Originally Posted by Povl Carstensen
Well I am not suggesting you play in running shoes or skate shoes.
Again, I am not suggestioning running shoes. People roll their ankles all the time, and with worse effect, in tennis specific shoes. True minimalist shoes are so low to the ground (no padding/shockdampening/midsole) that it minimizes rolling, and the effect of it, should it happen. I have yet to hear of someone rolling their ankle barefoot, or in minimal shoes like Vivo Barefoot. Actually they were developed specifically by a tennisplayer to avoid rolling. Vivo Barefoot are not purpose built runners, this goes for a lot of the Vibrams too.
Personally I have never hurt my ankles barefoot or in minimal shoes. But I did roll and sprain my ankle, leaving me out of sports for 3 months, in a pair of Asics Gel Encourage (otherwise a good tennis shoe I would say).
To JohnMT. I have had all kinds of knee and foot problems also, used prescribed orthodics etc etc. And have the same experience, never felt better, since changing to minimalist shoes/barefoot. And my foot speed is better.
At my club and the public courts I used as a junior, Id seen guys roll their ankles a few times in what looked to be either trainers or running shoes. The ONE time I played in a pair of adidas marathons, I rolled my ankle landing just slightly on the edge of the sole post fh. Ive never rolled my ankle in that way in ANY tennis shoe Ive used. Only time I rolled my ankle in tennis shoes is when I was wrong-footed and had to really stop and lunge very quick. I also like the fact that tennis shoes protect my joints, I need the sole to dampen the shock from me running hard and lifting off the ground after most shots. Minimal shoes might work for a guy who is a twig and isnt physical, but for me, its a big no to minimalists on court.
Also a NO from my current college coach and past coaches, my old coach would tell rec players to buy tennis shoes so they wont hurt themselves.