Originally Posted by robbo1970
I have dabbled with leather, with mixed results. On one of my lighter rackets it is the perfect addition on a slightly heavier racket it has a very negative effect.
But I do think its a matter of personal choice. As was the case for me, leather on one of my rackets caused hand and wrist pain so I switched back to stock form synthetic. I suspect the view of the manufacturers is that the majority of recreational players will prefer softer synthetic grips and therefore they make the racket to suit that market. perhaps they feel that anyone adding a leather grip has some idea of why they are doing it and will be prepared for the way it affects the balance and weight, as opposed to putting leather on in stock form, only for the player to get a totally different feeling racket when they switch to synth. Lets not forget that pro's rackets differ vastly to retail versions.
I also suspect that the Federer racket and MacEnroe racket are given leather in stock form as to replicate those used by the signatories. Even though you can't see Federers leather grip, Wilson also market the Wilson leather grip 'as used by Roger Federer', so it would make sense for them to stick it on his retail racket.
Federer uses the Priority 1 (his customizers) leather grips as clearly visible in some of their pictures, publicly available on their website and "copy/pasted" in various threads in the pro equipment section.
It doesn't really matter frankly...leather grips differences are minor and just a question of getting used to if used with an overgrip.
If used without overgrip...then the differences start to matter, but most people will put some tourna/yonex/wilson pro on top of it anyway. I've used Babolat, Volkl, Wilson, Dunlop, TW thin 1.3 mm and now using Vantage...and they are all just as playable (with overgrip). The TW one is the thinnest and the Volkl the thickest...but the differences are incremental anyway. How wide they are may matter if you like to match the "overlap" with the overgrip overlap...but again you can find solutions (choosing same width for both grip and overgrip). Most people don't care about that level of detail though...