Tennis Warehouse Playtest: Prince Venom Shoes

d-quik

Hall of Fame
I will post my review soon.

Please share how you posted images of your shoes?
you can upload onto www.imgur.com with the 'new post' button

then right click the pic AFTER it has fully uploaded to open it in a new tab to extract the URL

then embed it onto the post (TT post, not imgur post) you want by pressing the picture of a photo of a sunset+mountain, then enter the URL of your photo into the address field in the popup
 

PBODY99

Legend
Tennis experience/background: I have been playing since 1966, including on a Division 3 team Currently play mainly doubles league & tourney with a yearly singles tournament appearance
Describe my playing style: I think of myself as an Old all courter, I get to the net as soon as I can.
Current Shoe: Asics Gel Resolution 8; Babolat Jet, Adidas Sole Match Control

Hours Played w/ Prince Venom: 17 hours and counting

Playtest Size: 11
They required no break-in.

Shoe Performance : Excellent. Better grip than the Prince Warrior on clay while the outsole works just find on hard court. I don't slide on hard courts, but I was able to slide on clay with these
Comfort: Excellent
. They did not bother my rather wide fore foot while being a snug fit in the heel. During the 90+ days they did not cause my feet to overheat
Arch Support: My low arches were just fine. They provided enough support
without being harsh.
Stability/Support: Excellent. I tend to break down the uppers as I pronate a fair bit. The shoes holds me in as it did when new. For my age I am fairly hard on the uppers without dragging my foot
Ventilation: In the 90 degree F heat we had during the test period, I never felt excess heat build up nor sweating through my socks mid drilling session.

Thank you Prince & TW for the chance to try this shoe
Sole durability: Shows next to zero signs of wear, even the heel which my foot strike cases it to wear quickly in some shoes/

Toe Durability: Excellent.
I don't drag my toe into shots. No noticble wear.

Traction: Excellent. I played on Red clay , green har tru & hard court and the traction was just fine. I did not have a problem with clay sticking in the treads
Weight: Pancho Segura once said that you did not want a shoe that was too light. These are both supportive and balanced, even when pushed.

General reaction/comments on overall performance: What the T-22 did for comfort in the toe box, these are a sleeker update which I carries on that tradition of comfortable durability. I have been asked by young sneaker heads what shoe I am wearing. As i have the all black model, some felt they could pass in a dressier environment
My feet really enjoyed this playtest
--
 

M Pillai

Semi-Pro
@TW Staff Can you please update the first post with the due date for the review?
A reminder to all playtesters, based on the email I received the due date for the review is
"

August 11th, 2023 by 5 pm PST

"
I assume it is the same date for everyone. Please check your original email to reconfirm.
 

TW Staff

Administrator
Yes, you are correct. Per the email, the reviews are due August 11th by 5 pm PST. If you are in need of more time, please send us an email.

TW Staff
 

M Pillai

Semi-Pro
Here is my review of Prince Venom Shoes after the playtest.




Prince Venom Shoes PlayTest

General reaction/comments on overall performance:

Tennis experience/background:
Late boomer with 10+ years playing tennis at different levels. Currently plays mostly recreational singles tennis at level 4.5. Also enjoys social doubles and singles/doubles strategic discussions. Also an experienced stringer and usual go to person for the tennis strings/accessory/equipment related questions for the folks at the club.

Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley):
Strategic counter puncher. Move the opponent to compromised positions, and beat them in counter-attack is a usual play.

