Asics Gel Resolution 3 Women's Shoe Review
- Aggressive & conservative styles available
- Requires a break-in
- A tad heavy
Asics has done it again with the Gel Resolution 3. Our team was impressed with the overall performance of this shoe. The addition of more stability features did the job, with support and stability earning high marks. Durability was also impressive as the highest scoring feature in this review. This added support and durability came at a price, however. The team felt a break-in period was necessary to find the comfort the Gel Resolution has become known for, and more weight was another trade-off. The shoe, however, is built to please even the most aggressive on-court movers. With a choice of cosmetics ranging from flashy to traditional, the Gel Resolution 3 should be on the short list for players who place a premium on stability, support and durability.
It wasn't all that long ago that Asics was the new kid on the block in the tennis shoe arena. The company, known primarily for its running shoes, quickly made an impact on the tennis market with the widely popular Asics Gel Resolution.
We tested the original model back in 2008, and it was a hit with our team due to its lightweight feel and comfort. This third version of the Gel Resolution continues to use Asics' signature Gel Cushioning, but this time it has been beefed up with their Heel Clutching System for added heel support, and it now comes with a six-month durability guarantee.
To see if Asics was still on track with the Resolution series, we took the Gel Resolution 3 for a month-long playtest.
Comfort - Score: 3.8
Featuring Gel Cushioning and foot-hugging uppers, the Gel Resolution 3 promises plenty of comfort. It took a little while for Brittany to discover the Gel Resolution 3's comfort. She said, "I had a slight break-in period and felt the shoe was slightly stiff out of the box, causing rubbing on the sides of my heels. However, there is a lot of cushioning on the heel, making the shoe comfortable once broken in. The narrow fit of the shoe is perfect for me. After a couple of days playing the shoes started to soften up, and after a week the shoes had completely broken in."
With wider feet, Kana also needed a break-in period, saying, "The fit from the midfoot to the toe box was a little tight at first but widened up after the break-in, and the cushioning started to mold to my feet. The downfall was toward the heel, which I felt was too constraining. The Asics logo was molded inward too much, making it feel like it was digging into the area just below my ankle."
Kimber was a fan of the Gel Cushioning. She noted, "I found this shoe to be very comfortable. Shock from quick side to side movements on the court was absorbed nicely. After several sets of play my feet always felt comfortable. If I have one complaint, it would be the padding around the ankle and the shoe collar. During movement, the top of the eyelets would dig a bit into the top of my feet. Also, the padding around the ankle could have been increased to preclude such a stiff feel."
Comfort extended beyond the court for Rachael, who said, "I found the Asics Gel Resolution 3 to be very comfortable. With the toe cushioning, I was able to play for longer periods of time without any soreness or pinching. There was minimal rubbing around my ankles during a slight break-in period. However, once the shoes molded to my feet I found them to be a great fit and enjoyed wearing them on and off the court."
Suzie, though, found it tough going. She said, "The shoes were not as comfortable as I would have liked, especially at the beginning. The first week of wearing this shoe was very painful for me. The shoes run very narrow and poked and rubbed my feet -- especially at my ankles and toes. However, the more I wore the shoes, the more comfortable they became."
Ventilation - Score: 3.3
The Flexion Fit uppers' breathability garnered mixed reviews from our testing crew. Rachael was pleasantly surprised, saying, "I was skeptical of the ventilation at first because of the darker color of the shoe I tested. However, they were breathable, and my feet didn't heat up while I was on the court."
Kimber agreed, saying, "The shoe was so comfortable I could wear thinner, moisture wicking socks, so my feet felt cool throughout play."
The looks deceived Kana, too. She said, "When I looked at the shoes I thought they would be breathable because of all the mesh. Surprisingly, this is probably one of the hottest shoes I've worn. My feet would be sweaty even after the lightest hits."
Suzie felt her feet heating up. She offered, "These shoes were not as breathable as I would have liked. They felt heavier, with less ventilation, to me. My feet got sweaty, and I was eager to take my shoes off after a match finished."
Brittany was in the same boat, saying, "Ventilation was a big letdown for me. From day one my feet were sweating like crazy, even during the winter months. I had to change my socks after working out because of the lack of breathability from the shoes."
Arch Support - Score: 4.0
The medium height arch support worked well for most of the team. Kana said, "The arch started off close to a medium height, which wasn't too much of a bother even with my extremely flat feet. After the break-in they flattened out a lot to where I don't even notice them."
