Finally they are here, the long awaited Asics Gel-Fastball 3 squash shoes. I´ve seen Mohamed Elshorbagy wearing these shoes from Asics top line, and every time I wondered what is it that makes these shoes so special that the current world champion has chosen them. Of course, you might say that he´s sponsored by the brand, but we´ve seen in several occassions that it actually doesn´t mean much. We´ve had top players whose name was linked to a new racket but who eventually decided to swap back to their old racket. And precisely because of this, knowing that even for top players sponsors don´t have a priority over performance, I got really curious about the Asics Gel-Fastball 3. So this morning I rushed to the court like a little boy with the new shoes in my bag and I´d like to share my experience and impression of them.
When I opened the box, I immediately thought: they are exactly like in the picture, and really beautiful! No megastriking colours, but elegant black with subtle details and laces in a more vivid colour. This is of course a matter of taste, but personally I like the look of these latest Asics Gel-Fastball 3.
When you put on the Asics Gel-Fastball 3, you notice immediately how light they are. This is obviously a big advantage. The top is finished with a wafer-thin plastic layer that provides sufficient strength, but feels less stiff when compared to other models that often have very stiff inserts to provide more strength. The Asics Gel-Fastball 3 feel flexible and pliable, but I couldn´t help wondering whether this layer of plastic wouldn´t block the air circulation to my feet resulting in soaking wet squash socks and feeling stiches in the shoes. I was happy to find out that it´s not a problem because the Upper Mesh, as they call the fabric on the top, is pretty breathable.
As far as the cushioning of the Asics Gel-Fastball 3 is concerned, my observations are straightforward: this is definitely the best you can get. The cushioning is excellent both under your forefoot and under your heel.
I noticed that the Asics Gel-Fastball 3 are not very wide. My feet are quite an average, not narrow nor very wide, and the shoes fitted me very well. However, someone with wider than average feet may find them a bit on the tight side.
The sole gives enough feel on the floor and the grip is excellent. If you hold the Asics Gel-Fastball 3 with both hands and turn the sole with one hand towards yourself and at the same time with your other hand in the opposite direction you can see clearly how sturdy and stable the sole is. And if you try to double the shoe, you´ll be surprised by how flexible it is at the same time.
After playing three quarters of an hour, I was fully convinced of the quality of this squash shoe. The Asics Gel-Fastball 3 stands out in many ways: it feels extremely light, is very flexible and offers excellent cushioning. Also, the fit was perfect, at least for me. My feet maintained stable even in the most explosive movements.
I´m looking forward to hearing what you think about the Asics Gel-Fastball 3!