Hi-Tec 4:SYS Infinity Flare Shoe Review
- Length: Fits a half size large.
- Width: Medium
- Arch Support: Medium
- Weight: 13.6 oz.
- Very Breathable
- Well Cushioned
- Lack of Traction on dusty courts
Perhaps the most cosmetically unique shoes in the racquetball market today, the Hi-Tec 4:SYS Infinity Flare rises above the competition. The combination of the seamless upper and the asymmetrical lacing system makes this shoe so easy to wear that you might just forget to take them off after your match! Say goodbye to awkward folds and pinching in the upper, as this shoe was designed with an anatomically correct fit in mind. Huge, mesh-paneled "windows" provide you with more breathability than any other shoe on the market right now, while still maintaining optimum support due to the bonded nylon support frame. Top it off with Hi-Tec’s famous 4:SYS technology, which was designed to minimize the impact load on your foot. This shoe is outfitted with all of Hi-Tec's tried and true technologies, making it one of the best shoes for any racquetball enthusiast.
Comfort is a category the playtest team never overlooks. The team shared the same thoughts of the Infinity’s comfort, and Ben LoBue started by saying, “I’ve often found that you can’t have both peak performance and great comfort in a court shoe, but Hi-Tec proved me wrong. The Infinity felt very comfortable when I first put it on, and got more comfortable as I played longer. They felt both cushioned upon impact, and light enough to take off immediately in any direction.” Ben Croft was on the same page, saying, “Going into the playtest I was confident they were going to be comfortable. Their patented 4:SYS technology has always been a favorite of mine due to its proven functionality.”
It’s easy to see with the naked eye that ventilation was going to score high marks from the team. This shoe was designed with multiple mesh panels throughout the upper that maximize breathability. Croft kicked this category off with, “The Infinity Flares are without question the most breathable shoe I’ve ever put on. There are ton of mesh panels that go right to your sock, and keep your feet cool even in the hottest courts.” LoBue couldn’t agree more adding, “With Hi-Tec’s new Nylon Bonding Process, I believe they created the most ventilated court shoe ever. With direct airflow to my feet it was very noticeable while playing. While my feet don’t sweat a lot normally, the breathability on these was spectacular.”
Hi-Tec has always scored high marks in this category with the team, and the Infinity Flares don’t break that streak. LoBue began saying, “Stability is where the 4:SYS technology comes into play and really benefitted me. I was a bit skeptical at first if these new Infinity shoes could be as stable as past models with the new outsole shape and design, but they didn’t disappoint. In my mind, the key to the 4:SYS technology is that you can play with confidence without having to think about your feet or shoes.” Croft felt similarly stating, “To be honest, I was nervous of their ability to perform in this category. With so many mesh panels I didn’t see how it was possible to be stable. Somehow Hi-Tec was able to design a very stable shoe while maximizing breathability. As I lunged around the court, I never felt any instability, which is absolutely vital for my game.”
Traction is one category that didn't score an A with the playtest team. Croft said, “Traction is one of the categories that is necessary for any racquetball player, and I felt the Flares left a little to be desired. On a nice clean court the traction was fantastic; it was when the court had not been maintained that I felt I was slipping more than normal. Ideally, I’d always be playing on a nicely maintained court, but that’s often not the case.” LoBue shared similar sentiments saying, “I didn’t think these Infinity Flares gripped as well as past Hi-Tec shoes. I think this is a result of the shallower, less dense tread on the outsole. We played quite a bit on a dusty court, which added to the lower traction. On a well kept, clean court these shoes gripped great, having more rubber on the floor than just about any other shoe.”
Overall the team thought the 4:SYS Infinity Flare shoes were a hit on the racquetball court. LoBue ended the playtest praising Hi-Tec, “Hi-Tec has reinvented themselves and reaffirmed their company reputation for innovation and functional performance technology with the Infinity Flare. I can’t wait to get back on the court and continue putting them to the test.” Croft wrapped up the playtest adding his positive thoughts; “The Infinity Flare’s were no doubt my favorite Hi-Tec shoe I’ve worn yet. Minus a small deduction in the traction category, the Flare’s scored all A’s from me. A medium-weight, highly playable, and durable shoe, I would definitely rock the Blue/Lime on tour.”