Yonex Power Cushion 308L Shoe Review
- Arch support in odd place
- Fits half-size small
With its upgraded heel stability the Yonex Power Cushion 308L will keep you supported during all your aggressive court movements. While some aspects of this shoe stood out, others were not so developed. When it came to comfort, opinions were mixed. This was due partly to an abnormal arch support placement that caused some discomfort. Overall support and stability were applauded, though, and combined with traction to create a high-performance response to all types of court movement. The durability was impressive, especially considering the weight of the shoe. All things considered, though, the success of the Power Cushion 308L will depend on how it fits your particular foot shape. It didn't fit all of our testers well, and that was reflected in their comfort ratings. One thing is for sure, we recommend ordering a half-size larger than your regular size.
Comfort - Score: 2.8
Our playtesters had some mixed opinions on comfort. Tiffani found comfort in the long run but needed a break in period with the Power Cushion 308L. She said, "It took about four hours of hitting for me to feel fully comfortable. At first the shoe felt tight in the forefoot, and I felt like the lateral side of my foot sat higher than the medial side. After the break-in period the forefoot loosened up, and the odd slant flattened out some. Another slight bother was that the ankle collar came up and hit me right in the bone, so it was uncomfortable at first. Plus, I had to remember to wear socks that come up slightly higher than my usual no shows or the ankle collar rubbed a little on my ankle. I also would like to note that I had to go up a half-size because I could barely get my wide foot into the shoe in my normal size."
Siobhan enjoyed the cushioning, but she didn't like the sizing discrepancies. "I struggled with comfort in this shoe. On one hand, the cushioning was good, the shoe felt supportive and I really noticed the Power Cushion technology under my feet. On the other hand, I didn't go up a half-size, and I really regretted it. I already have narrow feet and the toe box was noticeably narrower than I'm used to. This said, the lateral side of the shoe was on a slant, so regardless of the size of the toe box my forefoot felt like it was slanting up the side of the shoe. Though not necessarily uncomfortable during play, I was in considerable amounts of pain the following week. Because of the pain I wasn't able to wear the shoes as much as I would have like, so I don't know if this was a permanent flaw or something that would have worn down over time. Overall, I really did like the cushioning and performance-oriented feel of this shoe, but I was disappointed with the sizing issue and the discomfort from the forefoot design."
Karly would have liked more cushioning. She offered, "I thought the comfort was just average. There was an OK amount of padding but not enough for me to say, 'Wow, these shoes are comfortable.' I also experienced rubbing along the outside of my toes, and that pressure did not add to the comfort level. However, the shoes did stretch out a little bit so the rubbing wasn't as bad over time. Overall, the cushioning was just average for me."
Ventilation - Score: 3.3
Our playtesters felt the breathability could have been better, but the Power Cushion 308L was efficient at keeping their feet cool most of the time. Tiffani found them to be around mid range, saying, "The Yonex shoe was about average or slightly above average when it came to breathability. My feet never felt overheated, but as I usually need to do with tennis shoes, I took them off after playing."
Karly agreed, noting, "The breathability was just middle-of-the-road for me. On the court my feet never felt too hot or overheated, though my socks were always damp after a hit. The ventilation was good enough during the hit to where I was never thinking about the shoe's breathability, but once I took them off I usually wanted to change my socks immediately."
Siobhan was happy with the ventilation. She said, "The ventilation was fine. My feet didn't overheat too much, and although ventilation can always be improved, breathability was around normal."
Arch Support - Score: 2.7
Our team had some trouble with the arch support, finding that the placement was not quite right. Karly struggled with the comfort in her arch. She said, "My biggest complaint about the shoes was the arch support. The arch was just too high and too far back in the shoe for me, which made the shoes fit really awkwardly. Because the arches were so high I felt like I was stepping on the outside of my feet more than usual. It was uncomfortable at the beginning of the playtest, and though I got somewhat used to the feel, I thought they still felt very different."
Siobhan had similar thoughts to Karly, saying, "This was odd. The arch support was a bit uncomfortable because it was higher and farther back than normal. I could feel it pressing against the back of my arch, and would say it was more distracting than painful. It just made me think they had some of the proportions wrong on this shoe."
This area of the shoe added to the break-in period for Tiffani. She said, "I felt slight discomfort at the beginning of the playtest, but as the shoe broke in and fit my foot better, the discomfort waned. By the end of the test I was comfortable, and I didn't have to think about it."
Foot Support/Stability - Score: 4.0
Our players gave some thumbs up for the stability and support. Siobhan found the shoes performed well. She said, "I felt really safe and stable in the Power Cushion 308L. I liked the support and thought the lightweight feel really complemented the stable feel of the shoe. I could move aggressively and comfortably in them."
Tiffani struggled a little as the material stretched over time, although she liked how stable she felt. She said, "The shoe performed really well here. I could start or move side to side without any worries. The ankle support really stood out for me, despite it feeling slightly too high. The only drawback was that as the shoe broke in it stretched too much. Toward the end of the testing period I was sliding forward in my shoe on quick stops. I jammed my toes uncomfortably a couple of times."
