Tennis Warehouse

KSwiss Women's BigShot Shoe Review

Video Review

If we told you the KSwiss BigShot might be the shoe to help you hit bigger shots, you'd probably ask, "how can a shoe help me hit bigger shots?"

Well, this KSwiss aims to deliver speed. Big time speed. To achieve this lofty goal, KSwiss has equipped the BigShot with a Ballistic Propulsion Plate to help keep you on the balls of your feet. Then there's the Guideglide system in the midsole to keep your feet stable while in motion. Plus, there's loads of mesh beneath the Dura-Wrap and a lightweight heat-welded TPU support system to lock in the feet. The shoe also promises durability, with a six-month guarantee and plenty of toe protection from a solid layer of Dura-Wrap at the tip of the shoe.

So did our testers find themselves speeding around the court and hitting bigger shots? After a couple months of testing, here are our testers' findings.

Comfort - Score: 4.2

On the comfort front, the BigShot offered our testers plenty of cushioning. The Superfoam cushioning system helped create a comfortable shoe for Brittany. She said, "I found these shoes to be very comfortable right out of the box. There is a lot of cushioning, especially on my heels. I did not experience any blisters, pinching or ankle rubbing."

Carol was impressed by the fit, saying, "I felt there was ample room for my high arches and wide feet, and there was good heel support. My feet were comfortable across the ball of the foot and through the arch."

Socks raised an issue for Kana, who stated, "Overall, the shoe was really comfortable. The toe box was a little shallow at first, but it opened up after a few sessions. I noticed the ankle collar was wider than other shoes, making it wrap around more toward the anklebone, and the grip material inside went all the way to the bottom. This combination made the shoes 'eat' my lower cut socks, so I had to wear higher socks. It wasn't uncomfortable, but it made it difficult to wear the socks I am most comfortable with."

Kimber was also comfortable. She said, "These shoes were comfortable from the beginning. The heel was snug, yet there was adequate room through the forefoot. At no time did the shoes pinch or poke my feet. The lower heel rake hit my Achilles tendon in just the right spot. The tongue and internal padding also contoured to the shape of my feet. After several sets of play my feet felt padded and comfortable. My only complaint with this shoe was that I needed to compensate for the wide toe box by lacing the top of the shoe very tightly to keep my feet from sliding forward. This caused the top of the shoe to buckle and dimple. If I loosened the laces my feet would jam into the tip of the toe on any forward motion."

Ventilation - Score: 3.6

Adidas Baricade

While they loved the cushioned feel of the BigShot, most of the team felt ventilation was a trade-off. Kimber said, "The downside to more padding is less ventilation. The sides of the shoe provided great structure and stability, but not enough airflow to keep my feet cool. I wear a mid-weight sock for extra cushioning and usually don't have issues with my feet overheating, but on the warm days on the court my feet were too hot. The vamp is perforated with mesh, but still not very aerated."

Carol agreed, saying, "The webbing looked like it would be nice and airy, but my feet still felt hot in the BigShots."

Carrying an extra pair of socks to the courts, Brittany also concurred. She said, "I wasn't overly thrilled with the ventilation in these shoes. My feet tend to sweat a lot, and I didn't feel there was adequate breathing. My feet did get hot when I was playing more competitive matches, and I would need to change my socks after playing."

Kana, though, disagreed. She said, "The shoe has a lot of mesh in the toe box and tongue, which I favor in shoes as it keeps them pretty breathable."

Arch Support - Score: 3.9

Though the arch sits slightly below medium height in the BigShot, our team had mixed feelings on support. Carol said, "The support was not bad. I usually have to put arch supports in, and I probably would if I continued to wear these shoes, but I was impressed with the arch support. I have unusually high arches."

With medium arches, Kimber thought there was room for improvement. She said, "There didn't feel like there was much in the way of support through the arch. My arch is medium height and is not a troublesome spot on my foot, but after pounding on the court awhile I felt some extra support in the arch would have given me more comfort."

Pleased with the comfort, Kana said, "I felt like the arch support was just the right height, and placement of the arch was right for my feet."

