Asics Court FF 2 Novak
In-depth Review & Playtest
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Novak Djokovic is one of the world’s best tennis players ever, so it’s no surprise the Asics Court FF 2 is a top of the line shoe that’s popular with players throughout the world.
Of course, no tennis shoe is perfect, and the Court FF 2 Novak isn’t an exception, but it does perform incredibly well on the court.
In this in-depth review and playtest, I put these shoes to the test and share what makes them so great and where they can improve.
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Video Review & Playtest
Check out our video review and playtest of the Asics Court FF 2 Novak to see this pair of shoes in action and learn everything you need to know before you make a purchase.
For quick reference, I’ve included timestamps below for the different sections of this video:
0:31 – Feature Start
0:51 – Weight & Fit
1:11 – Outsole
1:47 – Midsole
2:24 – Upper
Playtest & Review
3:05 – Playtest Start
3:35 – Style
4:07 – Lacing
4:31 – Comfort
5:08 – Stability
5:28 – Traction
5:51 – Durability
6:14 – Weight
6:33 – Ventilation
6:48 – Summary
Learn more and read my detailed notes from this review and playtest of the Court FF 2s in the following sections.
Asics Court FF 2 Unboxing & Initial Impressions
I’ve been looking forward to testing the Asics Court FF 2s for a while now and couldn’t wait to check them out in person.
For reference, I purchased a US men’s 10.5 in white and Asic’s blue, which translates to the following sizes for reference:
- EUR 44.5
- UK 9.5
- CM 28.25
In photos, the Court FF 2 has a slightly larger outline and template than many other tennis shoes out there, which was reinforced by the size of the shoebox that’s larger than most.
The shoes come well presented in a box looks great and comes in a light blue with a large cyan colored logo printed across the top of the box and on both sides.
Straight out of the box, the shoes look great. The white on the upper is super crisp, and the Asics’ blue as they’ve dubbed it, looks clean against the white.
As expected, Court FF 2 Novak has a larger profile and clean outline accentuated by the pointy top of the shoe where you’ll find the Asics logo.
Overall, the shoes have a bit of a chunkier look with a thick midsole and beefy toe protection on front and the inside edge, but picking them up for the first time, they’re lighter than they look.
Everything from the smooth white upper to the plush feel of the Mono Sock feels premium and has me excited for the playtest.
About the Asics Court FF 2
The Asics Court FF was an exciting initial release, but the second generation of this shoe offers welcome improvements.
Technically, there are three versions of this shoe:
- Asics Court FF
- Asics Court FF 2
- Asics Court FF Novak
However, the Court FF 2 and Court FF Novak are identical shoes with a few updated colorways, and some added Djokovic flair, including his logo.
There’s no doubt Djokovic’s endorsement has helped spur on the sale and popularity of these shoes, but players at all levels are finding they offer terrific performance that stands on their own.
For the outsole, you’ll find Asics High Abrasion Resistance AHAR+ rubber for excellent grip and durability in a wave style pattern.
It’s an all-court outsole that will do just fine on any surface, but this pattern will be ideal for hard courts. There is a clay court option available, but the availability of that model will likely depend on where you live.
As you can see from the photo, it’s a two-piece outsole split by a resin midfoot shank. As Asics calls it their Twisstruss system, which reduces weight and adds stability by preventing the shoe from twisting – especially during side to side movements
One of my favorite parts about the outsole is the extent of Asics’ PGaurd toe protection, which is extremely generous compared to many other shoes on the market and extends through to the inside or medial edge for added durability.
The shoe’s midsole offers comfort with FlytFoam. Asics claims this material is 55% lighter while delivering 76% better cushioning than standard midsoles.
It’s an impressive claim, which considering the thickness of the midsole and the shoe’s overall weight doesn’t surprise me.
FlyteFoam is available across a wide range of Asics shoes, and a midsole that I particularly enjoy in their running shoes, which are my go-to.
Although you can’t see it from the outside, you’ll also find Asics’ Gel Technology integrated into the midsole at the heel and forefoot to help absorb shock and reduce impact, which is ideal for hard courts.
The Asics Court FF 2’s upper replaces the traditional tongue with a one-piece mono-sock construction, which makes them super easy to slip on and off and features mesh toward the front of the foot to provide ventilation.
It also comes well protected with a durable TPU cover, which is the white material at the top of the shoe, which adds to its stability.
The laces, which are thinner than most, pull through eyelets that are punched directly through the TPU cover so you can sinch them tight with confidence.
