Our verdict

You can't go wrong when you're getting the best, right? We were ecstatic about the comfort and performance offered by the ASICS Gel Resolution 9 Clay. It is truly one of the top-class tennis shoes you can get for clay courts if you're after a perfect blend of stability, cushioning, and grip. Not to mention that durability-wise, it will outlive many other tennis shoes on the market.

Pros

  • One of the most durable tennis shoes
  • Unbeatable support and stability
  • Highly secure foot lockdown
  • Not so heavy given the construction
  • Fantastic impact protection
  • Very fun and responsive cushioning
  • Amazing in-shoe comfort
  • A fine balance of stiffness and flexibility

Cons

  • Not very breathable
  • Needs breaking in

Audience verdict

88
Superb!

Who should buy

As a clay-court version of ASICS's top-of-the-line Resolution 9 shoe, we are convinced that the Resolution 9 Clay is one of the best tennis shoes you can get if:

  • you want the highest level of stability and support
  • you prefer lots of cushioning in tennis footwear
  • you need a shoe that will last you for many months (+a 6-month outsole warranty)

ASICS Gel Resolution 9 Clay review

Who should NOT buy

ASICS had to make sacrifices when designing such a reinforced tennis shoe. One potential turn-off could be the shoe's sturdy PU upper which, while durable, halts breathability.

If you want a better-ventilated shoe, try the previous Resolution 8 or the ASICS Solution Speed FF 2.

ASICS Gel Resolution 9 Clay lab test

Breathability

With its extraordinary emphasis on protection and durability, we didn't expect much breathability from the PU-covered upper of this ASICS shoe. And it didn't feel particularly ventilated on our feet during the playtest.

To back up our subjective experience, we ran a smoke-pumping machine test in our lab. Filling the shoe's upper with smoke, we observed how reluctantly it escaped through the thick material, primarily in the tongue area.

This left us no choice but to rate the shoe's breathability with a lower score of 3 out of 5. You can see how the shoe's most ventilated areas are distributed in our transparency test below.

Hovering the shoe's half-cut upper over the light makes it pretty clear that the mesh tongue is the main source of fresh air in this ASICS shoe.

ASICS Gel Resolution 9 Clay microscope

We also grabbed a microscope hoping that the shoe's toebox ventilation was not entirely hopeless. Luckily, we found a fairly porous mesh layer beneath the thick PU layer. It helps to make the shoe's interiors not so toasty.

ASICS Gel Resolution 9 Clay microscope upper

Test results
Gel Resolution 9 Clay 3
Average 3.4
Compared to 21 clay court tennis shoes
1
Breathability
5
Number of shoes

Durability

Toebox durability

Familiar with the incredible durability of ASICS tennis shoes, we couldn't wait to see how the Resolution 9 would hold up to our demanding Dremel test.

Using a sandpaper tip, we packed hours of on-court play into 12 seconds of drilling the shoe's toebox.

Barely able to even see the damage on the shoe's upper material, we didn't hesitate to rate its toebox durability with the highest 5 out of 5!

ASICS Gel Resolution 9 Clay Toebox durability

We were happy to see that the Resolution 9 Clay is nothing but fortified against toe drags on every front! The extended outsole rubber paired with a hard-wearing PGuard on the medial side of the toebox turns this ASICS shoe into a real monster.

ASICS Gel Resolution 9 Clay toe drag guard

Test results
Gel Resolution 9 Clay 5
Average 4.1
Compared to 19 clay court tennis shoes
1
Toebox durability
5
Number of shoes

Heel padding durability

Even from the inside, the ASICS Gel Resolution 9 Clay continues to be unbeatable. The inner lining of a tennis shoe is often among the first parts to develop holes. But it doesn't seem to be the case for this shoe!

Seeing how most shoes give up the moment our Dremel touches them, the heel lining of the Resolution 9 was left with a mere cosmetic scuff after 4 seconds! That's a clear 5 out of 5 for heel padding durability right there!

