K-Swiss Bigshot Light 3

The K-Swiss Bigshot Light 3 is an all-court tennis shoe that is great for people who like stability and support and favor them above comfort and flexibility. However, with the burning issue of upper durability, if the shoe isn’t broken into properly, the Bigshot Light 3 probably isn’t a shoe worth investing in.

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Where to Buy
Holabird Sports Link
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Where to Buy
Holabird Sports Link
See Deal
Pros & Cons
  • High-quality rubber on the outsole
  • Plantar Support Chassis
  • Comfortable once broken in
  • Durable outsole
  • Great traction
  • Excellent support
  • All-court tennis shoe
  • Very stable
  • Cons
    • Below-average durability of the upper
    • Almost completely rigid
    • Some players experienced heel slippage due to rigidity
    • Not a lot of cushioning
    • Less breathable than the original
    • Not lightweight
    • Key Features
      The outsole of the K-Swiss Bigshot Light 3 is made with durability and traction in mind. The compounds used in its production are the high-density Aosta 7.0 rubber as well as the DragGuard protective rubber, which not only provide good performance on all court surfaces but protect the midsole from untimely wear and tear as well. The zigzag traction pattern of the Bigshot 3 is non-marking, and in the midfoot area, the midsole Plantar Support Chassis is clearly visible. The DragGuard rubber continues onto the upper, covering the front of the toe box and providing long-lasting performance in places most tennis shoes are prone to balding and tearing.
      The midsole of the K-Swiss Bigshot Light 3 is fairly straightforward, with the brand opting for compression molded EVA compound in both the midsole and the sockliner. The choice of utilizing the compression-molded midsole is logical, especially if you take into account the firm medial post that offers arch support to the player. In this case, this post is a 180-degree Plantar Support Chassis, which is a thermoplastic insert that is firm and it not only provides adequate arch support, but it increases the stability of this tennis shoe as well. Other than the CMEVA parts combined with the medial post, the midsole of the Bigshot Light 3 doesn’t have many things to boast, and it doesn’t offer a lot of cushioning – which some players might find to be a good thing, while others will object to it.
      The synthetic leather upper with DuraWrap technology looks like it features a lot of mesh, but in reality, those are just perforations in an extremely stiff upper. The upper itself is stiff and requires at least a week of playing until it softens up and breaks in; this is all done in the name of durability, but the execution of the idea has experienced some issues that we’ll touch upon later. The K-Swiss Bigshot Light 3 features a textile collar lining, and the heel and collar are sufficiently padded in order to enhance comfort. The Flow Cool System manages breathability and moisture, while the DuraWrap prevents excessive toe-dragging. The lacing system is traditional, and the tongue features a lace loop midway, that prevents the tongue from slipping during tennis play. The laces are a tad too short and could use an inch in length, especially if you like using the last eyelet, but this isn’t a major issue for most people.

