Regular court shoes vs. clay court shoes?

Discussion in 'Shoes and Apparel' started by storypeddler, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. storypeddler

    storypeddler Semi-Pro

    Jun 22, 2005
    Hickory, NC
    What do you think---is there really enough difference in the clay court shoes being sold to make it worthwhile to spend the extra money on them? On shoes "designed" and marketed as specifically for clay?
  2. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

    Mar 4, 2010
    Western North Carolina
    unless you are some kind of master at the slide, and can tell a difference in the shoe/tread, i'd say no.

    my shoes all start out as "clay court" shoes then they transition to hard court shoes.

    of course i keep a separate pair for grass. (haha)
  3. tennisoh

    tennisoh Semi-Pro

    Oct 17, 2007
    I have a pair of clay court specific shoes, but that was only because I found them at a Ross for $30. I use them only for clay, but to be honest, I don't notice a ton of difference from my old shoes I would use on clay. I am talking about CB 4.3 against CB 4.3 too, so I have pairs of the same model with the only difference being the sole. I'm not unreal at tennis by any means, but not bad either. My movement is really good, and I still never slipped on clay (except once when it rained about an hour before I played).
  4. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

    Jun 2, 2007
    Well, I don't know about anyone else, but I do not "spend extra money" on clay-specific shoes. I do buy clay-specific shoes for the summer as that is what I play on almost exclusively. But I buy last year's models, or at least shoes from last year that have a decent clay tread.

    A good example of this is the Nike 2K12:


    The 2K12 is a nice shoe, and since it's durability on hard courts is mediocre at best, it makes a great clay court shoe.
  5. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

    Apr 3, 2013
    That question was asked so many times I can only redirect you towards the search engine of the forum.
  6. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

    Feb 11, 2004
    One of my playing mates also happens to be my doctor. He is borderline OCD about shoes. I guess it kinda rubbed off on me because recently, I bought two pair of ASICS Gel 5's, one hard court and one clay court.

    If I don't know which surface for sure, I wear the hard court shoes because the clay court pattern squeaks something fierce on hard court. From a traction perspective, I guess the clay courts are a little better, and maybe a tad more comfortable.

    From a cost perspective, I expect it to be less expensive. I'm playing 90% of the time on clay, so the hard court shoes should last much longer. I don't expect the clay courts to wear out as quick as when I played mostly on hard.
  7. stapletonj

    stapletonj Professional

    Mar 31, 2009
    Lavalette, WV
    I am hard court exclusive and only play on clay on vacation (couple long weekends and 1 or two weeks per year)
    I am a tall guy, so even at 225/235, I am kinda slim, but thats still a lot of horizontal pressure when I try to move side to side or sprint forward for a short ball, or get back quick for an overhead. For the first ime in my life I got the rqacquet an shoes deal on TW for $70. The shoes were clay court shoes. Right before vacation to Destin.

    WOW what a difference. Before all these old guys (by definition, anyone more than 5 years older than me at the time) were making me look silly trying to get to balls. I was even faling flat on my keister 2 or 3 times per match or hour of drills. Now I was Mr. Tennis Stud......

    Since clay is much easier on the joints, I got by with cheap clay shoes. Suggest a cheap pair for clay and the reg. type for the rest of the time. (I wear Asics Gel Res 4s for hard courts)
  8. Herdsman76

    Herdsman76 Rookie

    Dec 20, 2010
    I recently bought the Blue Adidas Barricade 7 clay court shoes to wear casually but one day I decided to play a match on a hard court with them and I loved them. They "feel" lighter than the B7's with regular hard court soles.

    I have a red clay court tournament in a couple of weeks and I'll be wearing them for my matches. I'm sure they will be even more comfortable.

  9. scx

    scx New User

    Sep 4, 2007
    My opinion is that you should purchase the clay court specific shoes. I usually spend 90% of the time on clay courts. I do have only praises for the Nike CB4.3 which is still my best choice and I'm looking forward to try Asics Solution Speed.
  10. Carolina Racquet

    Carolina Racquet Professional

    Nov 18, 2010
    I'm in the camp of getting clay specific shoes if you play much on the surface. My personal favorite is the Yonex 308 Clays... The pebble outsole is awesome on the dirt and when I wear a different shoe on the clay, it feels like I have no grip at all.

  11. 0d1n

    0d1n Hall of Fame

    Jul 8, 2006
    Cluj-Napoca, Romania
    I play on clay 90 percent of the time so yeah...I buy specific.
    I can feel a significant difference between non clay and clay specific patterns.
    Even between the various clay specific there are some which are better and some which are less good.

    I love the yonex sole as well (I have the older yellow model), but the best I've found in really dry conditions is the Asics gel resolution pattern.
    It looks like a "normal" herringbone pattern but I'm not sure what it is, maybe the rubber, maybe the cuts being deeper, I have no clue...I've just never gotten better grip when the clay is dry, dusty and as a result a bit slippery.
    When there's enough clay and the courts have been given enough water...something less aggressive can work as well.


    It's the resolution 4, but the 5 has the same pattern. Here's the shoe I'm talking about :

  12. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

    Sep 28, 2007
    So are you saying the clay version of the same shoe (say Nike CB's 4.3) has more traction and you slip less?

    NOTE: I read this in a different thread as well: that the profile of the soles doesn't collect clay so that you'll find traction when you need it...
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2013

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