ASICS Gel Resolution 9 Clay Heel padding durability
Test results
Gel Resolution 9 Clay 5
Average 3.3
Compared to 19 clay court tennis shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5
Number of shoes

Outsole hardness

In the history of RunRepeat shoe lab, never once did ASICS AHAR rubber disappoint us. And the ASICS Resolution 9 Clay was no exception.

First of all, it is among the hardest rubbers we've measured, especially across clay court shoes. With a durometer reading of 88.5 HC, it is on par with its hard-court counterpart.

ASICS Gel Resolution 9 Clay Outsole hardness
Test results
Gel Resolution 9 Clay 88.5 HC
Average 85.6 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 21 clay court tennis shoes
73.4 HC
Outsole hardness
92.0 HC
Number of shoes

Outsole durability

To further test the shoe's outsole, we upped our Dremel's speed to the demanding 10K RPM. Holding the tool's sandpaper tip against the rubber for 22 seconds, we checked how easily the treading would wear out under such pressure.

With the help of a tread gauge, we measured that the dent left by the tool was only 0.8 mm deep. It is a fantastic result for a clay court outsole. For comparison, the clay version of the famous Adidas Barricade sustained over a millimeter of damage (1.06 mm).

ASICS Gel Resolution 9 Clay Outsole durability
Test results
Gel Resolution 9 Clay 0.8 mm
Average 0.6 mm
Compared to 19 clay court tennis shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm
Number of shoes

Outsole thickness

Hard, durable. and THICC! ASICS really made sure that the Resolution 9 Clay is here to stay. Our caliper showed 4.6 mm which is in the upper tier of tennis shoe outsoles.

But wait, there is more.

This clay court shoe also comes with a 6-month durability guarantee which is a true cherry on top.

ASICS Gel Resolution 9 Clay Outsole thickness
Test results
Gel Resolution 9 Clay 4.6 mm
Average 4.1 mm
Compared to 21 clay court tennis shoes
3.3 mm
Outsole thickness
5.0 mm
Number of shoes

Weight

It is only reasonable that a shoe with so much cushioning and stability comes on the heavier side of tennis footwear. But to our great surprise, the Resolution 9 Clay didn't outweigh the average that much.

Tipping the scale at 13.0 oz (369g), it is only slightly burlier than a typical tennis shoe. In fact, it is lighter than the Adidas Barricade 13 Clay (13.4 oz/378g).

ASICS Gel Resolution 9 Clay Weight
Test results
Gel Resolution 9 Clay 13.02 oz (369g)
Average 12.77 oz (362g)
Compared to 21 clay court tennis shoes
10.30 oz (292g)
Weight
14.71 oz (417g)
Number of shoes

Cushioning

Heel stack

The Resolution 9 Clay does not cut corners on cushioning, that's for sure! Even before measuring its thickness with a caliper, we could feel the most generous impact protection in this ASICS shoe.

The tool only confirmed our experience - with 31.7 mm of stack height under the heel, it is one of the cushiest tennis shoes in our roster.

ASICS Gel Resolution 9 Clay Heel stack
Test results
Gel Resolution 9 Clay 31.7 mm
Average 29.4 mm
Compared to 21 clay court tennis shoes
25.3 mm
Heel stack
33.0 mm
Number of shoes

Forefoot stack

The balls of our feet felt just as comfortably supported as the heels. With 21.5 mm of stack in the forefoot, it is just a bit thicker than average in the Resolution 9 Clay.

Staying on our toes throughout the game felt easy on us but didn't detract from the court feel either. Perfect balance!

ASICS Gel Resolution 9 Clay Forefoot stack
Test results
Gel Resolution 9 Clay 21.5 mm
Average 19.8 mm
Compared to 21 clay court tennis shoes
17.0 mm
Forefoot stack
23.4 mm
Number of shoes

Drop

It is common for a tennis shoe midsole to be thicker in the rearfoot. That way, the heel is placed higher off the ground, receiving better impact protection in this area. Meanwhile, the forefoot remains closer to the court for better maneuverability and court feel.