Karly agreed with the other playtesters. She said, "The foot support was good. I had enough support to make me confident in my movements on the court, though the upper material of the shoe did feel somewhat thin and could've been beefed up a little bit for more stability. For the most part I had no issues with the foot support."
Overall Sole Durability - Score: 4.4
All of our playtesters were impressed with the durability and thought that it was particularly notable for such a light shoe. Tiffani said, "This shoe has a thick outsole and a deep tread. I managed to smooth it some, but the tread is nowhere near going bald. This shoe is built to last, plus it doesn't feel really heavy. Bonus!"
Karly agreed with Tiffani, saying, "I thought the durability of the Power Cushion 308L was great, especially for their weight! I saw little to no wear on the sole, which was a nice surprise from a somewhat light shoe!"
Siobhan found the shoes to have great durability for their weight. She said, "Good durability for the amount that I played in them. As I keep saying, they feel light and perform at a very high level. I really didn't even have much wear and tear from the hours I got in."
Toe Durability - Score: 4.1
There were opposing reports on the toe durability from our two toe-draggers. Tiffani didn't like the aesthetic effects of the toe dragging on the Power Cushion 308L. She said, "I tend to toe drag on my groundstrokes, primarily the backhand. Only half of the top of the shoe appears to be protected. The shiny white material scuffs easily, and I've begun to pop the threads on top of the toe. It's less than attractive."
Karly found the durability on the toe of the Power Cushion 308L to be solid, offering "Like the overall sole durability, I thought the toe durability was excellent. The coverage around the toe-box was great and I saw virtually no wear around the toe after several hours of play."
Traction - Score: 4.4
The playtesters unanimously agreed that the traction gave them confidence when moving around the court. Siobhan found the perfect amount of grip, saying, "Sometimes I feel like shoes overgrip, but that wasn't the issue here. These Power Cushion 308Ls performed on direction changes, sprints and any type of movement on both indoor courts with ball fluff and outdoor courts with dust. Impressive."
Karly though that this was one of the areas that the Power Cushion 308L really excelled. "I was impressed with the shoe's traction. The grip on the court was great, and I never slipped or felt like I was going to slide when changing directions. I thought the traction was slightly tackier than average, but I liked that little extra grip on the court. The traction and durability made the outsole the shoe's best feature!"
Tiffani thought that amount of grip felt perfect to her. She said, "I didn't slip once, and I felt fully confident making any moves on the court. The traction performed well from the first step to the last. With the tread being so deep I didn't have to worry about traction, and I think it will last the life of the shoe."
Weight - Score: 3.9
The high level of durability and stability our playtesters found would normally be found in a heavier shoe, but our testers were impressed with the light weight feel of this shoe. Karly found the combination of features to add up to a comfortably light shoe. She explained, "I liked the weight. Did I think they were the fastest? No, but I never felt like the shoes slowed or weighed me down at all, which to me is always a bonus. I wouldn't consider them to be a super lightweight shoe, but they were light enough to still move fast on the court."
"Beating a dead horse here: they have a great lightweight feel for the stability, durability and traction that they provided," said Siobhan. "Not the lightest, no, but I've been going on about high performance, which is a characteristic improved by the weight of these shoes and the ease with which I can move around the court."
Tiffani also enjoyed the overall combination of high-performance characteristics. She said, "I like this blend of durability, stability and weight Yonex has in the Power Cushion 308L. It's surprisingly lightweight for its support, stability and durability. I also like the shape of the shoe, which didn't feel too bulky or clumsy."
Overall - Score: 3.5
Tiffani - "The stability and durability were the most impressive features. It's also one of the best cosmetics I've seen from Yonex."
Siobhan - "They were stable and lightweight. The pink was also cute."
Karly - "The outsole was a pleasant surprise - I loved seeing how intact the sole was after several hours of play!"
Tiffani - "I wasn't a fan of the break-in period, where the ankle collar hit, and the initial fit before break-in."
Siobhan - "I had comfort issues with the toebox and the arch placement."
Karly - "The arch was too high for me and hit my foot too far back, which made the shoe a bit uncomfortable for me."
Comparing this shoe to other shoes they've worn, our testers said:
Tiffani - "I've never worn a Yonex shoe before, so I can't offer any comparisons to previous 300 models. After the break-in I could make some comparisons to the BigShot, which didn't require a break-in for me. The BigShot is also stable and supportive without feeling overly heavy. The BigShot did have a wider fit initially, though."
Siobhan - "I felt the durability and stability were similar to the qualities I usually find and enjoy in the adidas Barricade series. They had that similar sturdy feel to them, although they weren't as stiff or heavy as the Barricades. The sizing issue was unique to this shoe, so the fit and comfort were different from any other brand I've worn."
Karly - "I thought the weight and durability was fairly similar to the reputable adidas Barricade 7."
Playtester Foot Types:
Tiffani - Wide width / Low arch
Siobhan - Narrow width / High arch
Karly - Medium width / Medium-low arch
Review date: October 2012. If you found this review interesting or have further questions or comments please contact us.
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