Minimalist shoes for Tennis?

Discussion in 'Shoes and Apparel' started by JohnMT, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    Sounds interesting. I have used Vivo Barefoot Evo with good results. But they might not be durable enough for hard playing toedraggers (thats not me).
     
  2. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    Yes. It will sound controversial to many, but you can say that the ground gives us adequate support, and putting cushoning between you and the ground "filters" it away. And when the shoes get worn, skewed, tilted you actually get "anti"-support.
     
  3. blitzmage_89

    blitzmage_89 Rookie

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    I'm not sure if they're still making it but the ASICS Gel Velocity was really nice. It was like the Stan Smith but a lot lighter (and very durable). I initially bought it only for casual wear but I ended up using it for school, tennis, jogging, gym, flag football and even hiking. It lasted for a good 2 and a half years.
     
  4. newyorkstadium

    newyorkstadium Semi-Pro

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    Although I'm aware of the science of minimalist/barefoot shoes, I chose to look for a minimalist shoe because I'm tall and struggle with low balls. I could see smaller guy's wanting more cushion to help with the serve and higher balls. I haven't tried serving yet, but I will be serving from a different angle with my latest shoes being 2cm lower.

    Is there an argument for picking your shoe based on personal height, or shots you struggle with?
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2013
  5. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    I think comfort, stability, contact with the ground, etc is much, much more important. One of my worst shoe purchases was some Prince squash shoes that had an extra high heel because they wanted to fit some kind of O-holes into them (ridiculous idea).
     
  6. newyorkstadium

    newyorkstadium Semi-Pro

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    Here are a few interesting new studies.

    Link - Barefoot increased jump height and peak power.

    Link - At high speed, the rearfoot runners in a RF pattern, and the forefoot runners in a FF pattern, did not differ significantly in economy. But the FF runners in an RF pattern were more economical still, meaning they were more economical than the RF runners in an RF pattern! The FF runners also had a somewhat higher average preferred speed, suggesting those in the FF group were better runners in absolute terms. At slow and medium speeds, groups did not differ significantly in economy. This study had many flaws, the shoes were not zero heel drop which favors heel strikers. This may explain why the FF runners performed better in a RF pattern. Also, FF runners can easily revert back to a RF stride, but RF runners need training to adjust to a FF pattern.

    Link - This study indicates that running performance improves with shoes 300g or under. So, it's good that tennis shoe companies are trying to lower the weight of shoes.

    Link - Toe strike running increases the risk of injury in the early stages.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2013
  7. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    This has been one of the reasons that I support zero-drop or minimal shoes for tennis. A raised heel does provide impact protection by cushioning, but it reduces athletic performance by pre-tensing the calves and limiting explosive movement. Sprint spikes, for instance, don't have built up heels.

    Since I have healthy feet, I also realize I don't need much in the way of shoes to provide "stability" whatever that is.

    A lightweight, flat tennis shoe with a firm midsole, low stack height, and durable outsole could be a good match shoe in my opinion. Especially if the weight can be kept under 10oz.
     
  8. ericsson

    ericsson Hall of Fame

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    I second that!
     
  9. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    The most minimal, lightest shoe I've seen in the last couple of years are the K-Swiss Speedster Classics. I bought a couple of pair just to knock around in. They look pretty cool in an old-school tennis way, very light. I got them at TW, but I don't think they have them any more, no picture but if you look on the internet you'll probably see a pic.

    http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/descpage-KWSTWB.html
     
  10. random1

    random1 Rookie

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    I've been battling plantar fascitis for the last 9 months or so. Based on some reviews by people with plantar fascitis, I tried the Merrell Trail Glove as a casual sneaker - it's a minimalist trail running shoe. I just got the Merrell Bare Access 2 to use for tennis. The sole, and more importantly the edges of the sold, look more or less like tennis shoes. There's been talk about the danger of running shoes in tennis. Many running shoes have edges on the soles that can "catch" and cause an ankle roll, and most running shoes don't have good lateral traction, which can cause problems. The Bare Access doesn't seem to have these problems, I've only used them once so far, but love them.

