Wilson Rush NGX Women's Shoe Review
- Nothing we agreed on
Quick. Light. Stylish. Three features the average woman appreciates and is looking for in her ideal tennis shoe. The Wilson Rush NGX hits those marks and a few more. Our four playtesters took these shoes to the courts and put them through a month-long test. Our team agreed that the comfort and weight of the Rush NGX, along with Wilson's EndoFit technology, were its strongest features. However, differing opinions on stability and durability came up during the playtest and had our team not seeing eye-to-eye. Overall, the Wilson Rush NGX proved to be a comfortable and fast, and it kept our playtesters connected to the court. Its low-to-the-ground ride let them move aggressively around the court on a day-to-day basis.
Comfort - Score: 3.8
Each of our playtesters had her own experiences when it came to the comfort of the Rush NGX, but each noted a plush feel. Tiffani found a better feel from the shoes after break-in, elaborating, "I initially noticed some pressure on the lateral side of my forefoot, but either the shoe flattened or the upper stretched, because it was not as noticeable after 30 minutes or so. There were two stories of comfort, however. I really did enjoy the fit and cushioning before and after I played, but during play my feet weren't as comfortable. But that had to do with support, so I'll get more into that later."
Karly's first impression when she stepped into these shoes was that they felt extremely soft and well cushioned. However, the shoes lost some comfort points once she hit the courts. She explained, "While they offered a plush feel and soft cushioning, it was the tight fit and the higher arches that didn't mesh well with my wider, flatter feet. I experienced a lot of discomfort on the court, especially during the break-in period, and the narrow shoes left my feet aching on the court. Luckily, the shoes loosened up a bit and weren't as painful as when I first played in them. I liked the soft padding throughout the shoe, but, unfortunately, they weren't a good fit for my feet."
Michelle definitely needed an hour or two to break these shoes in. She said, "The first couple of hours on the court were a little uncomfortable. However, I enjoyed the fit and comfort after the shoes loosened up. They fit my feet really well, and the EndoFit technology made them feel slipper-like. The only discomfort I occasionally noticed was a little jamming at the top of the tongue and ankle collar. I noticed the tongue connection inside the shoe at times, but it wasn't something that was super uncomfortable, just a distraction. Other than that, the fit was great for me. I felt plush cushioning around my feet, similar to the Rush Pro."
Brittany needed absolutely no break-in period, saying, "I was able to lace these shoes up, take a couple steps around the office and then head down to the court to play tennis. The shoe fit my foot perfectly, and I had zero issues with rubbing or pinching. As I have come to expect from Wilson (thanks to my test of the Rush Pro), the cushioning was plush and plentiful."
Ventilation - Score: 3.5
Made from lightweight synthetic materials and mesh, the Rush NGX looked to be a cool shoe. Ventilation was not an issue for Brittany, who offered, "Playing in the wintertime doesn't test the ventilation fully, but I never felt like my feet were overheating and I was able to keep them on after playing. While I didn't feel air circulating, the mesh on the upper allowed enough air in to keep my feet cool enough."
"I'd say the ventilation was middle of the road," said Karly. "They were a little warm on the court, but I didn't mind the temperature at all. The shoes heated up once I started moving around, and they left my socks damp after a hit, but it never got to the point where it bothered me. I think there is room for improvement, but I was OK with the amount of ventilation provided."
Tiffani was on the same page as Karly. She said, "The ventilation was middle of the road for me. It was never a deterrent, but I never felt like my feet were cool, either. The Rush NGX gets passing marks."
"These aren't the most ventilated shoes I've worn, despite the mesh upper," Michelle offered. "This isn't an area that usually bothers me, so it wasn't a huge issue for me. I did feel like my feet were sweating when I got off the court."
Arch Support - Score: 3.4
The Rush NGX worked well for some, while others didn't enjoy the medium support this shoe offered. Michelle said, "The arch support in these shoes was just right for my higher arches. No problems in this area for me! Good support."
The medium arches of the NGX were not a match for Karly's flat feet. She said, "The arch supports caused my arches to ache quite a bit when I played, especially during the break-in period. Even though the shoes loosed up, and I didn't experience quite as much discomfort over time, I was still happy to take them off once I stepped off the tennis court because of my achy feet."
Brittany, who has a medium arch, said, "Having a medium arch has its advantages, one being I can pretty much wear any shoe without having arch support issues. The Rush NGX's medium arch support was perfect for me, and I experienced perfect support."
