First real minimalist tennis shoe coming soon

ronwest

New User
Tried Out The 2E Size MC 60

Even though I'm a lurker I thought you guys might like some feedback on these. About me: I am a 4.0 serve and volley doubles player with very wide feet. I like to wear minimalist shoes as much as possible.

Got these from TW last week and the width seemed a little snug. The uppers seemed to be made of some kind of cheap imitation leather. Not a great "out of the box" experience. Wore them on a couple of walks and they stretched a bit and fit great now. Played about 2.5 hours on hard courts yesterday and my feet felt fine. Did not miss my more cushioned shoes at all. Expected the shoes to show a bunch of wear but there was almost none. I like them a lot more now than when I first tried them on. We'll see how long they hold up.
 

joetennisact

New User
toebox

I found the toebox room pretty disappointing. The toe box was nothing like what you find in an Altra or Lems shoe. In fact, I thought it was less wide than the Prince T22 or Warrior. I definitely felt the material constricting in the bunion area as well.
 

qwanta

New User
There was an article in the latest paleo magazine recommending the Reebok Crossfit Nano for tennis. It also has a 4mm heel to toe drop. Has anyone here tried these for tennis?
 

WildVolley

Legend
I found the toebox room pretty disappointing. The toe box was nothing like what you find in an Altra or Lems shoe. In fact, I thought it was less wide than the Prince T22 or Warrior. I definitely felt the material constricting in the bunion area as well.
Thanks for the info. I have to size up in the T22 so that I don't rip out the sides of the toe box.
 
There was an article in the latest paleo magazine recommending the Reebok Crossfit Nano for tennis. It also has a 4mm heel to toe drop. Has anyone here tried these for tennis?
I've tried them for tennis but durability is going to be a huge issue especially if you are a person who toe drags. I've found that they would well on clay.
 

joetennisact

New User
Thanks for the info. I have to size up in the T22 so that I don't rip out the sides of the toe box.
Yeah, I find that the T22 does rip out at the side right where the pinkie toe meets the side there. The good thing about that is that I find the ripped out T22 the only tennis shoe I can tolerate playing tennis with Correct Toes!
 

2ndServe

Hall of Fame
There was an article in the latest paleo magazine recommending the Reebok Crossfit Nano for tennis. It also has a 4mm heel to toe drop. Has anyone here tried these for tennis?
Has anyone tried these or the Lotto Quaranta for tennis?
 

Ramon

Legend
This one has me curious. Maybe it's something I can wear to the gym too. I'm actually glad the fit is listed as narrow for the D width. They do have a 2E for people with wider feet.
 

WildVolley

Legend
I've put the measurements on my thread for the shoe now. Fair play, it's genuinely minimalist. It has minimal cushioning, less then any other shoe, and a reasonable heel drop.

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=434439
Good news. So they are the lowest heel yet at just over 1.5cm.

How has the durability been so far?

Did you get the D or 2E width? Now that they have the 2E in, I might consider getting a pair.
 

newyorkstadium

Professional
Good news. So they are the lowest heel yet at just over 1.5cm.

How has the durability been so far?

Did you get the D or 2E width? Now that they have the 2E in, I might consider getting a pair.
I don't have a pair. I will get some eventually. Unfortunately due to finances, my next pair of shoes will be cheap, crappy ones. I would love to demo a few shoes, like the new barricades . Not that I think it is a good idea, just fantasising.
 

sbmackie

Rookie
I've been a 6mm to zero drop runner (minimalist) for three years with of course a midsole strike. I played tennis in my Inov's until they fell apart, then tried an NB minimalist running shoe, which didn't hold up either (upper material, not sole.) Then I tried a Merrel trail running shoe, but slipped to many times. The shoes I've found that work great and seem to hold up fine, and are lite weight? The Lotto Quanterra. Perfectly OK for the two to three times a week I can play between lessons, drills, and matches. I will try these NB shoes soon. After I wear out the three pair of Lotto's I have I bought for $29 from our host.
 

WildVolley

Legend
The shoes I've found that work great and seem to hold up fine, and are lite weight? The Lotto Quanterra. Perfectly OK for the two to three times a week I can play between lessons, drills, and matches. I will try these NB shoes soon. After I wear out the three pair of Lotto's I have I bought for $29 from our host.
My question with the Quanterra is the EVA outsole. That seems far too soft to hold up on a hard court.

Could you tell me how long the shoes last before the outsole wears flat? The light weight is very intriguing. How is the toe box width?
 

