KSwiss BigShot II Women's Shoe Review
- Good fit for slightly wide feet
- Maybe runs slightly short
- Not light feeling
KSwiss has introduced the BigShot II to the tennis scene as a sleeker update to the original Big Shot women's shoe. Redesigned for a stable, responsive and comfortable ride, the BigShot II's cushioning hit the mark for a high-performance shoe. Some of the playtest team experienced some rubbing and pinching in the toe box, while others felt their feet sliding forward on quick stops. We suggest that those seeking room in the toe box move up a half-size in this shoe. Stability and traction were standout features for the Big Shot II, though they did add some extra weight. Despite this extra weight most of our testers enjoyed the way they were able to move around the court. Durability was also applauded, and the shoes lasted the entire playtest for each member of our team. As a low-profile, all-around offering, the KSwiss BigShot II is great for a supportive, stable and enjoyable ride on court.
Comfort - Score: 3.8
While the comfort and cushioning was undeniable, the team had some slight issues with the fit of the KSwiss Big Shot IIs. Brittany explained, "I had a break-in period of around two to three hours. when I started the playtest I noticed that the upper on my right shoe was pinching my foot. After a couple of hitting sessions the upper loosened up and I didnÕt have any more problems. I did find that the length of the shoe was a little on the short side, so my foot felt a little bit jammed, but it also loosened up as the playtest progressed. Once the shoes were broken-in the comfort improved. I would describe the shoe's cushioning as supportive and compact, which worked out fine for me."
Siobhan really liked the comfort and cushioning, saying, "I felt it was very high performance. I liked the width fit, the cushioning was comfortable and the shoe wrapped around my foot well. I felt really comfortable on court throughout the entire playtest. There was no break-in period for me. The length of the shoe was not great, though, despite the width fitting well. It was noticeably too short, and I was slamming my toes into the end while I was running around on court. The anti-slip texture feature in the heel material of the shoe was also odd. It gripped so well that it pulled my socks down during play, which was slightly annoying."
Tiffani was happy with the fit but also had some sock issues. She said, "The BigShot II felt pretty comfortable right out of the box. It was flexible enough that I felt confident playing in them without breaking them in first. The cushioning felt low profile and on the firmer side, which was right up my alley. I have pretty wide feet, and the forefoot of the BigShot II accommodates the width pretty well. I wouldn't call it a true D width, but it still feels more generous than a standard B width shoe. My only comfort issue was the anti-slip feature in the heel. I wear no-show socks, and even when they had a tab the shoe would eat my sock and rub on my heel. I frequently had to take the shoes off to adjust my socks."
Right from the get-go, this shoe offered plenty of comfort for Karly. She said, "There's an exceptional amount of padding in the upper, making the shoes feel extremely soft -- they were almost like slippers! There was also no break-in period. I did experience a tiny bit of rubbing and pressure along my outer toes, which left my foot a little sore after playing in them, but it didn't bother me during play. Overall, with all the padding in the uppers and no break-in period, the BigShot IIs were really comfortable."
Ventilation - Score: 3.2
Although our team didn't have specific ventilation related problems, the testers did feel the BigShot II could have offered more breathability. Tiffani felt the ventilation was adequate, saying, "Breathability was average for me. I was neither happy nor disappointed with it. It wasn't a problem, but my feet didn't feel cool, either. The BigShot II gets passing marks here."
"Because we are playtesting this shoe in cooler weather the ventilation isn't as much of an issue," Brittany explained, adding, "That being said, I found the ventilation to be about average. The upper consists of a combination of synthetic leather and mesh, but I did feel my feet were on the warmer side and slightly sweaty."
Karly thought the upper padding restricted the BigShot II's ventilation. She said, "Sometimes too much of a good thing can be a bad thing, and for me this was the case with the padding in the uppers. I thought there was so much padding that it took away from the shoe's breathability, which fell a little below average. On the court my feet felt slightly overheated, and my socks were slightly damp after I hit."
"The ventilation was OK, not great, but not bad," said Siobhan. "There is a lot of mesh on the top of the shoe and you can see the ventilation holes, but it looks more breathable than it actually is. It wasn't bad, but good ventilation is often the price you pay for good cushioning."
Arch Support - Score: 3.2
There were some varied opinions about the arch support, as some found it to be adequate while others needed a break-in period. Finding her feet supported throughout the playtest was Siobhan. She said, "The arch support was good. It was comfortable the entire playtest, and even though it was low for my high arches my feet didn't ache. As time went by the arch support molded to my foot and became even more comfortable."
Karly found the arch support to be sufficient. She said, "Although the arch was slightly lower than average, I thought it still offered average support. They didn't causes any problems, and I didn't experience any pain, which is all I could ask for!"
