Wilson Tour Spin II Women's Shoe Review
- Lacks Support
- Lacks Stability
- Lacks Toe durability
The mesh construction of the Tour Spin II had a polarizing effect on our team. On the one hand (or foot), the shoe provided slipper-like comfort, great ventilation and an extremely lightweight feel. However, our players felt that support and stability suffered. Performance shoes must provide players with support and stability, and unfortunately, the Tour Spin II fell short in these areas. While the Tour Spin II offers loads of comfort, we can't recommend this shoe for today's modern, aggressive game.
Top of the line shoes all have their own story lines. For example, the adidas Barricade line is all about stability and durability. The Nike Lunar Speeds have been all about light weight speed. For the Wilson Tour Spin series, the focus is on lightweight comfort.
The Tour Spin series takes the tennis shoe down a new road with its mostly mesh uppers. Traditionally, tennis shoes use stiffer materials (leather, synthetic leather) to provide support, and employ additional stability features, such as a midfoot shank, in rigid materials like TPU. In the Tour Spin II, TPU overlays are hooked into the lacing system and are intended to provide support, along with the shank.
Our interest piqued by such a pliable shoe, we put the Tour Spin II to the test to see if it could withstand the rigors of competitive tennis.
Comfort - Score: 3.9
Before the original Tour Spin, we can't recollect a tennis shoe that featured so much mesh and such a minimalistic build to the uppers. The Tour Spin II continues this trend with an extensive use of mesh, and for most of the testing squad this translated into a comfortable fit. Brittany also noted good cushioning, saying, "This shoe is definitely comfortable, maybe even too comfortable for a tennis shoe. When I first put the shoes on it felt like I was putting on slippers. The upper is made up of soft mesh, and I experienced zero pinching or rubbing. The shoe was on the narrower side and had a glove-like fit. The gel inserts in the heel were another positive and gave great cushioning. There was no break-in period whatsoever."
The uppers were forgiving for Kana's wider feet. She said, "Right out of the box the shoe was a little narrow, but after a hit they stretched, making it much more comfortable. Walking around, they felt like cushiony slippers, but once I started moving on the court my feet started to hurt because of stability issues. In the support section, I talk more about how my two outer toes felt pain. Overall, the shoes are great to walk around in, but when it came to playing, they were very uncomfortable."
Kimber, too, found comfort to be a highlight of the Tour Spin II, saying, "These shoes are extremely comfortable. The shoe slides on and fits the foot well. No poking or pinching. On the court, the padding of the shoes provided shock resistance on the hard court. The padding was sufficient on all parts of the shoes. The extra padding on the shoe collar guarded against rubbing on the ankle and the Achilles, which tends to be a problem for me."
"The Wilson Tour Spin II was moderately comfortable," said Rachael. "I experienced a slight break-in period, but after around 5 hours on the court, the shoes had molded to my feet. I did feel that the cushioning in the heel was low and on days where I was hitting for a long period of time, I felt some pressure in my heels. However, for the most part they were comfortable to wear for up to three hours on court."
The "slippers" description again popped up; this time from Suzie, who said, "These shoes were very comfortable. To be quite honest, they almost felt like slippers or shoes that you would wear for walking, rather than to play tennis. They were the lightest shoes I have ever played in."
Ventilation - Score: 3.6
The airflow through the mesh uppers pleased the TW playtesters. Kimber said, "The ballistic mesh throughout the shoe allowed my feet to breathe. Because the interior of the shoe is well padded I didn't need to wear a heavy sock. That, in of itself, makes the shoe cooler. I tested the black colorway, and I imagine the color of the shoe added to the heat factor when I was playing on a hot hard court."
Suzie offered, "I like the mesh all over the shoe, and the shoes were very breathable. My feet never got sweaty or sticky when I played in them."
"With the shoe having mostly a mesh upper, the ventilation was good," said Kana.
Ventilation was a plus for Rachael, too. She said, "I liked the breathable material of the shoe. Een on hot days I felt my feet were not overheating."
Even in the darker color, the breathability pleased Brittany, who said, "Since the upper is completely made of mesh the ventilation was up to my standards. Even though I wore the black shoe, my feet never felt hot or sweaty. The Tour Spin IIs held up to my vigorous workouts."
Arch Support - Score: 3.3
The medium height arch support received mixed reviews. Kana noted, "The arch felt just right. It wasn't too high or too low."