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      The weight of the men’s half-pair measures 12.1oz or 343g, while the women’s version measures 9.9oz or 281g. While this weight doesn’t constitute a heavy shoe, the ‘Light’ in the name of it caused some players to raise their expectations, only to not have them met by the shoe’s performance. For anyone looking for a speed tennis shoe, the K-Swiss Bigshot Light 3 wouldn’t be the right choice for you. The weight itself puts it more in the mid-weight category, while the stiff performance accentuates the not-so-lightweight feel of the shoe. One player noted that the firm structure of the shoe was reminiscent of the shoes that are usually in the 15oz range. That being said, the Bigshot Light 3 is far from a heavy shoe but we wouldn’t call it a speed shoe or a lightweight one, that’s for sure.
      This stiff tennis shoe features perforations all over the vamp and it has the Flow Cool System working in order to take the moisture away, and provide some air flow as well. The Dri-Lex lining wicks moisture as well, creating a generally healthy and fresh foot environment. However, the level of breathability of the K-Swiss Bigshot Light 3 cannot be compared to those provided by the summer road running shoes with a sock-like knit or mesh upper. Compared to the original, the Bigshot Light 3 offers less breathability.
      Some players were immensely satisfied with the comfort of the K-Swiss Bigshot Light 3 right off the bat, claiming that they were able to play a few sets without an issue on the first day. However, a significant number of players frowned upon the fact that the shoe is too rigid and uncomfortable until you break it in. This process takes up to two weeks, and if you’re someone that’s used to playing in a cushioned, fairly flexible shoe, chances are this stiffness is going to be an issue. The toe box of the shoe is reasonably wide, and the fit is narrow. Some players reported that the shoe feels clunky, but overall, this is the exchange one often has to make in order to play in a supportive and stable shoe.
      The K-Swiss Bigshot Light 3 looks exactly how it feels: bulky, hard and stable. The outsole and the midsole weren’t very intricately designed, although the outsole rubber mixed with the midsole foam on the outer side of the shoe does create a technology-packed effect. The upper sports one color, which ranges from neutral to vibrant colors, and the main design aspect of it is the textured vamp, as well as the five-stripe K-Swiss design on the side of the shoe. All in all, this is an average looking shoe that doesn’t try too hard, which makes it a little more appealing than if it boasted about its looks.
      One of the main issues regarding the K-Swiss Bigshot Light 3 is precisely in the durability department. The players feel like the brand has cut corners on the third iteration in the line, resulting in the overall quality of materials used in the construction of the Bigshot 3 being worse than the materials used in 2, or 1. This lack of quality is showcased in the performance of the stiff upper. Namely, the upper is so rigid, especially in the beginning of wearing the shoe, that several people have experienced the same problem of the upper tearing in the spot that bends when you’re on your toes. This is an unfortunate flaw, especially given the fact that the DragGuard sole is able to significantly outlast an average shoe sole. However, if you take your time slowly breaking in the shoe, without playing with full force immediately, you might avoid this issue and enjoy wearing the Bigshot Light 3 for quite some time.
      As mentioned before, the cushioning of the K-Swiss Bigshot Light 3 is medium, and on top of that, it needs some break-in time, similarly to the upper. However, once the shoe is broken in completely, a lot of players find the level of cushioning to be enough to protect the feet from the impact forces on most courts. The DragGuard rubber compound in the upper also plays a role in protecting the midsole from wearing down, due to its positioning in high-wear areas such as the heel and toes. Additionally, the synthetic leather upper and a discreet toe guard provide protection to the forefoot during explosive moves.
      The stiffness of the sole of this tennis shoe doesn’t exactly translate to its great responsiveness, which isn’t that alarming, given that tennis shoes aren’t made to develop speed on linear paths. That being said, this shoe won’t drag you down and will provide good toe off after the break-in time has passed.
      The K-Swiss Bigshot Light 3 offers amazing arch support – so much so, that the shoe isn’t all that comfy for players with high arches, but it’s great if you have medium arches. The medial 180-degree post really provides an excellent amount of support, while the stiff, synthetic leather upper provides all the lateral support you need. The midfoot shank did especially well at preventing any kind of twisting of the foot, allowing for confident moves throughout the play.
      Thanks to the non-marking outsole pattern, this tennis shoe is suitable for play on any court surface, and people were especially pleased with how they performed on hard courts. Be it grass, clay, or hard surfaces, the K-Swiss Bigshot Light 3 can be worn on each with approximately equal performance.
      This is far from an expensive shoe, especially given the cost of other tennis equipment. Priced at just under a C-note, this would be a great option for people who prefer stiffness and stability over cushioning and flexibility. However, with the possible issue of upper tearing, the price becomes that much more expensive – it’s one thing to buy a shoe that will serve you for a year, and a whole other having to replace the shoe after four months of use.
      The Aosta 7.0 rubber compound is utilized to provide great traction, and that’s just what it did. The Bigshot Light 3 didn’t do everything right, but traction is one of its best features that is sure to be welcomed by a lot of players. The grip that this tennis shoe provides is enough to allow you to move aggressively, while at the same time, the outsole provides some give when needed. This will allow you to slide out of quick and explosive stops, relieving the pressure on your ankle. Overall, there really isn’t much to be unsatisfied with when it comes to the shoe’s traction.
      Flexibility, as well as durability and comfort, has been a point of contention with the K-Swiss Bigshot Light 3. While some players claim that the shoe is incredibly stiff, to an extent where it doesn’t bend at all, causing heel slippage in the process, others claim that it’s just a matter of time before the sole and the upper get broken into. However, even when that happens, the sole of the K-Swiss Bigshot Light 3 will remain considerably more rigid than some other tennis shoes, preventing you from (possibly) ever feeling like you’re one with the shoe. Another player pointed out that the toe area creases when you’re moving on your toes, causing the material to pressure the toes, which isn’t a deal breaker, but it is uncomfortable, to say the least.
      The main objection to the shoe’s stability is the lack of flexibility – as we’ve said, it caused some people to experience heel slippage even while walking. However, most people actually agree that the shoe is stable, especially when the entire build softens up a bit. The midfoot stability is great, thanks to the Plantar Support Chassis, which gives a lot of torsional rigidity, as well as lateral stability. The upper plays a key role in preventing twisting of the foot and providing confidence in your stride.
      The K-Swiss Bigshot Light 3 has a regular heel-to-toe drop of around 8-10mm, offering just enough cushioning in the heel, and enabling a swift heel-to-toe transition. This is especially important in tennis, which requires that you spend most of your time on the balls of your feet, something that would be very tiresome to achieve if you play in a zero-drop shoe, for instance.
      Key Features
      ● Aosta 7.0 and DragGuard rubber outsole
      ● Non-marking traction pattern
      ● CMEVA midsole and sockliner
      ● Plantar Support Chassis medial post for arch support and stability
      ● Synthetic leather upper with DuraWrap technology
      ● Flow Cool System
      ● 12.1oz/343g men, 9.9oz/281g women
      ● Less breathable than Bigshot 1
      ● Requires break-in time
      ● Upper durability is an issue
      ● Average price
      ● Great traction
      ● All-court tennis shoe
      ● Extremely rigid
      ● Stable
      ● Fantastic support
      Bottom Line
      The K-Swiss Bigshot Light 3 is an okay tennis shoe, whose only flaw is that it’s less durable and has less overall quality than the previous iterations of the Bigshot family. This counteracts the point of upgrading to a newer shoe. However, durability aside, this is quite a specific, but nevertheless, a good shoe that delivers traction, support, and stability, while it doesn’t provide flexibility and protection as some other shoes do. All in all, this is a good shoe to consider if you require a lot of arch support, but other than that – there are better ones on the market.
      Where to Buy
      Holabird Sports Link
      See Deal
      By Lizzy Pavlovic
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 26. 2021

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