Our verdict

If you are just trying your hand at tennis and aren't ready to invest in proper footwear, we can wholeheartedly recommend the ASICS Gel Dedicate 8. Even though it won't give you the ultimate experience on the court, you are going to be provided with all the essentials needed for a good game. A steady platform and well-ventilated upper are the shoe's main highlights, in our opinion.

Pros

  • Among the cheapest you can get
  • Highly breathable upper
  • Decent outsole durability for the price
  • Much lighter than average
  • Sufficient impact protection
  • Surprisingly stable platform
  • Flexible in the forefoot
  • Good enough grip and give
  • Well-padded interiors

Cons

  • Very frail upper materials
  • Lacking support in the upper

Audience verdict

78
Good!

Who should buy

As a highly affordable shoe, the ASICS Gel Dedicate 8 makes for a solid option for beginner/occasional players who:

  • want a cheap tennis shoe that has all of the essentials
  • prefer a highly breathable pair
  • need decent support for arches and ankles

Asics Gel Dedicate 8 review

Who should NOT buy

Needless to say, the Dedicate 8 has to compromise durability to make such a cheap shoe. Even if you play tennis once a week, we foresee a pretty quick breakdown of this ASICS shoe, especially in the upper.

There is a good chance that you can catch a deal on one of the more expensive tennis shoes such as the ASICS Gel Challenger 14 or the ASICS Gel Resolution 9. Even if that means spending $10-$20 more than you expected to pay, the difference in your tennis shoe's lifespan will be significant.

Asics Gel Dedicate 8 lab test

Breathability

One of the shoe's key benefits that stood out immediately on the court was its breathable upper. Such a rarity for tennis shoes, it kept our feet feeling pleasantly refreshed throughout the entire playtest.

Back in the lab, our experience was confirmed by a controlled breathability test. Using a smoke-pumping machine, we filled the shoe's upper with smoke and observed the way it escaped through the material.

We were excited to see that the smoke was coming out very fast and even oozed through the shoe's toebox! That rarely happens among reinforced tennis shoes. Happy with the result, we rated this ASICS shoe's breathability with nearly the highest score - 4 out of 5!

Putting a source of light behind the half-cut upper of the Gel Dedicate 8, we can clearly see the transparency of its toebox material. That helps to explain enhanced ventilation in that area.

Asics Gel Dedicate 8 microscope

We took a closer look at this textile through our microscope.

Asics Gel Dedicate 8 microscope upper

Compared to other mesh tennis shoes in our lab, the largely porous chainlinks of this ASICS shoe help to refresh the interiors like no other material.

Test results
Asics Gel Dedicate 8 4
Average 3.3
Compared to 22 all court tennis shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

But you can't just enjoy the benefits of a thin, open-mesh material without facing its dark side. In the case of the Gel Dedicate 8, it's the utter lack of abrasion resistance that comes with it...

To test the shoe's upper durability, we use a Dremel with a sandpaper tip. Pressing it against the same spot, we apply the exact same pressure (3.2N) and speed (5K RPM) to all tested shoes.

We are sorry to report but the ASICS Gel Dedicate 8 failed to withstand the Dremel and after 12 seconds, it showed a large see-through hole in the toebox.

Asics Gel Dedicate 8 Toebox durability
Test results
Asics Gel Dedicate 8 1
Average 4.1
Compared to 20 all court tennis shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

We obviously cannot expect an $80 shoe to have a durable inner lining either. So we weren't very surprised with the fact that our Dremel tore it apart within only 4 seconds.

On a 1-5 scale, where 5 is the most durable, we gave the Dedicate 8 a low score of 2.

Asics Gel Dedicate 8 Heel padding durability
Test results
Asics Gel Dedicate 8 2
Average 3.3
Compared to 20 all court tennis shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

But there is some good news too. The shoe's rubber outsole turned out to be not so awfully frail.

First of all, it's a pretty hard compound and our experience shows that harder rubbers tend to have a longer and happier life span.

Based on our durometer measurements, it comes in at 86.0 HC which is on par with the most expensive tennis shoes in our lab.

Asics Gel Dedicate 8 Outsole hardness
Test results
Asics Gel Dedicate 8 86.0 HC
Average 85.6 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 22 all court tennis shoes
Number of shoes
73.4 HC
Outsole hardness
92.0 HC

Outsole durability

To mimic the abrasion of many hours on the court, we turned to our trusted Dremel and set the speed up to the relentless 10K RPM.

Holding its sandpaper tip against the shoe's outsole at consistent pressure (3.2N) for 22 seconds, we were pleasantly surprised. The dent that occurred was shallower than a millimeter (0.8 mm to be precise)! Sure, it is slightly deeper than average but we believe it's a fantastic result for a shoe in this price range.