"I have pretty low, virtually flat, arches," said Tiffani, "but I do like some support through that area so my feet don't feel strained. I found the arch support to be sufficient when I was just walking around, but when I was moving from side to side and starting and stopping, I really wanted more support through the midfoot. I could feel the shoes flex too much, and my feet felt strained as I moved."
Foot Support/Stability - Score: 3.3
The support and stability of this shoe was an issue for some of our playtesters. Initially, Karly was happy with the support level she found in this shoe, but she didn't feel like the shoes were as stable once the break-in period was over and the shoes softened up. She explained, "The material around the ankles really loosened up, and the back of my feet didn't feel very secure within the shoes. I wasn't making very aggressive movements because my ankles didn't feel locked-in and the material flexed too much to feel supportive."
"Like I mentioned in the comfort section, the shoe fit my foot perfectly," said Brittany. "I will note that the shoe was a tad short. Not enough to go up a half-size, but I did feel like my toes were closer to the edge of the shoe. After my first hitting session I felt the ankle collar was a little loose around my ankle, so I utilized the extra eyelet on the shoe. I never felt 100 percent confident when I was moving aggressively in this shoe because I felt it was missing some support. This shoe was too flexible for me, and I was lacking a little stability when making aggressive movements."
Michelle enjoyed the support and stability. She argued, "I know the rest of the playtesters didn't love the stability, but I actually felt really locked in and stable, as well as supported. I think the sock-like tongue really helps with this. I felt like I had excellent lateral support and stability, and I felt low to the ground and connected to the court. I trusted this shoe for every type of movement on the court, and I was confident wearing them."
Unfortunately, this is where the playtest really came apart for Tiffani. She said, "I was not a fan of this shoe support-wise or stability-wise. As I mentioned in the comfort category, I really didn't find the Rush NGX comfortable when I was playing. I attribute this to the lack of support and stability, which may have been exacerbated by my wide feet. The uppers flexed a lot when I was moving side to side, and sometimes my foot would come up off the footbed. The upper would stretch so much that when my foot came to a rest I was off to the side of the sole, and I could feel the edges of the shoe underfoot. That was not comfortable, and it was alarming. I never turned an ankle, but when I moved wide I could feel the shoe flex and torque. I felt a step away from tipping over, so even though the shoe managed to hold my feet and ankles, I still wasn't fully confident."
Overall Sole Durability - Score: 3.7
Lighter shoes don't always hold up in the durability category, and our team of aggressive movers put a solid amount of hours on the Rush NGX to really test the outsole. This is where Michelle had an issue with the Rush NGX. She critiqued, "I'm seeing significant wear after 15 hours on the court and my big toe has worn down on both sides. The rest of the outsole is holding up, but that area is suffering. I would appreciate a little more durability in the outsole since this shoe doesn't come with a six-month warranty."
For how light the Rush NGX felt, Karly thought the shoes held up fairly well during the playtest. She said, "I was surprised that this shoe lasted as long as it did, and I still have plenty of hours left! Toward the end of the test I did notice a little bit of smoothing to the outsole, although there was no wear that was really significant. I'm not too hard on my shoes, but this lighter weight shoe held up just fine for my style of play."
Brittany found the durability of this shoe to be about average for a lightweight shoe. She said, "I definitely saw some wear under the ball of my foot, and that happened pretty early on in the playtest. The amount of wear and tear that I saw was what I expected from a lightweight shoe."
The outsole also held up pretty well for Tiffani. She explained, "Considering how light they feel on my feet, I saw very little wear in comparison to some other lightweight shoes I've been testing. Durability is a highlight of the Rush NGX for me."
Toe Durability - Score: 3.9
The Rush NGX has a thick toe bumper that wraps fully around the toe for complete coverage. Our toe draggers put it to the test. Brittany began by saying, "While I have started to see some smoothing, there are still plenty of hours left on the toe. The upper material gave some additional protection, but it isn't as thick as the toe bumper."
Finding this to be a strength of these shoes, Karly added, "The overall sole durability of the shoe was good, but the toe durability was even better. There was plenty of coverage around the toe and the material was tough enough to protect against serious wear and tear. I never had any worries about damaging the front of these shoes, that's for sure."
"Like the outsole, the toe of the Rush NGX is plenty durable. I've scratched the surface, but that's about it," agreed Tiffani. "I like how the toe bumper is the same color as the surrounding upper material so it hardly looks worn at all. Thumbs up for me on the shoe's toe durability."