WildVolley

Legend
Not sure if anyone remembers the Tretorn shoe? And the Converse Jack Purcell shoe? Both heels seemed as flat as day-old beer.

http://www.retroshoestop.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Converse-Jack-Purcell-canvas-black-white-4.jpg

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41TB889T+jL.jpg
The iconic Chuck Taylor basketball shoes also are zero drop. The downside in comparison to modern shoes is that they're quite heavy and crazy narrow in the toe box. I sized up a full size in a pair of Chuck Taylors and I still could barely get them on because they crushed my toes from the side.

I don't know if the Jack Purcell is as narrow of a shoe.
 

Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
The iconic Chuck Taylor basketball shoes also are zero drop. The downside in comparison to modern shoes is that they're quite heavy and crazy narrow in the toe box. I sized up a full size in a pair of Chuck Taylors and I still could barely get them on because they crushed my toes from the side.

I don't know if the Jack Purcell is as narrow of a shoe.
Understand, have the revised Purcells made by Nike. Tight toe box. Pity no one has a toe box like an Altra, eh? Or an Earth shoe
 

WildVolley

Legend
Understand, have the revised Purcells made by Nike. Tight toe box. Pity no one has a toe box like an Altra, eh? Or an Earth shoe
I'd be a very happy camper if Altra would make a tennis shoe. That is if they wouldn't make it "maximalist" in terms of cushioning. A little cushioning is fine but the move toward Hoka-style cushioning would be a bit much for tennis.
 

sbmackie

Rookie
Quanterro

The toe box is a bit bigger then most. I've been playing on hard courts 2 to three times a week, sometimes more, both clay and hard court on one pair for 4 months and there is still plenty of sole left. I do not slide much. I am not big--small framed 155 pounds.
The Quanterro 4's fit snugger then the 3's. Order them a half size bigger then you might otherwise. In the the 4's the 9.5's are a bit snug in the toe. The 3's fit perfectly at 9.5. Don't know about the 5's yet.

YMMV, but I like 'em. They are so cheap, I ordered three pair. They are also very, very comfortable walkin' around shoes and travel shoes.
 

preeb

Rookie
The toe box is a bit bigger then most. I've been playing on hard courts 2 to three times a week, sometimes more, both clay and hard court on one pair for 4 months and there is still plenty of sole left. I do not slide much. I am not big--small framed 155 pounds.
The Quanterro 4's fit snugger then the 3's. Order them a half size bigger then you might otherwise. In the the 4's the 9.5's are a bit snug in the toe. The 3's fit perfectly at 9.5. Don't know about the 5's yet.

YMMV, but I like 'em. They are so cheap, I ordered three pair. They are also very, very comfortable walkin' around shoes and travel shoes.
Are you talking about the Lotto Quaranta shoes? Yea I just got a pair of the 3's myself. They're super light and felt sort of cheap at first but they felt good when I put them on. The heel to toe drop feels just slightly higher than the 4mm Merrel's that I just returned. Still lower than most tennis shoes though. Definitely a comfortable shoe for walking about, not sure about court play. I might try them when the local clay courts open up this weekend. When I walked around the neighborhood, sometimes little stones would get stuck in the tread, so we'll see how that goes.

I'll have to keep your advice in mind when I get need to replace the Quaranta 3's. I definitely like these enough to get new ones, even just for the gym. I like the little Italian flag on the side, it's a nice little flair.
 

sbmackie

Rookie
So I've worn out one pair of Quaranta's, and another pair was tumble dried (oops) and actually shrunk. I've still got the third pair. In the meantime, I've gotten two pair of the MC60's in 9.5 2E. They are as advertised; light, low drop shoes. I like em just fine, no issues with stability, but all you minimalist types out there already know the benefit of low shoes. Fit fine on my sorta wide feet out of the box. Definitely order a half size bigger then you normally do. We'll see how they hold up. I'm not terribly hard on shoes.
 
E

eaglesburg

Guest
Have any zero drop tennis shoes been released as of yet? I would prefer with some cushioning.
 
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WildVolley

Legend
Have any zero drop tennis shoes been released as of yet? I would prefer with some cushioning.
In the distant past, I don't think that zero drop tennis shoes were uncommon. Today, I don't believe any tennis specific shoe is actually zero-drop.

The NB MC60 is probably the lowest drop tennis shoe available on the market today. The drop is 4mm to 6mm or so probably depending on manufacturing variance. Here's a link to my detailed review on the shoe. These days I use my MC60 for playing on clay and occasionally for use on hard court. They are not durable shoes on hard courts, but they are significantly lower to the court than anything being marketed as a tennis shoe by a major shoe maker.

