Asics Gel Challenger 11

The ASICS Gel Challenger 11 is an excellent addition to the ASICS tennis shoe family. The redesigned Flexion upper provides stability, a snug fit, and comfort. The outsole is extremely durable and is reinforced with AHAR in all the right places. The midsole involves a combination of supportive and durable technologies that help this shoe receive high marks in the support, stability, and comfort departments. Even though the sneaker features a variety of great technologies to support your feet on the tennis court, it is lightweight and comfortable. For the avid recreational tennis player, these sneakers are a great option.

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Where to Buy
Holabird Sports Link
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Where to Buy
Holabird Sports Link
See Deal
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Extremely durable overall design
  • Flexion upper is supportive and comfortable
  • Just the right amount of cushioned comfort
  • Toe Protector is an added bonus especially on the tennis court
  • Available in great color choices
  • Affordable price tag
  • Cons
    • Some reviewers say they do not offer enough breathability
    • The toe box may be too small for some feet
    • Key Features
      Outsole
      The outsole of this tennis shoe is made of AHAR material, which is an acronym for ASICS High Abrasion Rubber. This material fortifies the areas of the outsole that need the most protection since tennis players use certain parts of the shoe more than others for support. This material ensures high traction and durability where it is needed most, no matter what the court surface may be. The tread is flush with the ground and designed in a modified herringbone pattern in order to allow the shoe to deliver maximum grip and support on the court.
      Midsole
      Like many ASICS sneakers, the Gel Challenger 11 features the company’s GEL technology in the midsole. This sneaker features rearfoot and forefoot GEL cushioning systems which are designed to attenuate shock during impact and deliver the energy to your foot during toe-off. This will allow you to move through your gait cycle more efficiently because your foot will be allowed to move through multiple planes more naturally. This shoe also features Solyte midsole material which is a lightweight compound that adds cushioning and ups the sneaker’s durability. Most sneakers have EVA and spEVA in the midsole which tends to be heavier. The combination of GEL technology and Solyte material allow the sneaker to be lightweight yet provide exceptional cushioning and shock absorbency. The Gel Challenger 11 also features ASICS’ Trusstic System technology. This reduces the weight of the sole of the sneaker to make it more lightweight, all the while allowing it to retain its structural integrity.
      Upper
      The upper of this lightweight tennis shoe is made up of a combination of mesh, textile, and synthetic materials. These materials combine to form ASICS’ proprietary blend of upper materials called Flexion Fit. Flexion fit is engineered to deliver a fit that is form fitting yet able to provide support. This is important for tennis players since they tend to move laterally and forward and backward throughout the entirety of a match. The low-top upper also features a “PGuard” Toe Protector which is designed to protect your toe during toe drag on a serve or throughout a tennis match. This toe protector is basically an extension of the AHAR material found on the outsole that extends up over the toe. At the rear of the upper, you will find PHF Collar Lining, abbreviated as PHF. This consists of two layers of memory foam that line the collar of the shoe and mold to your heel, thus creating a highly customized fit. Along with this, the shoe features a padded tongue and collar designed to deliver additional comfort. The footbed of this sneaker is molded, thus reducing negative space within the foot chamber to reduce blistering and irritation.
      Weight
      These are relatively light tennis shoes and weigh in around 9.8 ounces, depending on size. You definitely do not want to have bulky shoes on your feet while on the tennis court and these will help you move around with ease due to their lightweight makeup.
      Breathability
      Because these tennis shoes feature ASICS’ proprietary blend of fabrics in its upper to form the company’s Flexion material, it is not as breathable as sneakers featuring a typical mesh upper. With that said, most tennis shoes on the market offer similar levels of breathability and trade in high levels of airflow-allowance for support. With that in mind, ASICS made sure that these shoes do offer some level of breathability so your feet do not get too hot on the court.
      Comfort
      ASICS designed the Gel Challenger 11 with comfort in mind. The GEL cushioning system found in the shoe’s rearfoot and forefoot areas delivers excellent shock absorption and provides soft cushiony comfort. However, ASICS knows that you don’t want to have heavy shoes strapped to your feet on the court so they engineered the Challenger 11 to be both lightweight and cushioned. They were able to achieve this by adding Solyte midsole material to the midsole in addition to the GEL cushioning. This reduces the overall weight of the shoe to help you feel light on your feet and allow you to move around the court with speed and agility. Another feature that adds comfort to this shoe is the PHF heel collar which is made of two layers of memory foam. This foam collar hugs the heel of your foot while locking it in place. Even though the Flexion material that makes up the upper of this sneaker may not be super-breathable, it is designed to be comfortable by hugging your foot with support while not constricting it.
      Style
      By and large, tennis shoes are not supposed to make waves in the style world. Rather, they are meant to provide support. These sneakers come in a variety of colorways from your typical tennis white to bright and bold blue or pink. Their low-cut design allows your feet to move around the court efficiently and, amazingly, stylishly. The non-all-white colorways are great to look at and will add a little pop of color to your tennis outfit.
      Durability
