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View Full Version : Most forgiving hard court shoes? Advice needed


robbo1970
03-02-2012, 01:36 AM
Hi,

I always play on outdoor hard courts and really need some advice on the best shoes to wear.

I do suffer from calf injuries and therefore need something that is forgiving and fairly spongy underfoot.

I have tried on the usual Ballistecs, Vapours, Barricades, KSwiss.....but found them all too heavy and the soles offering next to nothing in the way of absorbing shock from my heel and calf.

Any help would be great. Budget is not an issue, nor is branding. Should I consider wearing cross training shoes?

Many thanks

scotus
03-02-2012, 02:23 AM
For shock absorption, do not rely on your shoes alone.

A pair of good insoles is a must investment for a serious tennis player.

I like sorbothane material and personally wear the heel cups from rxsorbo.

robbo1970
03-02-2012, 02:34 AM
Actually the KSwiss Speedsters I have, do have a changeable insole so I will give that a go.

I tend to run about a lot and I just found that the sole and heel of the shoe gave me nothing in terms of shock absorbtion, so much so I felt the hard ground vibrate through my achilles and calf muscles, which caused the strain. (I stretch for about an hour before every game)

I'm sure insoles will help, but I still think the fundamental issue is the shoe itself.

Some players I have spoken to have even said to avoid 'proper' tennis shoes as they are notorious for feeling hard underfoot. But I wanted your opinions rather than theirs.

Thanks

joe sch
03-02-2012, 03:02 AM
I have been happy with the adidas barricade models.
Also consider the sole patterns and width of the shoe since proper court traction and support are important, as is shock support. This is why a tennis court shoe designed for hard, dirt, or grass is wise.

robbo1970
03-02-2012, 03:54 AM
Thanks Joe,

I need to find a shop here that sells Barricades so I can try them on.

The KSwiss Speedsters are apparantly designed for most surfaces including hard court, but theyve killed my calf muscles and they are so cumbersome, I had real trouble moving my feet quickly.

I think I need some Diadora Borg Elite's with a shock absorbing heel :)

Ramon
03-02-2012, 04:20 AM
Try the New Balance 804. It's my favorite hard court shoe. It provides good cushioning, doesn't weight too much, and it's one of the most stable shoes out there.

If you want an insole that has good cushioning, try the Sof Sol Airr Orthotic.

robbo1970
03-02-2012, 07:40 AM
Been doing more research into these insoles.

Do you think perhaps a decent insole like the sorbothane ones would make a significant difference? I just looked them up and they do say they help prevent calf muscle injuries, which is what I have.

Ramon
03-02-2012, 08:12 AM
Been doing more research into these insoles.

Do you think perhaps a decent insole like the sorbothane ones would make a significant difference? I just looked them up and they do say they help prevent calf muscle injuries, which is what I have.

Are you talking about these Sorbothanes?

http://www.feetrelief.com/feetrelief/sorbothane_main.htm

I tried them, and I'll never try them again. They are too straight to fit into my tennis shoes. I think they are designed to fit dress shoes. Even if they did fit, I don't think I would like them. They are uncomfortable and offer very little support.

After trying out several different insoles from Sorbothane, Lynco (aka Aetrex), Powerstep, and Sof Sole my favorite is the Sof Sol FIT (neutral version) because it is light weight, fits my foot like a glove, and gives plenty of support. However, the cushioning is minimal. If you want cushioning and don't mind giving up a little support, the Sof Sol Airr Orthotic is a better choice.

Carolina Racquet
03-02-2012, 08:21 AM
I've had a number of issues involving leg and foot pain attributed to tennis.

I was instructed to focus on SUPPORT via insoles and CUSHIONING via the shoes. Without proper footbed support, you'll experience problems that no level of cushioning can address! I've had success with the moldable full-bed insoles offered by SOLE and SOF SOL. They run 30 - 40 dollars a set, but they are cheaper than custom orthotics and can last a good year+.

In terms of shoes for hard courts, I found the Asics Gel Resolution series to be very, very comfortable; followed by the Yonex SHT 307s and then the Prince T-22s. The Asics and Yonex shoes are lighter than the T-22s, but all are comfortable.

I have not had good experience w Barricades or any of the current Nike line of shoes for exceptional comfort. I've tried most of the models offered in the last few years.

robbo1970
03-02-2012, 08:35 AM
Thats very interesting.