Asics Gel Dedicate 8 Outsole durability
Test results
Asics Gel Dedicate 8 0.8 mm
Average 0.6 mm
Compared to 20 all court tennis shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

ASICS didn't skimp on the thickness of that outsole rubber either. As our caliper shows, there is a whole 4.2 mm of material there! Same as in any proper hard-court tennis shoe.

Asics Gel Dedicate 8 Outsole thickness
Test results
Asics Gel Dedicate 8 4.2 mm
Average 4.2 mm
Compared to 22 all court tennis shoes
Number of shoes
3.3 mm
Outsole thickness
5.1 mm

Weight

One thing that you can't take away from the ASICS Gel Dedicate 8 is its amazing lightness on the foot.

Asics Gel Dedicate 8 lightweight

It doesn't have the same technologies as the more expensive shoes but that's what helps to keep the weight of this ASICS shoe down.

Tipping the scale at 11.3 oz (319g) in a men's US size 9, the Gel Dedicate 8 is lighter than 90% of our lab-tested tennis shoes!

Asics Gel Dedicate 8 Weight
Test results
Asics Gel Dedicate 8 11.25 oz (319g)
Average 12.80 oz (363g)
Compared to 22 all court tennis shoes
Number of shoes
10.30 oz (292g)
Weight
14.71 oz (417g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

It may be a cheap shoe, but the Dediacte 8 comes with a very generous slab of cushioning foam. Measuring its stack height in the heel, our caliper showed 28.6 mm. This is just as much as we see in many tennis shoes.

We can say for sure that impact protection is not lacking in this ASICS tennis shoe.

Asics Gel Dedicate 8 Heel stack
Test results
Asics Gel Dedicate 8 28.6 mm
Average 29.4 mm
Compared to 22 all court tennis shoes
Number of shoes
25.3 mm
Heel stack
33.0 mm

Forefoot stack

As for the forefoot, we measured its thickness at 18.4 mm. This is slightly lower than average but is ideal for maneuvering and adjusting the feet.

Test results
Asics Gel Dedicate 8 18.4 mm
Average 19.8 mm
Compared to 22 all court tennis shoes
Number of shoes
17.0 mm
Forefoot stack
23.4 mm

Drop

Having a slightly elevated heel for impact protection and a lower forefoot for ground control is the most optimal setup for a tennis shoe. Thus, the 10.2 mm heel-to-toe drop of the ASICS Gel Dedicate 8 felt right at home to us.

Asics Gel Dedicate 8 Drop
Test results
Asics Gel Dedicate 8 10.2 mm
Average 9.6 mm
Compared to 22 all court tennis shoes
Number of shoes
6.3 mm
Drop
12.4 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

Being a very affordable tennis shoe, the Dedicate 8 uses a basic, single-density foam from the heel to the toes. The shoe's name suggests the presence of a soft GEL cushioning unit but having cut the shoe in half, we couldn't see it anywhere! Did ASICS lie about it? Is it hidden somewhere else in the midsole?

That's a real mystery to us but either way, even if it's present, it would be too small to make any difference to cushioning.

As for the primary (EVA?) foam, we found that it doesn't have any standout bounciness to it but offers decent impact protection for going full force.

Measuring the foam's softness with a durometer, we got 30.0 HA which is just about the same as the average across tennis shoes. The best way to describe it is moderately firm.

It helped us feel pretty stable and grounded on the court.

Asics Gel Dedicate 8 Midsole softness
Test results
Asics Gel Dedicate 8 30.0 HA
Average 29.6 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 22 all court tennis shoes
Number of shoes
21.5 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
34.0 HA

Insole thickness

Making sure you have enough buffer underneath the foot, the shoe comes with a decently thick insole. Our caliper shows that it is 5.2 mm thick.

Asics Gel Dedicate 8 Insole thickness
Test results
Asics Gel Dedicate 8 5.2 mm
Average 5.3 mm
Compared to 22 all court tennis shoes
Number of shoes
3.9 mm
Insole thickness
8.5 mm

Stability

Lateral stability test

Even at this price point, ASICS managed to pack sufficient stability into the Dedicate 8. The brand's TRUSSTIC support system wraps around the midfoot holding our feet pretty firmly in place.

Lateral stability test: ASICS Gel Dedicate 8

Sure, it's not as supportive as the more expensive ASICS Gel Challenger 14 but it is more than enough for a beginner player who is still developing their playing style.

Lateral stability test: ASICS Gel Challenger 14

Torsional rigidity

It may not be as advanced as ASICS' DYNAWALL support system but the presence of the TRUSSTIC system gave the Gel Dedicate 8 a good amount of torsional rigidity.

Twisting the shoe in our manual test, we rated its stiffness high a pretty high score - 4 out of 5. It is pretty good at controlling excessive ankle movements.

Test results
Asics Gel Dedicate 8 4
Average 4.3
Compared to 22 all court tennis shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

One place where the ASICS Gel Dedicate 8 could use more support is the heel counter. Giving it a squeeze-and-push test, we rated its stiffness as only 3 out of 5. It is not as structured and reinforced as in the Challenger 14 or in the Resolution 9 (duh!).

