Tennis Warehouse Playtest: KSwiss Ultrashot 2 Shoes

TW Staff

Administrator
Attention Talk Tennis Members:

We will be playtesting a very limited number of KSwiss Ultrashot 2 shoes for a playtest. This playtest is open to both men and women in the USA only.

IMPORTANT: The requirement for this playtest is that you must post a review in this thread by the deadline (check back).

Application period is now closed. Playtesters will be notified via email by April 24th.

If you are selected, you must reply to our confirmation email and confirm that you are able to perform this playtest.

We select playtesters based on a number of factors, including past performance on playtests, user history, posting in topics similar to playtest, etc.

If you do not post a review by the deadline or if your review is clearly lacking effort, you will be excluded from future playtests.

*** Your review is due by May 31st.***

Please use the following to write your review:

Tennis experience/background:
Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley):
Current shoe:
How many hours did you play with the shoe?
Normal Size:
Playtesting Size:

Comments on shoe performance:

-comfort:
-arch support:
-stability/support:
-ventilation:
-sole durability:
-toe durability:
-traction:
-weight:

General reaction/comments on overall performance:


As always, we ask that this thread to be used only for questions, discussion and playtest reviews. Extraneous comments will be deleted.

Thanks,

TW Staff
 
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mpournaras

Hall of Fame
I love how beefy the KSwiss toe looks. I am going to give these a shot.



For reference with my 3 most recent shoes (There may be a pattern).....

 

letplaytennis

Semi-Pro
This would be a great opportunity for me to test out the shoes that I almost purchased. Been an avid Barricade fan but I go through them in about 4 months before the sole is worn through. I have always taken advantage of the 6 month durability guarantee, which is easy to do since I play about 4 days out of the week.
 

Geoff

Hall of Fame
KSwiss had one of their main designers and VP at our club this week to do some shoe testing. They mentioned that this test was coming up.
 

bigserving

Hall of Fame
K-Swiss was the first, tennis specific, shoe that I played in when I first began to play competitive tennis. Played in them for a few years. It would be nice to see them maintain, or even improve the size of their footprint in the modern game with some more nice offerings.
 

McLovin

Legend
Just got the confirmation email today, thanks TW! Just wondering, which colorway of the shoe will we be receiving?
I was wondering the same thing. I just hope its not this one:



My daughter graduates from FSU next Saturday, and she'd probably start the emancipation process if she saw me wearing them...
 

norcal

Hall of Fame


While I sympathize with your situation I love that colorway so I hope that's the one they send out!
 

Liam Grennon

Professional
I have purchased around 2 pairs of these shoes. I have gone through all of those in about a month. They are a good alternative to the barricades in my opinion, but I went through them 2 weeks faster then I use to go through the Novaks. But I do slide on hard courts and play over ten hours a week most weeks.
 

norcal

Hall of Fame
Came home today from hitting in my origninal Ultrashots to find a TW box on my doorstep. It was the Ultrashot 2's! Nice looking shoes, will start hitting with them this weekend after walking around in them for a while.


I've been wearing the old pair for the last year (rotating with my other Yonex shoes). They have a ton of hours on them, I think I am getting close to wearing through the toe area but they have been very durable and have retained their cushioned feel (unlike @Liam Grennon my sliding on hardcourt days are pretty much behind me). I liked them so much I bought another pair.

Anyway, look forward to reviewing the new and improved Ultrashot!
 

markwillplay

Hall of Fame
I am interested in the width of the toe box. The first version was too wide for me there. If they have cut down a hair on that, I am interested in these. Price is great.
 

norcal

Hall of Fame
I am interested in the width of the toe box. The first version was too wide for me there. If they have cut down a hair on that, I am interested in these. Price is great.
Well I pulled out my new (orginal) Ultrashots out of the box to compare them to the Ultrashot 2's.

At first take the 2's feel almost exactly the same width as the original. Maybe the 2's feel a tiny smaller due to the padded tongue which takes up more space. Anyway that's how they feel out of the box. We'll see how they feel after a bunch of court time.

 

SJSA

Professional
I just got my playtest shoes today.
The colorway is white/black/yellow just like the picture above.
Thanks TW!
 
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jhick

Hall of Fame
Came home today from hitting in my origninal Ultrashots to find a TW box on my doorstep. It was the Ultrashot 2's! Nice looking shoes, will start hitting with them this weekend after walking around in them for a while.


I've been wearing the old pair for the last year (rotating with my other Yonex shoes). They have a ton of hours on them, I think I am getting close to wearing through the toe area but they have been very durable and have retained their cushioned feel (unlike @Liam Grennon my sliding on hardcourt days are pretty much behind me). I liked them so much I bought another pair.

Anyway, look forward to reviewing the new and improved Ultrashot!
I am glad to hear that they are durable. I hadn't worn KSwiss shoes since I was a junior because while I remember them being comfortable, they wore out really quick. But I just bought a pair of ultrashots after not being impressed with the fit of the Resolution 7's. I loved the Res 5's, but didn't care for the 7's.
 