At the heel, the shoe rock solid for extra stability, and because it’s Novak Djokovic’s model, you’ll find his logo printed on the back.
For maximum performance, Asics uses a third party insole from Ortholite, which is thicker than most other high-end tennis shoes for a bit of extra step-in comfort while also helping manage moisture to keep your feet dry.
Variations of the Court FF 2
Overall, this shoe model is still relatively new to the market. With that in mind, you won’t find a lot of variation. However, Asics does offer this shoe with a clay court outsole that’s more readily available in Europe.
Although the version of the Court FF 2s that we playtested is considered an all-court outsole, if you play the majority of your tennis on clay courts, you’ll find better traction and performance with the clay model, which features a herringbone style tread that’s ideal for the surface.
Fit and Players Using
Overall, the Asics Court FF 2s fit as expected. True to size, a medium width, and medium arch support – no surprises here.
If you do have a wider foot, you may struggle with this model because although the width is medium, they do hug your feet, so there’s not a whole lot of extra width upfront.
I liked that snug feel for my feet, but I’d expect that to translate to a cramped feeling for anyone with slightly wider feet.
Court FF 2 Specs
|Men’s Weight||14.8 ounces @ size 10.5|
|Women’s Weight||12.0 ounces @ size 7.5|
Top Players Using the Court FF 2
Court FF 2 Review & Playtest Notes
To provide you with the most in-depth review and playtest of the Asics Court FF 2 Novak, I push the shoes to their limits on and off the court.
For this playtest, I logged a two-mile beach run to gauge the comfort and weight of the shoes. Next up, I put them through the paces during some agility training, which included a variety of footwork drills.
Last but not least, I put hours in on the court to form an opinion on their overall performance when playing tennis.
My notes and opinion are summarized below with my rating of their performance across a variety of criteria.
The Asics Court FF 2 is a solid-looking tennis shoe with a great outline, but there are a few areas I’d love to see them improve.
First, the colorway selection is relatively limited, and there has only been one or two that I would have ever bought. I thought the black, yellow, and orange pair was a unique style, but those are super hard to come by unless you jumped on the bandwagon early on.
When the blue and white version came out, it was by far my favorite they had released, and overall was pretty happy with the color scheme, but still compared to other shoes like the Nike Air Zoom Vapor X, they don’t stack up in terms of available options.
My least favorite part about the style is the TPU cover, which is a wave-style pattern that doesn’t do it for me. It doesn’t look terrible, but I think Asics has room to improve their style across all of their tennis shoes.
Of course, style is highly subjective and arguably the least important part of a tennis shoe. Still, I think it plays a substantial role in any significant tennis shoe brands’ ability to penetrate the market more deeply and hope as Asics continues to find success in the tennis world that they’ll spend more time here.
Lacing up the Court FF 2 is an absolute breeze.
Once you’ve slipped the shoes on, the laces pull through the TPU cover’s eyelets easily. Yet, because the holes are punched directly through rubbery material of the TPU cover, the laces stay completely locked in once you’ve tightened them, and this was a pleasant but unexpected design feature that I thought worked well.
It’s worth noting that the laces are unique for these shoes as well. First, the overall profile of the laces is thinner than most. However, the last 12 inches of the laces are slightly thicker, making them easier to handle and tie off, while the thinner portion pulls tight more easily.
Perhaps the only concern that might crop up with the thinner profile of the laces is durability. However, they do seem well-built, so I wouldn’t expect any issues here.
When it comes to comfort, I like to evaluate a pair of tennis shoes with a few different factors or criteria in mind:
- Shock absorption
- Pressure points
The Asics Court FF 2 is one of the more comfortable pairs of tennis shoes I’ve ever worn in terms of cushion underfoot.
They’ve packed the shoe with lots of technology to make this happen, and all combined, it does an excellent job at absorbing shock for a comfortable ride, which you can both feel and see with each step.
The result was that my legs felt less fatigue after playing with them, and I noticed how my joints felt better than usual after hitting the court as well.
I also had the opportunity to take these shoes for a two-mile beach run, and I didn’t have any issues or noticeable discomfort. Although they’re certainly not intended for logging lots of miles running, their overall comfort was impressive from heel to toe on each stride.
As far a fit goes, the shoes were also fantastic. I enjoyed the Mono-Sock construction of the upper, which feels great once you’ve put the shoe on and eliminates any awkward bunching that can sometimes occur with your traditional shoe tounges. I also love the foam material they’ve worked into the collar of these shoes, which is super plush.