ASICS Gel Resolution 9 Clay found a sweet spot with a 10.2 mm heel-to-toe drop. That's a standard heel elevation for a tennis shoe.

ASICS Gel Resolution 9 Clay Drop
Test results
Gel Resolution 9 Clay 10.2 mm
Average 9.6 mm
Compared to 21 clay court tennis shoes
6.3 mm
Drop
12.4 mm
Number of shoes

Midsole softness

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

The brand's famous FlyteFoam makes up the primary cushioning of the Resolution 9 Clay. Full-length, it stretches from the heel to the forefoot creating a very smooth platform.

Measuring its softness with a durometer returned 29.5 HA which is right at the average of tennis shoes. Neither too soft nor hard, it can be described as moderately firm. We believe that it is a perfect setup for a stability-oriented shoe.

ASICS Gel Resolution 9 Clay Midsole softness
Test results
Gel Resolution 9 Clay 29.5 HA
Average 29.6 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 21 clay court tennis shoes
21.5 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
34.0 HA
Number of shoes

Secondary foam softness

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

In addition to FlyteFoam, this ASICS shoe also features the renowned GEL cushioning. It comes in the shape of two small units, one in the forefoot and one in the heel.

It is a bit tricky to measure their softness because of their thin shape, but we can tell that both are incredibly squishy. However, because they are embedded into the firmer foam, they add a nice bounce as opposed to wobbliness.

ASICS Gel Resolution 9 Clay gel cushioning

Insole thickness

Even in its insole, the ASICS Gel Resolution 9 Clay didn't skimp on padding at all. Based on our caliper measurement, it is a 5.2 mm thick layer of extra foam.

ASICS Gel Resolution 9 Clay Insole thickness
Test results
Gel Resolution 9 Clay 5.2 mm
Average 5.3 mm
Compared to 21 clay court tennis shoes
3.9 mm
Insole thickness
8.5 mm
Number of shoes

Stability

Lateral stability test

Very few tennis shoes on the market can compete with the stability offered by the ASICS Resolutions. Every component of this shoe was tailor-made to provide the most supportive experience.

Torsional rigidity

Let's start with the most obvious one - the Dynawall. This incredibly stiff TPU shank with large side wings wraps around the shoe's midfoot like a claw.

Holding the shoe in our hands, it felt as though the shoe's mid-section had been cemented! That's how stiff the Dynawall makes it. On a 1-5 scale, we rated the shoe's torsional rigidity with the highest 5!

If you can't stand another ankle roll in your tennis game, we recommend investing in the Gel Resolution 9 Clay immediately!

Test results
Gel Resolution 9 Clay 5
Average 4.3
Compared to 21 clay court tennis shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5
Number of shoes

Heel counter stiffness

But the shoe's support doesn't end with the Dynawall. Wrapping around the shoe's heel and lateral side is an ergonomically designed TPU component of contrasting color.

ASICS Gel Resolution 9 Clay support

We found that it adds stiffness and structure to the already firm heel counter, amplifying the foothold in this area.

Test results
Gel Resolution 9 Clay 4
Average 3.8
Compared to 21 clay court tennis shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5
Number of shoes

Midsole width in the forefoot

Completing the shoe's stability ensemble is a sufficiently wide and steady platform. It doesn't stand out as particularly wide but there is a visible flange in its forefoot that supported our forceful lateral movements quite a bit.

Measuring the shoe's platform in the widest part, our caliper showed 109.3 mm. That's adequately wide for a tennis shoe.

ASICS Gel Resolution 9 Clay Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Gel Resolution 9 Clay 109.3 mm
Average 112.0 mm
Compared to 21 clay court tennis shoes
105.3 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
117.4 mm
Number of shoes

Midsole width in the heel

In the widest area of the heel, we also got a caliper measurement of 89.2 mm. That is more than enough for a tennis shoe heel.