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/new-balance-mc60-“minimus”-review.534113/

If you look at some of the other threads, shoe makers are making some shoes lower to the ground by increasing drop and making the forefoot cushioning lower profile. There are complaints about this, but some people prefer the more grounded feel. Most tennis players are used to planting hard on their heels, so makers are hesitant about taking too much cushioning out of the heel. The downside, besides the obvious drop, is that more heel cushioning means less stability and higher potential for ankle rolls.

With more sophisticated cushioning systems being developed, I think it is practical to make cushioned zero-drop shoes with a low profile. I'd still like to see more of these shoes, even if only marketed as match-day shoes. But I seem to be in the minority. The big thing about the MC60 that doesn't meet my needs is that it has a traditional pointed toe-box. Prince was the only brand making a toe-box shape based on the average foot "Natural Foot Shape" last (NFS) but they only offer them on Viper shoes which are very heavy and stiff. The Vipers have a devoted following, but they are mostly old guys who are trying to avoid foot pain and don't move as aggressively anymore. When I asked Prince, they said they had no intention of using the last on a lighter-weight performance shoe.

If I were rich, I'd start a tennis shoe company based on my design ideas aimed at people wanting average to wider width shoes. I'd offer a zero-drop practice shoe which would be heavier, have a durable outsole compound, and have a full length cushioned midsole with a wide toe box. I'd also offer a match-day shoe which would be much lighter (though with durable outsole and upper protection from slides on hard-courts), and less cushioned.
 

Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
Nope. Very interesting shoe. I definitely like the last shape and the leather, but it looks very heavy (16.2 ounces). Also used a lot of memory foam. With the weight, it seems to fit the model for the NFS lasted shoes: they tend to be heavy.

Did you ever wear a pair?
Yes, your foot was deep into the shoe. Cannot use an aftermarket insole. No current shoe has such a low profile.
 

WildVolley

Legend
Yes, your foot was deep into the shoe. Cannot use an aftermarket insole. No current shoe has such a low profile.
That's interesting, as just looking at the shoe, you wouldn't necessarily think it allowed your feet to be so close to the court.

The MC60 probably allows your foot to be as close to the court. It is designed as a clay court shoe and has a thin midsole. I would be a huge fan of the NB MC60 if the last shape fit my foot better and they were more durable. The full herringbone outsole grips really well on clay, but I mostly play on hardcourts and can't justify a clay court shoe for the hand full of times I'll play on clay in a year.
 

Ramon

Legend
I just bought a pair of Lotto Quaranta V's for only $30 at TW. The other minimal shoe I'm wearing is the Nike Free 4.0 (similar to the 5.0). The Free is a slightly better fit for my narrow feet, more minimal, and slightly more comfortable. However, the Quaranta has a more stable, stiffer sole and also has a stiff heel counter, which makes it a much better all-around court shoe for a light hit or a friendly game of basketball. I won't be using it for serious tennis, but that's not why I got it. However, it might be a better tennis shoe than the Tretorns and Fred Perry's of the past. I'm optimistic that I'm going to really like this shoe for activities outside of tennis. You can't beat the deal on the prices here.
 

joetennisact

New User
I've been wearing the Vivobarefoot Motus on the tennis courts for six months now. I absolutely love them and wouldn't play in anything else now. The transition took only a couple of weeks. I found out immediately that even though I've been minimalist for about a year before, I heel striked a lot in tennis. I got immediate (and painfull) feedback. But I've now changed how I play tennis for the better. Unlike the other shoes mentioned in this thread, the Motus is a Minimalist show, with zero drop, no cushioning and wide toe box to promote proper toe spray on midfoot impact. I first tried them on hardcourt which was a mistake as the hard impact made them painfull and I came down on my ankle wrong once. Fortunately, I play on carpet a lot, so that afforded me the ability to get used to the shoe without undue impact stress. Now, I do play on hardcourts with them. They are extremely stable and I love the grip they give me on the court. The strap is not a gimmick as it adds a lot more torsional stability than one might expect. I play on carpet alot, so it's not as punishing as other surfaces, but my sole looks hardly worn at all whilst a T22 for example would definately be showing some wear and tear over 6 months. I highly reccomend the Motus IF you walk and run in minimalist shoes year round. If you play on hard court, transition slow. If you play on carpet or clay, go full bore. My feet and legs are much stronger and healthier than before and I have way more stability and control than I ever had with traditional tennis shoes. I am now able to wear correct toes 24 hours now which is great too.
 

spacediver

Hall of Fame
Bought my first pair of tennis shoes in about 4-5 years (my T22's were completely worn out, but I kept waiting for a decent minimalist shoe to come out). After a bit of research, I went with the motus.