I have the KSwiss Speedster and was told they were a good all round shoe and certainly good on hard courts. The fit is very good, no complaints there, its just the pain in my calf muscles after only a few games.

I was advised not to wear the Nike Cross Training shoes for I used to wear for tennis, but I have to admit they were much more forgiving on my ankles and legs than the proper tennis shoes purely because of the spongier sole.

I really want to persevere with the KSwiss, so I'm hoping special insoles are the answer. Or does anyone wear leather cross training shoes that have these bigger spongier soles?

JackB1
03-02-2012, 08:37 AM
9Prince T22s and Asics Gel Resolution 2s are very comfortable. I have my T22s with SofSole Airr Orthotics and the combo works great.

p.s. I have 2 used pairs of Asics Gel Res 2's in the F/S section for cheap...size 11.5

JRstriker12
03-02-2012, 08:48 AM
Another vote for the Prince T-22 - very comfy and cushioning.

toedragger
03-02-2012, 09:38 AM
From very recent experience, try replacing the flimsy stock insoles with some decent aftermarket insoles. There are many to chose from, all based on what's best for your given foot type, arch, etc. I used the medium arch, 'Sof Sole Airr' from a regluar sports-chain store.

But it does make a very significant difference (aka: improvement) in comfort.

Rabbit
03-02-2012, 09:42 AM
Another vote for the Prince T-22 - very comfy and cushioning.

One more for the T22. I was a long time Adidas user, then the K-Swiss Big Shot. With the Prince T22, my knees do not hurt at all. The difference has been simply amazing. Combine that with the fact that the Prince shoe is considerably more reasonably priced, and it's a win/win.

scotus
03-02-2012, 09:53 AM
Are you talking about these Sorbothanes?

http://www.feetrelief.com/feetrelief/sorbothane_main.htm

I tried them, and I'll never try them again. They are too straight to fit into my tennis shoes. I think they are designed to fit dress shoes. Even if they did fit, I don't think I would like them. They are uncomfortable and offer very little support.

After trying out several different insoles from Sorbothane, Lynco (aka Aetrex), Powerstep, and Sof Sole my favorite is the Sof Sol FIT (neutral version) because it is light weight, fits my foot like a glove, and gives plenty of support. However, the cushioning is minimal. If you want cushioning and don't mind giving up a little support, the Sof Sol Airr Orthotic is a better choice.

Try the www.rxsorbo.com and you will see far more varieties.

If you don't have an arch issue, I would recommend the full-sorbothane insoles, rather than those that have Sorbothane on just a spot or two.

If your problem is in the heel and calf, I would highly recommend their Heel Cups. I had a 3-year-old chronic plantar faciitis. I tried everything under the sun and still had to put topical NSAID on it, until I started wearing these.

If you are an adult, get the larger size, since rxsorbo products tend to run quite narrow.

JRstriker12
03-02-2012, 11:36 AM
One more for the T22. I was a long time Adidas user, then the K-Swiss Big Shot. With the Prince T22, my knees do not hurt at all. The difference has been simply amazing. Combine that with the fact that the Prince shoe is considerably more reasonably priced, and it's a win/win.

Agree. I was wearing Cages and Ballistechs before. My local store helped me chose a shoe based on my foot type. I was skeptical at first as I was a hard-core Nike fan, but the T22 are the most comfortable shoe I've worn. The lower price is also a plus.

sportsfan1
03-02-2012, 11:52 AM
Agree. I was wearing Cages and Ballistechs before. My local store helped me chose a shoe based on my foot type. I was skeptical at first as I was a hard-core Nike fan, but the T22 are the most comfortable shoe I've worn. The lower price is also a plus.

hmm, I thought I read shoes from manufacturers primarily in the racquet biz (and vice versa) were generally not a good idea, but in this case with the recommendations, I should give the Prince T22 a try.

scotus
03-02-2012, 12:09 PM
hmm, I thought I read shoes from manufacturers primarily in the racquet biz (and vice versa) were generally not a good idea, but in this case with the recommendations, I should give the Prince T22 a try.

I have read somewhere that Prince shoes are made by Brooks.

kingofstring
03-02-2012, 12:12 PM
My all time favorite are the bigshots they give great support and comfort.

parasailing
03-02-2012, 10:24 PM
Prince T22s rock! I would recommend getting the T22 Mid for additional ankle support. These shoes are probably the best if you need max cushioning. They feel like running shoes with lateral support. The only downside is they are a bit clunky.