    My $0.02
     
  11. OKUSA

    OKUSA Hall of Fame

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    What tennis shoe would y'all recommend until these new generation minimalist tennis shoes arrive? I've been wearing court ballistic 2.3's for a long time and always thought they were overly cushioned and clunky..

    I have played tennis before in vibrams forget the name but it was their second model after the original and they got destroyed readily but I had no problems physically
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2013
  12. BLX_Andy

    BLX_Andy Professional

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    I would prefer the Zoom Vapor 9 Tour. They're lightweight and have great support IMO. Durability is surprisingly good if you don't wear this everyday unless its for tennis.
     
  13. switters

    switters New User

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  14. 10smom62

    10smom62 New User

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    Vivobarefoot now has a shoe

    Looks like Vivobarefoot has made the freud ii for tennis the have both men and women


    Vivobarefoot Freud ii for tennis

    I just order mine. I will let you know how it goes.
     
  15. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    Imo, stability in shoes is an effort to stabilize or fix the inherent problems of a high, shockabsorbing sole.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2014
  16. bigdaddyps

    bigdaddyps Rookie

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    Love my superlight Adidas Response CC Rally Comps.

    Great fit, nice stylin', and I got 2 pair at $49.99 ea.
    Hot damn!

    Now I only play on clay. Don't know how they would feel on hard courts.

    They are 4 ozs. lighter than the pair of Asics Gel Res 5 clay court shoes I have. And it makes a significant diff for me.
     
  17. goran_ace

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  18. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    I purchased a pair at some point, don't know if I'll have records for the date. The settlement is actually for a small amount, less than $4 million (so it is basically impossible to reimburse most of the purchasers, especially after the lawyers take about a 1/3 of that).

    It's a weird case. I bought my pair because they were close to barefoot but added some protection from sharp surfaces.

    They definitely do help strengthen your feet, but less so than just taking your shoes off and going around barefoot. It is sort of amazing that someone would argue that going barefoot doesn't strengthen your feet. You can just take off your shoes and see that your range of motion increases. I'm sure that someone could walk very gingerly barefoot and not increase strength, but the same person could probably lift weights and not increase strength.

    The idea that it would reduce injury is the more questionable claim. Did Vibram actually ever say that? Seems hard to believe. The most legitimate complaint against them is that the pair I have is poorly designed in that dirt can sift between the fixed insole and the outsole and then they stink like hell. You have to constantly wash them if you don't want to kill other people from the stink.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2014
  19. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    I have been playing in some squash shoes - which while not minimalist - are far more minimal then normal tennis shoes and have less drop.

    You feel more stable and quicker - but I find on concrete I want more shock absorbing ability. It's true with more cushion you give up stability but you gain shock absorbtion.

    The whole draw of minimalist shoes is that you avoid heel striking. However in tennis the pros can avoid that without minimalist shoes - fed will stay on the balls of his feet till he plants to hit.

    So seems to me that's the best of both worlds - you avoid heel striking and get more cushioning. I know there is some theories that cushioning doesn't really work. But I don't buy it..

    I have played on some rubberized surfaces which I think would replicate the feel of padded shoes and they absolutely seem easier on my joints. I'd think clay is somewhat similar - you lose some stability but you gain softness..
     
  20. hescobal

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  21. morten

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    Sounds logical except one important difference , yes you stay on the balls of feet while just hitting, at eachother.. As soon as you start running and grinding, staying low, chasing dropshots you must land on your heels sometimes. All the stopping, changing directions. . You cannot play tennis looking like Fred Astaire, all the time. I have been a barefootshoe/minimalistshoe runner for 5 years, i even work in the business. I wanted it to work believe me, for match play it does not work. I use CB 4.3. , one thing the shoemakers could do is to try a bit lower drop, not so much raised the heel.
     
  22. OTMPut

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  23. 6LOVE

    6LOVE New User

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    After a couple years (10 pairs) of playing in Merrell's Barefoot Road Glove, I can no longer find this excellent shoe in my size. (The successors, Road Glove 2 and 3, don't cut it.) I'm thinking about the Merrell Vapor Glove as a replacement. Has anyone given the Vapor Glove a try?
     
  24. morten

    morten Hall of Fame

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    vapor glove is amazing, but really thin and minimalistic.. And the size run big... had to go down.. But i never wore them for tennis.
     

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