KK's Shoe Review: Wilson Trance All Court

Kaptain Karl

Hall Of Fame
** This has been an education. See how much my appraisal of this shoe has changed. Read this review. Then read my last post. **

Knowing other play-testers have recently reviewed the Trances, I purposely did NOT read their reviews before posting mine. (I’ve never done this before and I didn’t want to be influenced....)

Fitting My Feet and Style
I have tried several makes and models of tennis shoes and been (mostly) disappointed. I have a narrow heel and a flat “blade” of a forefoot. And I’ve learned I need a firm and medium-high arch support.

I also have a full-foot custom orthotic (flexible) I wear in my tennis shoes which balance out “hot spots” and pressure points, I do not wear through soles very fast and I am not a toe-dragger on serves or other strokes.

I play on hard courts exclusively. I recently tried the Prince T-20 and was hugely dissatisfied, as its arch support was insubstantial. (Those T-20s hurt.) My shoe of choice the last several years has been the New Balance 1000 Series.

Appearance / Design
Right out of the box, the Trances impressed me with their sensible design. (I’ve never understood why tennis shoe makers so consistently join two pieces of material right where my foot and the shoe are supposed to bend. Invariably, such designs cause blisters and sores ... or at least an uncomfortable friction point.) The Trances have no seams where my foot should bend. (Yea!)

The sole’s tread is sturdy in appearance and seems to wrap up more than adequately to protect the shoe from toe-draggers on serves. The molded plastic “Stable Wrap” is obviously intended to provide lateral stability. It seems well-designed.

If “sizzle” in your shoe’s color, design, etc. is important to you, the Trances are probably not your shoe. These are not shoes with flashy appearance or eye-catching graphics.

Breaking-in Period
After a very bad experience with another shoe (see T-20) I won’t “just go play” in a new tennis shoe again. (Even though I believe -- as I was told by an old cobbler many years ago -- if a shoe is “right” it should not require any breaking-in.) For a week, I made a point to wear the Trances for at least three hours daily. I wanted to be sure the arch support was sufficient to prevent the agony of my earlier experience. The Trances were rather stiff, but not uncomfortable. My arches didn’t seem to mind them. Time to test them out....

Play-test
Truly, the best thing I can say about the Trances is ... I wasn’t even aware I had “strange” shoes on my feet. Footing and traction is excellent. Stability and comfort is great. I didn’t notice *any* slipping or looseness. I never had the sensation of “tennis toe,” where on sudden stops the shoe stopped and my toes banged into the end of the shoe. I’ve played about 8 hours total in them and I like them a lot. I like them so much, I find myself in a quandary: Am I a “Trance Player” or am I a “1002 Player?” Good problem to have....

Grading / Scores
On a ten-point scale (ten being best) I’d rate these shoes like this:
6.5 - Appearance / Style
8 - General Fit
8 - Support For Action
9 - Traction / Footing
9 - Lateral Stability
9 - Apparent Weightiness / Lightness
? - Durability of Sole

8.25 - Overall Grade (I didn’t figure the “?” Durability score into the equation.)

Other Playtesters' Reviews

TheShaun
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=180594

goober
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=179472

Craig Sheppard
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=181347

drakulie
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=181754

- KK
 
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drakulie

Talk Tennis Guru
^^^ great review KK. Amazing that we are so similar about our shoes. Did you ever use the oscillates???
 

Kaptain Karl

Hall Of Fame
Yikes! Girls Season has started here. (I'm an Ass't Coach for them.) I've now spent two days feeding balls and working drills with the girls and I am down-grading the Trances a bit.

The lack of much cushion does make my feet "tired" after too many hours of not really playing; just being on my feet on an old hard court.

Grading / Scores
On a ten-point scale (ten being best) I’d rate these shoes like this:
6.5 - Appearance / Style
7 - General Fit
5 - Support For Action
9 - Traction / Footing
9 - Lateral Stability
9 - Apparent Weightiness / Lightness
4 - Cushion
? - Durability of Sole

7.1 - Overall Grade

I am now sure I'll stick with the NB 100X shoes. (I'm also leery of changing. When you try a different racquet, it may mess up your game a bit. But I greatly dislike having my feet hurt from a less-than-great pair of shoes.)



^^^ great review KK. Amazing that we are so similar about our shoes. Did you ever use the oscillates???
No. I cannot say this is "rational" but the Nike Air Zooms were the first tennis shoe I ever dropped in the Goodwill bin. (Meaning, I didn't even wear them around the house; I just got rid of them after two weeks.)

They really hurt my feet. I've been afraid of Nike's ever since. (I admit it's not that rational....)

- KK
 

goober

Legend
Yikes! Girls Season has started here. (I'm an Ass't Coach for them.) I've now spent two days feeding balls and working drills with the girls and I am down-grading the Trances a bit.

The lack of much cushion does make my feet "tired" after too many hours of not really playing; just being on my feet on an old hard court.

Grading / Scores
On a ten-point scale (ten being best) I’d rate these shoes like this:
6.5 - Appearance / Style
7 - General Fit
5 - Support For Action
9 - Traction / Footing
9 - Lateral Stability
9 - Apparent Weightiness / Lightness
4 - Cushion
? - Durability of Sole

7.1 - Overall Grade

I am now sure I'll stick with the NB 100X shoes. (I'm also leery of changing. When you try a different racquet, it may mess up your game a bit. But I greatly dislike having my feet hurt from a less-than-great pair of shoes.)


- KK
I was actually quite surprised by your initial rating of cushioning. I thought it was pretty average to poor. Since you have the shoes I would definitely buy cushioned insoles if you want to keep wearing them. That helped me a lot.

Overall I still feel the same way as I did from my first review and will continue using the Trances.
 

Kaptain Karl

Hall Of Fame
Ahhh!

I finally received the NB 1002s last Friday. (In exchange for the Prince T-20s, which were a terrible fit for me.)

My feet don't hurt anymore ... and I will not be wearing the Trances again.

(I thought I didn't like the demo process with racquets. Hurting your feet to try out different shoes is worse...!)

- KK
 

Geezer Guy

Hall of Fame
Agreed. I switched from Wilson (after MANY years) to New Balance about a year ago, and like the NB *much* better.
 

OzNQc

Rookie
yo KarL... NB1002 durability...

Mate,,,

I am on my 2nd pair of NB 1002s ...

great shoe.. probably the best i have ever worn in terms of the combo of weight, cushioning and fit. However, the outsole durability really sux....

30+ hr in just over 2 mths on an australian claycourt resulted in serious balding of the outsole tread which renders these shoes ineffective on a claycourt...

Judging from my first pair a while back, they'll be like roller skates by 40 or 50 hrs.

I'd be interested to see what your observations are throughout the life of the shoe.

Cheers mate!
 
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