KSwiss Tennis Tubes 100 Women's Shoe Review
- Toe durability
- Ankle support
- Glove-like fit for narrow to medium width
- Outsole durability
- Too narrow for wide feet
The KSwiss Tennis Tubes 100 hits all the right notes when it comes to composing a tennis shoe. The shoe shines where it should: stability, traction and cushioning. Our testers felt it performed well as an all-around shoe once broken in. Though they offered good support, a couple of our testers felt they were too high in the ankle area, which led to discomfort. Outsole durability was also a concern for a couple of our playtesters. On the plus side, the soft and grippy outsoles of the Tennis Tubes 100 offered outstanding traction. Overall, the solid level of stability, traction and cushioning makes the Tennis Tubes 100 a good addition to the KSwiss line-up.
When you sit down and think about it, we female tennis players demand quite a bit from our tennis shoes. They need to be comfortable, stable, durable and supportive. Being lightweight doesn't hurt either. Oh, and one other thing, we want them to look good, too.
KSwiss' latest attempt to satisfy the female tennis player is the Tennis Tubes 100. The shoes are named for their cushioning system, which features round "tubes" in the midsole and is designed to provide a lightweight, responsive ride. The Tubes are visible in the midsole and run the full length of the shoe.
The Tubes Technology should allow us to check comfort off our checklist, and KSwiss designers added a pop of color over the Tubes to satisfy the looks requirement. For stability, the Tubes Tennis 100 uses the GuideGlide system, while DragGuard on the upper and the Aosta 7 outsole tackle durability.
So how well do all these parts come together? We sent out a team of playtesters to play for a month on hard courts to find out.
Comfort - Score: 3.7
The Tubes Tennis 100 got mixed reviews in this category from our testing squad. Brittany found time to be the key to comfort. She said, "There was definitely a break-in period of about three hours for me with these shoes. I helped speed up the break-in process by walking around in them before playing in them. Once broken-in, I found that they molded to my feet and were very comfortable. I thought the cushioning was perfect."
Also finding a break-in was needed was Carol E., who said, "The tops of the shoes rubbed and pinched me on the inside of my ankles. They rode a little higher than what I am used to, and there was some discomfort with the rubbing. It also took about three days of hitting for me to break them in."
Eileen praised the Tubes cushioning systems, saying, "The cushioning is great in this shoe. I thought the shoe was very comfortable and light. The upper portion of the shoe is really comfortable and super soft, with lots of padding."
"Comfort was good, but not great, for me," said Tiffani. "The cushioning was really nice. The Tubes absorbed impact well, and the uppers were soft and well padded. However, the shoe didn't fit my foot quite right. It was too narrow for me in the forefoot and too wide through the midfoot, so I experienced some bunching. I did, however, appreciate the shallow toe box, even though it ran narrow in width for me."
Chloe, who has wide feet, said, "They were fairly narrow in the toe box, and my foot was being rubbed and pinched by the sides of the shoe. Also, I have a high arch and these shoes did not provide enough support to be comfortable."
Ventilation - Score: 3.3
Though the shoe doesn't feature an abundance of mesh, our testers felt the Tubes Tennis 100 offered average ventilation. Tiffani said, "This was so-so for me. The shoe's uppers have quite a bit of padding, and that makes the shoe run warm. I didn't notice it too much while I was playing, but I couldn't wear this shoe comfortably after tennis."
Agreeing, Brittany offered, "I struggled a bit with ventilation. The shoes didn't heat up too much while I was playing. I did feel some warmth, but nothing too unusual. However/ when I stopped playing my feet became extremely hot and I would take them off immediately."
Chloe noted, "I thought that the ventilation in them was pretty average. My feet didn't get too hot and I thought they breathed fairly well."
Arch Support - Score: 3.8
Opinions on the arch support in the shoe varied by arch type. Our testers with medium height arches were satisfied, Carol E. and Eileen agreed with Brittany, who said, "I had no problem playing in this shoe. It felt comfortable and supportive."