Brittany, on the other hand, said, "After playing in the shoes several times I felt the arch was just a little high for my medium arch foot. While the arch was a little high, the shoe was still comfortable and pain free, and did not affect my play."

Foot Support/Stability - Score: 4.0

The BigShot is equipped with Guideglide in the midsole and TPU midfoot support straps in the upper. Kana was generally pleased with the support and stability, saying, "At times I felt like my foot would slide a little in the shoe when making tough cuts on the court. I figured it was due to the flexibility of the mesh. I liked the combination of mesh and DuraWrap, it kept my foot comfortable while maintaining stability."

Agreeing, Carol said, "I certainly felt secure. My foot did not move around, and I felt very stable. It was a huge plus to feel very stable and secure after my back surgery."

With a narrower foot, Brittany struggled. She stated, "The shoe was wide for my narrow foot, so I had to tie my shoes as tightly as they could go to prevent my foot from sliding around in my shoe while I was moving on the court. Even after tightening the laces there was still plenty of room in the shoe, and my feet still slipped while I was playing. However, the shoe came up high enough around my ankles that I never felt like I was going to roll my ankle."

Kimber also noted a wide fit, saying, "I appreciated the stabilizing features on this shoe. The wider forefoot base kept my feet steady on the court. I do not have a tendency to roll my ankles, but this shoe would be a good choice for those who do. The curved edges of the sole kept the shoe from catching on the court and gave play a fluid feel. The shoe is solid, but the toe box is too wide for me."

Sole Durability - Score: 4.1

Adidas Barricade Women's Shoe

The BigShot has the Aosta 7 outsole and also carries a six-month durability guarantee. Our team was pleased with the performance in this category. Brittany said, "The durability of this shoe was great compared to the Nike Lunar Speeds that I wear. After a couple of weeks of playing the shoe started to smooth around the side toe area."

"There wasn't much wear at all except at the outrigger," said Kana. "Looking at the shoes, one wouldn't be able to tell how many hours I've put on them."

Carol reported good durability as well, saying, "The soles did not really show much wear for the time that I wore them. I played in them for about 35 hours."

Also a fan of the durability, Kimber said, "The outsole was beefy, but not clumsy. The shoe seemed to wear fairly evenly, though the bottom of the big toe is always the first to go in my shoes."

Toe Durability - Score: 4.2

Our toe dragging testers were pleased in this area as well. Kimber said, "The DuraWrap guard on the top of the shoe provided that extra protection for those of us who are toe draggers. The material KSwiss used will hold up and maintain the new look of the shoe longer than most, I think."

Brittany agreed. She said, "I drag my right toe when I serve so I saw some rubbing in that area. The top cap of the shoe is very thick, so there was plenty of material left for me to burn through."

Traction - Score: 4.5

A mix of tread patterns aids the traction of the BigShot. Kana played with ease. She said, "The traction was good on court. I didn't experience any difficulties starting and stopping or making aggressive direction changes."

Traction was a standout feature for Kimber, who said, "The traction was definitely a strength of the shoe for me. Recently, the courts have been moist and were somewhat slippery, but the varied tread pattern provided great grip. Throughout my hours of play with this shoe, slipping or sliding was never an issue."

Carol said, "I thought the grip was great, and I felt very stable and sure with my movement."

Preferring a lower ride in her shoes, Brittany had mixed feelings, saying, "I would say the traction on these shoes was OK. I felt balanced on the court when starting and stopping for balls. However, I felt slightly impaired with the thick outsole because it was as if I were sitting high above the court, which made changing directions awkward for me."

Weight - Score: 3.6

Adidas Barricade Beauty Women's Shoe

Weighing 13 ounces (size 8.5), the BigShots had the testers wishing for a lighter ride. Brittany said, "These shoes were heavy for me; I prefer a lighter weight shoe. While the thick sole was great for durability, it also meant I was clunking around the court and moving a little slower."

Longer matches weighed on Carol, who said, "Herein lies the problem, these shoes have a lot going for them but they were just too heavy. I felt it was a chore to run in them. When I first started playing it was OK, but as time progressed it became really tough. I was not picking up my feet and was not moving well. I actually weighed these shoes against my favorite New Balance shoes, the 900s. The KSwiss weighed 14 ounces in my size and the New Balance weighed 11 ounces (both weights include my orthotics). The weight hampered my maneuverability."

