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rk_sports 10-25-2011 11:22 PM

Running shoes good for Tennis
 
Have you seen this article (by Richard Pagliaro of Tennis.com)

Foot Boost: A Training and Treatment Tool for Feet

"...Through scans we've found advanced players spend much more time on their toes than club players,
and some of those players we've scanned have played in running shoes because running shoes are designed to help you push off your toes"

"Think about the changes we've seen in racquets and strings and the slower surfaces and then ask yourself:
What changes have we seen in tennis sneaker technology during the same period?" Grossman says

Do any of you use running shoes as your primary footwear for tennis? Does it really help?

zunderlips27 10-26-2011 12:04 AM

Yes, once. I injured my big toe in a forced lateral movement...That was 3 years ago and I still have pain. Sesamoiditis is the injury.

Povl Carstensen 10-26-2011 01:23 AM

Well shoes without a heel "lift" promote an active forefoot, and could very well be superior (and lighter) for tennis imo.

chollyred 10-26-2011 03:42 AM

I tried running shoes when I first got back into playing tennis. Found out that the thick, soft soles provide no support for lateral movement and can lead to ankle sprains (only took 4 weeks to heal). Same for shoes with nubbies on the bottom. They might be great for turf, but not good for hard courts. I found that New Balance cross trainers with a relatively flat sole provided both support and cushion. I also have some K-Swiss court shoes that provide great support, but are a little lacking in the cushion department.

I can't remember seeing any advanced tennis players wearing running shoes (although I have seen some fugly court shoes).

tes 10-26-2011 04:16 AM

I use them when I am just practicing my serve. Never when playing.

charliefedererer 10-26-2011 07:42 AM

Don't use running shoes for tennis.

The thick cushioned "high heel" on running shoes is an invitation for turning your ankle.


Put that together with a lack of medial/lateral support [too much weight for runners] in running shoes and you have the perfect recipe for a sprained ankle.


Is Dr. Grossman, the author of that article, trying to drum up business for himself?


And there is another reason not use to use running shoes. Most have a softer rubber sole and a grip pattern that will very quickly wear down on the courts. As Dr. Grossman's analysis showed [and every tennis player already knew], tennis players are constantly pushing off the inside of their feet, so the wear on the shoes will be uneven, leading to an outside to inside slope on their running shoe's soles.
You will be standing like this, with your ankles turned in:

And when you go to run, there will be a twisting motion not only at your ankle, but above as well, with tendons and muscles subject to abnormal twisting forces, just like those that trouble runners with flat feet and over pronation.


So for those that think they will save money by having just one pair of shoes for both tennis and running, they will have lousy, injury prone shoes for tennis, and all too quickly, lousy shoes for running.


[Now all that being said, I have been wearing Asics running shoes for years, and find the Asics Gel Resolutions to have more of a running shoe cushioned feel than any other tennis shoe I have tried. But in a tennis shoe without a "high heel" and with plenty of medial/lateral support.]

robbo1970 10-26-2011 07:59 AM

I actually wear a training/workout shoe for tennis.

Much lighter than most tennis shoes, more shock absorbancy and more stable when stopping and changing direction.

I tried running shoes at first and although they were very comfortable, no support on the foot when stopping and turning and I actually tore the fabric away from the sole.

SteveI 10-26-2011 07:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rk_sports (Post 6082416)
Have you seen this article (by Richard Pagliaro of Tennis.com)

Foot Boost: A Training and Treatment Tool for Feet

"...Through scans we've found advanced players spend much more time on their toes than club players,
and some of those players we've scanned have played in running shoes because running shoes are designed to help you push off your toes"

"Think about the changes we've seen in racquets and strings and the slower surfaces and then ask yourself:
What changes have we seen in tennis sneaker technology during the same period?" Grossman says

Do any of you use running shoes as your primary footwear for tennis? Does it really help?

Well...another great article from the folks that bring us Tennis Mag. Running shoes do not work well for tennis. You might be able to get away with a cross trainer.. but that might still be pushing it.

I have taught a lesson in running shoes... never played in them.