On the court, we could feel the discrepancy between the shoe's stable platform and the less supportive upper.

Test results
Asics Gel Dedicate 8 3
Average 3.7
Compared to 22 all court tennis shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

The base of the ASICS Gel Dedicate 8 is not a particularly wide one. There is a rather subtle flange on the lateral side of the forefoot but it's not as pronounced as in the more stability-oriented tennis shoes.

Using a caliper, we measured its widest area at 108.8 mm. It is only slightly narrower than average though.

Asics Gel Dedicate 8 Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Asics Gel Dedicate 8 108.8 mm
Average 111.9 mm
Compared to 22 all court tennis shoes
Number of shoes
105.3 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
117.4 mm

Midsole width in the heel

The widest part of the shoe's heel turned out to be not so wide either. According to our caliper, it comes in at 86.1 mm, about 3 mm narrower than average.

Sure it's not very wide but as a beginner, you wouldn't need the widest flanges until you develop a very forceful and dynamic footwork.

Asics Gel Dedicate 8 Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Asics Gel Dedicate 8 86.1 mm
Average 89.8 mm
Compared to 22 all court tennis shoes
Number of shoes
82.4 mm
Midsole width in the heel
99.7 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

The shoe's TRUSSTIC support system takes up a fairly small part of the shoe's midsole. This leaves space for the Dedicate 8 to flex pretty effortlessly in the forefoot.

It makes you feel more in control of the foot as you change directions or make small foot adjustments on the court.

Asics Gel Dedicate 8 flexibility

To figure out exactly how flexible this ASICS shoe is, we used a force gauge to measure how much force it takes to bend it to a 90-degree angle. The tool returned a reading of 26.6N which is 15% less than it takes an average tennis shoe.

This makes the Gel Dedicate 8 a fairly flexible option.

Test results
Asics Gel Dedicate 8 26.6N
Average 31.0N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 22 all court tennis shoes
Number of shoes
20.6N
Stiffness
44.9N

Grip / Traction

The traction pattern on the ASICS Gel Dedicate 8 is nearly identical to the ones we've seen on the Challenger 14 and the Resolution 9.

Asics Gel Dedicate 8 outsole

A mix of deeper and shallower treads, sharp herringbone lugs, and smooth pivot points creates a nice balance of grip and give on the court.

Even though we didn't experience the same surefootedness as in the more expensive models, we can confirm that the shoe's outsole has a good enough performance for beginner players.

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

If you have wide feet, we urge you to get the shoe's wide version without hesitation. The ASICS Gel Dedicate 8 turned out to be a pretty snug shoe for our medium-width feet.

Asics Gel Dedicate 8 fit

Measuring the widest part of the shoe's forefoot, our caliper showed 99.3 mm which is below the average range of tennis shoes.

Asics Gel Dedicate 8 Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Asics Gel Dedicate 8 99.3 mm
Average 101.2 mm
Compared to 22 all court tennis shoes
Number of shoes
98.2 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
105.0 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

What's more, the shoe's toebox gets more pointy towards the toes compared to other tennis shoe options. At the big toe mark, our caliper showed a width of only 75.2 mm.

But for players with narrow-to-medium feet, we think that the ASICS Gel Dedicate 8 will provide a very secure foot containment.

Asics Gel Dedicate 8 Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Asics Gel Dedicate 8 75.2 mm
Average 76.7 mm
Compared to 22 all court tennis shoes
Number of shoes
74.8 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
79.8 mm

Tongue: gusset type

Tongue gussets are a prerogative of more expensive tennis shoes so we weren't disappointed with their absence in the Gel Dedicate 8. Luckily, the shoe's tongue is wide and padded enough to prevent the annoying side-to-side shifting.

Asics Gel Dedicate 8 Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Asics Gel Dedicate 8 None

Comfort

Tongue padding

The Dedicate 8 is a real pillow for the feet! From the collar to the tongue, ASICS did not skimp on padding when designing the upper of this shoe.

Using a caliper, we measured the shoe's tongue padding at 10.0 mm which is more generous than average.

Asics Gel Dedicate 8 Tongue padding
Test results
Asics Gel Dedicate 8 10.0 mm
Average 7.9 mm
Compared to 22 all court tennis shoes
Number of shoes
2.5 mm
Tongue padding
13.1 mm

Heel tab

The brand skipped adding any kind of pull tabs or finger loops to the back of the Dedicate 8.

Asics Gel Dedicate 8 Heel tab
Test results
Asics Gel Dedicate 8 None

Removable insole

If you want to make the ASICS Gel Dedicate 8 feel less like a budget shoe, there is an option to add your own insert or orthotics. The shoe's stock insole is easily removable.

Asics Gel Dedicate 8 Removable insole
Test results
Asics Gel Dedicate 8 Yes