With her high arches, Chloe disagreed. She said, "I didn't like the arch support in this shoe. I have a high arch and these shoes just didn't provide enough support for my arch. They weren't that comfortable for me."
Tiffani has low arches, and said, "I was satisfied with the amount of support I was getting for my low arches. The first time out the support sat a little high for me, but it compressed or molded to my foot during that first time on the court, so I was happy enough."
Foot Support/Stability - Score: 3.7
The Tubes Tennis 100 offered plenty of stability and support, especially in the ankle area, for most of our testers. Chloe reported, "These shoes held my feet in place pretty well. My feet didnŐt slide around inside the shoes and my ankles felt pretty stable, especially when I was changing direction."
There were positives and negatives for Carol E.. She said, "My toes were moving around quite a bit in the toe box. The shoe did fit snug around the arch, but didn't mold to hold my toes. My ankles felt very protected, though."
Tiffani shared some of the same sentiments, saying, "The stability was great for this shoe. I never felt like the shoe had any problems standing up to the multi-directional nature of tennis. However, the support was not up to par with the stability for me because of an awkward fit. My feet are wide in the forefoot, narrowing through the midfoot and heel. So while the shoe was tight in the forefoot, it was too wide in the midfoot area. This led to some slippage within the shoe and some buckling of material in the midfoot."
Brittany was extremely pleased with the support. She offered, "The support was the highlight of the shoe for me. I felt extremely stable with every type of movement on court. The ankle collar comes up a little higher than what I'm use to, but it helped stabilize the ankle."
Eileen, on the flip side, felt there was too much support. She said, "The shoe came up too high on my ankles. I didn't feel like my ankles would roll over, but I did feel limited in my movements. The ankle support was too high and too stiff."
Overall Sole Durability - Score: 3.4
Our team was again spilt, this time over the durability of the Aosta 7 outsole. Carol E. was pleased. After logging 40 hours on the court in these shoes, she said, "I usually wear out my tennis shoes near the toe, but no wear and tear has happened yet."
Eileen agreed, adding, "The sole was light and comfortable, so I was surprised with how durable the shoe was for me. I didn't notice any wear on the sole."
Chloe found the shoes to offer average durability, saying, "The toe and sides of the shoe were the first parts to wear out for me, but they had better durability than some of the lighter weight shoes I've worn."
Tiffani used other KSwiss models as her durability standard. She said, "I've definitely worn more durable KSwiss shoes. The Stabilor and Defier DS both held up better for me compared to this shoe. The tread started to show wear before the 10-hour mark. The traction was excellent, but I think the outsole compound is too soft to withstand heavy hard court play."
Agreeing, Brittany said, "The sole's poor durability surprised me. I saw quite a bit of wear on the shoe after just a couple hits. More specifically, I saw wear around my big toe that came up the side of the shoe."
Toe Durability - Score: 3.7
The DragGuard overlay worked well for the team. Eileen said, "The shoe shows no sign of wear in the upper or in the front of the sole."
"The sole durability was a little disappointing, but I thought the toe durability was much better," said Brittany. "The DragGuard technology on the toe was thick enough, and went high enough on the shoe, that my dragging did not cause any damage to the shoe."
Tiffani had two opinions. She noted, "This is a tough one for me to judge. The top of the toe, where the DragGuard is placed, is in pristine condition, and I don't think there'll be any problem with durability. However, the outsole material that wraps up is degrading quickly in the toe area, which is where I typically see the most wear on my shoes. The grey outsole section is already beginning to separate from the shoe."
Traction - Score: 4.1
The shoe's grip on the hard courts was excellent for most of our team. Tiffani said, "Traction is the highlight of this shoe. It really sticks to the hard courts well. I could plant and move or stop quickly without any problems."
Brittany, too, found good traction. She offered, "The traction was another positive of the shoe. I could really grip the court with this shoe, sometimes almost too well, as I would stick to the surface. After a couple hits the stickiness wore off and the traction was perfect."