Steve

El Diablo 10-26-2011 08:07 AM

The shoe industry would like you to believe you need a different shoe for every activity. I was once asked in a Rockport outlet if I was looking for "walking shoes." I asked the salesman if they sold any shoes that would be inappropriate for walking.
I've played tennis at least twice in running shoes because they were all I had with me, and things went fine. I'm not altogether convinced I was in peril playing in them and suspect my ankles do more to keep me from rolling over than any shoe I've ever worn. I've seen people roll their ankles countless times in tennis shoes, not at all clear they afford greater protection, and the cushioning of a running shoe perhaps would afford more protection against developing something like plantar fascitis. Johnny Mac, some will recall, played in cross trainers, sort of a hybrid running and general purpose shoe, for a good portion of his career.

SteveI 10-26-2011 08:19 AM

http://www.tennisnight.com/mcenroe_r...ibas_showdown/

JRstriker12 10-26-2011 08:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rk_sports (Post 6082416)
Have you seen this article (by Richard Pagliaro of Tennis.com)

Foot Boost: A Training and Treatment Tool for Feet

"...Through scans we've found advanced players spend much more time on their toes than club players,
and some of those players we've scanned have played in running shoes because running shoes are designed to help you push off your toes"

"Think about the changes we've seen in racquets and strings and the slower surfaces and then ask yourself:
What changes have we seen in tennis sneaker technology during the same period?" Grossman says

Do any of you use running shoes as your primary footwear for tennis? Does it really help?

"because running shoes are designed to help you push off your toes"

This may be so, but they only help you push off your forefoot on one direction - basically straight ahead. Problem is that most of my movement in tennis is lateral (side-to-side) not forwards and backwards.

Before I knew better, I wore running shoes on the tennis court, but they just didn't have any support when I had to cut hard to the left or right and the flimsy mesh on the upper started to tear or separate from the shoe very quickly.

IMHO- You are better off with shoes designed for tennis. FWIW- When I tried on the Babolat Propulse 3's, it seemed to me that it had a slight tilt forward to keep you on your toes. But, if that's the issue, it probably just better to practice your footwork and staying light on your feet. You can't really depend on you shoes to do it for you if you don't have the strength, fitness, or good habits to move well on the court.

Povl Carstensen 10-26-2011 12:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by El Diablo (Post 6082881)
The shoe industry would like you to believe you need a different shoe for every activity. I was once asked in a Rockport outlet if I was looking for "walking shoes." I asked the salesman if they sold any shoes that would be inappropriate for walking.
I've played tennis at least twice in running shoes because they were all I had with me, and things went fine. I'm not altogether convinced I was in peril playing in them and suspect my ankles do more to keep me from rolling over than any shoe I've ever worn. I've seen people roll their ankles countless times in tennis shoes, not at all clear they afford greater protection, and the cushioning of a running shoe perhaps would afford more protection against developing something like plantar fascitis. Johnny Mac, some will recall, played in cross trainers, sort of a hybrid running and general purpose shoe, for a good portion of his career.

Yes, my only serious injury on the tennis court came in a pair of Asics Gel Encourage (formerly Enqvist) shoes. Severely rolled my ankle. I have not been close to doing the same in minimal, low to the ground shoes or barefoot. In fact the Vivo Barefoot shoes were invented and developed by a tennis player frustrated with his recurring ankle injuries.

WildVolley 10-26-2011 02:11 PM

Consider me unconvinced by this article. Running shoes with built up heels tend to push you forward on the toes, but they also limit the range of motion off your toes. I don't need help getting on my toes. The built up heel takes shock from heel strikes but it encourages you to heel strike at the same time.

I think some tennis shoes are overbuilt and too heavy (Barricades for instance). Most running shoes are lighter and less supportive. Also, some studies are showing that shoes that are too cushioned tend to encourage more torque at the knee which might not be a good thing.

Bobby Jr 10-26-2011 08:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by charliefedererer (Post 6082843)
Don't use running shoes for tennis.

The thick cushioned "high heel" on running shoes is an invitation for turning your ankle.

So for those that think they will save money by having just one pair of shoes for both tennis and running, they will have lousy, injury prone shoes for tennis, and all too quickly, lousy shoes for running.

This ^

Only a complete fool would wear running shoes to play tennis in.

I have in the past used cross-trainers - and indeed so did many pros - but the trend in trainers in recent years, especially Nike, has been shifting them towards the running shoe side of fence - much lighter and flimsier than tennis shoes. I imagine this is because so many people use them primarily as casual shoes and the last decade's growth in gym use as opposed to outdoor training.