Michelle, who isn't much of a toe dragger, only saw small amounts of smoothing on the top of my toe box. "It isn't a problem by any means, and my shoes won't wear out there."
Traction - Score: 4.1
Traction was another positive feature of the Rush NGX for our team. Tiffani really appreciated the level of traction she found. She said, "Some other current shoes that I've playtested allow for some sliding in and out of shots, and that's just not my game. In the Rush NGX I could plant, start and stop without any issues. Traction was my favorite feature of this Wilson shoe."
"For a lighter weight shoe, I thought it had solid traction," said Michelle. "Some of the lighter shoes can get slippery, but this one had a good amount of grab, which I prefer. I did notice the traction beginning to wane a little as the playtest went on and the outsole lost some of its grip."
Brittany noted, "I liked the low-to-the-ground feel this shoe offered. I think that I was able to feel the court well, and the traction only added to that. I could grip the ground well and felt confident in the give of the shoe. I would say the traction rates slightly better than average."
Karly had no complaints about the traction. She elaborated, "The outsoles provided just the right amount of grip when moving on the court. I never slipped or lost my footing at all. The outsoles held up really well so I didn't notice a decrease in traction over time. I was confident that I wasn't going to slide in these shoes, and they have yet to prove me wrong."
Weight - Score: 4.3
One of the most impressive things about the Rush NGX was its weight. Karly said, "The moment I took them out for a hit I thought they felt much lighter than their actual weight. My movements felt light and quick, which gave me the confidence to get to most balls."
"This shoe feels really light and fast on the court," Tiffani explained, "and I liked how I could pick up and move easily. However, I think more weight could improve the support."
The weight was one of Michelle's favorite aspects of this shoe. It's a lighter weight shoe, but it still felt really sturdy and stable to her. She elaborated, "I never felt weighed down by these shoes and felt comfortable wearing them for a few hours on the court. They don't feel as 'low profile' as the speedier shoes we have been playtesting (the Asics Gel Solution Speed 2s and adidas CC Tempaia IIIs come to mind), but I like that about this shoe…I prefer a shoe that feels a bit beefier!"
Brittany, who is a big fan of light weight shoes, said the Rush NGX definitely delivers in this area. She added, "While this isn't the lightest shoe I have ever played in, it's definitely in the light weight category. I felt light and quick on the court in these shoes."
Overall - Score: 3.5
Tiffani - "I liked the traction, the EndoFit technology and the durability."
Karly - "The lightweight feel and the durability were great. For how little they weigh, I should've worn through them faster!"
Brittany - "I liked the comfort, the light weight, the low-to-the-ground feel and the bright colors of this shoe."
Michelle - "They're lightweight, but still stable. I love the cosmetics and color combos!"
Tiffani - "There just wasn't enough support and stability in this shoe for me to play confidently."
Karly - "The narrow width and medium-high arches caused my wider flat feet to ache quite a bit on the court."
Brittany - "I would have liked some extra stability and support, and a tad more durability."
Michelle - "I wish the outsole was a bit more durable."
Comparing this shoe to other shoes they've worn our testers said:
Tiffani - "I'm stretched to think of a shoe that is currently available and is a good comparison. Two older shoe models do come to mind, however. The flexible uppers and support level are reminiscent of both the adidas CYD Reflex (the CC Rally is the newest version of this, but I have not worn it) and the New Balance 851. The Rush NGX is more durable than either of those, though."
Karly - "Wilson excels at putting plush cushioning throughout a shoe, so it's hard not to compare them to the Wilson Rush Pros. They both offer extremely soft padding for comfort. The Rush NGXs feel lighter while the Rush Pros offer better stability."
Brittany - "I would compare this shoe with the New Balance 996. Both shoes are light weight, comfortable and have decent traction. They both lack support and stability."
Michelle - "I'd compare these to the adidas Stella Barricade 8s. They are light, yet stable, colorful and fun. The only thing missing is the outsole warranty. Also, the fit and comfort reminded me of a lighter, faster Wilson Rush Pro."
Playtester Foot Types:
Tiffani - Wide width, Low arch
Karly - Medium width, Medium-low arch
Brittany - Narrow width, Medium arch
Michelle - Medium width, High arch
Review date: April 2014. If you found this review interesting or have further questions or comments please contact us.
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