First impressions after about 5 hours of court time yesterday:

As @norcal mentioned above, I also did notice that the Ultrashot 2's might just feel a tad bit smaller due to the padded tongue but it's minimal at best and the lack of a padded tongue was probably my biggest gripe with the original Ultrashot although it was minor. I'm happy to report that the shoes didn't feel like they needed any break-in at all and were comfy immediately as soon as I started playing and also had great traction.
 

XFactorer

Hall of Fame
First impressions after about 5 hours of court time yesterday:

As @norcal mentioned above, I also did notice that the Ultrashot 2's might just feel a tad bit smaller due to the padded tongue but it's minimal at best and the lack of a padded tongue was probably my biggest gripe with the original Ultrashot although it was minor. I'm happy to report that the shoes didn't feel like they needed any break-in at all and were comfy immediately as soon as I started playing and also had great traction.
I'm able to confirm that I played with them right out of the box with no issues, too! Played 3 hours in them so far - not too shabby... more to come when my thoughts form more fully.
 

McLovin

Legend
Beginning my review now, and I will update it as the playtest goes on.

Tennis experience/background:
I've been playing tennis for over 40 years (currently 51). I played high school, D3 college, and have coached high school tennis and have filled in teaching at my local club.​

Describe your playing style:
I'm a 4.5/5.0 level player. In singles, I'm predominately an "aggressive baseliner", more in the mold of Agassi/Nishikori/Baghdatis, taking the ball early and feeding off my opponent's pace. In doubles, I'm pure serve & volley (off both 1st & 2nd serves), and look to get to the net off my return.​
Current shoe:
I don't stick with a single brand/line of shoe, although right now I'm working my way through two pairs of ASICS Speed FFs (one black, one blue/orange). I also have a couple pairs of the adidas Barricade 2018 Boost waiting in the wings, and have worn ASICS Gel Res 7s before the Speed FFs.​

How many hours did you play with the shoe?
14.5 (and counting)​
Normal Size: 10.5

Playtesting Size: 10.5

**NOTE on sizing: I wear ASO braces on both my ankles at all times. I've rolled my ankles multiple times playing tennis/soccer/hiking, that I don't risk it anymore.

Comments on shoe performance:

Comfort:
Out of the box, they felt good. I put them on in the house & walked around for a bit as I haven't worn K-Swiss since my college days (see pics of Si-18s above). 10.5 was the perfect size. Not too lose, but enough room for my braces. Very comfortable, but not as comfortable as the Boost 2018s...at least that is what I thought walking around the house.​
First Outing: My first time on the court with these shoes was outdoor hard hitting w/ @downs_chris. After hitting for 10-15 minutes, I looked down to pickup a ball, looked at the shoes, and realized I was wearing the playtest shoes. In other words, I had forgotten I was wearing different shoes. Over the next hour, I didn't feel any discomfort, and my foot never fell asleep (happens to me in some shoes, especially Nike). To update, I'd say they are almost as comfortable as my Boost 2018s.​
Second Outing: This time it was doubles on indoor hard courts. Once again, no discomfort to report. No foot pain, no blisters (old Barricades rubbed my knuckles raw). This was different from my first outing as most of my movement was front-to-back (again, I serve & volley on both serves in doubles), which can expose different pains due to foot sliding forward instead of sideways.​
Third and Fourth outing: This past weekend I played 3 1/2 hours of singles on clay. Absolutely no complaints, and I was doing a bunch of running (both east/west and north/south) & sliding (which, btw, they are good for on the clay).​
Arch support:
I honestly don't know what my foot type is. I guess I have a medium arch? But suffice to say, my arches have experienced no pain due to lack of support.​
Stability/support:
So far, this has been the standout aspect of these shoes. Yes, I wear ankle braces, but that doesn't mean I can't tell when a shoe has good stability. I move a lot side-to-side, scrambling for most shots, and so far these feel extremely stable. Even during my first outing, where I was sliding around like I was on ice, when I caught a dry patch, I didn't feel like I was going to roll over.​
One thing I noticed during my play on clay is that my heel is locked in. Unlike my Speed FFs, where I'll feel my heel come up a bit, my heel stayed in the shoe with no slippage.​
Ventilation:
I'm a heavy sweater, but its been cold/wet/rainy here in Northern VA the last week. Its supposed to clear up later this week, so I will update once I get out in sunny/humid conditions.​
Update:​
As others have said, this is possibly the shoe's only weak point. Its not bad to the point of discomfort, but we had mid-upper 80s in VA this weekend, and my feet were fairly damp after each match.​
Sole durability:
Unfortunately, a good chunk of my playtest was on clay courts, so obviously there will be minimal wear. Below is a pic of the soles at the 11 hour mark (4.5 of which were on clay):​
There is barely any wear (although damn, some of those hard courts are dirty...), and I have no doubt they'll last 4 months, maybe 6 depending on if I play singles or doubles.​
Toe durability:
I am a toe dragger. Specifically, my left foot when I hit my backhand (you can see the discoloration in the picture above on the left toe). The good news is the toe guard extends high enough that I'm not going to burn through the fabric (I've done that on a few pairs). The bad news is 11 hours isn't enough to adequately determine if this will be a problem after repeated backhands. But, again, they have a 6-month warranty, so if not, I'll get a free pair...​
Traction:
Extremely good traction on hard courts (we'll ignore my 1st outing, as nothing could have gripped those courts). I especially like the 'squeak' in the soles as I'm moving & stopping. I'm not graceful by any stretch of the imagination, and rely on my quick recovery, so its nice to have a pair of shoes that grip the court well.​
On clay, the modified herringbone pattern works extremely well. It allowed me to slide into my shots, but when I needed to, just a tad more pressure, and I'm coming to a complete stop.​
Weight:
TW page says 15.3oz. I didn't believe it. They didn't feel any heavier than my Speed FFs (12.3oz). So I put them on my postal scale. 15.3oz. Go figure...​