I've had four sessions with these and I absolutely love them. I wear them with the insoles as I think without them I'd feel the ground a bit too much. I feel like my feet have the ability to articulate more naturally and I can really spring off the ground. I'm guessing this is partially due to the natural toe splay afforded by the wide toe box, and the lack of cushioning (which robs you of ground reaction force).

I should qualify that I've been wearing minimalist footwear for a long time, and I strength train regularly (low bar back squats, deadlifts), which I imagine helps my body absorb the impacts. I'm gonna see how my body fares with these shoes over the next few weeks, and will report back.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
I'd much rather see a Hoka One One tennis shoe. Got into a pair of these for walking/running and it's like heaven on my feet, back and knees. All you low BMI 20 somethings can run around in your minimalist shoes. For us old fogeys, cushioned support with anatomic insoles is the way to go.
 

Bilders

Semi-Pro
When I read this I thought it would be a shoe that is so plain and simple that it goes with the clothes that a lot of serious rec players choose to wear, which are so generic in a way that it screams "I'm trying to look like I'm not trying at all." :D
 
I'd much rather see a Hoka One One tennis shoe. Got into a pair of these for walking/running and it's like heaven on my feet, back and knees. All you low BMI 20 somethings can run around in your minimalist shoes. For us old fogeys, cushioned support with anatomic insoles is the way to go.
That would an ankle twist and sprain waiting to happen.
 

spacediver

Hall of Fame
been getting some very predictable responses from friends at my club. First thing out of their mouths: "Those aren't tennis shoes". To which I respond: "what makes a tennis shoe a tennis shoe?"

Their main issue is that they say it has no ankle support. I really fail to understand how a piece of material that borders the ankle can prevent the foot from rolling.

I've had about 4 hitting sessions since my first post in this thread, and it's a joy to play with them. I daresay I feel quicker in these shoes compared to any other tennis shoe I've worn. I also feel like I have more precise footwork - I can push off from any angle I want without it feeling awkward.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
That would an ankle twist and sprain waiting to happen.
Well obviously they'd have to design it differently than their running shoes, but they do make cross country runners that take on challenging terrain so I have faith they could make a cushy tennis shoe that would hold up to old fogey play.
 
Well obviously they'd have to design it differently than their running shoes, but they do make cross country runners that take on challenging terrain so I have faith they could make a cushy tennis shoe that would hold up to old fogey play.
I can only say that I have sprained my ankle in good tennis shoes (Asics Gel Enquist/Encourage), but never been close to twisting it in minimal shoes/no shoes.
 
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WildVolley

Legend
I'd much rather see a Hoka One One tennis shoe. Got into a pair of these for walking/running and it's like heaven on my feet, back and knees. All you low BMI 20 somethings can run around in your minimalist shoes. For us old fogeys, cushioned support with anatomic insoles is the way to go.
You're off base if you think that the minimalist crowd are just 20-somethings, though I'd guess that most have low BMIs. A woman in her 50s I know who recently started going barefoot more and running in minimal shoes found the main benefit was a decrease in knee pain. That's not at all uncommon.

High stack height is not a good thing in tennis shoes because it increases instability. The goal of tennis shoe makers focusing on cushioning is to pack as much cushion in as little height as possible.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
You're off base if you think that the minimalist crowd are just 20-somethings, though I'd guess that most have low BMIs. A woman in her 50s I know who recently started going barefoot more and running in minimal shoes found the main benefit was a decrease in knee pain. That's not at all uncommon.

High stack height is not a good thing in tennis shoes because it increases instability. The goal of tennis shoe makers focusing on cushioning is to pack as much cushion in as little height as possible.
That's why they'd have to lessen the stack.

But I think all this minimalist stuff is an interesting experiment and the results won't be apparent until people are much older and the effects of the added pounding builds up. I suspect we'll see some better knees and hips and worse feet. Sure striking with your forefoot and midfoot will build up intrinsic foot muscles and take pressure off the more proximal leg joints, but you are still whacking your foot repetitively against a very hard surface.

