Yonex Power Cushion 308 Shoe Review
- Well cushioned
- Good traction
- Good fit for medium-wide feet
- So-so ventilation
- Too wide for narrower feet
Yonex strikes once again with its new Power Cushion 308. While continuing to use its established technologies (Power Cushion and Super Ergoshape for fit and comfort, Toughbrid for durability), Yonex introduces a new heel cradle that is designed to provide more lateral stability. Our playtesters found that the new heel greatly affects the fit of the shoe. If your foot fits properly it feels great, but if not, it makes you move in a slightly unnatural way. Other than that, the shoe continued to provide great comfort, stability, durability and traction, all of which are characteristics that we've grown to expect from the ever-evolving Yonex shoe line.
Comfort - Score: 3.9
Most of our playtesters found the Power Cushion 308 to be very cushioned and comfortable right out of the box. Spencer was impressed by the comfort in his first experience with Yonex shoes. He said, "This is the first Yonex shoe I've ever worn, so I wasn't sure what to expect. The comfort, fit and support meshed together well on my feet. The cushioned ride helps to reduce the jarring on landings, while the mesh/neoprene over the midfoot provides an excellent feeling of support. The comfort was there from the first hit, and it never waned throughout the playtest. The flexpoints are spot on as well. I was very happy with the comfort level of the Power Cushion 308."
All-around cushioning was apparent to Jason as well. He said, "From heel to toe, this was a very well cushioned shoe. The Power Cushion midsole did an excellent job absorbing the shock from hard landings. I thought the uppers were soft enough that there was no need for a break-in period. The toe box did feel slightly narrow for me so my toes felt a bit squished."
Mark found the fit of the Power Cushion 308 to be just right. He said, "My foot slipped in and I never felt a seam/stitch protruding from any portion of the Power Cushion 308."
Chris found the shoe to be well cushioned, but had a bit of an issue with the fit in the heel area of the shoe. He said, "Right out of the box I found the uppers of these shoes to feel flexible and ready to go. The cushioning was plush, and I expected them to be very comfortable for the duration of the test. However, something in the design, either the way the outsole connected with the court at the heel or the way the cushioning was constructed, stopped my feet from rolling naturally from heel to toe. Rather than my foot strike rolling from the lateral edge of the heel to my toe, the shoes promoted a more center of the heel roll. The feel of it bugged me throughout the test and may have contributed to some unexpected aches and pains around my left knee. The shoes also fit too wide, which caused my feet to slide around in them -- so much so that I lost a toenail during this playtest."
Ventilation - Score: 3.3
Our team had mixed feelings when it came to the ventilation of the Power Cushion 308. Mark found the breathability kept him cool enough on court. He offered, "The mesh was predominantly in the toe and tongue area, which was enough to keep the hooves cool while digging out shots from Spencer or Chris. Although the shoe is completely black (which I do like), it never heated up on the court the way a black shirt can, so ventilation was sufficient for sure."
The biggest sweater of the group, Spencer, had no issues with the ventilation. He said, "I'm what you call a sweater, and I felt the Power Cushion 308s have a sufficient amount of ventilation. I never felt my feet getting too hot. The mesh and perforations kept my feet so cool that I didn't have to think about it."
On the other hand, Jason's feet overheated a bit, perhaps due to the dark coloring of the shoe. He noted, "The last few weeks of playtesting put the breathability of these shoes to the test because of the hot and humid conditions on the TW court. I have to say, this shoe didn't exactly pass with flying colors. They felt hot after each playtest, and the black colorway probably didn't help."
Chris also had a little problem with keeping his feet cool and dry in these shoes. He said, "I did not think the shoes were very well vented. My feet got hot every time I played in them, and my socks were wet with sweat at the end of each playtesting session. I wear two pairs of socks when I play so I expect my feet to get a little hot, but these shoes ran hotter than most for me."
Arch Support - Score: 3.8
Most of our players liked the slightly higher than normal arch support in the Power Cushion 308. Chris' higher arches fit quite nicely with these shoes. He said, "The arch support worked out just fine for me. I have a higher than medium arch and sometimes struggle to find an appropriate fit, but I had no issues in these shoes. When sprinting forward or lunging laterally my arches felt supported, and the shoes were stiff where they needed to be yet also flexed in all the right places."
Spencer found the arch support to be a near perfect fit for his medium-arched feet. He said, "The medium arch support, along with the midfoot wrapping foot support, made my arches feel very supported and comfortable. I didn't spend any time worrying about them."