Suzie sought less support, saying, "For me, the arch support was higher than I would have liked. I would have preferred an even lower arch."
Kimber, Rachel and Brittany all found great support, with Brittany saying, "I have a medium arch, and I could definitely feel the arch in the Gel Resolution 3. I don't think the arch felt high, but I definitely felt its presence. I didn't have any problem with the arch, and the support was right where I like it."
Foot Support/Stability - Score: 4.3
Packed with support features, including the midfoot Trusstic System and Heel Clutching systems, the Gel Resolution 3 kept the TW players feeling secure in their footwork. Suzie raved, "These shoes felt very supportive and stable. They reminded me of the Barricade adilibria, because I trusted the shoe completely in my up and back movements and my lateral movements. My foot would not slide around, and the ankles felt really cushioned and supported."
Giving the shoe high marks, Brittany noted the ankle support, saying, "This was the feature of the shoe that most impressed me. I felt the shoe molded to my foot after the break-in period. The width and length were perfect, so my foot did not move around at all in the shoe. The ankle collar went up high enough that my ankle was fully supported when I was moving around the court. I had confidence in my movement with this shoe."
That support was also a plus for Rachael, who reported, "With weak ankles, a supportive shoe is very important to me, and the strong ankle support of the Asics helped me stay stable when changing directions."
Kana agreed, adding, "The upper's cage-like surrounding was very supportive for my foot. The shoe felt like it had a higher ride, but my ankles felt secure, so it didn't feel like I would roll over."
It was too much of a good thing for Kimber. She said, "For me, some of the stability features were overkill. The added support on the back of the shoe is a great feature for someone who turns or has weak ankles, but for me the added support was stiff and unnecessary. The stabilizing feature on the outside of the small toe and the outsole surrounding the heel were just enough to give the stability I need in a shoe."
Sole Durability - Score: 4.3
Even our most aggressive movers finished the playtest pleased with the AHAR outsole's durability. Brittany said, "I played more than 40 hours in these shoes. I put the shoes through intense practices and matches, including tournament play. The soles held up extremely well. I have only slight wear in the toe, which is normally where I wear out first. I also like how there's a six-month guarantee to back up the durability. One thing I did notice was that some of the plastic on the side of the shoe was breaking off after about two weeks of play. This didn't affect my play, but did affect the cosmetics."
Rachael was grinding it out on the court. She said, "There was no sign of the sole wearing down on the ball of my foot, where it usually wears down first for me. As a baseline grinder I tend to wear shoes down quickly, and the Asics Gel Resolution 3 continued to grip the court as I played."
"These shoes had great durability in the soles of the shoe," said Suzie. "After a month of hitting the soles looked brand new. They were not worn down at all. It is also a plus that there is a six-month guarantee."
Even after 30 hours in the shoes there was still life in Kimber's shoes. She said, "The shoe is sturdy and built up in all the right places. After many sets the outsole showed little wear. The solid construction of the shoe on the upper's medial side and outsole allowed for long and consistent wear."
After her month-long test, Kana exclaimed, "It barely looks like I've worn the shoes!"
Toe Durability - Score: 4.5
The Gel Resolution 3 has PGuard in all the right places, pleasing our toe dragging testers. Rachael said, "I am a big toe dragger, so the toe cap is the first place I wear a shoe down. However, the high toe cap of the Asics has withstood 25+ hours with minimal wear, and it still has not begun to smooth out."
Brittany offered, "The toe durability was excellent for this shoe. I am a big toe dragger, and this shoe held up nicely. The PGuard at the toe extended up high enough on the shoe to protect it from any damage from toe dragging. I tested the Black/Pink colorway. The black color did not show any scuffs, and the smoothing was minimal."
The shoe stood up to the all the punishment Suzie could dole out. She said, "The shoe was completely protected near the toe, so I had no damage after hours of playing and lots of toe dragging. This was probably the best toe guard support I have had in a shoe."
Traction - Score: 3.9
With a varied tread pattern, the shoe's outsole kept our testers on their feet. Kimber said, "The tread pattern gripped the court well. I had no problems with sliding, even on a moist court."
Suzie was also impressed, saying, "I felt like I could change directions well, including starting and stopping, lateral and up-back movements."
