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Chopin
08-06-2010, 05:14 PM
Hello ladies and gentleman,

It's my pleasure to "give back" to the community in the form of this brief "impressions" piece on some of the latest tennis footwear for gentleman. I had the pleasure of sampling the shoes listed below, and I'm happy to share with you my impressions from the beautiful USVI.

I warn you though, the views expressed are solely those of Chopin and no one else. It is also worthy of your attention that I did not actually hit in all these shoes, but rather, tested them for "out of the box" comfort, fit and general quality impressions.

Nike Lunar Vapor Tour

Being a Vapor V user, it was with high hopes that I tried the latest "Vapor" incarnation on. Sadly, I was disappointed. While they're very comfortable out of the box, with a super soft upper, as well as stylish, they're also a disaster in terms of support. The upper is far, far too soft for competitive tennis (and, mind you, this it out of the box). There are also no arches at all (and this is coming from someone with low arches!). This is a stylish shoe for casual wear, but nothing more. Federer does not wear these according to many posters here (some of our finest minds insist that Federer uses last year's model based on picture analyses) and just trying them on, I can understand why. Overpriced for a shoe that is simply not a performance tool.

4/10.

Nike Air Court Ballistec 2.3 (A Chopin Gold-Star Choice)

A shoe that is worthy of a champion (and indeed, this is the shoe of choice of Rafa Nadal). Excellent comfort. Excellent support. Excellent fit. The toe-box is a bit narrow, but I sense they'd stretch out nicely. Arch support is lower, but not nonexistent like the Vapors. Perhaps not ideal for a very wide foot, but my regular size (11) foot fit perfectly for this shoe.

9.5/10

adidas Barricade V

A classic shoe with a strong following. Good comfort, excellent support, good fit for me (a bit wider than the Ballistecs). They don't "breathe" as well as the Ballistecs though and don't feel quite as nimble to me. Medium arches. I'm sure they're the tops in terms of durability and support.

8.5/10

adidas Barricade 6.0

A very odd shoe. Very high arches, which are uncomfortable and awkward feeling. It's undetermined how they'd break in, but out of the box these felt clumsy and uncomfortable. I can't recommend them, unless you have very high arches, when the Vs can still be bought.

6.5/10

Wilson Tour Vision (A Chopin Gold-Star Choice)

The "sleeper" shoe of the lineup also turns out to be one of the best. Amazing comfort out of the box (the best of the group). These also felt very well made and supportive. The only downsides are that they felt like they'd be a "hot" shoe and for me, they are perhaps a little bit wide. Still, these shoes are easily up there with the Nadal shoes.

9.5/10

So, there you have it folks. Nike and Wilson have scored big. Which one did I choose? Well, let's just say you'll have to wait for one of my postmodern threads to find out!

Best to you all,
Chopin

Edit: Grading Scale

10--The "Hammerklavier"--remarkable in every way. Truly a feat of engineering and humanity. This score, while hypothetically possible, is rarely, if ever, achieved in a Chopin Review (C).
9--Excellent in every important way, with a certain intangible glimmer like a dying sun.
8--Very good to excellent in every important way. A middle-period Mozart sonata.
7--A good shoe with a few minor limitations. These shoes can be good values (like airfare sometimes bought from Priceline).
6--An average shoe with strengths and weaknesses, though it's weaknesses limit it's appeal to a competitive player.
5--A below average offering. A piano tuned in tune with itself, but not to concert pitch.
4--A poor shoe that despite a strength or two has a critical problem.
3--A very poor shoe that proves a major hinderance to a player's game.
2--A shoe that risks injury to the user and has no redeeming qualities.
1--Playing barefoot would be preferable than wearing a shoe of this quality. Atrocious.

featherlight
08-06-2010, 05:49 PM
thanks for the insight , i totally agree with you for the ll vapors the uppers are so soft

Doubles
08-06-2010, 06:04 PM
Hmm, odd. I would have given the Barricade V and 6.0's a 10/10. I really thought they were both incredible shoes...

Chopin
08-06-2010, 06:59 PM
Hmm, odd. I would have given the Barricade V and 6.0's a 10/10. I really thought they were both incredible shoes...

I thought the 6.0s were pretty poor mainly due to the fit issue (very high arches), but again, that's where this is completely subjective, as we all have different foot types. Also, I didn't give any shoe a perfect 10 out of 10. 10, to me, is something truly amazing, existing in theory, but rarely, if ever, in practice.

the mania
08-09-2010, 11:02 PM
Great reviews, insightful and funny at the same time, looking forward to a 2k10 review

JoelDali
08-10-2010, 06:56 AM
Chopin, can I get a review on the weed?

http://www.tennisidentity.com/tennisidentitycom/images/2008/10/05/weed.jpg

Chopin
08-10-2010, 04:18 PM
Chopin, can I get a review on the weed?

http://www.tennisidentity.com/tennisidentitycom/images/2008/10/05/weed.jpg

Good humour!

thejuice
08-10-2010, 04:35 PM
Chopin, what I liked most about your review is that you mentioned how you were testing for out-of-the-box comfort. I agree with you regarding the B 5 and 6's. I must say that the 6 is a great shoe once broken in though. The ONLY minor quip is that the heels aren't as wide as the 5 so the 6 can have a tendency to roll since it still sits as high off the ground. I think Adidas should keep the fit just like they have it but either make the heel lower to the ground or widen the heel.

prjacobs
12-08-2010, 10:46 AM
Hello ladies and gentleman,

It's my pleasure to "give back" to the community in the form of this brief "impressions" piece on some of the latest tennis footwear for gentleman. I had the pleasure of sampling the shoes listed below, and I'm happy to share with you my impressions from the beautiful USVI.