General reaction/comments on overall performance:
I have to say that I'm pleasantly impressed with the Ultrashot 2s. Ventilation issue aside (and lets be honest, they way I sweat, a little more mesh likely won't make a difference), these are really nice shoes. They're a comfortable fit (especially w/ my ankle braces), perform well, and are very stable. While they weigh in a bit heavier than some other shoes, they don't feel it. I even liked the color scheme (they went well with both white & black socks :) ), although I'd like maybe one or two more options as I normally buy 2 pairs and rotate, and if I came home with a pair of shoes in Florida Gator colors...well, it wouldn't sit well w/ my recent FSU graduate...​
I'll most likely use these for the remainder of the summer, so maybe I'll track this thread down come late August and update on the sole & toe durability. But as of now, these are on my RADAR once I burn through the other 3-4 pairs of shoes I have in my closet.​
Thanks to TW & K-Swiss for the opportunity to try these out. Like I said above, its been over 25 years since I've worn K-Swiss, but I think its time to revisit the brand.​
 
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Tennis experience/background: Started in high school about 12 years ago, went to college and played off and on over the next 4 years. Picked it back up in grad school and started playing USTA Leagues. Finally got serious about playing in 2015 and got bumped from 3.5 to 4.0. Been playing in 4.0-4.5 leagues ever since.
Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley): Used to be a baseline basher with a big serve, but I haven't played singles regularly in a few years so my game has evolved into more serve & volley and all court.
Current shoe: I've played in Gel-Resolutions since the Gel Res 5. However, the 7s haven't quite fit right. So I've been searching for a replacement.
How many hours did you play with the shoe? Around 10-15 hours so far.
Normal Size: 12
Playtesting Size: 12

Comments on shoe performance:

-comfort:
Out of the box these shoes were some of the most comfortable tennis shoes I've worn. However, while playing I've experienced some toe jam.
-arch support: I believe I have a low-medium arch. I didn't experience any discomfort in my arches while walking around or while playing.
-stability/support: These shoes are extremely stable. I would compare them to the gel res in regards to stability and support. I did feel like they came up a little higher on my ankle than the gel res.
-ventilation: Not as good as the lighter shoes I've been trying lately, but definitely not the worst I've tried either.
-sole durability: I don't wear soles out as fast as I used to playing singles, so I haven't noticed any durability issues.
-toe durability: See above
-traction: soooooo much traction with these shoes. This isn't a knock on the shoe as I'm sure someone needs this much traction, but I don't seem to mesh well with shoes like this. Sometimes my feet feel like they're glued to the court.
-weight: Heavier than what I've been playing in here recently (Adidas Game Court then Ubersonics), but I didn't feel like the weight was a hindrance to my movement.

General reaction/comments on overall performance:

Definitely a replacement for the Gel Resolution in regards to comfort and support; however, I would try to break these in quite a bit before actual match play.
 

Blade0324

Hall of Fame
Tennis experience/background: I've been playing tennis for 12 years (44 years old) currently playing 4.5 singles and doubles.
Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley): I play pretty aggressive topspin on both sides from the baseline in singles and mainly S&V in dubs. On serve I'm not a toe dragger so I don't burn shoes up too much. However I do tend to slide a good bit on hard courts so that does wear on them more.
Current shoe: Asics gel solution
How many hours did you play with the shoe? Played 7.5 hours in this shoe so far.
Normal Size: 10.5
Playtesting Size:10.5

Comments on shoe performance: Shoe is a very good performing shoe right out of the box. Quality grip when needed but able to slide as well.