      The great thing about high-quality tennis shoes is that they are built to support your feet through multi-directional movements. With support typically comes durability. The AHAR outsole will allow these sneakers to last through the course of a large number of tennis seasons while the PGaurd Toe Guard will protect the front of the sneaker from any wear and tear while on the court. The Flexion upper is also very durable because it is made up of a combination of fabrics which will allow the sneaker to retain its shape. Additionally, the sole of the sneaker is fortified with ASICS Trusstic System Technology which not only reduces the weight of the shoe but also helps the sneaker to retain its structural integrity, thus making it more durable. Additionally, the Solyte midsole material found in the shoe will help the midsole to last longer than if it were just made up of typical EVA foam or even GEL foam cushioning alone.
      Protection
      The AHAR material that is featured on the outsole of this shoe is specifically placed in areas where it is needed most in order to aid in the sneaker’s durability. This rubber is engineered to withstand high levels of abrasion and will help to protect your feet where it is most critical. The PGaurd toe protector that is placed on the toe area of the shoe not only protects the shoe from wear and tear, but it also protects your toes against injury on the court. The 2 layers of memory foam that line the heel and collar of the shoe will protect your feet against blistering and irritation. The rearfoot and forefoot GEL technology that is placed in the midsole will help to attenuate shock and protect your joints.
      Responsiveness
      The GEL midsole throughout the sneaker will help your feet to respond to pressure applied while playing a match. This material will absorb the impact and release it, allowing you to have a smooth transition around the court whether back and forth or laterally. The Flexion Fit Upper is a proprietary blend of flexible materials that will respond to your feet as you move, allowing you to feel comfortable and supported.
      Support
      The Flexion Fit Upper is designed to be comfortable and supportive. It is engineered to fit snugly to your foot without sacrificing support. Because you are required to move around the court multi-directionally, it is important that your tennis shoe deliver adequate support and this proprietary textile material does just that. The PHF, or Personal Heel Fit, molds to your heel and creates a fit that is customized to you, giving you the support you need where you need it. The molded foam footbed within the sneaker helps to eliminate any negative space within the foot chamber and helps to support your foot by conforming to its shape. The Trusstic System that is found in the midsole also helps to support your foot by allowing the shoe to maintain its structural integrity, so you won’t have to worry about your shoes moving on your feet or changing shape over time.
      Terrain
      These sneakers are specifically designed to be worn by tennis players on any type of tennis court. The AHAR on the outsole and modified herringbone design of the treads will help you to grip the court with ease, whether grass, clay, or hard court. Obviously, these would work indoors as well as outdoors. They do not have a lot of tread to them so they should not really be worn for running or on the trail because they do not have any lugs to grip with.
      Price
      These shoes come with great support and cushioning and also come with an affordable price tag. Currently, these tennis shoes can be purchased for anywhere from $75 to $90. That is a great value for such a well-known brand name specialty sneaker.
      Traction
      ASICS placed its High Abrasion Rubber compound on the critical areas of the outsole where traction is needed most in a tennis shoe. The modified herringbone pattern will help you grip the ground efficiently as you move multi-directionally around the court. The AHAR will deliver excellent traction on any type of tennis court surface and you won’t have to worry about slipping.
      Flexibility
      Tennis shoes do not need to be super-flexible in general so that is not something these shoes are engineered to be. The midsole and outsole work together to support your feet around the tennis court and are stiffer than your typical running sneaker. The upper is made up of a blend of materials, however, that are designed to flex to the shape of your foot, hence the name “Flexion”. By flexing to your foot, the shoe fits more like a glove and will also flex as you move throughout your match.
      Stability
      Because you move around the tennis court in a variety of directions, it is important that your feet feel stabilized. For this reason, the platform of the Gel Challenger 11 is designed to keep you firm in your landings, all while delivering cushion and support through the Gel Cushioning System and the Solyte technologies. The Personal Heel Fit will also keep your feet stable within the sneaker by conforming to your heel and locking it in place. The Flexion Fit upper will stabilize your foot across the midfoot and keep you steady. You definitely will not feel unstable in these shoes on the tennis court.
      Drop
      The ASICS Gel Challenger 11 offers a standard drop in terms of specialty tennis sneakers. The GEL cushioning and Solyte materials provide the right amount of support and comfort but not too much so that you don’t feel the court beneath your feet.
      Key Features
      - Flexion Fit upper delivers a snug fit while allowing for optimal support
      - PGuard Toe Protector not only protects your toes from injury but also lengthens the life of the shoe
      - Personal Heel Fit provides 2 layers of memory foam comfort that adapts to your foot shape and keeps you supported
      - Solyte midsole material combines with GEL cushioning for a lightweight yet shock absorbing midsole
      - Trusstic System found in the midsole reduces the weight of the shoe but allows it to maintain its structural integrity
      Bottom Line
      The redesigned upper of this Challenger delivers a seamless fit that helps the shoe fit your feet like a glove comfortably without sacrificing the support you need on the tennis court. The Challenger 11 employs ASICS well-known Gel cushioning system throughout the midsole in order to give you comfort and durability. The Solyte technology works with the Gel system, resulting in a durable yet lightweight shoe. These are a great option for anyone looking for lightweight, comfortable, and durable specialty tennis sneaker. The price is great for almost any budget, so if you are in the market for a tennis shoe, then these are a safe bet.
      Where to Buy
      Holabird Sports Link
      See Deal
      By Abbie Copeland
      Last updated:
      Emily Molander
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 29. 2021

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