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Movement in any sport is essential – and badminton is no exception. In fact, it’s so important that we listed mastering your footwork as our number 1 tip to improve in our 10 Do’s and Don’ts of Badminton. But to master footwork, you first need to have good shoes that you find comfortable, secure, and provides a snug fit. Let’s dive deeper into the world of badminton shoes today and see what fits you the best.
At a high level, this post will inform you about what properties you should consider in a shoe, basic terms that describe a shoe (called the shoe’s anatomy, kinda like a human’s anatomy), what features Yonex has to offer in their shoes, and lastly Yonex shoe products. Let’s get into it!
Here, we’ll go over several properties you should take into consideration before purchasing badminton shoes. Many of Yonex’s features, which we’ll go over below, enhance these properties to help your overall performance and comfort.
Cushioning is designed for the comfort of your feet as well as to help shock absorption. Generally, beginner shoes will have more cushioning while more advanced shoes will have less cushioning and focus more on performance enhancing features.
A shoe’s durability refers to how well it can maintain its shape and material after intense usage. The material and build of the shoe itself is a big factor in how much it can handle before it needs to be replaced. Yonex features like the Durable Skin and Tough Guard™ III are designed specifically to help with a shoe’s durability.
A shoe’s weight is quite important to athletes as weight adds up over the course of many steps. The lighter your shoes are, the quicker you can move around and the more energy you will save. In general, shoes that are lighter tend to provide less support than heavier shoes because they use less or lighter material. Yonex features such as the Feather Bounce Foam and Power Graphite Lite are designed to give shoes extra capabilities but still be light.
All indoor badminton shoes need to be non-marking, meaning that it will not produce any mark or smear on the ground even with intense use. All Yonex shoes are non-marking so you shouldn’t have to worry about it. Please don’t wear your badminton shoes outdoors though if you plan to use them indoors later as they will then bring in dirt and other particles that will smear on the courts.
The stability and support of a shoe refers to how well it helps you balance. Shoes with good stability have firm material that does not twist or move much when agitated, and can therefore help you prevent injuries such as ankle sprains, which is the number 1 badminton injury out of the 5 Most Common Badminton Injuries. Yonex features such as the lateral Shell and 3D Power Graphite Sheet are designed to give shoes added stability and support.
Before I get into the features that Yonex offers, you’ll need to understand some basic parts of a shoe. Shoes are surprisingly complex with lots of work being put into each individual part to ultimately bring together a nice product – kind of like putting together a car. Luckily, we only need to learn about 5 main parts to understand what Yonex has to offer – namely the insole, midsole, outsole, sole, and upper. However, if you want to learn more or simply have a visual, check out the video below and also this informative guide.
- Insole – The insole is the material that is inside your shoe, which is often soft, provides cushion for your feet, and can be removed from the shoe. If you look into your shoe, that’s the insole.
- Midsole – The midsole is on the sides of a shoe just before reaching the bottom of the shoe. Its primary purpose is to provide shock absorption.
- Outsole – The outsole is the bottom part of your shoe that actually makes contact with the ground.
- Sole – The sole is the entire bottom part of the shoe – it is a combination of the insole, midsole, and outsole.
- Upper – The upper is the entire top part of the shoe that covers your feet.
Yonex Shoe Features
Yonex provides LOTS of features for their shoes (21 features as of the 2020 catalog)! They are separated into 4 groups – insole, midsole, sole, and upper – which we defined in the previous section.
- Synchro-Fit Insole – The goal of the Synchro-Fit Insole is to give your foot the best fit possible inside your shoe. This ultimately means reducing gaps between your foot and the shoe, therefore giving you better grip, control, and comfort. The Synchro-Fit Insole does this by elevating the mid to heel section of the insole, which takes into consideration your foot’s natural arch, and also by adding extra support around the heel.
- Feather Bounce Foam – The Feather Bounce Foam is the newest midsole feature as of 2020 and is designed to help you move forward quickly and reduce landing lag. According to Yonex’s tests, this new technology helps increase bounce by 20% – which essentially means that you can generate momentum more quickly. This is important in badminton as there are many short bursts of speed and changes of directions in rallies. The Feather Bounce Foam is also fairly thick, which helps with shock absorption, therefore decreasing your landing lag and impact on your knees when you land from a jump.
- Hyper msLite – The msLite series is designed to be lighter than normal shoes made out of EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate). The Super msLite, which is the predecessor of the Hyper msLite, is more than 10% lighter than an EVA shoe while the Hyper msLite is 10% lighter than the Super msLite. Because of how light it is, the Hyper msLite allows you to move an extra fraction of a second faster in each of your steps, adding up to smoother and faster footwork.