Current shoe:
Asics Gel Resolution 9

How many hours did you play with the shoe?
24 Hrs

Normal Size:
10.5

Playtesting Size:
10.5
(Color: White/Black/Teal)

Comments on shoe performance:

-comfort:

Excellent. I know that I have some specific features in my foot (wide front foot + height at mid section) which makes most tennis shoes uncomfortable for at least a few outings, and I know that even when the manufacturer says “no breakin period”, I need a good break-in before it becomes comfortable. So as expected, right out of the box even though I like the snug feel, and was comfortable walking around in the house, it was not that comfortable for me in the court for the first 4 hours. After that it was comfortable, but after around 10 hours I could really play with a good feel and confidence. I don’t think the lack of comfort I felt in the first few hours is a problem with shoe, it is just the way it is for me. The cushioning inside is perfect, and the mesh top and upper provides extra comfort. I am always a bit skeptical when I see mesh material, since there is a trade off of durability. But it seems like in Venom, the mesh/soft material is used at the right places, where there is less stress during intense movement. But I really have to see how it holds up after 4 months. Now one thing noticeably different from classic Prince T22, is the sole. It looks like Venom keeps the sole lower, and less cushioning material underneath. I like the classic T22 in this, but I think it is probably a personal preference. I will give 8/10 for comfort overall for Prince Venom Shoes.

-arch support:
Average. I feel like the arch was kept lower. I currently have no issue with this. But I think as the shoe wears, it may flatten more. Also anyone who needs high arch support may need to use personal insoles.

-stability/support:
Excellent.This is where I always put Prince Shoes really high. Prince T22 is one of the most stable shoes I ever tried, and so my expectation was really high with Prince Venom. It did not disappoint. I felt very stable in the shoe. One noticeable difference is that Venom keeps the foot a bit lower compared to T22. This had some good and some bad for me. The lower positioning felt more stable during aggressive side step stop and reverse, but when I was in more controlled but fast movements (like small steps when attacking a slow incoming sitter) I prefer the extra bounciness from a slightly more cushioned sole. Also I felt like T22 naturally pushed me into a more “on my toes position” when I am recovering compared to Venom. Overall, Venom did not disappoint, and excels in the stability department.

-ventilation:
Excellent. Venom’s upper materials and the mesh fabric definitely does allow a lot of breathing. I spent 24+ hours in a very humid and hot summer environment with Venom, and the sweat was never an issue in the shoe. I think in this department Venom is more comparable to T22-Lite, which uses more softer/breathing fabric compared to T22. I will give Venom full marks in this department.

-sole durability:
Excellent. Ideally I want to see how the sole does after 4 months. But after spending 24hrs on court, I do not see any clear weak areas in the sole of venom. Of course every individual does play differently and would have some natural high wear areas. So my natural high wear areas are wearing more as expected, and based on the wear as of now, it appears like the sole durability is towards the higher end. I do wear the side of the soles a bit more, and one thing I am curious to see is how it holds up once the sides lose its traction. I am a bit skeptical of the specific sole pattern design, which appears to be providing more stop-traction for forward/backward movement, and possibly less for side stop-move. Again this is something I still have to see, and so far the sole material (irrespective of any sole pattern) itself is providing good traction for aggressive side-stops.



-toe durability:
Excellent. I guess this probably should be validated by toe-draggers or pin-point stance servers. I am neither, and the toe is usually not a high wear area for me.

-traction:
Excellent. Courts had been really dry during all of my test play. So I cannot vouch for traction during wet/foggy conditions. But the traction from the sole material was excellent for aggressive stop and go, on a dry hard court. Like I mentioned earlier, I was a bit skeptical about the sideways traction because of the sole pattern, but so far absolutely no issues in sideways traction.

-weight:
I like heavier shoes with the added cushioning and support, because of the more stable confident feel it provides. Venom is definitely lighter than T22, but still towards the heavier and more stable category. Folks who find T22 to be too bulky but still want the stable feel, would definitely be looking forward to Venom. That being said, Venom also did not feel slow/sluggish in court. The more stable the shoes are, the more confident I feel, and the more aggressive I actually move. So I think Venom is probably the sweet spot for weight vs stability/durability. But this is definitely a personal preference which varies a lot even within my hitting partners.

General reaction/comments on overall performance:
I really like the modern design of the shoe. I received the white/black/teal color, and it does look good. The sole pattern is definitely unique and even though I was originally skeptical, I feel good on the court, and so it seems a good design. Overall, I think this is a really good shoe for aggressive movers looking for a stable and durable shoe, but don’t want the bulkiness of something like T22.