A really popular Nike tennis shoe in the late 80s worn by McEnroe and Agassi was the Air Trainer 1.

Spin Doctor 10-26-2011 10:14 PM

Not worth the risk. As others have noted, no lateral stability. Even if you're confident in not getting injured I personally don't like the feel of running shoes for tennis. Too high up off the ground. Any sports requiring lateral movement I prefer less cushioning and being lower to the ground.

I always wear sports specific shoes. It may sound expensive to buy different shoes for different sports but really if you wore just one type of shoe you would wear it out more frequently than if you had 2 pairs. So you're just spreading the wear between the different shoes and they last longer.

travlerajm 10-26-2011 10:55 PM

I always play in running shoes!
 
I've found that running shoes definitely have more cushion than tennis shoes, and so it really helps keep my knees tendinitis-free.

Also, I argue that running shoes actually reduce my risk of rolling my ankles. Tennis shoes have wider base and hard edges, while running shoes have much softer edges.

Once you start to roll in tennis shoes and get past the point of no return, you've rolled it. Now you're out for a few weeks.

But with running shoes -- and the softer edges -- there is no point of no return. When you start to roll a little, you can always catch yourself.

I used to roll my ankles fairly severely and frequently until I swtiched to running shoes 5 years ago. Now I know that tennis shoes are dangerous and high risk for my ankles.

By the way, I am being 100% serious -- this post is no joke.

Bobby Jr 10-26-2011 11:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by travlerajm (Post 6084023)
Also, I argue that running shoes actually reduce my risk of rolling my ankles. Tennis shoes have wider base and hard edges, while running shoes have much softer edges.

Once you start to roll in tennis shoes and get past the point of no return, you've rolled it. Now you're out for a few weeks.

Yeah, the physics of it say completely otherwise.

Running shoes have softer soles all the way across (left to right) so they start to compress and lean over with uneven weight application way earlier than any good tennis shoe. So you reach the point of rolling earlier also - that being the point at which your weight is outside the lateral strength limits of the ankle joint when the foot is bent under.

The wide base of a tennis shoe is the start of the support advantage over a running shoe. While running shoes often have the same sort of sole width - that is so they have enough rubber on the ground for grip, not support. Above that they have more spongy soles and so far less lateral support.

Try it. Put a piece of board on a phone book and stand on it. Then put the same piece of wood on a pillow and see how unstable it is comparatively. Extreme example but shows why tennis shoes are such a tricky piece of equipment to make well - you have to give support but its high impact nature necessitates cushioning.

What you say about running shoes in relation to injury however might hold some sort of merit. The fact that running shoes will roll more readily may mean you bail out when there's less force being applied - ergo the roll wont be as severe as if it happened much later with a bigger weight behind it.

Personally I'd rather not find out I was wrong and so wear the shoes designed for the job. If I get tendinitis in my knee I'd address that at the time.

Maui19 10-27-2011 03:20 AM

I've worn running shoes when playing tennis and basketball. Neither was tragic. When I first started playing tennis (again), I was surprised at how underwhelming tennis shoes were. I expected something lighter with more cushioning (such as you can find in basketball shoes). Perhaps these kinds of tennis shoes are available, but I just haven't run across them. The biggest knock against running shoes in tennis is the sole: it tends to tear up the clay.

chollyred 10-27-2011 03:55 AM

As I stated before, the most comfortable shoe I've found (particularly for wide feet) is a New Balance cross trainer with a relatively flat sole such as this 723.



Good stability, nothing that gets hung up on the court surface, and still has a decent amount of cushion. If you're having knee problems, these may be a good alternative.

Ramon 10-27-2011 05:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chollyred (Post 6084157)
As I stated before, the most comfortable shoe I've found (particularly for wide feet) is a New Balance cross trainer with a relatively flat sole such as this 723.



Good stability, nothing that gets hung up on the court surface, and still has a decent amount of cushion. If you're having knee problems, these may be a good alternative.

If it looks like a tennis shoe and quacks like a tennis shoe, maybe it is a tennis shoe!

To me that really looks a lot like a tennis shoe. It doesn't have a herringbone pattern, but neither did the Adidas Stan Smith.


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