Stefan Kornitzky is back with a guest post. If you want to contribute, contact us! This time he has written a Yonex Sonicage 3 Review.
Yonex Sonicage 3 Review
As a long-time player and fan of Babolat’s Pure Drive series, I usually also opted for Babolat shoes. Despite not being the heaviest guy at about 83 kg and 1,79 m, I am very rough on shoes, which means that in a regular year, I use up at least five pairs. Most of these shoes die the honorable way: After heavy sliding on a clay court ????.In the past, I have been using (different versions of) for instance the red Propulse Blast Clay, the blue Propulse Fury, the black Jet Mach 3 or the grey Jet Tere models. However, over the last years, I often found the first (above-expectation) signs of wear soon after using shoes for the first time (seams coming apart, holes in the mesh). As this happened more frequently, I returned shoes when signs of wear came up. As the cycle of “new shoes – a very early material defect – return – new shoes” escalated, my dealer suggested trying out a different brand and sold me a pair of the YONEX Sonicage 3 Clay. So, let’s see how this turned out.
Yes, I am guilty of being biased in favor of blue stuff! Therefore, the blue design of the shoe mixed with the red brand logos and red straps suits my taste very well. Before starting with the new pair, I expected the shoes to deliver on YONEX’s reputation for high product quality and attention to detail. So, I took the SONICAGE 3 to our clay-court training camp.
Tennis shoes need to fit your feet. I have flat, skew and splay feet and usually go for size EU 44. If shoes are too tight, I suffer from a burning sensation due to my rather wide feet on the inner or outer part of the foot. This is why I also replace the standard insoles with sports insoles customized for my feet.
Despite these insoles (which usually are somewhat higher than the original ones and can lead to my feet slipping out of the shoes at the heels if the shoes are too flat), the fit was comfortable. The shoes provided me with enough space while at the same time holding my feet securely. The weight, which YONEX specifies as 305g at size EU 42, was unremarkable. I did not feel the shoes to be heavy or particularly light. The weight just did not stand out, which is a good thing, I guess.
I started my clay-court season with the SONICAGE 3 on a rather heavy wet court at about 10 to 13 degrees Celsius. The shoe allowed me to slide very early despite the court conditions. I also experienced no pain from running in the shoes for the first time. The grip was as expected, and the shoe fit my playing style of moving and sliding quite a lot (you can read the marketing language about the technology of POWER CUSHION or Endurance Rubber – whatever this means – on the web if you like to hear more about the unique features of the shoe, but usually this does not help that much ????).
As you can guess, the part I was most interested in was the durability. Can YONEX solve my problem of the above-expectation signs of wear showing up quite early? And the answer is … NO!
After the third training session (about seven hours with hitting from the baseline and three training sets), the shoe showed the first heavy material defects. Parts of the rubber under the heel already started to separate from the sole. Additionally, the reinforced upper part of the shoe, intended to protect the mesh below, also fell apart. The experience with Babolat shoes over the years was no exception.
This makes me wonder: Maybe, it is me doing something wrong? But then again, what could I possibly do wrong as a quite decent player with lots of experience on clay courts? If this durability is normal, I would expect Rafa to change shoes with every new racquet he takes from the bag. So, my shoe mystery remains unsolved for the moment…
The YONEX SONICAGE 3 CLAY is a nice-looking clay-court shoe suited for wider, flat feet. Apart from the design, I like the shoe’s playability and can find no downsides apart from the durability issues I experienced with other shoes. At a recommended retail price of 160 Euros, the shoe is in the upper-middle part of the price range. Right now, the shoe is available in online shops for about 100 to 120 Euros. You can find cheaper options, but if you are a fan of YONEX products and are not a heavy slider, you can consider the SONICAGE 3.