Now I do have a feedback to Prince (and I think this improvement can be made easily).


As users, many of us find logos/paints/stickers in wrong places annoying. One example is the extreme use of paint or stickers in the insoles, especially at the high friction areas of the foot. As you can see from this photo, it wore off in the first few hours of play (leaving some bright teal paint on my bright white socks). A paint or sticker there does not do any functional advertising, and manufacturers are better off saving the cost (and user annoyance) by avoiding placing anything on the insole. Of course, there can be different opinions and preferences on the logos placements, size, visibility on the outside. But insole, I think most would agree with me.

================
Thanks a lot Prince and TW for the opportunity to parcipitate in this playtest. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I will continue using this Shoe and will follow up with another posting if I find something different about the durability etc after 4 months of use.
 
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a10best

Hall of Fame


Tennis experience/background: I've been playing tennis for 30 years. current level is around 4.5 USTA. I have worn and played in 4 different styles of Prince shoes. NFS, T22, T 22-lite, (T-22.5's were too tight in width).

Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley): My style in the beginning used to be serve and volley. I started in the mid-90s and that was the dominant style back then.
As the game progressed and we watched Federer and Nadal, I decided to stay back a little more and focus more on point construction, spins, shot speed variation and angles.

Current shoe: My current shoe is the Babolat SFX, before that It was the Prince T22 lite (black) but it was discontinued :( . Very unfortunate because it was a my favorite shoe.

How many hours did you play with the shoe? 4 hours

Normal Size: 13

Playtesting Size: 13

Comments on shoe performance;
-comfort:
This particular shoe needs a lot of wear-in to feel comfortable as I am still not comfortable wearing it after 2 weeks as I was with Prince T22 lites or Babolat SFX. The SFX were actually perfect from day one. This Prince shoe really feels like the front toe area has a narrower width. The rear and middle areas are fine yet the heel cushion gives you a slight feeling of your foot pressing forward. I didn't bother wearing thorlos with these shoes as it would really feel tight. I had to stick with thin socks to fit.
So you may have to choose a 1/2 size bigger. Since size 13 is the max for this style I had no choice.

-arch support: I did not notice anything out of the ordinary here. Although visually it looks slightly lower than my current shoe.

-stability/support: The stability is average to me even with the cushioned heel. lateral movement was okay, but not as great as my SFX's. Running forward for a dropshot or volley was interesting as I felt my toes making contact with the ground more than my current shoes.
-ventilation: the meshed fabric it's made from is really top quality and what I would want on any tennis shoe I bought. It's probably one the of the best features of this shoe.

20230807-180203.jpg


-sole durability: Having only played it in for 4 hours in the 100 degree summer sun hasn't shown any noticeable wear or defects. Usually my soles tend to last a good year anyway. These soles are different than typical Prince shoes, T22 line or NFXs. It's not very thick as the earlier styles which may be a reason I can feel my toes in the front more.

-toe durability: I'm not a toe dragger as I used to be but I did notice that Prince front toe construction guard is still made very durable. That's another good feature of the shoe.

-traction: The sole looks very different from previous prince lines I've had. It actually resembles a clay court shoe sole and didn't notice anything unusual. I tested them on a newer gritty hard court and the traction and surface grip was as expected. I wasn't glued to the surface when I moved or complained about the shoe after losing a point.

- weight: This shoe is super light and won't anchor you to the ground or hinder your movement when running for shots in a 2-hour match. It's noticeably lighter than my current shoe which led me to think I could twist my ankle and need to be cognizant of moving laterally. Maybe it's because the front sole is not as cushioned as the rear, i don't know.

General reaction/comments on overall performance:
My overall reaction is it's a very nice looking shoe and lightweight. I just really, really wish the shoe had more width and sole cushion in the front toe area because the break-in time is still ongoing for it to feel comfortable. It's taking a longer while than some adidas tennis shoes I had to break-in.
Until it gets to feeling more comfortable I'll likely just use these for casual occasions and the gym.
I will report back as time goes on if the shoes has become more comfortable in the toe aera.
// Thanks TTW for the opportunity to test these shoes.
 
