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-   -   Merrell Barefoot Run Road Glove (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=440349)

6LOVE 09-17-2012 07:54 AM

Merrell Barefoot Run Road Glove
 
Now that I run and train in minimalist footwear, I decided to experiment with "zero drop" shoes on the tennis court. Although my favorite shoe is Asics Onituska Tiger Tai Chi (viturally a slipper), I chose Asics Mexico 66 (which is a little more substantial). NOTE: I line the footbed of my shoes with PPT foam padding (medical quality) to absorb shock.

Playing in the Mexico 66s was all good, except the soft bottoms were nearly worn out after a couple hours on the hard court. A little online research pointed me to the Barefoot Run Road Gloves, for their unsurpassed combination of performance and durability. I'm glad they did.

The Barefoot Run Road Gloves are not only my new tennis shoes, I wear them daily for CrossFit training and running as well. I believe these shoes are candidates to become the first minimalist tennis shoe (with a couple minor adjustments).

banter 09-17-2012 09:10 AM

I like minimalist shoes. If I wore it on the tennis court, I fear that I would rip through them. What minor adjustments have you made?

6LOVE 09-17-2012 09:36 AM

No adjustments (except for the PPT foam liner for extra cushioning).

Barefoot Road Gloves are made for road running. They have a rubber toe bumper and durable Vibram sole (TC-1 rubber).

I've been using them on hard courts for 2 weeks now and they are holding up as well as most tennis shoes.

hcb0804 09-17-2012 09:51 AM

You guys should really consult a podiatrist foot doctor about this. I think a foot doctor would advise you that you are risking serious injury doing this.

Vlad_C 09-17-2012 09:53 AM

Why wear shoes at all?
Go barefoot, like a real man.


6LOVE 09-17-2012 10:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hcb0804 (Post 6904464)
You guys should really consult a podiatrist foot doctor about this. I think a foot doctor would advise you that you are risking serious injury doing this.

I don't mean to be rude, because I know you mean well, but I was hoping this thread would not turn into a yet another debate between ill-informed alarmists and those of us who understand the pros and cons of "zero-drop" footwear.

Thanks for your concern, but I actually consult closely with my podiatrist because I (like too many of us) have suffered through some painful bouts of plantar fasciitis. Some minimalist shoes do not have enough cushioning to protect the tendons, which is why I add that layer of PPT foam padding.

So if you don't like minimalist footwear, please just leave us on our own. Thanks.

PKfan1 09-17-2012 10:25 AM

I run in minimalist footwear, but they could not possibly work for tennis. Lack of cushioning and support aside, their is not protection for the tops of your feet. If I played 5 minutes in my running shoes the tops of my toes and sides of my feet would be bleeding.

WildVolley 09-17-2012 10:41 AM

My main concerns would be durability and cost. I'm sure I could play in minimalist shoes, but I'd burn through them quickly and most of them are more expensive than the tennis shoes I wear.

It would be nice if a tennis shoe company would step up and make a zero-drop tennis shoe without a lot of padding, but with a durable tennis outsole. Sort of old-school with lightweight and modern materials.

By the way, 6love, you must have narrow feet as I can't wear the Tigers or the Road Gloves because they pinch my toes.

6LOVE 09-17-2012 11:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PKfan1 (Post 6904547)
I run in minimalist footwear, but they could not possibly work for tennis. Lack of cushioning and support aside, their is not protection for the tops of your feet. If I played 5 minutes in my running shoes the tops of my toes and sides of my feet would be bleeding.

Must be that I'm a "low-impact" mover around the court (probably because I'm 53 years old), but I don't notice any difference in protection. Of course, keep in mind that these Kevlar-plated, titanium-reinforced shoes are a relatively modern invention. The tennis shoes we wore back in the day (Fred Perrys, Jack Purcells, Tretorn whatevs) were as flimsy as our running shoes. I don't remember many bloody feet though.

TennisD 09-17-2012 10:17 PM

Oh my god, just the thought of this is making me cringe. Even if you are a "low-impact mover", the thought of wearing a shoe made for road running in a situation that, even at the most amateur of levels, requires a good amount of later support is beyond terrifying. I'm sure your ankle are just going to love it the first time you have to change direction quickly...

6LOVE 09-18-2012 03:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TennisD (Post 6905644)
Oh my god, just the thought of this is making me cringe. Even if you are a "low-impact mover", the thought of wearing a shoe made for road running in a situation that, even at the most amateur of levels, requires a good amount of later support is beyond terrifying. I'm sure your ankle are just going to love it the first time you have to change direction quickly...

Relax. I can change direction no problem without stressing my ankles because I'm low to the ground. I'm actually ON the ground. Modern tennis shoes only need lateral stability because they're up so high. Old school tennis shoes had no lateral stability either.

From your vantage point, high up there on a modern tennis shoe, you are absolutely correct about needing lateral support. From my point of view, I'm safe and sound with my feet on the ground.

Al Czervik 09-18-2012 05:46 AM

If you have a platform serve like Federer, I could sort of see this. But, if you toe drag, those expensive minimalist shoes will be gone in half a set.

spacediver 09-18-2012 07:43 AM

very interesting - are the merrell's stiff enough across the width of the foot to help prevent the foot from rolling?

6LOVE 09-18-2012 08:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spacediver (Post 6906256)
very interesting - are the merrell's stiff enough across the width of the foot to help prevent the foot from rolling?

For me they are. These are quite a bit stiffer than the other minimalist shoes I've seen.

Borrelli 09-18-2012 10:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vlad_C (Post 6904470)
Why wear shoes at all?
Go barefoot, like a real man.

That is quite a disturbing photo. Not surprising coming from Joe Willy.

Povl Carstensen 09-18-2012 11:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 6LOVE (Post 6905908)
Relax. I can change direction no problem without stressing my ankles because I'm low to the ground. I'm actually ON the ground. Modern tennis shoes only need lateral stability because they're up so high. Old school tennis shoes had no lateral stability either.

From your vantage point, high up there on a modern tennis shoe, you are absolutely correct about needing lateral support. From my point of view, I'm safe and sound with my feet on the ground.

Totally true.

Quote:

Originally Posted by spacediver (Post 6906256)
very interesting - are the merrell's stiff enough across the width of the foot to help prevent the foot from rolling?

Quote:

Originally Posted by 6LOVE (Post 6906403)
For me they are. These are quite a bit stiffer than the other minimalist shoes I've seen.

Actually the ground supply the stiffnes/stability.

Povl Carstensen 09-18-2012 11:59 AM

Looks like the road gloves outsole curls up enough in front to provide durability for toe dragging. If not, it would be great if a minimal shoe came up that adresses this easy solved problem.
Edit: In the description of the Merrel it says: Fused rubber toe bumper provides durability and protection. Hope it is good enough for toe dragging.

Ronaldo 09-18-2012 12:03 PM

If you are a toe-dragger, do you really drag your toes with those shoes?

Povl Carstensen 09-18-2012 12:09 PM

I dont know, I'm no toedragger.

liuser 09-22-2012 09:35 AM

If you think that playing in running shoes or minimalist shoes is perfectly fine for tennis, you aren't playing at a competitive enough level.

I've worn minimalist shoes for working out before and there is no way in hell I would ever trust those shoes for competitive tennis. I would use them for rallying while messing around.

I would NEVER EVER even think about using them for match play or even slightly serious hitting.


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