Chloe had similar thoughts. She said, "These shoes had unbelievable traction, almost too much at times. I felt that they gripped the court really well and it was easy to start and stop without sliding. However, at times there was too much traction and they stuck to the ground, making it hard to change directions."
"The shoe was a little bulky for me, but I was able to stop and go on the court," said Carol E.. "Change of direction was fine, too."
Eileen struggled with the fit, saying, "This was a tough section for me to judge. The ankle collar was too high for my foot so all my movement, starting, stopping, changing direction, was hindered. I was not able to move as freely as I'm used to so I didn't feel like I could put the traction to the test."
Weight - Score: 3.7
At 13.4 ounces, the Tubes Tennis 100 falls into the average category for weight. Brittany noted, "The weight was tricky for me. I am a fan of lighter weight shoes, so this was on the heavier side for me. However, this shoe didn't feel bulky or clunky on the court. Overall, I felt my movement was a little bit slower in this shoe."
Pleasantly surprised was Carol E., who said, "Even with the extra cushioning and support, I feel that the shoe was pretty lightweight. I expected it to be much heavier in weight."
"As usual, I wasn't bothered by the weight," said Tiffani. "I am comfortable playing in some of the heaviest models, such as the adidas Barricade adilibria. The Tubes seemed to be a good middle weight option, without feeling too bulky on the feet."
Chloe wished for lighter shoes, saying, "These shoes were on the heavier end, and I'm a fan of the lighter weight shoes."
It was a great mix for Eileen, though. She said, "The weight was perfect, with plenty of cushioning for comfort."
Overall - Score: 3.4
Brittany - "I liked the stability of this shoe, especially for extra ankle support."
Carol E. - "I think the arch support is the best thing this shoe has going for it. I felt that I moved pretty well in the shoe and that the extra support didn't correlate to extra weight. The shoe is definitely a little heavier, but it does not inhibit play."
Chloe - "I liked the traction the shoes provided when I was moving on the court, and how well they held my feet in position, so I wasn't sliding around inside the shoe."
Eileen - "The weight and comfort were the highlights of this shoe for me. I liked the added comfort the Tubes provided."
Tiffani - "Traction was great, and the cushioning was plush."
Brittany - "The weight was on the heavier side, as well as the lack of sole durability."
Carol E. - "I did not like the rubbing and pinching on the inside of my upper ankles. This remained a problem throughout the entire play test. I also did not like the extra wiggle room of my toes. I felt that I lost a little support due to this."
Chloe - "I didn't like the weight, arch support, and overall comfort."
Eileen - "The ankle rise was too high for me. I felt like I couldn't move around the court easily."
Tiffani - "The fit was just off for me, and durability could be improved upon."
Comparing the Tennis Tubes 100 to other shoes they've worn, our testers said:
Brittany - "The fit and cushioning definitely reminded me of another Kswiss shoe, the BigShot. It was very similar in feel and weight to the BigShot. The durability was more along the lines of the New Balance 1187."
Carol E. - "This was not one of my favorite shoes. I think this is a great shoe for women who have weak ankles and like a little more support in the arch. Mobility is still pretty good, along with the change of direction."
Chloe - "The Tubes were a little heavier and were slightly narrower in the toebox compared with the Prince T22. However, I thought the traction was slightly better than the traction of the New Balance 1187."
Eileen - "This shoe is great on cushioning and durability. The fit was not perfect for me because of where the shoe fit around my ankles. This shoe was too high around my ankles, I prefer a lower rise for better movement on the court."
Tiffani - "This does fit into the KSwiss family. I am reminded of the Defier DS because of the good cushioning, padded uppers and general feel of the shoe, but the Tubes feel lower to the ground in the forefoot. The Defier offered better durability, but on the flip side, I got better traction from the Tubes."
Playtester Foot Types:
Brittany - Narrow width / Medium arch
Carol E. - Medium width / Medium arch
Chloe - Wide width / High arch
Eileen - Narrow width / Medium arch
Tiffani - Wide width / Low arch
Review date: October 2011. If you found this review interesting or have further questions or comments please contact us.
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