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ASICS indoor court shoes: are they good for badminton?

ASICS as a brand needs no further introduction in the world of shoes. They have a very loyal and dedicated fanbase, so you see them everywhere, from sports to fashion! They do know how to make great shoes. However, whilst they don’t exclusively produce shoes for badminton, they have created a series of very high-quality shoes catered towards indoor sports, such as volleyball, handball, netball, squash, table tennis and more. If you play an indoor sport, then you will have seen ASICS shoes around.


In this post, let's take a look at 3 of ASICS' premium indoor court shoes: the Asics Court Control FF3, the Asics Blast FF3 and the Asics Blade FF, and see if they are good for badminton.


ASICS Court Control FF3, Blast FF3 and Blade
ASICS indoor court shoes: Court Control FF3, Blast FF3 and Blade

When ASICS reached out and asked if I would like to test some of their court shoes, I immediately grabbed the opportunity as I had not tested many badminton shoes outside of the 3 leading badminton brands - Yonex, Victor and Li Ning.


Now, I am no shoe expert but in my YouTube lifetime, I, fortunately, have had the chance to test out various models of badminton shoes. I find my shoe preferences change according to the type of court surface I play on. Previously, I had great access to a dedicated badminton hall with incredible rubber mat courts. Nowadays, I spend more time playing in multipurpose halls that have far less grip than rubber mat courts. This makes me appreciate grippy shoes a lot more.


Being able to stop when I want to, and change directions when I need to when I’m playing is crucial for me. Having slipped on court and got injured as a result before reinforced my desire for grippy shoes as it gives me the confidence I need when I lunge into a corner at full stretch. Sometimes when the court is dusty or slippery, I would even use a damp cloth to wipe the bottom of my shoes, just to create additional grip.



Additionally, I prefer shoes that feel secure and locked in. Obviously, other properties such as cushioning and weight also play a part in the decision process. Picking a pair of shoes is a very personal process.


My first impression when I unboxed the ASICS shoes was that they felt premium and well-made. The Court Control and Blast models are, after all, the brand's top-of-the-range shoes and the Blade is just one step below. Appearance-wise, they definitely put up a good match with the competing brands in the market.


I think the Court Control, Blast and Blade models are designed for different needs of indoor athletes. The Court Control looks like the tank that will take on anything and protect your feet, with lots of stability and support. The Blade, on the other hand, is more for players who prefer lighter comfort.


The Blast incorporates what ASICS calls a Mono-Sock design around the heel area. It resembles Yonex’s bootie design on some of their previous models of Comfort series shoes. With the Mono-Sock design, a single-piece material extends from the tongue to the heel of the shoe. The Blast also has an outsole which is similar to the Court Control FF but the underside of the Blast has ventilation vents.


Bulge on the outside of ASICS Court Control FF3
Bulge on the outside of ASICS Court Control FF3

Another thing that I noticed immediately when I saw the shoes for the first time was the bulge on the outside of the foot, just below where our pinky toes are. It felt quite pronounced on the Court Control and I instantly felt it when I wore the shoe. The Blast has a similar-looking bulge but it wasn’t as pronounced as the Court Control. This section on the shoe is designed to provide extra stability when lunging on court and that extra stability helps promote confidence and perhaps smoother transitions on court too. The bulges are pronounced on the Blast and Court Control shoes but not on the Blade, which looks more normal.


The Blade felt the lightest out of the three pairs of ASICS and it also has the softest surface. The Blade also incorporates what ASICS coined as Twistruss around the arch area of the foot which is very rigid and aimed at providing better support for faster directional changes when starting and stopping on court. The Blast and has something similar but it covers a wider area which ASICS names as Turntruss but I think they do the same thing.


All the shoes tested are in my size, which is 280mm or 28cm. I often use mm or cm for shoe sizes as they are more accurate and can translate to any size that corresponds to that measurement. Different brands have different numbers for sizing. For example, I would wear UK 9.5 for Yonex and Victor badminton shoes, UK 10 for Li Ning badminton shoes, but for ASICS, I wear UK 9. So measure your foot with your badminton socks on people!


In terms of weight, the Court Control weighs 676g/pair or 338g/side, which isn’t particularly light by today’s standards. For the protection it offers, it's actually pretty good. For the Blast, I was surprised to find it coming in at 682g/pair or 341g/side, just a touch heavier than the Court Control. The Blade is the lightest at only 566g/pair or 283g/side.