- ToughBrid Light – The ToughBrid series is designed to be more durable than normal EVA shoes. ToughBrid has been tested to deform less and last longer than EVA shoes even after being stretched and compressed through rigorous use. The ToughBrid Light has similar properties as the ToughBrid but is 11% lighter, allowing you to retain the durable properties of ToughBrid while carrying less weight.
- Hexagrip – Hexagrip refers to the 6 sided shapes (hexa means 6) on the bottom of the shoe that help your shoe “grip” the ground. This special feature provides 3% more grip than standard soles, giving you more control of your footwork and less chance of slipping. It is also 20% lighter than normal sole material, allowing you to carry less weight in each step.
- Power Cushion – Power Cushion is a material specially developed by Yonex to absorb shock and actually use the energy to help you with your next step. It is lighter and can absorb shock 3 times better than conventional Urethane, which is used in many regular shoes. Yonex is so proud of its awesome invention that they tested dropping raw eggs onto it to show that it wouldn’t break. In fact, they’ve seen a raw egg bounce off a Power Cushion from a height of 23 feet (7 meters) and rebound up to 13 feet (4 meters). Check out the video below if you don’t believe it – make sure to watch the ending:
Power Cushion+ – Thought the Power Cushion was cool? Well, the Power Cushion+ is even better! It offers 25% more shock absorption and 12% more repulsion over the original Power Cushion. Now a raw egg can bounce from a height of 39 feet (12 meters) and rebound up to 19 feet (6 meters), pretty insane.
- Round Sole – Round Sole refers to the shape of the shoe’s sole – essentially saying that it’s round (pretty obvious right?). The shape is designed to help transfer energy smoothly from one movement to the next. This feature is pretty standard and is included in almost every Yonex shoe.
- Double Russel Mesh – The Double Russel Mesh is a super fine mesh that is designed to help ventilate and release moisture from the top of the shoe, allowing your feet and socks to dry off quickly. It is often placed in the middle of the shoe under the laces and/or below the laces near the front of the shoe. Furthermore, it has up to 8 times more air flow than regular mesh fabric. To understand the feature better, it might help to break down the name. Russel is a woolen cloth material typically used in clothing or shoes. A mesh is an interwoven barrier made from interconnected strands of material. Finally, the “Double” in the Double Russel Mesh refers to a second layer of mesh to help with its durability. By combining these words together, we get a “double layered barrier made with woolen cloth“.
- Durable Skin – Durable Skin is a strong polyurethane material on the outside of the shoe that provides increased durability and heat resistance. The material feels like a combination of hard plastic but with the flexibility of rubber, making it great for a snug fit while still being durable.
- Durable Skin Light – The Durable Skin Light is a lighter version of the Durable Skin but potentially less durable as it is less dense.
- Ergoshape – Ergoshape refers to how the shape of your shoe helps with your comfort and footwork efficiency. A shoe with Ergoshape is designed to shift most of your weight to your big toe, which is the strongest part of your forefoot and where you can generate the most power easily. As a result, you gain extra stability and potential for fast rapid movements while keeping your feet comfortable.
- Flexion Upper – Flexion Upper refers to the curved shape on the top of the shoe. Normal shoes typically look more straight and symmetrical but the Flexion Upper changes that by making the Upper slightly curved and asymmetrical to give you a better and more comfortable fit. It is designed in a way to absorb and disperse shock through your toes and instep (on the top and near the back of your foot) when you land to quickly relieve pressure and stress.
- Inner Bootie – The Inner Bootie is a soft and flexible material that replaces the “tongue” (the strip of material near the opening of a shoe and under the laces) of a shoe. The tongue of a shoe generally takes up much more room on the shoe so by replacing it, the Inner Bootie gives you a more snug fit and removes unnecessary material from your shoe.
- Lateral Shell – The Lateral Shell is material on the outside of your shoe (hence the Shell in its name) near the edge of your shoe’s sole. It helps prevent sliding and reduces loss of momentum in your footwork.
- Power Graphite Drive – The Power Graphite Drive is part of the Power Graphite technology series that helps you stabilize after landing on the ground. The Power Graphite series helps players stabilize by using a carbon graphite sheet and inserting it into the middle of your shoe’s sole. The carbon sheet makes the sole stronger and more dense, making it easier to stabilize yourself and helping to prevent twisting. In addition, the Power Graphite Drive is designed in a way to help you move forward after landing so that you can get to the next shot faster.