Brittany agreed, "The arch support was decent in this shoe. Because I have a medium arch and the shoes have a medium arch as well, I had no problems with them. I did not feel any discomfort."
"My standard comment on the arch support is that if I cannot feel the arch then the support level is just right," said Kimber. "Never did my feet ache or feel unsupported in the arch area."
Suzie disagreed, though. She offered, "The arch support was too low for my liking. My feet did not feel like they had any support at all. I would have liked the arch to be slightly more substantial."
The situation was similar for Rachael, who said, "I have a medium arch, and with the Wilson Tour Spin II I occasionally felt mild straining on my arch when making quick movements."
Foot Support/Stability - Score: 2.2
Though the Tour Spin II has a TPU Stable Chassis for support, it was not enough to overcome the softness of the uppers for our testers. Suzie said, "The stability of the shoe was my least favorite part of the Wilson Tour Spin II. I was afraid I would roll my ankle every time I stepped on the court. I did not have good support. My feet would slide around, and most importantly, my ankles felt extremely unstable. I was afraid to really push off when I had a short ball or had to hit a ball on the run."
Agreeing that support was lackluster, Rachael said, "I was not impressed with the support offered by this shoe. The breathable material and high flexibility of the Wilson Tour Spin II made lateral movements easy, but unsupportive of my ankles."
Brittany said, "Unfortunately, this was a big downside of the shoe. I felt like I had very little ankle support in this shoe. When moving side to side on the court, I felt like I was going to roll my ankle when pushing off. I would experience a tipping feeling, where my foot would roll to the edge of the shoe and feel like it was going to tip over the side of the shoe. My ankles were sore after practicing in this shoe."
Kana also played apprehensively. She said, "It frightened me to try and move aggressively on the court, as the shoe lacked stability. I'm surprised pros wear this shoe, since they have much more aggressive footwork. I wanted a more solid midfoot shank and some sort of stability wrap or cage because the mesh was too flexible and allowed my feet to shift around inside. The mesh was so stretchy that my two outer toes felt like they were sitting on the edge, like in a sandal. When I would move, the toes would jam up against the thin toe guard area, making it uncomfortable."
There wasn't enough support for Kimber either. She noted, "The shoe provided little in terms of support and stabilizing features. I do not have a problem with turning my ankles, but anyone with weak ankles should reconsider if wanting to buy this shoe. Though there appears to be added structure on the side of the shoe, it is largely cosmetic and the plastic detail is not effective for adding stability. Forward movement was fine, but any side to side movement was suspect."
Sole Durability - Score: 3.3
Our testing team noted decent durability from the Tour Spin II. Rachael said, "I was satisfied by the durability of the shoe. The sole did not wear out quickly, and after 20-plus hours on the court I only saw minimal wear."
Agreeing, Suzie said, "The sole durability was above average. The shoe did not wear down at all on the soles after 20 hours."
There were no surprises either way for Brittany, who said, "The sole durability was average for me. I did see some wear, but nothing unusual or overly worn through. I saw small smooth patches in the normal areas, but nothing extra."
Kimber favored the weight-to-durability ratio, saying, "The sole was substantial, but not clumsy and bulky as I found the KSwiss Big Shot to be. I found the Nike Lunar Speed to wear through quickly, whereas this shoe should provide a longer court life."
Kana said, "Due to the lack of stability and support, I didn't feel safe enough to wear them long enough to test durability."
Toe Durability - Score: 2.3
A high abrasion, clear toe wrap protects the mesh uppers of the Tour Spin II, but it wasn't enough for Brittany. She said, "I am an aggressive toe dragger and put my shoes through the ringer. The toe guard on this shoe did not hold up. After my first hitting session there was visible wear on the plastic fabric toe guard. After several hits I had completely worn through the fabric."
Rachael found the shoes to wear towards the end of the test. She said, "With a bad toe drag, the first place I wear through tennis shoes is in the toecap. While playing with the Wilson Tour Spin II I saw wear on the toe cap quite quickly, with a hole beginning to emerge after around 20 hours on court."
Suzie offered, "After the first few hits the toe guard began to tear and break apart. I slide a lot on the court and have a problem with toe dragging. This shoe did not have enough support on the toe guard to prevent damage."
Kimber also found the level of durability to be lacking, saying, "The synthetic top of the toe will not last. The synthetic top is glued and looks destined to curl and peel off. Dragging my toe only a few times has already started to show scuffing that will wear through the toe top."