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Chairman3

Hall of Fame
The Chairman3's review of the Prince Venom.

Tennis experience/background: Average NTRP 4.0
Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley): All-court player, fast mover playing equal amounts of singles and doubles
Current shoe:
Clay court: Le Coq Sportif LCS T01
Hard court: Ubersonic 2
How many hours did you play with the shoe? 12-15 hours
Normal Size: 11
Playtesting Size: 11

Comments on shoe performance (3-5 sentences per category): I want to preface all comments by saying I only got to play these on clay. I normally play 70/30 (clay/hard) but intended to mix in more hardcourt with these. Unfortunately my life and work schedule did not allow as much time to do this. I digress...

-comfort: These shoes had nice comfort for me. Not the most comfortable, they weren't super plush or pillow-y, like some of the newer shoes (especially Nike) entirely made of foam, but ample comfort for me. You don't feel like you're floating or removed from the surface which is great. They allowed nice court feel but gave enough support to prevent fatigue or soreness. I never had any next-day pain or sore spots. Some noted how the forefoot is thinner, this probably would be noticeable for those spending 5-6 days a week on hardcourts, but the outsole tread is chunky so could provide some dampening. For those who wear thick socks, you probably wouldn't have much issue either. For your average player these provide more than adequate comfort. If you are used to more plush or super-cushioned, like standing on a tempeurpedic pillow, you may be disappointed.


-arch support: Arch support was average. I have normal, to maybe slightly low, arches and these seemed adequate for supporting the midfoot/arch. I think high arched folks would need an arch support or something to build it up as they are on the flatter side. This is probably a positive as so many players use custom insoles anyway. Having a neutral foundation is probably beneficial for using your own insoles. If you don't need arch support or don't notice it as a standout feature on your current shoes, these will be fine.

-stability/support: This shoe has excellent stability, very sure-footed around the court. Support is also pretty good, aside from the arch issues noted above. You feel very planted and locked in. I use a regular double knot and had no issues with heel slippage or feeling like my foot was moving inside the shoe. As mentioned, it isn't super cushioned foam, so you don't sink into them, but the foam it has seems firmer and better supports the foots. These shoes really strike me as a hybrid of a traditional stability shoe mixed with a speed shoe. It has more mass to help with stability, but some lightweight elements to keep them fast. They have a slim and tapered profile that looks good and is functional to make them faster around the court. Compared to my "speed/minimalist" shoes I normally wear, these definitely offer a little more support but without being bulky or slow. Also, while they ride a little high, they still mostly feel low to the ground but without feeling like they're forcing or pushing your feet in any direction. I used the Solution Speed FF2, for awhile, and the shape unnaturally wanted to push you forward on your toes. It didn't feel natural, it felt like I was rocking back and forth.

-ventilation: This is a bad category for me as my feet just get hot, no matter what shoe I'm wearing. However, I don't think these have as much ventilation as it might appear. I think the upper is designed to look very ventilated but it is mostly rubber/TPU/whatever, and doesn't seem to breath as much as it should or as it looks. It also seems like the knit/mesh is very tight which restricts airflow. Slight CAVEAT, I did have the black colorway and was mostly playing in the sun in FL, so a lighter color may run a bit cooler. Overall, I think ventilation is average to maybe slightly below. I don't necessarily think my feet were any hotter compared to my normal shoes though.

-sole durability: Since I only used them on clay, the soles are still in great shape. If I cleaned them off they would basically look brand new. These would honestly be a decent option for clay court use. Based on the chunkiness and firmness of the rubber, I expect decent hardcourt durability. The rread is deep and the grooves are thick which seems like it will resist wear. I intend to keep using these only for hardcourt post-review, and will update on sole durability.

-toe durability: Same as the sole, I used on clay so the wear is minimal. I am a toe-dragger, so once I keep using these on hardcourt, I will provide an update.