Brittany said, "The tread pattern provided the shoe with great traction on various court surfaces. I felt the AHAR outsole compound allowed me get good grip on the court when stopping and starting. There were only a couple of times when I had to quickly change directions that I felt the shoe slide a bit."
Noting the same issue, Kana said, "There were times when I needed to push off really hard, and I felt it slip on the court. I would've liked just a little more grip so I could feel more comfortable being more aggressive on the court."
Rachael was pleased with the balance of the Gel Resolution 3's qualities, saying, "The traction was good for me. I occasionally felt my feet sliding when changing directions laterally. However, it was very mild and didn't cause me to lose confidence in the shoe. Seeing as the sole had high durability, the traction stayed moderately consistent throughout."
Weight - Score: 3.7
At just below 13 ounces in a size 8.5, the Gel Resolution 3 is in the middle weight category of tennis shoes. Kana found the actual weight translated to on-court feel. She said, "The weight felt average. They would start to feel a little sluggish as my feet heated up, but overall I could move freely on the court."
Brittany agreed, saying, "This shoe falls about average for me in weight. It is definitely not the lightest or heaviest shoe I have worn, but the weight felt slightly on the heavy side. The shoes were a little clunky at first, but after getting use to them I could move around the court with ease. A positive about the weightier feel was the stability that came with it."
Enjoying the support-to-weight ratio, Rachael said, "The shoe provided great support for me, so it was naturally heavier. It seemed to weigh a little more than the adidas Barricade IIs I usually wear, but the foot support was stronger."
Kimber offered, "The shoe is moderate in weight. I have playtested heavier and lighter ones. The weight becomes an issue with shoes that are on the ends of the weight spectrum, but not with this shoe."
The weight required an adjustment for Suzie, who noted, "The shoes seemed very heavy and clunky to me, which I had to adjust to a bit. But once I got used to the style of the shoe I liked how much more support and stability I got in them."
Overall - Score: 3.9
Brittany - "First and foremost, the color options! I am a big fan of black shoes for women, so it was nice to have the choice, and I also appreciate the foot stability and support."
Kana - "The shoe felt very stable, especially during lateral movements."
Kimber - "The support, comfort and the superior durability are why these shoes are my new go-to shoes."
Rachael - "The foot support and toe durability stood out to me. I also loved the way the shoe fit my foot and the cushioning."
Suzie - "My favorite parts about these shoes were the support and stability. I felt like I could move really well on the court. My foot felt cushioned, and the toe guard deflected any potential damage from my toe dragging."
Brittany - "The ventilation was less than adequate, and the weight was on the heavier side."
Kana - "The ankle collar of the shoe felt like it was putting too much pressure just below the ankle bones."
Kimber - "The stabilizing feature on the back of the shoe was overkill for me and gave the shoe a stiff feel. The inside of the top of the shoe lacked padding, and poked my feet when I moved suddenly or when I pushed off."
Rachael - "There was not much I did not like about these shoes; the weight and ventilation were mild problems, but nothing that would stop me from buying them again."
Suzie - "The discomfort of the break-in period bothered me. I would have liked a lower arch support, and I did not like how my ankles felt like they were getting rubbed and poked."
Comparing the Gel Resolution 3 to other shoes they have tested, our testers said:
Brittany - "The fit of the Asics Gel Resolution 3 is exactly what I look for. It reminds a lot of the Nike Max Breathe Free II. The weight feels like it is on the heavier side, just a little lighter than the KSwiss BigShot. The durability is right on par with what I expect from a tennis shoe."
Kana - "Although the stability was great, the shoe was very hot. It looks like it should have great breathability, but that's just the design. I favor comfort more than stability."
Kimber - "I enjoy the snug fit that the Asics shoes provided. The Prince Poise shoe was comfortable, but too wide for my feet. The Wilson Tour Vision was padded, but was too wide through the midfoot, which caused my feet to slide forward and cram into the top of the shoe. The Prince and Wilson shoes have a more padded interior. The lack of padding was a problem for me on the collar of the shoe."
Rachael - "I found them to have more cushioning than any shoes I have previously worn. The durability of the sole and toe cap was similar to the KSwiss Defier DS."
Suzie - "The Asics Gel Resolutions 3 seemed most similar to the Barricade adilibira due to the weight of the shoe and a similar length of break-in period. I felt like they were very durable, supportive and cushioned."
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: August 2011. If you found this review interesting or have further questions or comments please contact us.
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