- Power Graphite Lite – Similar to the Power Graphite Drive, the Power Graphite Lite is also part of the Power Graphite technology series that helps you stabilize after landing on the ground. The Power Graphite Lite, like its name suggests, is designed to be light and comfortable, giving you a combination of stability and fast movement.
- 3D Power Graphite Sheet – The 3D Power Graphite Sheet is also part of the Power Graphite technology series. As its name suggests, the 3D Power Graphite Sheet has a more unique 3D shape than the other power graphite sheets, which are more flat. This sheet actually curves upward a bit and can provide up to 15% more strength against twisting.
- Power Graphite Sheet – The Power Graphite Sheet is the base technology used in Power Graphite Drive and Power Graphite Lite. It is a carbon graphite plate that is inserted into the middle area of your shoe’s sole. Its main purpose is to increase stability but it also reduces the weight of the shoe as it is lighter than other shoe material. Check out the promotional video below to see where the Carbon Graphite Sheet is located.
- Toe Assist Shape – The Toe Assist Shape feature refers to the shape of the shoe that is designed to help reduce pressure on your big toe without losing power. Fast and fluid footwork generally requires lots of power from your big toe and can build up stress and pressure. With Toe Assist Shape, some of that pressure will be removed while also providing increased support at the mid-foot and heel.
- Tough Guard™ III – Tough Guard™ III refers to the material used to make the shoe. It is a very tough and durable synthetic leather that is 3 times stronger than regular synthetic leather. It is designed to be heat resistant so that you can continue playing even when there is a lot of friction due to intense footwork.
Yonex Shoe Products
Yonex provides a wide assortment of shoes with many designs and features. People usually go through a few shoes before they get one that they really like.
There are several series of shoes that Yonex offers that are specialized in certain aspects. They are the Aerus, Comfort, and Eclipsion series.
The Aerus series focuses on lightness and ventilation and is popular among doubles players.
The Comfort series focuses on cushioning and, as its name implies, comfort. It is popular among beginners.
The Eclipsion series focuses on stability and is popular among singles players.
To further help you choose the right shoe for you, we created 2 tables that indicate which material and technologies each of the shoes have:
Power Cushion 36
The Power Cushion 36 is one of Yonex’s affordable base models. It includes basic features but misses out on some more premium features like the Power Graphite Sheet and Durable Skin. It has 1 layer of Power Cushion near the heel. The shoe is good for beginners, those on a budget, or players who don’t play often.
Power Cushion 48
The Power Cushion 48 is pretty similar to the Power Cushion 36, but doesn’t include the Round Sole feature. In fact, it’s the only shoe in the 2020 Yonex catalog that doesn’t have the Round Sole feature! So if you prefer a not-so-round sole, this would be for you. Additionally, the Power Cushion 48 includes an additional layer of Power Cushion at its heel that the Power Cushion 36 does not have.
Power Cushion 56
The Power Cushion 56 places the Power Cushion at both the front and back part of the shoe along with Toughbrid Light and Toe Assist Shape features to give you a fairly high performant and durable shoe. It’s a good choice for players who play frequently and at a moderate intensity.
Power Cushion 65 R 3
The Power Cushion 65 R 3 has the same features as the Power Cushion 36 but with a different look and added ventilation (Double Russel Mesh) near the toes. The Power Cushion 65 R 3 is the most basic of the shoes in the 65 series but is also the most affordable.
Power Cushion 65 X 2
Best Value: The Power Cushion 65 X 2 is a popular shoe that is packed with features. Some notable premium features include the latest Power Cushion+ technology, Toughbrid Light, Tough Guard™ III, Lateral Shell, and Synchro-Fit Insole. Overall, the Power Cushion 65 X 2 is a good choice for serious amateurs as it is comfortable, provides quite a few features, and tends to be in the medium price range for Yonex shoes. Check out Badminton Warehouse’s in-depth review of the shoe over here.
Power Cushion 65 Z 2
The Power Cushion 65 Z 2 includes all of the awesome features that the Power Cushion 65 X 2 includes but also includes the Power Graphite Sheet and Power Graphite Lite features. In addition, it has extra ventilation holes at the bottom of the shoe that make a big difference to keep your feet dry. The Power Cushion 65 Z 2 is a great shoe that serious amateurs and professionals should consider.
Power Cushion 88 Dial
The Power Cushion 88 Dial pretty much has the same features as the Power Cushion 65 Z 2 except it swaps out the Lateral Shell for the Inner Bootie. You might notice that the Power Cushion 88 Dial doesn’t have traditional shoe laces, and this is because it actually uses something called the BOA Fit System, which lets you loosen and tighten your shoes with a dial (hence the Dial in its name). This lets you have finer control of the tightness of your shoes and lets you tie your shoes faster. Furthermore, the laces will last longer as you reduce regular wear and tear that you get normally from regular laces when you tie/untie the shoelaces by hand.