Here's a quick comparison of the ASICS Court Control, Blast and Blade shoes against the other high-end shoes that I've tested before on my YouTube channel:

Shoe

Weight per pair/g

Weight per side/g

ASICS Court Control

676

338

ASICS Blast

682

341

ASICS Blade

566

283

732

366

Li Ning Blast SE

576

288

Yonex Power Cushion 65

667

333.5

Yonex Power Cushion C-90

648

324

Yonex Infinity 2

630

315

Yonex Comfort

740

370

Yonex Aerus Z

529

264.5

Yonex Eclipsion

731

365.5

So let's talk about the fit. For the Court Control, you will feel pretty locked in and secure. It has lots of padding around the ankle area, and it fits pretty tight around the front of the shoe. So if you wear thicker socks or have thicker or wider feet, do ensure that you try the shoes before you buy.


In comparison, the Blast felt more flexible and softer compared to the Court Control due to the softer materials but the top side of the Blast is quite shallow so you might feel the Blast being rather tight at the top.


The Blade felt slightly more basic compared to the Court Control and the Blast. I guess this is to be expected as the Blade is a price point below but it does have more space on the top side of the shoe compared to the other 2 models and there was no bulging on the side of the foot. Comfy.


All 3 pairs of shoes performed well on court. Compared to the Yonex Power Cushion 65, I felt that the Court Control had more padding, and was more secure and locked in. The Court Control felt more like the Yonex Eclipison which had incredible cushioning and stability, which is what the Court Control’s strengths were. And as it's lighter than the Eclipsion, I think ASICS does have an advantage there.


As for the Blast, the fit was slightly different due to the Mono-Sock design. I had some sliding on the Blast’s insoles but nothing major and you’ll get used to it. The Blade had thinner cushioning compared to the Power Cushion 65, the Court Control and the Blast. Being the lightest of the bunch, I think the weight savings came from having less padding and cushioning. Nonetheless, I had no issues at all with how the Blade performed and it was comfy enough for me to jump around in.



But a major problem I had with all 3 pairs of shoes was the outsoles. I mentioned that the shoes' grip matters a lot to me and unfortunately, my experience of all 3 pairs of shoes across multiple halls was that they weren't as grippy as I would like. Let me explain. If you are playing in dedicated badminton courts with rubber mats, or in squeaky clean halls, you will have no problems at all. All 3 ASICS, as well as the Yonex Power Cushion 65, will be sufficiently grippy. But as soon as you move to a dustier hall, the ASICS shoes just don't cope as well as Yonex Power Cushion 65 which has the Radial Blade design outsoles.


During testing, I used all my usual tricks when playing in a dusty hall: wiping the shoes’ outsoles with a piece of damp cloth, and even wiping down the entire court before the start of the session. Yet, the ASICS outsoles just couldn’t cope well enough. At first, I thought it was just the hall being really bad, but because I always bring my usual pair of shoes when I'm testing new shoes, I decided to swap onto the Power Cushion 65’s because I was so fed up during one of my testing sessions. The difference was obvious.


Two days later, at a different, cleaner multipurpose hall, I tested the ASICS shoes again. Just like before, they became slippery and I had to jump on my wet cloth between rallies to clean them. But as soon as I swapped onto the Power Cushion 65’s, I had no such issue.


I did say way back in my very first review of Yonex’s very first shoe with the Radial Blade design that I do feel it's a grippier and better design and wow, this just validated what I felt from day 1 back then. The only explanation I can give is perhaps the radial blade designs are similar to a car’s winter tyres where the sipes in the grooves improve traction by allowing those little blades on the outsole to move slightly. This process increases traction. If we look at ASICS' thread patterns on the Court Control and Blast, they feel more like slick racing tyres as it's almost carved out from a single piece of material and doesn't allow the same individual ‘wiggle’ as the Radial Blade outsole design.


But aside from this issue, the ASICS shoes were great! Comfortable, supportive, stable and well-made across all 3 models, and I can see why so many people were loyal to the brand. I really hope ASICS will produce an updated, improved outsole design. I think many badminton brands could learn a thing or two from ASICS' shoemaking prowess. They do know how to make good shoes.


Leave your questions in the comments section below and I’ll see you in the next one.





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