-comfort: Very comfortable and excellent cushioning in the shoe while still being stable which is a tricky combination to find.
-arch support: Arch support feels good, I have pretty average feet and this felt just right to me.
-stability/support: Stable feeling shoe for sure even though it is a lighter weight.
-ventilation: This is one area I feel could be better, there isn't much in the toe area of the shoes and my feet did tend to get more wet than normal. That said they did not feel overly hot.
-sole durability: From what I can observe so far this seems to be very good.
-toe durability: I'm not a bid toe dragger but this seems very good as well. Sliding on hard courts I do get some wear on the toe and so far this is holding up extremely well.
-traction: I like the tread pattern, it allows for good grip when needed but still allows to push into a hard slide on hard courts when I want to as well. This is a nice benefit.
-weight: Weight is pretty light. Not as light as the Asics I normally wear but still did not notice any real difference during match play.

General reaction/comments on overall performance: Overall I am very impressed with this shoe. Support, comfort and performance are all excellent. I basically forgot I was wearing anything different than my normal which is a very good thing. One thing I especially like is the bubbles in the laces to help them hold secure, this is a small thing but really is nice! I find that these actually have better cushioning than the Asics gel solution that I normally wear and are still very stable.
The one area that I was a bit less impressed with was the ventilation especially in the toe but it wasn't something that made the shoes feel hot.
Toe box is a nice width but doesn't feel sloppy at all.
Overall I would give this shoe a rating of 8.5-9 out of 10 and if the price is right I will very likely be looking at getting more to add to my shoe rotation.
 
Attention Talk Tennis Members:

We will be playtesting a very limited number of KSwiss Ultrashot 2 shoes for a playtest. This playtest is open to both men and women in the USA only.

IMPORTANT: The requirement for this playtest is that you must post a review in this thread by the deadline (check back).

Application period is now closed. Playtesters will be notified via email by April 24th.

If you are selected, you must reply to our confirmation email and confirm that you are able to perform this playtest.

We select playtesters based on a number of factors, including past performance on playtests, user history, posting in topics similar to playtest, etc.

If you do not post a review by the deadline or if your review is clearly lacking effort, you will be excluded from future playtests.

*** Your review is due by [check back]***

Please use the following to write your review:

Tennis experience/background:
Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley):
Current shoe:
How many hours did you play with the shoe?
Normal Size:
Playtesting Size:

Comments on shoe performance:

-comfort:
-arch support:
-stability/support:
-ventilation:
-sole durability:
-toe durability:
-traction:
-weight:

General reaction/comments on overall performance:


As always, we ask that this thread to be used only for questions, discussion and playtest reviews. Extraneous comments will be deleted.

Thanks,

TW Staff
Any update as to when the review is due?
 
Tennis experience/background:
Having played for 10 years, I have moved up from 3.0 to current 4.0 – 4.5 leagues. My background is more of soccer player. With over 30 years of playing soccer, I have a good foot work and tend to chase every ball down.

Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley):

All court player, aggressive at the baseline and tend to come to net for the kill.

Current shoe:
Asics Gel Solution

How many hours did you play with the shoe?
Over 15 hours

Normal Size: 9.5

Playtesting Size: 9.5

Comments on shoe performance:

I was quite impressed with the beefy looking of the shoes. If Adidas are married to NIKE, I think their baby would just look like Ultrashot: The Upper resembles some of the Nike shoes and outsole is definitely Adidas

-Comfort:

Out of box, they felt comfortable, true to size. I just felt a little bit tight in the toe box, but it is nothing close to Adidas Barricade, no rigid feeling whatsoever.

First outing, played 2 hours double in 4.5 league match… The game was tense and exhausting. Only when I sat down in the locker room, I realized that the shoes were meant for playtesting. Throughout the matches, I did not feel any discomfort or toes being squeezed. No break in period is needed for these shoes. The comfort is top notch.

Each time I went out, I began to like the shoes more, comfortable and protective…

-Arch support:
I would say I have a bit above normal arch. It is supportive throughout the playtest. I did wonder how they would have felt if the arch support were a bit higher or firmer as I could feel a tiny bit of room in between.

Stability/support:
The shoes gave me great support. The level of stability was almost like the Adidas Barricade, meaning it is well above average.

-Ventilation:
Throughout the playtest, the weather in my area (Chicago) has been way lower than the average for the season. I did not feel any discomfort or hot.

-Sole durability:
Most of time, I would need a pair of new shoes every 4 months. One of the main reasons that I chose Asics is because they last longer. From 15 hours of playing, I don’t notice much of damage, and they appear to have decent life left.

-Toe durability:
They appear to still have quite a bit of life left. Initially, I felt the toe box was a bit smaller, but I did not feel any discomfort after the first outing...

-Traction:
This must be one of the shinning point of these shoes. I run, slide and make sudden stops a lot throughout the matches. The shoes fully support all the moves and make those squeak sound, to a point that my opponents were complaining about it…

-Weight:
They look heavy and they were felt a bit heavier than my Asics shoes, but not as heavy as they appear… Not sure if it makes sense… they are heavy, but they don’t really drag you down your moves.