ASICS Gel Resolution 9 Clay Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Gel Resolution 9 Clay 89.2 mm
Average 90.0 mm
Compared to 21 clay court tennis shoes
82.4 mm
Midsole width in the heel
99.7 mm
Number of shoes

Flexibility

Stiffness

Even though the ASICS Gel Resolution 9 Clay comes with such substantial stability components, we found that it bends along with the foot quite well.

ASICS Gel Resolution 9 Clay flexibility

To compare its level of flexibility with other tennis shoes, we fixed the Resolution 9 to the table and turned to our force gauge. We measured that it takes 25.2N to bend this ASICS shoe to a 90-degree angle. That's 20% less than it takes an average tennis shoe!

Test results
Gel Resolution 9 Clay 25.2N
Average 30.9N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 21 clay court tennis shoes
20.6N
Stiffness
44.9N
Number of shoes

Grip / Traction

The herringbone tread pattern of the Resolution 9 Clay proved to be amazingly grippy, just like we expected. Its zig-zaggy treads were biting real hard onto the court keeping us surefooted in every shot.

ASICS Gel Resolution 9 Clay outsole

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

Trying the shoe on in a standard width, we were satisfied with the overall fit of the Resolution 9 Clay. It is not only consistent with the fit of the hardcourt version but also with the previous Resolution 8.

ASICS Gel Resolution 9 Clay fit

We grabbed a caliper to measure the widest part of the shoe's toebox and it turned out to be perfectly average at 101.2 mm.

ASICS Gel Resolution 9 Clay Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Gel Resolution 9 Clay 101.2 mm
Average 101.2 mm
Compared to 21 clay court tennis shoes
98.2 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
105.0 mm
Number of shoes

Toebox width at the big toe

Just like most other ASICS shoes, the Resolution 9 Clay does not have any critical tapering in its toebox. Measuring the shoe's width around the big toe, our caliper showed 78.3 mm. On foot, that translates to a normal medium toebox shape with no squishing or pinching.

ASICS Gel Resolution 9 Clay Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Gel Resolution 9 Clay 78.3 mm
Average 76.6 mm
Compared to 21 clay court tennis shoes
74.8 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
79.8 mm
Number of shoes

Tongue: gusset type

The Resolution 9 carries over a very welcome feature from the previous edition, called the Dynawrap. Comprised of a semi-gusseted tongue and two straps around the instep, it does a fabulous job of locking down the area that's often overlooked in tennis shoes, the forefoot.

As a result, not only did our heels and ankles feel secure but there was also no foot play in the forefoot.

ASICS Gel Resolution 9 Clay Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Gel Resolution 9 Clay Both sides (semi)

Comfort

Tongue padding

ASICS went full force with the in-shoe padding in the Resolution 9 Clay. Both tongue and collar received plenty of love.

Measuring the shoe's tongue thickness, our caliper returned 10.1 mm. Not the thickest we've seen but certainly cushier than average.

ASICS Gel Resolution 9 Clay Tongue padding
Test results
Gel Resolution 9 Clay 10.1 mm
Average 8.0 mm
Compared to 21 clay court tennis shoes
2.5 mm
Tongue padding
13.1 mm
Number of shoes

Heel tab

Bad news for players who don't like spending more than a second to put their tennis shoes on. With no pull tabs or finger loops to hold on to, it take some fiddling to get the Resolution 9 Clay on.

ASICS Gel Resolution 9 Clay Heel tab
Test results
Gel Resolution 9 Clay None

Removable insole

As if the shoe's in-built arch support and cushioning weren't enough, the insole of the Resolution is also removable. It can be swapped for an aftermarket one if you wish.

ASICS Gel Resolution 9 Clay Removable insole
Test results
Gel Resolution 9 Clay Yes