With lower arches than the rest of the group, Tiffani noticed the height of the arch. She said, "I sensed the arch support, and it didn't seem to be quite right for my flat foot. The pain was mild, but my feet did get sore when I played."
Brittany struggled with the arch support in this shoe, saying, "While the arch isn't really high, it hit me in a weird place, causing some arch pain. I noticed this after about the second or third hit. I have slightly lower then medium arches, and the first week of the playtest was when I noticed this the most. By the end of the playtest the arch had flattened out slightly, making it less of an issue."
Foot Support/Stability - Score: 4.2
The stability and support were the best features of the KSwiss Big Shot IIs. Karly found the foot support and stability to be her favorite features of the shoes. She said, "The support was great! My ankles felt secure and I was extremely confident when switching directions. I was experiencing a little bit of sliding in the forefoot when making quick stops going forward, but I still thought the support was exceptional."
Playing without worrying in the slightest about turning her ankles was Siobhan. She said, "I really didn't give the stability of the shoe any second thoughts, which was a good thing! Whether I was moving forward and back, changing directions or stopping and starting, I really felt completely comfortable with aggressive footwork in the BigShot II. I also felt really supported, and I liked how the shoe wrapped around my foot with a responsive feel."
Brittany noted the weight of the shoe as being the factor that produced the excellent stability. She said, "The KSwiss Big Shot IIs were a little on the heavy side, but the stability of this shoe was top notch. My ankles felt fully supported even when I was moving aggressively on the court. I had complete confidence that my ankles were not going to roll over while I was moving. My foot did move around a little in this shoe. It was most noticeable when I had to stop quickly, especially when I was moving in a forward motion. The quick stop caused my foot to move forward and I ended up jamming my toes."
Tiffani gave the BigShot IIs high marks in the support and stability category but didn't like her forward movement within the shoe. She said, "The shoe really excels in this department. The TPU piece that wraps around the heel to the midfoot really held my feet in place, and the low-to-the-ground platform made it easy to keep my balance even when I was stretched out really wide. My only real knock on the shoe is that I tended to slide forward on hard stops. It was bothersome and uncomfortable at times. I wouldn't want to go get a nice pedicure and then play in these, if you get my drift."
Overall Sole Durability - Score: 4.2
Durability had glowing reviews, as the shoes really held up on the hard courts. "After more than 20 hours of playtesting the sole of the BigShot II held up very well," said Brittany. "There was very little to no wear on the sole of my playtest shoe. I can confidently say that I have plenty more hours on the court with these shoes. I have nothing but positive things to say about the durability."
Tiffani felt the durability was better than some other recent KSwiss shoes. She said, "I've come to expect exceptional durability from KSwiss shoes, but the last KSwiss shoe I tested (Tennis Tubes 100) was surprisingly subpar when it came to durability. I'm happy to report that KSwiss seems to have once again found its (ahem) footing in this department. I've hardly seen any smoothing of the outsole during this playtest."
Liking the fresh response of the outsole after plenty of time testing was Siobhan. She offered, "I put decent hours into this shoe and haven't really seen any wear and tear on the sole. It has held up really well, and although I'm not a toe dragger or too rough on my shoes, I normally see a little premature balding on the outsole under my toes. These shoes performed well, and I like that they still look like they are close to being fresh out of the box despite some hours on the court."
In agreement with the rest of the team was Karly, saying, "I thought the BigShot II's durability was better than most shoes. Just by looking at the shoes you can see there's definitely some heft to the outsoles, and they live up to their appearance. I noticed only a small amount of smoothing after about 15 hours, and it was very minimal."
Toe Durability - Score: 4.5
Toe durability matched the overall sole durability when it came to performance. Tiffani found the protection held up to her toe dragging. She said, "The BigShot II has plenty of protection with the DuraWrap on the upper and the outsole wrapping up onto the tip of the toe. Like the outsole, I've done little damage to the toe area."
"The toe durability was great!" enthused Karly. "The coverage around the toe area was exceptional. With the protection that this shoe provided, wearing through the material around the toes of the BigShot IIs was the least of my worries."
Putting some serious testing hours into the KSwiss BigShots IIs was Brittany. "I definitely put these shoes through the ringer when it came to toe dragging. The DragGuard technology kept my shoe protected from any damage. While the DragGuard only comes up three-fourths the way, the DuraWrap technology on the upper meets with it to provide extra protection. There was some visible smoothing, but I have many, many more hours of protection in these shoes."
Traction - Score: 4.2
Our team enjoyed this part of the playtest, with everyone finding lots of traction from the Big Shot II. Tiffani liked the outsole design, saying, "The outsole has a pretty traditional mix of herringbone, and it was great for me on hard courts. I didn't have any slippage issues, and I didn't feel like it was too grippy either. Sometimes these really durable outsoles can be a little slippery, but this one passed my test with flying colors."
