, the Solution Speed FF 2 will have your back.
Moving indoors onto the hard courts, I found the shoe to be equally impressive and the grip this shoe offers is second to none.
It may even offer too much traction for some players who play more lateral based tennis and like to slide even on the hard courts.
But for a player who doesn't really slide like me and will try to move forward, this level of traction is ideal and the Solution Speed FF 2 are some of the grippiest shoes I have played in.
The pair I have are a UK 10.5 and weigh in at 379g on the scales. My Gel Resolutions weigh 439g, and the Court FF 2 weigh 433g.
So you're looking at a 50g difference which means the Asics Solution Speed FF 2 shoes are about 15% lighter than the Gel Resolution 8.
No surprises that the shoes come in very light on scales and like I said they almost feel like running shoes, only with the right padding and rubber in the right places so they don't fall to pieces after a few sets.
At the time of writing, I've racked up around 20 hours of play in the Solution Speed FF 2 and I can't fault them. You get a good balance of cushioning, support, and flexibility all in a very lightweight package.
Aesthetically they look great but the standout feature for me when comparing with other tennis shoes I've played in recently is the traction and grip. There is something about this sole layout or the type of rubber that gives you outstanding levels of traction, and that's where I think this shoe excels.
They are probably not the durable shoe for players putting in multiple hours a day on the court or for those who want oodles of stability and cushioning. But if you are a player who wishes they could play tennis in running shoes without them falling apart after a set, then the Solution Speed FF 2 have to be on your shortlist.
- Super light – almost running shoe like
- Slick looking
- Excellent traction
- Stripping weight reduces some cushioning and stability
- Feel quite narrow on the first wear but soon break-in
What do you guys think of the new Solution Speed FF 2? Let me know in the comments.