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.