By Brittany Blalock
Please be aware that this shoe is only available in women's sizes 5-8.
After seeing this brand start to pop up on some professional tennis players in the last few years, I was excited for my chance to playtest LI-NING to see what it is all about. When the first women's shoe, the LI-NING Comp, arrived at the warehouse, I was thrilled to see a fun shoe with some pops of color, and I found myself looking forward to putting them to the test on the court.
After three weeks of playing tennis on several different hard court surfaces, I can say I put these shoes through the ringer. Not only did these shoes endure some tough practice sessions, but they were also on my feet for plenty of singles and doubles play.
I was able to put these shoes on and immediately head to the tennis court to play. The upper was not stiff, and it molded around my foot almost instantly. I really enjoyed the cushioning in this shoe, especially under the heel and around the ankle collar.
The shoe's fit is also noteworthy. I have a narrow width foot and was pleasantly surprised to find that this shoe fits very narrow and has a more glove-like fit. There is not a lot of extra room in the shoe, and the toe box is also narrow, which I actually enjoyed.
After several hours on the court the weight and traction really stood out as the highlights of the shoe. Together, these features allowed me to feel very quick around the court. As I have said in the past, I am a big fan of lightweight shoes, and I was surprised to see the actual weight of this shoe. The shoe plays a lot lighter than its actual weight and I felt fast around the court. I was surprised that a 13.1 ounce shoe (size 8) could feel so light. The other standout feature for me was the traction. I felt confident moving aggressively, and I thought the shoe gripped the court extremely well. It was very easy to change directions, and there was the perfect amount of give.
This shoe had average sole durability. I played roughly 15-plus hours on several different hard court surfaces (both indoor and outdoor) and can see smoothing under my big toe on both feet. However, the toe durability was excellent. The toe bumper meets with the Tuff Tip material on the upper for tons of protection for toe draggers. I definitely have many more hours of toe dragging protection.
Because this shoe has a glove like-fit, it felt very stable and supportive on the court. I never felt like I was going to roll an ankle and I enjoyed the low-to-the-ground feel. My only complaint with this shoe is that it didn't hold my foot in place very well when I was moving forward and backward. This caused a blister on the top of my right foot's toe (the toe next to my pinky toe) that lasted throughout the playtest.
Overall, I found this shoe to have the durability for a tough practice session and the quickness for match play. I loved the cosmetics of the shoe, from the pop of mint color to the pearl details on the lateral side. The LI-NING Comp will please players looking for a narrow fitting shoe with lots of high performance features.