Power Cushion Infinity
The Power Cushion Infinity is an all around, heavy duty shoe that combines a balance of comfort, stability, and lightness. Similar to the Power Cushion 88 Dial, the Power Cushion Infinity features the BOA Fit System, allowing you to tighten and loosen your shoes easily and with precision.
Note that the Power Cushion Infinity has 2 dials on each shoe instead of just 1. This allows you to adjust the laces in different areas of your shoe to your preference, making it very customizable. Furthermore, the Power Cushion Infinity includes many advanced features as well, making it a great shoe to consider if you’re looking for an upgrade.
Power Cushion Aerus Series
Power Cushion Aerus 3
The Power Cushion Aerus 3 is Yonex’s lightest shoe (at 270g/9.5oz for a 26cm/U.S. size 8) and is packed with features. It is tied with the Power Cushion Comfort Z 2 for the most number of features at 13 a piece. Since the Power Cushion Aerus 3 is the lightest shoe that Yonex has to offer, it will let you glide around the court faster and more easily than other shoes would but may give up some balance because of it, which suggests that the shoes are designed more for doubles players than singles players. Overall, it’s a pretty advanced shoe that has many amazing features and we would recommend it for serious players. Check out the below video if you would like to learn more about the shoe.
Power Cushion Aerus 3R
The Power Cushion Aerus 3R has the same design as the Power Cushion Aerus 3 but has many features stripped out – and is therefore usually cheaper. More specifically, it’s missing 7 features that the Aerus 3 has – the 3D Power Graphite Lite, Hyper msLite, Power Cushion+, Power Graphite Lite, Power Graphite Sheet, Synchro-Fit Insole, and Tough Guard™ III. All of those features are pretty advanced features, so they won’t impact you much if you’re not planning on playing really seriously. So if you’re looking for a light and affordable shoe that has great ventilation, this is for you.
Power Cushion Comfort Series
Power Cushion Comfort 2
The Power Cushion Comfort 2 is one of Yonex’s entry models that comes with some basic features such as the Power Cushion, Toe Assist Shape, and Hexagrip Sole. It’s quite affordable but lacks advanced features, which its bigger sibling, the Power Cushion Comfort Z 2, includes. It’s a nice, comfortable shoe with good cushioning that is great for beginners and casual players.
Power Cushion Comfort Advance 3
The Power Cushion Comfort Advance 3 is pretty similar to the Power Cushion Comfort 2 and is also an entry model shoe, designed for beginners and casual players. The features for the Power Cushion Comfort Advance 3 are pretty much the same as the Power Cushion Comfort 2 but trades Durable Skin Light for Double Russel Mesh.
Power Cushion Comfort Z 2
The Power Cushion Comfort Z 2 has a nice mix of comfort and performance and is the Power Cushion Comfort 2’s bigger sibling, with 8 more advanced features, including the Double Russel Mesh, Feather Bounce Foam, Flexion Upper, Inner Bootie, Power Cushion+, Power Graphite Drive, Power Graphite Sheet, and Synchro-Fit Insole. Take note that the Power Cushion Z 2 is the only Yonex shoe so far that has the new cutting edge Feather Bounce Foam feature, making it a popular choice among serious players. Check out this Yonex commercial that features one of badminton’s greatest players ever, Lin Dan, ordering the Power Cushion Comfort Z 2.
Power Cushion Eclipsion Series
Power Cushion Eclipsion X
The Power Cushion Eclipsion X is part of the Eclipsion series, which focuses on stability. The series currently contains this and its sibling, the Power Cushion Eclipsion Z – both of which are top of the line Yonex shoes. Both include nice features and have a solid, sturdy feel with great support. Unlike the Power Cushion Eclipsion Z, the Power Cushion Eclipsion X has Power Graphite Lite, but does not have the Inner Bootie, but rather the traditional shoe “tongue”. We would recommend this shoe for intermediate to advanced players.
Power Cushion Eclipsion Z
Author’s Choice: The Power Cushion Eclipsion Z is part of the Eclipsion series, which focuses on stability. The series currently contains this and its sibling, the Power Cushion Eclipsion X – both of which are top of the line Yonex shoes. Both include nice features and have a solid, sturdy feel with great support. Unlike the Power Cushion Eclipsion X, the Power Cushion Eclipsion Z has the Inner Bootie feature, but does not have Power Graphite Lite. We would recommend this shoe for intermediate to advanced players.
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