Wilson Rush NGX Men's Shoe Review
- Not stable enough
Wilson had great success last year with the introduction of the Rush Pro, so its next goal was to make it even lighter, faster and more comfortable. The Rush NGX met some of these goals, but unfortunately couldn't capture the same exceptional all-around performance. Our playtesters loved the out of the box comfort of the Rush NGX. The shoe quickly molded to the shape of their feet and felt plush and cushioned throughout. They were also surprised at the level of durability it offered. However, the lack of a midfoot shank cost the shoe some support and stability, which affected how confidently our testers could move around the court. Overall, the Rush NGX was very comfortable, fast and durable, but it lacked the support and stability our playtesters were looking for.
Comfort - Score: 4.4
As soon as our playtesters slipped the Rush NGX on their feet they noticed the plush cushioning and natural fit. Right out of the box Chris offered, "These shoes felt ready for the court on the first wear. The uppers flexed nicely, and I got the sensation the shoes were flexing and moving with my feet. The cushioning felt very plush and comfortable, and I felt very protected from the court no matter how hard I landed. Comfort-wise this shoe checked all the right boxes, and I enjoyed the ride from the first wear 'til the last."
"Excellent out-of-the box comfort!" Jason exclaimed. "There was plenty of cushioning to help dampen harsh landings, and the upper material flexed in all the right places. The padding around the ankle collar was also nice and plush."
Ventilation - Score: 3.9
The breathability of the Rush NGX was never an issue for either of our playtesters. Jason attributed the nice ventilation to the materials in the upper, saying, "The mesh throughout the uppers allowed for pretty decent breathability. I never felt like my feet were going to overheat in these."
Although they weren't the most breathable shoes he's ever worn, Chris still had no issues with his feet overheating during this playtest. He said, "While I never felt air flowing through the shoes like I did in the adidas CC Feather II, these shoes did a solid job of expelling heat. There is a lining under the mesh on the upper that blocks a little airflow (and makes for a very comfortable fit), but my feet never got too hot or uncomfortable. We had some hotter winter days during this test (creeping into the low 80s), and the shoes remained comfortable."
Arch Support - Score: 3.5
The lower than average arch support in the Rush NGX led to differing opinions from our playtesters. The shoe worked well for Jason's low-arched feet. He said, "The arch support was fairly low, but it fit my feet just fine. I think the soft cushioning quickly molded to my low arches, so I didn't really feel any discomfort."
On the other hand, Chris and his high arches had more of an issue, and he wished for more support. He offered, "I would have liked the shoes to have been stiffer under my arches. The level of support was OK, but nothing more. I'd add an aftermarket insole that has a nice midfoot shank built in, such as a Superfeet insole. The fit was low for me at first but got better as the shoes broke in and the insoles started to mold to the shape of my feet. I was left wanting for additional stability even when the shoes started fitting better through the arch,."
Foot Support/Stability - Score: 2.8
With no midfoot shank, the Rush NGX did not offer enough lateral stability for our team. Although the uppers provided adequate support, Chris wanted more stability throughout, especially directly under his foot. He said, "I was surprised that the soft and comfortable uppers actually provided decent support for my feet. It never felt like the uppers were giving too much or letting my feet slide off the base of the shoe. However, the chassis of the shoe was too flexible, and I didn't feel the stability I found in the previous Rush Pro from Wilson. I would have liked some added stiffness to make the shoe more stable and to offer better protection for my arches. I never had any rollover issues in this shoe, it just felt like it was twisting too much under my feet. I could feel the strain when coming to a quick stop or rapidly trying to change direction."
After a couple of close calls, Jason couldn't trust the shoe enough to move around at top speed. He said, "This is where the playtest came apart for me. While the support was pretty good, the stability wasn't. When I first started testing these shoes I was moving as I normally would, but I could feel the shoe give and torque with every plant and change of direction. A couple of times my feet actually did roll over a bit, but luckily I walked away without a sprained ankle. I never felt comfortable moving at full speed after that. This shoe sorely needs a midfoot shank. Don't get me wrong, it's definitely an improvement over the Tour Spin II shoes, but they still have a way to go."
Overall Sole Durability - Score: 4.4
For such a light and fast shoe, the durability of the Rush NGX surprised our playtesters. "Could the improved durability be attributed to the fact that I wasn't moving as aggressively because of the lack in stability?" Jason pondered. "Possibly. But the outsole was impressively durable, especially considering the lightweight feel of the shoe."
Chris was also pleasantly surprised, saying, "I was impressed by the durability of these shoes. I can be very hard on outsoles, but these held up very well. I had little wear on the outsoles, even in the usual high wear areas. For as soft and grippy the outsoles are, they provide great durability."
Toe Durability - Score: 4.6
"Just like the outsole, the toe bumper proved to be very durable," offered Chris, our lone toe dragger on this test. "I drag my toes a lot, but I had no worries with this shoe. All of my dragging did little to damage the tough bumper. The outsole wraps up nicely to protect the tip of the shoe, and beyond that the upper proved to be very durable. I also like the additional material Wilson has added to the medial side of the forefoot to further increase durability."
Traction - Score: 4.4
Like we found in the Rush Pro, the Rush NGX provided exceptional traction on hard courts. Chris was able to execute any aggressive move he wanted. He said, "I really liked the level of grip I got in these shoes. I was able to push off aggressively and trust in the shoes to give me the traction I needed for a quick first step. The shoes also offered just the right amount of give on a hard lateral plant. I was able to slide out of lunges, etc., which helped take some stress off my ankles."
Jason had few problems with the traction of his shoes. He noted, "I could only remember a few instances when I was spinning my wheels trying to get to a ball. The modified herringbone tread pattern was gripping our TW court pretty well. It didn't matter whether I was moving side to side or forward and back."
Weight - Score: 4.5
Wilson designed the Rush NGX to be a lightweight, speed-oriented shoe, so there's no surprise that it received high marks from our playtesters in the weight department. Chris loved the fast feel, but he would've sacrificed some speed for more stability. He suggested, "I felt light and fast in these shoes. The transition from heel to toe was good, and that made the shoes feel even faster. Considering how durable the outsole and toe was, these shoes feel impressively light. However, I would have happily settled for some additional weight for added stability. A TPU shank doesn't weight much at all, and I wish Wilson would have used a beefier shank or added some other chassis stiffness to this shoe."
Jason enjoyed the feel as well, adding, "I never felt like the weight was hindering my movement. It felt pretty lightweight, and it had a nice low-to-the-ground feel."
Overall - Score: 3.3
Chris - "The traction, durability, comfort and cushioning were all great."
Jason - "Comfort without break in, cushioning, lightweight feel."
Chris - "The shoes were not stiff enough, and I wanted a more stable ride. I also much prefer the look of the Rush Pro. I wore the grey/lime green color, and I have to say I'm not a fan."
Jason - "It lacks enough stability to make it a true high performance tennis shoe."
Comparing this shoe to other shoes they've worn our testers said:
Chris - "This shoe felt lighter and faster than the Rush Pro. It also proved to be very durable in the outsole and toe, much like the Rush Pro. However, the Rush Pro offered a more stable ride, which I preferred. The ventilation was up there with the new adidas CC Feather III, but less than the CC Feather II."
Jason - "Slightly more comfortable than the Rush Pro, but not as stable."
Playtester Foot Types:
Chris - Narrow width / Medium arch
Jason - Wide width / Low arch
Review date: February 2014. If you found this review interesting or have further questions or comments please contact us.
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