The Asics Court FF 2s have a medium width, but I like how they gently hug your foot once you’ve slipped them on. Honestly, you can job lightly in them without even tightening the laces because of how well designed and snug they fit, which means your feet remain perfectly in place, and your feet won’t slide around at all.
The only area of comfort where I did have some minor issues was with the upper around the toe box or, more specifically, the shoe’s vamp.
With any pair of shoes, the vamp collapses or bends with your foot as you take each step. However, the Court FF 2s feature a thicker material covering the entire upper for durability, including the vamp. Unfortunately, if you don’t end up with a clean crease, as happened with my right foot, you end up feeling pressure at the top of your foot.
It wasn’t an issue with my left foot, so there’s a good chance not everyone will experience this issue, but early on, it did cause a bit of discomfort, which because less and less the more I wore the shoes.
All in all, if comfort is a priority, then I’d highly recommend these shoes.
In terms of stability, the Asics Court FF 2s are top-notch.
The shoes performed exceptionally well through all the agility and footwork drills I threw at them. I particularly liked the feel of the Mon-Sock upper, which hugs your foot and helps keep it locked in place.
I felt confident in terms of lateral or side to side baseline movement, and I could sense the added support of the thicker TPU cover and reinforced heel, both of which give the shoe extra structure.
The same was true for quick changes in direction as well as vertical, or diagonal movement, which all felt very organic – not too loose or stiff and zero sacrifices in comfort.
Without a doubt, stability is one of the Court FF 2s standout features.
I tested the Asics Court FF 2s exclusively on hard court, where I think this particular outsole is well-suited, and overall was very satisfied with the result.
At all times, I felt sure-footed and confident in my movement, which married super well with the shoe’s excellent stability.
I loved how secure they felt when pushing off to take that first step toward a ball along with smaller steps to approach and prep for just the right spacing when hitting a groundstroke.
The shoes stopped quickly with a slight bit of give without sacrificing a fast recovery to the middle of the court.
From a durability standpoint, the Asics Court FF 2s also performed super well. I was impressed with how well the outsoles were holding up even after hours of playtesting on hard courts.
The generous PGuard toe protection up front kept the shoes safe from any toe-drags or sliding, especially on the inside, which I know is often a problematic area for many players.
At the top of the shoe, the smooth TPU outer covering for the upper seemed to ward off any significant scrapes or abrasion.
Although the Court FF 2s are far from the lightest shoes on the market, their mid-range weight doesn’t have you feeling sluggish.
At first glance, these should look like they’d weigh more than they do because they’re a bit chunkier than many other shoes out there.
However, a lot of the visual bulk comes at the shoe’s midsole, which uses Asics’s lightweight Flyte Foam combined with their resin Trusstic system to help keep weight down.
Despite the weight being very reasonable for these shoes, I did find them to feel a little bulky at times, so at times tighter or more precise footwork required a bit of extra focus.
If you’re looking for an ultra-light tennis shoe, these certainly aren’t your best bet, but I believe most players will find the weight to be ideal, which, through Asics’ thoughtful design, also provides you with high-end stability and durability.
One of the areas that I wouldn’t consider a significant strength of the Asics Court FF 2s is how breathable they are, and ultimately it’s one of those areas of tradeoff that players will have to consider.
To provide durability, the shoes upper is well-protected, but the result is less ventilation with fewer locations for heat to escape.
It’s not awful and perhaps more than acceptable for most players, but for this reason, I appreciated the white colorway that helped reflect the sun to help keep them cool.
Overall, the Asics Court FF 2s quickly became one of my favorite tennis shoes. They’re incredibly well-rounded, and for this reason, I think it will appeal to a wide range of players looking for a tennis shoe that doesn’t lean too heavily on any one area of performance.
Players that will likely not find what they’re looking for with this model is anyone looking for lighter weight, low profile, and overall a more responsive pair of shoes.
Early on in the playtest, the shoes created a bit of discomfort for the top of my right foot where the vamp collapses when you step.
It seemed to dissipate the more I played with them and was only an issue with my right foot based on how the shoe creased, so may never present a problem for the majority of players, but worth noting.
None are perfect, but the Asics Court FF 2 Novak is a fantastic model that I consider one fo the best tennis shoes in 2020 and will likely only get better and remain popular.
Hopefully, this guide helped inform your buying decision whether you choose to go with them or not. If you have any questions or you’d like to share your experience with these shoes, please don’t hesitate to comment below – we’d love to hear from you.
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