Even with his low arches, Jason got used to the high arch support after playing in the shoes for a little while. He explained, "The arch was noticeable, but it got better with each wear. I have a low arch, and at first my arches did feel sore, but thankfully the arch material was soft enough that it wore down."
Our only tester who had an issue with the arch support was Mark, who was a little confused as to why his arches didn't fit right with the higher arch support of the Power Cushion 308s. He said, "I am not 100 percent certain, but this is where I may have had trouble with the comfort of the shoe. I do have a pretty high arch, and I also know that the 308s provide a higher arch, so the fact that I was not entirely comfortable during play vexed me, as I expected the comfort to be better."
Foot Support/Stability - Score: 4.0
Opinions differed on the support and stability that the Power Cushion 308 offered. Mark felt secure moving around the court, but tends to prefer a narrower fit than these shoes provided. He said, "The Power Cushion 308s were very stable, and there were no foot slippages, ankle rollovers or traction issues. I felt like I had stable footing on the court, which I think somehow bothered my feet. Sort of the way soccer players are known to wear cleats that are on the small side, I am most comfortable wearing smaller shoes that allow me to change direction more easily."
Jason liked the unique material in the upper of the shoe but wanted a more secure fit in the heel to feel fully confident moving aggressively around the court. He said, "I've never worn a shoe that incorporated patent leather in the uppers, but apparently that provides some nice stability. I thought the shank, along with the uppers, gave the stability the shoe needed for side to side movements. I wish my heels could've felt more locked in place, as there was some slight slippage in the shoe when I'd take off for a shot."
The fit was just right for Spencer, providing great security and trust in these shoes. He said, "For a shoe that's on the lighter side in weight, I felt the stability was very solid. The hugging support, combined with the stable response, made me feel locked in when it came to stops and starts and changes of direction."
Chris had mixed emotions when it came to the support of the shoe. He felt confident making aggressive cuts on court, but the way his foot struck the court did not feel natural for him. He said, "Bittersweet is the best way to describe this area of the test for me. I never felt like I was going to roll an ankle, and the shoes felt very secure. However, as I mentioned in the comfort section, they altered my foot strike and I didn't feel like I was moving in them naturally. The fit was also too wide to be supportive for me. I was sliding all over the place inside these shoes. With two pairs of socks on, to help fill the width, my toes were jammed up against the end of the shoe, which led to quite a bit of discomfort."
Overall Sole Durability - Score: 4.1
Sole durability was not an issue for any of our playtesters during the duration of this test. Jason was actually very impressed with how well the outsole held up. "I did not look at the outsole of my shoes until just before writing this sentence," he said. "I have to say, I was truly shocked and impressed. There are no signs of balding anywhere on either shoe, and they look like they were barely used. By looking at how deep the treads are, the amount of rubber used looks to be more than most other tennis shoes."
Chris found the durability to be pretty comparable with the other high end shoes on the market. He offered, "The durability of these shoes was acceptable. They do not compete with a Barricade or a Court Ballistec, but I would say they were comparable to a Gel Resolution. I started to see them wear down first under the big toe of my right foot, which is the high wear area for me. Even some wear on the tread did nothing to hinder traction, and the outsoles did their job of surviving the playtest."
Mark also found the durability to be pretty standard compared to other shoes. He stated, "In terms of the shoes we carry that have a sole warranty, they are not the most durable. Compared to other high end shoes like the Nike Vapors, which do not have the warranty or need a break-in, the Yonex Power Cushion 308 is going to play longer."
Rounding out the group was Spencer, who also had no issues with the outsole. He found, "There was no premature wear on the outsoles of the 308s. I did have the usual wear underneath my big toes, but that's standard for all my tennis shoes."
Toe Durability - Score: 4.1
Our toe dragging playtesters found the Power Cushion 308 to show minimal wear around the toe area. Chris didn't wear through the toe box, even though he is tough on that part of a shoe. He said, "I did not have issues with the toe durability of these shoes. At first glance they didn't appear to have a durable toe tip, but they held up very well. Even after many hours of play and toe dragging, the shoes not only held up structurally, they still looked good and hid the beating well."
Mark also had few problems with the toe durability. He said, "I always wear through my tennis shoes in the medial toe area. The Power Cushion 308 is not quite as durable as a shoe like the high end Nike Court Ballistec, but I would still give it higher marks than most other high performance tennis shoes."