General reaction/comments on overall performance:
I have to say I am quite impressed with these shoes, they are comfortable and supportive . I can see that someone who are frustrated with rigid Adidas shoes, but still prefer that sturdy and supportive feeling would love these shoes. The style is also quite appealing. I will wear them to their break and if they last more than 6 months, I would definitely consider buying them in the future.

Thank you both KSwiss and Tenniswarehouse for this playtest opportunity. I truly enjoy it.
 

letplaytennis

Semi-Pro
I have not been selected for this play test, but I have tried them on at my local tennis facility. Playing in Adidas Barricade Boost the last few years, I was less than pleased when they were being replaced. With the 6 month warranty on the KSwiss shoes, they seemed like a good alternative for future replacements.

I don't necessarily have wide feet, but they're a little cramped in Nike's. The KSwiss felt great on my feet and were very comfortable and provided good arch and lateral support from the brief time I tested them inside the facility. Definitely going to look into buying these once the Barricades are done with.
 

fed1

Professional
Tennis experience/background:
I have been playing 40+ years, 4.5 level player. Currently in Director of Tennis/Teaching Pro position.

Describe your playing style:
All court player, counter puncher. I like the net and always look for the opportunity to move forward.

Current shoe:
Adidas Sole Court Boost

How many hours did you play with the shoe?:
35 plus

Normal size:
7.5

Playtesting size:
7.5

Comfort:
Out of the box these were great, I took a chance as my first time out with them I had a day of a lot hitting and the shoe performed and felt fantastic. No pain or discomfort. The cushioning and overall comfort stood out for me early on.

Arch Support:
No issues here for me. I believe that I have a pretty standard arch and I have never had any arch discomfort issues.

Stability/Support:
The shoe felt extremely stable to me. I've had some ankle rolling issues in the past but in this shoe I felt confident and comfortable. I felt like it was a step above my Sole Courts.

Ventilation:
I was inside for the duration of this playtest so I found the ventilation to be average, I had no issues nor I am a really heavy sweater.

Sole Durability:
No durability issues here even at the 35 hour mark.

Toe Durability:
Slight wear on the toe but nothing crazy or deep damage.

Traction:
A ton of traction, our courts are pretty new and still gritty and these shoes really grabbed on. I'm on the smaller side so these really allowed and helped my need for quick stops and changes of direction. Stand out feature for me.

Weight:
At first glance at shoe I was expecting it to play much heavier but I was pleasantly surprised at how they felt on my foot.

Overall Performance:
If you are looking to a shoe with great cushioning and stability give these a legit shot, you will not be let down.
I think this may be my new shoe of choice!!

Thanks to TW and Kswiss for this opportunity!!
 
Tennis experience/background: 4.5 to 5.0 player. I have been playing for about 18 years and played for a very good tennis high school and have mostly been playing casually since then and also play in some local team leagues.

Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley): Aggressive baseliner, I don't hit particularly hard but try to use spins to move the ball around the court until I can open up the court and then try to finish the point with either a groundie or volley. I'm a heavier guy so I'm not particularly speedy but can burn through shoes quickly.

Current shoe: I like to try out shoes so I have a couple pairs in my rotation. Currently I'm rotating between the Nike Vapor X, Adidas Ubersonic 2, Adidas Sole Court Boost. I also playtested the original Ultrashot which was a great playtest. Out of all of them the Ubersonic 2.0 is probably my favorite.

How many hours did you play with the shoe? Over 14 hours, split pretty evenly between singles and doubles

Normal Size: 10.5

Playtesting Size: 10.5

Comments on shoe performance:

-comfort: Excellent comfort which to me is the strongest point of the shoe. The original Ultrashot had some of the best out of box comfort I've seen in a tennis shoe and I can happily report that the Ultrashot 2 retains the excellent out of box comfort. The only comfort related knock I had on the original was the thin tongue which could be an issue since I like to lace my shoes very tight. They have beefed up the tongue padding on the Ultrashot 2 so no more complaints there.

-arch support: No complaints here. I'm not sure exactly what arch type my foot is but I've never noticed it being an issue on any tennis shoes I've ever worn.

-stability/support: Top notch, as good as any other stability-based shoe I've worn (Barricades, Gel Resolution). At over 15 ounces the shoe should provide great stability and the shoe delivers.

-ventilation: Ventilation wasn't great with the original Ultrashot and it still seems to be the same with the Ultrashot 2. I tend to sweat a lot so even with the best shoes for ventilation I'm still going to have hot and sweaty feet. So while this may be a problem for some people it isn't at all for me.

-sole durability: Excellent, I think the sole looks exactly the same as the original Ultrashot which is a good call on KSwiss's part. The soles are still looking pretty new after 14+ hours of play.

-toe durability: The toe is starting to show some slight wear but that's typical for me since I am a heavier guy and tend to drag my toes alot. All other shoes I wear would probably show either the same amount of toe wear or more for the lighter shoes (Ubersonic, Vapor)

-traction: Excellent, I am not a slider so I prefer to have top notch traction on my shoes. I noticed the shoes seem quite squeaky which I don't recall noticing with the original Ultrashot. Some people might be bothered by this but I actually kind of like noticing with my footwork.