Carlito
03-02-2012, 10:42 PM
I have been using vapors forever for matches mostly because they are light and low to the ground. For practice I use ballistics or Cages and I dont have any problem with them either.

I also play on hard court all the time and am starting to get leg and back fatigue. So recently I was looking for a shoe with good cushioning and discovered the Yonex 307. The cushioning is great. Feels like you are walking on pillows. Not as low to the ground as vapors but almost as light, with better support and cushioning. I have used vapors since the Vapor 3 (with exception to the vapor 6) and I might make these my match shoes. First tournament with these tommorow so hopefully it goes well.

AlpineCadet
03-02-2012, 10:46 PM
Whatever you do, don't ever buy from New Balance. I wore their shoes down in less than 4 months, sent them my shoes for 13 dollars, included a note praising them for their traction/durability over Nike/Adidas, and was silently denied my replacement shoes. There was no way they could deny my warranty shoes, I wore them out playing tennis, but apparently they are 1 star rating on Yelp when it comes to customers. Not only did I feel robbed, I had to pay shipping costs based on my faith in them and was denied my replacements when I SENT THEM MY SHOES, on my bill, because they've worn through within less than their 6 months of warranty. Never again.

JGads
03-03-2012, 12:13 AM
Whatever you do, don't ever buy from New Balance. I wore their shoes down in less than 4 months, sent them my shoes for 13 dollars, included a note praising them for their traction/durability over Nike/Adidas, and was silently denied my replacement shoes. There was no way they could deny my warranty shoes, I wore them out playing tennis, but apparently they are 1 star rating on Yelp when it comes to customers. Not only did I feel robbed, I had to pay shipping costs based on my faith in them and was denied my replacements when I SENT THEM MY SHOES, on my bill, because they've worn through within less than their 6 months of warranty. Never again.

Hmm. That stinks. I have to say, I had the opposite experience. Just sent in my shoes for a warranty replacement less than two weeks ago, and the newbies have already arrived quickly and without hassle.

Chace
03-03-2012, 11:27 AM
Hmm. That stinks. I have to say, I had the opposite experience. Just sent in my shoes for a warranty replacement less than two weeks ago, and the newbies have already arrived quickly and without hassle.

Hey Gads,
What New Balance did you get? I was considering getting the 1187s or 1005s. I usually wear barricades or resolutions. I really like the asics resolutions because of how comfortable and light they are yet still stable. I have never worn new balances and was thinking about giving them a shot. If you've worn barricades or resolutions in the past could you compare them to the new balances? TIA

Ramon
03-03-2012, 03:52 PM
I have read somewhere that Prince shoes are made by Brooks.

If that's true, then that explains why Prince tennis shoes are so good. Brooks is a top tier original athletic shoe manufacturer. I have the Prince T10, and it's a great shoe. Too bad it's discontinued.

JGads
03-03-2012, 04:46 PM
Hey Gads,
What New Balance did you get? I was considering getting the 1187s or 1005s. I usually wear barricades or resolutions. I really like the asics resolutions because of how comfortable and light they are yet still stable. I have never worn new balances and was thinking about giving them a shot. If you've worn barricades or resolutions in the past could you compare them to the new balances? TIA

851s, which are super light and kind of can't be compared to the others. I have tried on the 1187s before and they're unbelievably cushioned and plush, if you're looking for that, but I tend to like more minimalist shoes that allow me to move fast while also allowing me to feel the court. The 1187s felt a little boat-like to me and almost too cushioned, but a lot of people love them. ... Right now I'm wearing the new Gel Resolution 4s which are fantastic - cushioned and stable but not overly heavy, stiff or clunky....

I've never been able to do Barricades because my feet are too wide, and they're much more clunky than what I prefer.

Chace
03-03-2012, 05:57 PM
851s, which are super light and kind of can't be compared to the others. I have tried on the 1187s before and they're unbelievably cushioned and plush, if you're looking for that, but I tend to like more minimalist shoes that allow me to move fast while also allowing me to feel the court. The 1187s felt a little boat-like to me and almost too cushioned, but a lot of people love them. ... Right now I'm wearing the new Gel Resolution 4s which are fantastic - cushioned and stable but not overly heavy, stiff or clunky....

I've never been able to do Barricades because my feet are too wide, and they're much more clunky than what I prefer.

Thanks Gads, I will take a look at the 851s.

kingofstring
03-04-2012, 05:04 AM
Bigshots are the best if not a ascics gel resolution 4.