Traction - Score: 3.2
The herringbone tread pattern of the Tour Spin II pleased most of our testers. Rachael said, "The traction of the Tour Spin II was good. I did not experience any slipping, from the short break-in period to when the sole began to wear down."
There was a short break-in for Kana, who said, "Traction was one of the better aspects of this shoe. At first, it seemed a little slick, but after the first layer rubbed off it had great traction. As the playtest went on, the traction held up well."
Kimber tested on two court surfaces. She said, "The herringbone tread provided good grip on the hard court. I did't have any problems with slipping or skidding. On the flip side, when I played on the clay court the slide was controlled and play felt solid. However, even though the traction of the shoe was solid, stopping and changing directions were my biggest problems with this shoe. Because there was no support from the shoes, I didn't feel like I could make sudden changes of direction."
The grip pleased Suzie, but she had her reservations, saying, "I think the shoe is good for quick movement and speed because of how light it is and the grip on the court. I felt like I could move really well if I had a lot of time. However, I had problems with the change of direction because I was worried my ankle would roll, so I was hesitant to go all out and really start and stop as quickly as I would have liked."
Brittany didn't like the traction, offering, "In addition to the lack of stability, I was having a hard time finding traction in these shoes. I would find myself slipping on the court when changing directions. I had very little confidence when starting and stopping, as I could not grip the court and push off."
Weight - Score: 3.9
The Tour Spin II isn't the lightest women's shoe at Tennis Warehouse, but the shoe played lighter than its actual weight (12.4 ounces, size 8.5) for our team. Suzie said, "These shoes felt like the lightest shoes I have ever played in. I would have really liked how light the shoes were if all other aspects of the shoe were sufficient as well (such as toe durability and foot support)."
Brittany agreed, saying, "These shoes felt super lightweight on the court, almost as if I was just wearing socks. As much as I love lightweight shoes, I felt other factors were compromised, such as stability and traction."
Sharing the same sentiments, Rachael offered, "The Wilson Tour Spin II continued to feel light, even through long matches. I felt the lack of support was the trade-off for the shoes' great weight."
"I really liked how light the shoes felt," said Kana, with Kimber offering, "The moderate weight of the shoe made the weight a non-issue. Having heavy feet late into play was never a problem."
Overall - Score: 2.6
Brittany - "The shoe was extremely comfortable, breathable and light weight."
Kana - "The weight of the shoe was great."
Kimber - "The main thing that I enjoyed about this shoe was the high comfort value. The padding, both on the interior of the shoe and through the sole, made the shoe very comfortable."
Rachael - "I appreciated the ventilation and weight of this shoe."
Suzie - "I like that these shoes were lightweight, had good sole durability and were very breathable."
Brittany - "The stability and traction were limited, and the toe durability was very poor."
Kana - "Performance wise, I wouldn't recommend this shoe to players who move aggressively on the court due to a lack of stability."
Kimber - "The ability to move with confidence was my main problem with these shoes. The side structure of the shoe was not sufficient for any kind of aggressive play. For those who are susceptible to ankle turning, this shoe is not recommended."
Rachael - "I lacked confidence in the low stability and toe durability during grinding baseline matches."
Suzie - "I didn't like the support I received in these shoes, and the toe guard did not prevent damage to the shoe."
Compared to other performance shoes our testers have worn, they said:
Brittany - "This shoe has similar cushioning to the Asics Gel Resolution 3, specifically in the heel area. The fit was narrow like the adidas adiZero Feather but had the ability to stretch with the soft mesh upper to accommodate wider feet."
Kana - "This is the least stable shoe I've ever worn."
Kimber - "The comfort and cushioning of these shoes were similar to the Wilson Tour Visions. The fit of the toe box is similar to the Asics Gel Challenger 7 and the Fila Alfa II."
Rachael "The weight was lighter than anything I have previously worn. However, the toe durability did not meet the expectations I have for other Wilson shoes."
Suzie "Honestly, these were not my favorite shoes. I did like the cosmetics and how light they were. But overall, they were not as cushioned as other shoes, nor did they have nearly as much support as the other shoes I have tested."
Playtester Foot Types:
Brittany - Narrow width/Medium arch
Kana - Wide width/Low arch
Kimber - Medium width/Medium arch
Rachael - Wide width/Medium arch
Suzie - Wide width/Medium arch
Review date: July 2011. If you found this review interesting or have further questions or comments please contact us.
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