-weight: I checked the spec's and saw that the Ultrashot 2 was lighter than the original Ultrashot but I didn't really notice the difference while playing. I believe the original Ultrashot was one of the heaviest shoes on the market but didn't notice it feeling heavy on foot. Weight wasn't an issue for me on either Ultrashot.

General reaction/comments on overall performance: This feels more like an Ultrashot 1.5 rather than an Ultrashot 2 but that isn't a bad thing at all. I feel like most other companies completely revamp the shoe when going to the next version (Ubersonic 2 & 3) so I'm glad that KSwiss only made minor tweaks to the original Ultrashot which was an already great shoe. I would gladly buy more of the Ultrashot 2's if I was looking for additional shoes. Thanks to TW and KSwiss for the opportunity!
 
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norcal

Hall of Fame
Tennis Experience/Background: Been playing tennis for over 30 years. Self taught park player. Currently rated USTA NTRP 4.5, fully recovered from two hip surgeries, just finished playing in my first league competition in a few years (all singles).

Playing Style: Mostly baseline in singles but finish at net as much as possible and very aggressive in doubles.

Current Shoes: KSwiss Ultrashot 1, Yonex Durable 2, Yonex Fusion Rev 2 . Yonex has always been a great shoe for me, very supportive and cushioned and a 6 month warranty. Unfortunately the width has become more narrow with each new version. I wanted to try the Ultrashot because of the extra width and 6 month warranty. I was very pleased with the Ultrashot 1 so I am looking forward to trying out the new and improved version.

How Many Hours Did You Play With The Shoe? 16 hours (14 singles, 2 doubles)

Normal Size: Size 10

Play Testing Size: Size 10.

Comments On Shoe Performance:

-Comfort: The Ultrashot 2, like the 1, were comfortable right out of the box, which is rare for me. I usually wear shoes for a week or so before playing in them. LIke the U1, Ultrashot 2 gives you extra room in the forefoot. Forefoot cushioning is good while maintaining a low-ish, connected feeling to the court. The Ultrashot 2 advertises added cushioning which I found underneath the insole. It is indeed softer to the touch than the U1 which contributes to an even softer ride in the U2. Ultrashot 2 also added more cushioning to the tongue, which makes the newer version even more comfortable when cinching the laces down tight. You can see the new cushioning and thicker tongue:



Instep, ankle and heel comfort was also excellent on this shoe. Plenty of room in the ankle area but it does not feel loose at all because of the extra eyelet you can use to lock the ankle in. Really formed the shoes to my feet. Midfoot and ankle cushioning is very good. Ankle collar felt fine, doesn't ride up high so no friction but also feels quite supportive.

-Arch Support: I found arch support to be slightly lower than medium, which is perfect for me as I have medium/low arches. If I don't notice the arch in shoes it's a comfortable shoe - I didn't notice the arch in this shoe so that is good news.

-Stability/Support: The Ultrashot 2 is a very stable and supportive shoe. During the playtest I played on everything from worn out public courts to new, super gritty hardcourts. On each surface this shoe felt extremely stable and supportive. Quick turns, running out wide, backing up for overheads, this shoe felt extremely stable in all tennis movements. The forefoot is pretty flexible so it can be cinched down to fit and the ankle can be locked in which really gives this shoe a stable and supportive feel.

-Ventilation: Ventilation was OK. Honestly, this is something I never really notice. I wear thick socks so they get sweaty with every shoe I wear, this one didn't feel significantly better or worse. Highest temp I played in was mid 80's and my feet never felt hot.

-Sole Durability: The outsole of the Ultrashot 1 has been extremely durable and judging by the looks of the 2 the soles are very similar so I expect the same good durability. I am pretty hard on shoes when playing singles and these shoes have a lot of rubber under foot. Plus the shoe has a 6 month guarantee so durability should not be a problem.

-Toe Durability: The toe area is sturdy. I am not a toe dragger, but the little toe dragging I do had little to no effect on the shoes. There appears to be plenty of material under the big toe that wraps upward so it seems to be a good design for toe draggers.

-Traction: The Ultrashot 2 has excellent traction. Didn't feel too slick on worn down courts and didn't feel too grabby on gritty hardcourts. I felt extremely confident moving in these shoes. In fact after the brief break in period I never gave it any thought, which is the best attribute a shoe can have (in my opinion). I also love the court squeak, a good reminder to move your feet!

-Weight: This updated version is slightly lighter than the previous version (although neither feels heavy to me). The good news is once these shoes are on they feel quick and extremely stable around the court, that is all I ask of a shoe.

General Reaction/Comments On Overall Performance: The updated KSwiss Utrashot 2 is an excellent shoe. It is very similar to the Ultrashot 1 (which is a good thing!). The new version features a more padded tongue and increased cushioning underfoot without changing the great fit of the original. The materials used, construction and quality are first rate. Loved the white/yellow colorway as well. I already purchased another pair of the original Ultrashot's after the first playtest and will purchase another pair of the Ultrashot 2's in the future. That tells you how much I like these shoes.