It took a little time before the traction was suitable for Karly. She said, "For about the first two hours of play I thought the sole had a little more tack than usual. I seemed to stick to the court more than I was used to. However, that feeling of being too tacky went away fairly quickly. After about the second hour of play the traction was great, and it didn't wear down much after that. I was able to start and stop without the shoes feeling too sticky, and they didn't wear down to where I was experiencing any sliding."
In agreement was Brittany, saying, "The traction was above average for me on the Bigshot II. I definitely was able to grip the court, although at the beginning it gripped a little too much for me. After I played in this shoe for a while the grip improved to just how I like it. I benefited the most when changing directions. I found I was able to stop quickly and push off my outer foot without slipping."
Siobhan only had good things to say about the way she was able to move around the court in these shoes. She said, "Great. It was the same sort of deal as the stability, I didn't even notice the traction because it did exactly what it was supposed to do. I didn't feel too stuck to the court, and I didn't ever slip. Sometimes we get a bit of tennis ball fluff stuck to the indoor court and things get a little slippery, but the traction held up well for me."
Weight - Score: 3.6
Opinions on the weight of Big Shot II varied among the playtesters. Feeling weighed down and slower on her feet was Brittany. She said, "These shoes definitely felt on the heavier side. The perk of being slightly heavier is that the durability and stability were solid. However, I definitely did not feel as quick around the court, and the shoes felt clunky at times. I tend to favor lighter shoes, so for me these just felt too heavy."
Tiffani was not deterred by weight. She said, "I don't know the weight, and I don't feel the need to put it on the scale. The BigShot II sits really low to the ground, so I didn't feel weighed down at all. It doesn't have that light as air feel, but that might be because there seems to be some extra material in the midfoot. It buckled a little bit in that area. That said, it certainly wasn't a brick either."
Despite noticing the slightly heavier weight of the shoe, Siobhan felt like the sacrifice was worth it. She said, "They could have been lighter; they have a lot of plastic and rubber on the top of the shoe, but they didn't weigh me down on court or make me drag my feet at all. I feel like the stability and support that the shoe provided were worth the extra weight."
Wanting less bulk, rather than less weight, was Karly. She said, "The weight was OK for me. They weren't heavy shoes to play in, but all the padding in the uppers made the shoes seem bulkier than they actually were. The padding was a little excessive, and I think less material would've helped them to feel lighter. All-in-all, the weight was good, but that bulkiness made them feel heavier than their actual weight."
Overall - Score: 3.5
Siobhan - "The support and stability during aggressive lateral court movements."
Brittany - "I liked the stability and durability that these shoes offered."
Tiffani - "This shoe sits low to the ground, even lower than some 'speed' shoes like the Asics Gel Solution Speed. The width is also pretty generous for a standard shoe."
Karly - "With all the padding and foot support, I felt really comfortable playing in this shoe."
Siobhan - "The length is too short, despite the width fitting well, which was a huge letdown because I really liked the shoe. I didn't enjoy slamming my toe into the end when I was running forward."
Brittany - "The shoe felt a little clunky, and I wasnÕt a fan of the arch support."
Tiffani - "I slid forward and hit my toes on hard stops. There is too much anti-slip material in the heel, so the shoes ate my socks every time I played."
Karly - "Though all the padding made it a very comfortable shoe, I think it was a little excessive and made the shoe feel slightly on the bulky side for me."
Comparing this shoe to other shoes they've worn, our testers said:
Siobhan - "It reminds me of the Yonex 308L, which had great stability and support but gave me a little bit of an issue with comfort. They were both great high performance shoes. I definitely would suggest going up a half-size in this KSwiss BigShot II."
Brittany - "I found this update to feel slightly lighter than the previous KSwiss Bigshot. I also found the cushioning to be different. On the previous version I found the cushioning to be pillowy as opposed to the more supportive cushioning of this update."
Tiffani - "Though I wasn't an official tester of the original BigShot, I did have a pair, and that is the closest comparison. This is a low-to-the-ground shoe, but it fits much wider than most other shoes in the speed category. The wider fit makes it hard to compare. It's lighter than other durable shoes, but not as streamlined as other speed shoes."
Karly - "The soft padding in the upper reminded me of the New Balance 1005 and the Wilson Tour Ikon, both of which had plush padding."
Playtester Foot Types:
Siobhan - Medium width, Medium arch
Tiffani - Wide width, Low arch
Brittany - Narrow width, Medium arch
Karly - Medium width, Medium-low arch
Review date: January 2013. If you found this review interesting or have further questions or comments please contact us.
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