Just remember, ancient man:
a) never saw concrete or asphalt
b) rarely lived past 30
c) was tiny in both height and weight by today's standards
 

WildVolley

Legend
I haven't seen the NB MC60 being used on the men's tour, but it has been used by a few women players. Kuznetsova was wearing something that looked like the WC 60 on both hard and clay courts this year despite seeing online that she endorses the NB W996v2.(Looking online, I can't tell what shoe it is but it doesn't have the 996v2 toe box mesh). Heather Watson was using it on clay last year.
 
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2ndServe

Hall of Fame
Has anyone tried these or the Lotto Quaranta for tennis?
I've tried the Quaranta when they had them on sale, very comfy to walk around. Would not recommend for a real match as the cushioning is lacking, there is no support and the soles don't last. For light hitting they are good but if you make a hard cut the sole on mine didn't hold up.

Is there finally a good minimal tennis shoe out there? I haven't read the entire thread.
 

Ihatetennis

Hall of Fame
The Quaranta is not for tennis....

I would not wear it for tennis either

It is like wearing nike free shoes on courts, not meant for the movement and a sure way to end up with a rolled ankle.
 

c-had

Rookie
I wore the Quaranta IV on court (matches and practices) last year for several months. You can certainly play in them, though after doing it for so long I wouldn't recommend it. There are great aspects to them - they're so light that I feel like I glide over the court. When I put on most other tennis shoes considered light (e.g. Nike Vapors), they feel so clunky compared to the Quarantas.

The main downsides for me were stability and durability. When you try to cut hard, don't expect them to support your foot at all. It's like trying to move side-to-side in running shoes. And the soft treads wear flat on hard courts in no time.

I currently have a pair of Quaranta V shoes, and love them. They're so comfortable, but I don't wear them to seriously play any more. They're great for walking around off court, as well as coaching/feeding on court. But I stick to wearing a more traditional tennis shoes when I'm playing for real.
 

WildVolley

Legend
Is there finally a good minimal tennis shoe out there? I haven't read the entire thread.
The NB MC60/WC60 mentioned at the start of this thread is most minimal "tennis" shoe made by a major manufacturer. As I've noted, it has been used on the women's tour.

It is marketed as a clay court shoe, and is probably best in that use as the outsole won't be very durable on hard courts. I wrote a long review: the short of it is that I found the toe box too narrow for my wide forefeet, but I did find it the lowest to the ground shoe available.

VB makes lower profile and flatter shoes, but they haven't been aggressively marketed for tennis and I don't know how they'll hold up in play. They're also more expensive than the NB shoe, but they have more toe-box room.
 

Ninjamaster

New User
I have been a minimalist runner for 4 or so years now. I use zero drop shoes in every pair of shoes that I own, even hunted down zero drop dress shoes for work.

Hunting for a zero drop tennis shoe was kind of tough, even when a shoe looks like tennis can be played in, non tennis specific shoes have such soft uppers that the soles roll right out from under your feet. (Hope that made sense) I found that vivo barefoot motus, has the best structure for tennis.
I played tennis with the vivo barefoot motus for about a year and a half. I'm about a 4.5-5.0 player. I went through a pair of motus every three weeks. When they had a Black Friday sale I bought about 7 pairs of them (thinking it would last me a year) and wore them to the point it punched a hole in all of them in less than 5 months. Zero drop shoes are also really hard on your back in tennis, and you can modify your tennis to accommodate but ultimately, I felt like I was just slowing down my game, almost like tip toeing through direction changes, sometimes use my human A.B.S. (Car guys will understand) technique. If you ever need to slide you better be prepared to jar your back.

Ultimately my zero drop tennis career ended with me seriously injuring my back. I had to take 3 months off of tennis. Now I'm back playing with asics gel resolution 6 and Nike cage 2. I will absolutely never go back. I still use zero drop shoes for my daily wear to keep my Achilles elongated and for running. But for tennis I would never recommend.
 

WildVolley

Legend
Ultimately my zero drop tennis career ended with me seriously injuring my back. I had to take 3 months off of tennis. Now I'm back playing with asics gel resolution 6 and Nike cage 2. I will absolutely never go back. I still use zero drop shoes for my daily wear to keep my Achilles elongated and for running. But for tennis I would never recommend.
Interesting, but I'm not at all convinced that zero-drop shoes are hard on the back. Are you certain it wasn't the lack of cushioning that caused you to be more careful around the court rather than the drop? Again, wasn't it the lack of cushioning that made it hard for you to stop hard rather than the lack of drop?

Why do you think that the lack of drop hurt your back? Back injuries are fairly common in tennis even today when drop shoes are predominant.
 
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