Played in college. Was ranked for part of a season. Now play 5.0 when I play formally which is not often. I do coach ~8 hours a week.
Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley):
Aggressive Baseliner. I'm most content slapping balls from the back of the court and looking to come forward off of a weaker ball. I don't mind trying my best Djokovic impression sliding out of the corners on defense either.
Asics Gel Resolution 9 and Court FF3 but have used Vapor Pros, Court FF2, Solution Speed FF, Barricades, Vapor Cage 4, GP Turbo, and others in the past 18 months or so.
How many hours did you play with the shoe?
Comments on shoe performance (3-5 sentences per category):
4.5/5 -- I was expecting these to be comfortable just because that seems to be the vibe for KSwiss, and I was correct. They're very well cushioned for the weight - much better better than Vapor Pros and Ubersonics for me. The uppers are soft and pliable, so much it might be a detriment...but more on that later. I had less achey feet coaching for 3-4 hours in these than I do with my Resolution 9s, so this Surge midsole definitely delivers on its promises. Whether it holds up over time remains to be seen. I did find the toebox small at first, but the upper is so flexible it doesn't matter much for me.
2/5 -- The arch in these is not placed well for my foot. I may be biased because the Gel Resolution 9 arch and last seem tailor made for my foot shape, though. I did not feel like my arch was cradled well in these, and though they have a pretty beefy shank and light weight, they felt like it was all me getting off the ground with no snap or help from the shoe. I didn't have pain or fatigue, but I believe once these start to lose some resiliency in the foam I will have to toss an OTC orthotic in or bear the consequences.
2/5 -- I was left wanting here. They're...just OK. On my first wear, I really felt myself slipping over the sides of the shoe. I thought the uppers just needed some break-in to mold to my foot. On subsequent wears, I experienced the same thing. Though the traction is quite grippy, I was quite hesitant to cut hard out of the corners or slide for fear of slipping out of the shoe or spilling over the midsole. The uppers seem to be too soft and supple and stretch more than they should to support my foot. I have a narrow-ish foot and did use some heel lock lacing with slight improvement, but the bootie construction combined with the soft overlays still led to some insecurity. Maybe a higher volume foot would do better than my narrow-side-of-medium feet and skinny ankles. I've had other bootie-type shoes like the Vapor Knit, Vapor Pro, Ubersonic 2/4, and Head Sprint Pro SFs do quite well for me. With those, the uppers provided plenty of support as they were more rigid and had a limit to how much the knits stretched...or they were reinforced with a fit frame like Vapors. Sadly, that was not my experience with the Speedtrac.
3/5 -- for the light weight and amount of mesh on the shoe, I expected better. My feet were pretty sweaty after use, and temps never reached above 75 degrees during my playtesting. I didn't notice this while they were on, and they certainly weren't bad. I'd be cautious using these in hotter weather, as I have a tendency to get some blisters when it's really hot and the shoe holds onto moisture, even in well ventilated shoes like Ubersonic 2s or Vapors.
4/5 -- for the weight class, these are 5/5. Slight balding after the time I've used them on court. All other shoes in this weight class that I've used fall short of the Speedtrac here. For me, it's still not as durable as a Resolution, Vapor Cage 4, or the like, but it's top class for lightweight shoes.
5/5 -- no issues here. The toe bumper is robust and comes up high without getting in the way. I'm not a huge test for this anymore since I switched from a pinpoint to platform stance on serve, but the toes are basically spotless. Just some light scuffing from dragging my back foot on backhand slices from the corner.
4.5/5 -- I wish these had a little more give to slide when I want, but apart from that, the traction is brilliant if I assess it in isolation. When I look at the shoe as a whole, the traction almost gets in the way. The sole sticks when I want it to stick...so they got that right. But, the uppers do not hold my foot well enough when I'm cutting hard. So, the shoe stops, but my foot keeps going. Am I going to roll an ankle or have my foot stick but jam my hip/low back? It sure feels like it.
5/5 -- super light. Super fast. They're great if I'm sprinting forward. They don't quite get up off the ground quickly, but once you're going they go fast. It feels more like a running shoe than a traditional tennis shoe on my foot which is great for coaching and some casual hitting.
General reaction/comments on overall performance:
2.5/5 -- I was really disappointed with the Speedtrac. KSwiss definitely got some things right here: weight, traction, aesthetics, durability, comfort. Yes, my average rating between the categories is 3.75/5; however, the detriments weigh more heavily for me than the positives. For me
, the uppers are much too soft and flexible to consider this as an option for anything more than coaching or casual hitting. Playing in these at pace will inevitably lead to me either slipping out of the corner or sticking when I should slide, torquing or jamming my hip and low back where I already have a chronic injury. I'm curious to see how this shoe evolves, though. An addition of a plastic frame around the lateral edge of the midsole/upper junction (Ultrashot 3) or a lateral clip/claw (Hypercourts) could make a world of difference here while keeping comfort and speed at a premium.
If you're a social player who wants a cool looking shoe, a recreational doubles player who doesn't have to cut out of the corners that often, a serve and volleyer, or a coach wanting something light and comfortable? This could be a good option for you. I think if I had a wider, meatier ankle I would have gotten more security out of the uppers and liked these more. I still think support would have been a little wanting, but they'd probably be better. There's definitely potential for the Speedtrac to be a wonderful speed-focused shoe with some changes. I'm curious if KSwiss will improve these in coming years.
Edit: I'm curious what Mark from @TW Staff
has to say about these. He did the video review solo and seemed to like them more than me. Very possible these were a good fit for his foot and thus these issues I experienced were not present for him.