I warn you though, the views expressed are solely those of Chopin and no one else. It is also worthy of your attention that I did not actually hit in all these shoes, but rather, tested them for "out of the box" comfort, fit and general quality impressions.

Nike Lunar Vapor Tour

Being a Vapor V user, it was with high hopes that I tried the latest "Vapor" incarnation on. Sadly, I was disappointed. While they're very comfortable out of the box, with a super soft upper, as well as stylish, they're also a disaster in terms of support. The upper is far, far too soft for competitive tennis (and, mind you, this it out of the box). There are also no arches at all (and this is coming from someone with low arches!). This is a stylish shoe for casual wear, but nothing more. Federer does not wear these according to many posters here (some of our finest minds insist that Federer uses last year's model based on picture analyses) and just trying them on, I can understand why. Overpriced for a shoe that is simply not a performance tool.

4/10.

Nike Air Court Ballistec 2.3 (A Chopin Gold-Star Choice)

A shoe that is worthy of a champion (and indeed, this is the shoe of choice of Rafa Nadal). Excellent comfort. Excellent support. Excellent fit. The toe-box is a bit narrow, but I sense they'd stretch out nicely. Arch support is lower, but not nonexistent like the Vapors. Perhaps not ideal for a very wide foot, but my regular size (11) foot fit perfectly for this shoe.

9.5/10

adidas Barricade V

A classic shoe with a strong following. Good comfort, excellent support, good fit for me (a bit wider than the Ballistecs). They don't "breathe" as well as the Ballistecs though and don't feel quite as nimble to me. Medium arches. I'm sure they're the tops in terms of durability and support.

8.5/10

adidas Barricade 6.0

A very odd shoe. Very high arches, which are uncomfortable and awkward feeling. It's undetermined how they'd break in, but out of the box these felt clumsy and uncomfortable. I can't recommend them, unless you have very high arches, when the Vs can still be bought.

6.5/10

Wilson Tour Vision (A Chopin Gold-Star Choice)

The "sleeper" shoe of the lineup also turns out to be one of the best. Amazing comfort out of the box (the best of the group). These also felt very well made and supportive. The only downsides are that they felt like they'd be a "hot" shoe and for me, they are perhaps a little bit wide. Still, these shoes are easily up there with the Nadal shoes.

9.5/10

So, there you have it folks. Nike and Wilson have scored big. Which one did I choose? Well, let's just say you'll have to wait for one of my postmodern threads to find out!

Best to you all,
Chopin

Edit: Grading Scale

10--The "Hammerklavier"--remarkable in every way. Truly a feat of engineering and humanity. This score, while hypothetically possible, is rarely, if ever, achieved in a Chopin Review (C).
9--Excellent in every important way, with a certain intangible glimmer like a dying sun.
8--Very good to excellent in every important way. A middle-period Mozart sonata.
7--A good shoe with a few minor limitations. These shoes can be good values (like airfare sometimes bought from Priceline).
6--An average shoe with strengths and weaknesses, though it's weaknesses limit it's appeal to a competitive player.
5--A below average offering. A piano tuned in tune with itself, but not to concert pitch.
4--A poor shoe that despite a strength or two has a critical problem.
3--A very poor shoe that proves a major hinderance to a player's game.
2--A shoe that risks injury to the user and has no redeeming qualities.
1--Playing barefoot would be preferable than wearing a shoe of this quality. Atrocious.

Funny that you're using a Beethoven sonata as your 10 rating:) Anyway, thanks for the reviews....

T21D
12-08-2010, 11:04 AM
Chopin, you're rating on the Vapor was TOO kind. 2 to2.5/10 at best. It seems as Federer skills are slowly diminishing, nike has accelerated that process by giving the general public a piece of crap. This goes for the 2k10.

Chopin
12-08-2010, 05:34 PM
Chopin, you're rating on the Vapor was TOO kind. 2 to2.5/10 at best. It seems as Federer skills are slowly diminishing, nike has accelerated that process by giving the general public a piece of crap. This goes for the 2k10.

Yes, I have no idea what Nike was thinking with that one! I think that Nike is a somewhat shady company, in general, with some of their labor practices (though this is not unique) and their general focus on image over quality for most of their stuff. The upper tier Nike equipment generally remains excellent, but a lot of the mid-range stuff they put out is awful. All that being said, I truly have to wonder how Nike went from releasing an outstanding performance shoe in the Vapor VI to a fashion accessory with the Lunars.