Thanks to KSwiss and Tennis Warehouse for allowing me to playtest these shoes!
 

Lack

Rookie
Tennis experience/background: I've been playing tennis for 9 years. UTR 10.5
Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley): All rounder
Current shoe: Nike Air Zoom Vapor X Wide
How many hours did you play with the shoe? Over 40 hours, hard court and singles only
Normal Size: 11
Playtesting Size: 11

Comments on shoe performance:

-comfort: Excellent comfort just out of the box. Seems a tad narrower than Nike Vapor Wide, but still played very comfortably. It has a nice cushion on the bottom, and it is on par with Asics Gel Res 7 and Wilson Rush Pro 2.5.

-arch support: I have medium arch feet and I didn't have any pain or issue on my arch during the playtest.

-stability/support: I believe this is the category that really matters the most when it comes down to tennis shoes, and I found Ultrashot 2 to have top notch feet stability and support. Never rolled my ankle or had any pain on my feet during the playtesting. It is on par with Adidas Barricade.

-ventilation: Average for ventilation. Played around 60 - 70' F weather. My feet were hot and socks were wet for just hitting for an hour.

-sole durability: Great durability, I get a pair of new shoes every 2 months or less, because the outsole on thumb toe part wears out quickly for me. Even after 40 hours of playing singles tennis, the outsole of the thumb toe is only very slightly worn off.

-toe durability: I don't drag toes, and I can only see a very minimal damage. I've never made a hole on upper part of the toe. Whenever I have to get new shoes, it is due to wearing out outsole of the toe.

-traction: Excellent traction. The outsole grabbed the ground very well and helped me move very aggressively on starting, changing directions, and stopping without slipping. However, this was a problem for my game because I prefer a bit of a slide at the end of an explosive sprint for my feet to balance and relax. Traction is on par with Asics Gel Res 7.

-weight: Very heavy compared to Nike Vapor, but didn't feel like it was slowing me down. Only took me 2 days to get used to the weight.

General reaction/comments on overall performance: I really enjoyed the performance of Ultrashot 2. I highly recommend these shoes for players looking for comfort, ankle stability, and sticky traction.
Thank you K-Swiss and TW for this great playtest opportunity.
 

XFactorer

Hall of Fame
Tennis experience/background: 4.5 baseliner who plays a healthy mix of singles and doubles
Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley): Aggressive Baseliner
Current shoe: New Balance FreshFoam Lav
How many hours did you play with the shoe? 20+ hours
Normal Size: 9.5
Playtesting Size: 9.5

Comments on shoe performance

*For reference, I don't have experience with any other K-Swiss shoe. But I'm glad I got this chance (Thanks, TW, K-Swiss!)

-comfort: I did not have to break in this shoe! I took it right out of the box and onto the court. My first impression (after playing in the Lav for the last 5 months) is "Ok, I see what you're doing here, K-Swiss." There's no crazy energy return like the Lav, but there's a good amount of no-frills cushioning with the Surgelite material. The upper has a mixed-material, traditional construction, again, no frills. (Non-traditional to me would be the "fingers" of the Vapor that wrap the midfoot or the cage like the Cages.) The uppers are plenty soft, however, it doesn't form to the foot as nicely as a Vapor 9.5 would, but does its job just fine. It's not too stiff and sufficiently ventilated for me. At times, I can see that some would think the toebox area is too soft - it gives a little too much on lateral cuts. While I don't generally prefer these non-mesh uppers in the toebox, I honestly didn't think about it much more during my play time (except for some lateral cuts and hard stops). In general, the uppers vanished in the background.

I didn't know where to add this detail - but the heel liner is rather innovative! It's that material where if you brush one way, it's smooth, but brush the opposite way and you get so much fabricky-friction. And what purpose does that serve? It adds an extra, non-irritating friction in your heel area to lock it down. Most of the time, a sock will be what's grabbed by heel liner, but occasionally skin too. However, I didn't experience any rashes or irritation - just a different sensation. I'm a major fan of this heel-lock-down method.

-arch support: I have flat feet and didn't mind the arch support. Some shoes with too high of a support really cause cramps in my arches. I've had no issues with the Ultrashots.

-stability/support: There's a tiny lip to the lateral side of the outsole. I don't think it drastically enhances the stability, but I like the level. Throughout the playtest, I was confident in sliding and taking big cuts. The upper was nice through the midfoot and forefoot. The midfoot really clamped down and locked down my foot for lateral stability even though the forefoot gave way a bit on these lateral cuts/slides/hard stops. The forefoot was wide enough for me but the drawback is that I experienced some toe jamming early on before I figured out how I like to tighten the laces (loose towards the bottom/toes, tight towards the top/ankle).