Kana agreed, saying, "I was surprised at how heavy this shoe felt considering the amount of mesh used. Sometimes the more cushioning a shoe has, the heavier it feels. It made me feel a bit slower than usual."

But for Kimber, the weight felt good. She said, "The weight of this shoe is comparable to the shoe that I normally wear. KSwiss shoes can be heavy, but they did a good job decreasing the weight while maintaining the structure and integrity of the shoe."

Overall - Score: 3.9

Though lighter than most KSwiss tennis shoes, our testers still thought the BigShots were too heavy to maximize their speed on the court. In the end, though, the BigShot pleased our testers with its comfort and its overall stability. They noted that there is no break-in required to reap the benefits of this comfortable shoe. The shoe offered durability and cushioning not often found in lightweight shoes. The shoe also offers a great fit for wider feet. While it may have fallen short in the speed department, the BigShot proves to be a winner for those seeking comfort, stability, durability and traction.

Likes

Brittany "I liked the cushioning and support the shoe offered. I also liked how there was no break-in period."

Carol "The shoe is roomy, has good arch support, and feels solid, stable and secure."

Kana "The comfort was excellent."

Kimber "I appreciated the padding and the thick outsole. The comfortable sole cut the pounding on the court, and the dependable traction gave me confidence. The simple cosmetics also appealed to me."

Dislikes

Brittany "The shoe was too heavy for my liking, and I'm not a fan of all white shoes. The weight and wide fit were big negatives, and I would not recommend it to anyone who has narrow feet."

Carol "The weight was a huge issue and the reason I stopped using them. Age and previous health problems (back surgery and slipped vertebra) could certainly factor into this, but whatever, they were too heavy for me."

Kana "The shoe felt a little bulky, and the heel could've been narrower to prevent my socks from being pulled down."

Kimber "My only complaint with this shoe was that I needed to compensate for the wide toe box by lacing the top of the shoe very tightly to keep my feet from sliding forward. This caused the top of the shoe to buckle and dimple. If I loosened the tie, any forward motion would push my feet into the top of the shoe and jam my big toe."

Compared to other shoes or brands

Brittany "The Nike Lunar Speed 2s are narrower and lighter than the KSwiss BigShots, and that shape fits my foot shape more. The Nike Breathe Free II has similar high comfort and cushioning levels that I like when I am playing, though."

Carol "I really, really thought these shoes were going to be my new favorites. They were roomy, comfortable, supportive, stable and very secure, but the weight really hampered my maneuverability. As soon as I switched back to my New Balance I felt like I was in ballet slippers."

Kana "Even though the adidas Barricade 6.0 weighs almost an ounce heavier, the BigShot felt just as heavy. It could be the wide profile of the shoe made it a little bulkier to move around in, as the Barricade feels narrower. I favor more flexible shoes like the BigShot, which was more comfortable."

Kimber "The BigShot, as with most KSwiss shoes, runs wide. The padding and the comfort of the insole and the outsole is comparable to the Wilson Tour Vision. The Asics Gel Challenger 7 and the Nike Lunar Speeds were lighter, but not by much. This is a nice, lighter weight shoe that will make the customer with a need for a wider toe box very happy."

Upsides

  • Cushioning
  • No break-in
  • Durability
  • Traction
  • Good fit for wide feet

Downsides

  • Weight
  • Too wide for narrow feet
KSwiss Women's BigShot Shoe
Comfort 4.2
Ventilation 3.6
Arch Support 3.9
Foot Suppot/Stability 4.0
Overall Sole Durability 4.1
Toe Durability 4.2
Traction 4.5
Weight 3.6
Overall 3.9
 


Playtester Foot Types:
Brittany - Narrow width/Medium arch,
Carol - Wide width/High arch,
Kana - Wide width/Low arch,
Kimber - Medium width/Medium arch

Review date: December 2010. If you found this review interesting or have further questions or comments please contact us.

All content copyright 2010 Tennis Warehouse.