Originally Posted by phaedrus
We're going to have to disagree on "safe". I look at the potential for ankle rolling this way -- if you were to play tennis in platform shoes (high off the ground), or socks (low to the ground), which is most likely to result in a turned ankle? The higher shoes... the further away from the ground your foot is. And while I think the Merrills could use more padding as tennis shoes, there is a trade off to be made. More padding means more cushioning for the sudden changes of direction needed (good), but more padding also means less feel (proprioceptive input) from your feet (bad). We've found we pound the ground much less in minimalist shoes, and believe this is because we (our neuromusculoskeletal system) can feel the ground better. In more cushioned shoes we tend to slam our feet down harder in order to feel the ground and our weight distribution. Again, a trade off that, we think, has gone waaaay to far in isolating the sensors in your feet from the surface in which they interact.
I have still not rolled my ankle on the dead run for a shot, the times I rolled mine were when I landed wrong after a serve and forehand. At that point it wouldnt matter what your wearing (or not wearing) your ankle is gonna turn. Also, ever slide on hardcourt? I wouldnt try it with a minimalist personally, your welcome to though, if your playing at a high level that forces you to run at the speed it takes to slide youd better be in tennis shoes. That wide sole on tennis shoes are there to ensure you have alot of contact with the court so that when you hit the breaks you dont fall over (or TURN something). When Ive seen someone roll while running its always been player error, ie they try to make a huge change in direction or speed going way too fast, not the shoes fault. Tennis shoes are built for tennis, to keep the ankle, knees, and back safe.