Traction - Score: 4.6
We found traction to be one of the strengths of the Power Cushion 308. Spencer thought the outsole provided the perfect amount of grab. He said, "The traction competes with all top tennis shoes. I felt I could rely on the response on court. They were sticky enough to maximize my change of direction, but not sticky enough to get caught up on the court."
The grip and traction of these kicks gave Chris the confidence he needed to scramble all over the court. He said, "I found the traction to be very good in these shoes. There was just enough give to let me slide out of a tough landing, yet the shoes would grab the court nicely for my next push off. I felt like I was running around the court about as fast as possible in these shoes, finding all the grip I needed to scamper about and stay in the point."
Mark had great traction on and off the court, even in his interactions with other people. He said, "This shoe performed great in any direction. When I wore them off court the Power Cushion 308s were also great at getting traction in conversations, as everyone loved the aesthetic but had never heard of the shoe."
Just like everyone else, Jason had few issues with the traction, except for a little discomfort when he slammed on the brakes. He said, "For the most part, I thought the outsole did a solid job. I had no issues with changing direction and side to side movements, but I did have some minor slippage problems when trying to stop while moving forward."
Weight - Score: 4.2
Most of our playtesters liked the lightweight feel of the Power Cushion 308, especially with the amount of durability and stability they provided. Chris was very impressed with how the shoe remained light weight while still offering traction. He said, "I was impressed by the light feel of these shoes. Considering the solid level of traction, I found them to be a very fast shoe. Most impressively, the shoes felt light, yet proved to be very durable at the toes and pretty durable on the outsoles."
The low weight surprised Spencer because of all the other features the shoe offered. He thought, "Again, they do run on the lighter side, though I would have guessed a little heavier, mostly due to the excellent stability. There are other shoes I do feel faster in, but the combination of ease of movement and reliable stability wins out for me."
Mark was also happy with the weight. He said, "It offers a really low weight for such a high performance shoe, but for me it would be more of a training/practice shoe and not a tournament match day shoe."
On the contrary, Jason didn't find the shoe all that light. He said, "It doesn't feel lightweight, but with all the cushioning and durability this shoe provides, I wasn't surprised. I would've swapped out some of that durability for a lighter shoe."
Overall - Score: 3.5
Chris - "I loved the cosmetics of the black pair of Power Cushion 308s I tested. The traction was impressive and the shoes felt light and fast on court."
Spencer - "The comfort, support, and dynamite cosmetic."
Mark - "The craftsmanship is top notch, along with the traction and stability. Aesthetically, I liked these Power Cushion 308s more than most other current shoes."
Jason - "The durability of this shoe was really impressive! I also liked the stability."
Chris - "They were just too wide fitting for me, and with two pairs of socks on the length fit was too snug. The way the shoes affected my foot strike really bothered me."
Spencer - "Nothing."
Mark - "Everyone's foot is like a person's signature; similar, but never identical. I could not play effectively for long periods of time with these particular shoes. They were great in all aspects, but they didn't fit my foot type and stride style."
Jason - "I did not like the lack of ventilation, as well as weight of the shoe. It felt kind of clunky."
Comparing this shoe to others they've worn, our testers said:
Chris - "The last Yonex shoe I tested was the SHT 304. Those shoes fit me better and were more comfortable. Like these, they ran hot, gripped well and provided adequate durability. For this shoe, I would compare the way the uppers flexed, the good cushioning and the level of durability to an Asics Gel Resolution 4."
Spencer - "The cushioning reminds me a bit of a T22, but the Power Cushion 308 is much more performance-oriented, as it sits lower to the ground and is much lighter."
Mark - "There was plenty of room in the toe box portion of the Power Cushion 308 from Yonex. It is a lighter, more maneuverable shoe compared to the likes of the Prince T24, and much more of a cushioned ride than a Propulse shoe from Babolat, which keeps the foot closer to the ground. For the player with a wider foot who loves a lighter high performance tennis shoe that also looks great off court, the Yonex Power Cushion delivers."
Jason - "Of the current shoes I've tested, this one reminds me most of the Prince T24."
(Scores are determined by averaging individual play test scores)
Playtester Foot Types:
Chris - Narrow width / Medium arch
Spencer - Medium width / Medium arch
Mark - Medium width / Medium arch
Jason - Wide width / Low arch
Review date: September 2012. If you found this review interesting or have further questions or comments please contact us.
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