-ventilation:
I'm used to full mesh-uppers (Lav, Vapor, etc). This shoe really has that traditional synthetic leather sort of upper in the toe box that I was very skeptical about. There was plenty of breathability through the teeny tiny holes, though. And the mesh in the midfoot combined with the tongue kept my feet nice and cool. For reference, the Zoom Zero runs really hot for me.

-sole durability: I'm quite pleased to look at the sole after 20+ hours of play. The only major wear I can see is that on the right shoe's outsole - the lateral dots (on the tread pattern) were worn a little. The DragGuard area that wraps from the medial toebox to the lateral heel is this shoe's highlight for me. I wear out my toe area and outer heel - and I'm not seeing much wear at all! So A for the sole durability. But I still think I could wear the tread bald in 6 months, but not wear through the bald spot. There's a lot of outsole to wear through.

-toe durability: I'm no toe-dragger, so I can't comment on the upper toe-area.

-traction: One of my biggest issues is an exposed midfoot shank. The plasticky material inevitably contacts the ground and I slide. Luckily, KSwiss didn't deploy and exposed shank here! Traction was on part and I never slipped or got caught when I needed to slide (yes, on a hard court). So, it has that right blend of grip and slip.

-weight: I didn't know the weight of this shoe - but I had no issues with it considering the Lav is a beefy, heavy shoe. But now that I know they're both 15 oz shoes, I'm shocked. The Ultrashots don't feel that heavy. Most of the weight is the beefy outsole. It's balanced and unobtrusive.

General reaction/comments on overall performance:

Overall, I like this shoe and would recommend it to my friends at the club. It's no secret that I'm a Nike fanboy. But as of late, none of their performance shoes since the Vapor 9.5 have suited me. Since, I've tried Yonex and New Balance. I never gave K-Swiss a chance because they've been a casual shoe brand in my mind (and shame on me!). But having the opportunity to try the new Ultrashots has changed my mind. This is a great shoe at a reasonable retail price (and now at a great price as of this posting).

You get performance and value in this shoe. So who should check out this shoe? Those who have wider feet or prefer a roomier forefoot. Those who need a 6-month outsole guarantee. Those who want a great value shoe that also performs. For anyone who needs a lot of lateral support beyond club-level (like college players +) may need to look for another option.

Thanks to K-Swiss and Tennis Warehouse for providing the review shoe for my write up.
 

SJSA

Professional
Tennis experience/background: Last 11 years, I have played in single and double two or three times a week. I had plantar fasciitis six years ago and have researched many shoes for the comfortable ride and arch support whenever I need a new pair of tennis shoes. I have worn tennis shoes from Nike, Asics, Babolat, Prince and K Swiss. I usually purchase new shoes every 4 to 6 months because the outsole around heel area is worn out easily.
Describe your playing style: I am a 4.0 baseline player with strong forehand. I use a semi-western forehand grip with fast swing and hit a one-handed backhand.
Current shoe: KSwiss Hypercourt Express (size 8) & Asics Gel Court Speed (size 8.5)
How many hours did you play with the shoe? 20 hours on hard court
Normal Size: 8.5
Playtesting Size: 8

Comments on shoe performance:

-comfort: I have big toes, wide feet, and planar fasciitis. I felt toe-jamming from initial wearing but the issue was faded away after 4 hours break-in period. It still might be uncomfortable for players who have big toes. The tongues are too long and they keep touching my front ankle areas when I wear no-show socks. Cushioning is great like soft memory foam. It felt super comfortable around my feet.

-arch support: The arch support locates upper side for my feet. It got better after I worn down the cushioning.

-stability/support: The stability is excellent and I had plenty of support whether I moved side to side or front to back. I couldn’t find the heel slippage and sliding issue at all. It is sleeker and quicker around the court.

-ventilation: The ventilation is low average. My sweaty feet stayed comfortable during play but it is still in May. It might be a different story in summer. Hypercourt Express is better for ventilation compared to Ultrashot 2.

-sole durability: The outsole durability is excellent. There was no wear and tear after 20 hours of play on hard courts. The outsole durability is as good as Barricade.

-toe durability: Excellent. I am not a toe dragger but the tip of toe and material look durable and no signs of breaking.

-traction: Excellent. The tread pattern has a great traction and grip on hard courts. I hear often squeaking sound when I moved lateral.

-weight: Average. The weight of my playtest shoes is 13 oz. It is heavier than my current shoes but the weight is average and manageable.

General reaction/comments on overall performance: Ultrashot 2 tennis shoe is an excellent choice for cushioning, stability and durability. Barricade is superior for durability but it has lack of cushioning and comfort. Thus, Ultrashot 2 is a great alternative for players who can't wear Barricade due to its narrow and tight fit. I ordered a half size smaller because I wear size 8 for Hypercourt Express which has bigger toe box and wider fit. However the size 8 for Ultrashot 2 is a little bit tight for me.

I appreciate TW and K-Swiss giving me this opportunity.
 
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