Asics Gel Sensei 4 Shoe Review
- Length: If in between sizes, we recommend a half size smaller.
- Width: Medium
- Arch Support: Medium
- Weight: 14.9 oz. (Size 10.5)
- Sock-like fit
- Superb grip
- Great stability & cushioning
- A little heavy
Asics is rapidly becoming a favorite amongst racquetball players due to their ability to continuously build what seems to be the perfect court shoe. Asics's legendary gel-cushioning system gives the Asics Gel Sensei 4 a plush ride. Combine that with the Biomorphic fit, and you'll never want to take these bad boys off! The shoe fits snugly around your foot due to the asymmetrical lacing system, while the A-Truss technology provides plenty of support, helping your rear to forefoot transitioning as well as acting like a rear-foot stabilizer. The tongue and upper of the shoe are lined with a thin cushioning layer underneath a screen of mesh, giving this shoe ample breathability. This technology-loaded shoe also features Asics’ Wet Grip Technology that provides maximum traction even on a wet surface. If you're a strong, aggressive mover on court, the Asics Gel Sensei 4 is sure to lead you in the right direction, winning!
Perhaps the most noticeable initial category, our team was overly pleased with how comfortable the Sensei 4’s were when they first slipped them on. Croft started the review with, “As soon as I put the Sensei 4’s on, I immediately knew it was going to be a comfortable shoe. During play, these shoes were very comfortable right out of the box. They fit my feet really well, and required no break-in period. The one knock I had on the shoes was that they were a bit heavy. At 14.9 ounces, they weigh in about two ounces heavier than what I am used to.” Ben L. agreed, saying, “From the first time I put them on, the Sensei 4’s fit and felt great on my feet. I really liked the arch support and ample cushioning in the midsole. On the court they stayed snug, and were never even a thought during rallies. I often get foot pain early on in matches if the mid foot is too snug, but these felt like a natural extension of my body.”
Including more mesh around the shoe than its predecessor, the Sensei 4 was designed with breathability in mind. Ben L felt the ventilation was above average, stating, “The mesh paneling on the outside creates some airflow, but does not go all the way through to the inside, so breathability was not the strength of this shoe. Personally, my feet do not sweat a lot so this wasn’t a big concern, but for players that often end matches with swamps in their shoes, these wouldn’t be the best.” Croft had a slightly different experience, adding, "It was definitely a breathable shoe. I’ve never been a huge sweater, so I haven’t had many problems with ventilation in the past. With that said, I felt the mesh upper ventilated enough to keep my feet from overheating."
Arguably the most important aspect of a racquetball shoe, stability was a shining category for the RbW playtest crew. Croft kicked it off with, “The Sensei 4 fit a little higher on me than a normal low shoe would, and I definitely felt that in the stability. I was overly pumped on the top-notch stability. One of the most important aspects of a shoe for me is to feel confident in its stability, and the Sensei shined for me in this category.” Ben L. was a big advocate of the stability, adding, “These 4’s were plenty stable for any rally situation I found myself in. They were not the most stable shoes I’ve ever worn, but being a light-footed player, I never had any concern of the shoe rolling on me.”
The Gel Sensei 4 offers a high level of traction, especially with Asics’ patented Wet Grip Technology, meant to keep you comfortably and safely gripped to the floor. Ben L. spoke highly of the traction, “I’m confident these would never have slipped on a properly maintained court, but most of us don’t have that luxury. Aside from a couple of moments during poorly executed direction changes, I was extremely confident in my grip on the floor while wearing the Sensei 4’s. The mix of tread patterns and rubber types provided traction in every direction, even with minimal rubber on the floor.” Croft shared the same sentiments, singing his praises of the traction, “I’m not one to believe in technology, but the Wet Grip Technology was great. As a retrieving-styled player, loss of traction in a shoe is grounds for shoe termination. It’s very important I know I will be stable and gripped to the court, and I had the utmost confidence in the Sensei 4.”
Overall the RbW squad sang the highest praises of the Asics Gel Sensei 4 shoes. Croft ended saying, “As a high level player, picking the right shoes for my game is something I don’t take lightly. The Gel Sensei 4’s were comfortable, stable, and stuck to the floor beyond my expectations. I highly recommend these shoes to anyone looking for the highest performance racquetball shoe.” Ben L had a very positive experience concluding, “Overall the Sensei line from Asics has been a top tier performer. They were a little heavy, but not clunky at all. Understandably Asics added some weight to provide maximum cushioning, support and stability and they did it well. For me, the extra weight was worth the confidence and peace of mind these shoes provided.”