-traction: Again, this is a solid option for clay court use. The grooves are deep and run transverse across the bottom in a way similar to a herringbone pattern. The difference is these lines are wavy instead of zigzag. But these dig in well and sliding is no issue either. I move quick and have worn hardcourt shoes on clay and slipped, not all shoes can work on clay. These shoes do work.

-weight: These weigh in at 435g (15.34oz) so pretty heavy, but not excessive. My normal LCS weigh something like 385g, but they are very minimal and noticeably less cushioned. Before the LCS I was using the Eclipsion 4's which weighed in at 423g. The Eclipsion borders the same category as the Venom. Another somewhat comparable shoe, to me, is the Head Revolt and TW lists these at 14oz for a 10.5. So as you can see, yes, the Venom is heavier. It really wears its weight well though. You really don't notice it and they move nicely around the court.

General reaction/comments on overall performance:
Overall, this is a very nice offering and I was impressed with these shoes. Despite its weight, they are pretty quick but also stable. Honestly, they remind me a bit of the Nike shoes we all miss (Vapor 9,9.5, X) where they aren't the most plush or cushioned, but they feel good on foot, fit well, and move naturally. I put these on and had no adjustment period, they were on and good to go. When I got the Eclipsion's, once in awhile the arch would hit my foot weird and it always threw me off. I think the Venom could do alot for alot of people as it has elements of alot of different shoes. I mentioned a few in the weight section, I also think this could compete with the Barricade, just a workhorse type shoe. To me, a very competitive entry into the broader market for Prince compared to their other shoes. Don't be afraid to try these, just a well put together shoe, and nice looking. Based on the clay court performance I would easily consider using these as a replacement for my beloved Ubersonics 2 (hardcourt shoes). They are nice looking and I really value a shoe with no break-in or adjustment. Before finding my LCS I tried several pairs of shoes and none felt quite as "natural" and easy to step into as the LCS. These Venom's have that same characteristic.
++I intend to keep using these for hard court only and will update certain areas of my review to reflect that and provide a broader perspective.


Thank you @TW Staff and Prince for letting me participate. When it comes time to replace my Ubersonics, these will be at the top of my list.
 
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mogo

Semi-Pro
Tennis Warehouse Playtest: Prince Venom Shoes

Tennis experience/background:
5.0 singles player
Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley): Grinder-Counter puncher.
Current shoe: Nike Cage 4
How many hours did you play with the shoe? 12
Normal Size: 10
Playtesting Size: 10, White and Teal version.

Comments on shoe performance (3-5 sentences per category):
-comfort: 9/10 These shoes had a break in period of about a week for me. Stiff at first as these are not too narrow but more medium fitting. I would consider the Cage a wide shoe in comparison. After about 3 hrs they softened up and felt very glove like without any pinching or uncomfortable jarring. This is the most surprising attribute of this well made shoe. With glove like fits sometimes the top can pinch or you get a weird stabbing sensation somewhere around the outside edges. The Venom had none at all. They are still loosing up a bit, but I see myself using these shoes untill the soles give out. I am really happy with the construction of the shoe.
-arch support: 9/10 I luckily don’t have to worry about arch support, but I didn’t notice any difference in comparison to my regular shoes. It was a little stiff on the arch in the beginning but that was a break in period, so far so good. I am not having any arch support issues while using them.
-stability/support: 8/10 Shoes are glove-like and feel great. I didn’t feel like it was a loose shoe or unstable. Moving side to side is very stable, there is no fear of rolling an ankle. They are very nice and solid. Prince hit a home run here. I gave it an 8 until I can log more hours in to see if they stand the test of time. I think that they will do fine down the road.
-ventilation: 8/10 Was very breathable. Its not very hot at the moment but I didn’t feel any extra sweat or muggy socks after 2hrs of hitting. Shoes don’t stick to your feet and you can slide off easily after hitting without unlacing.
-sole durability: 8/10 Made well and will take a couple months to tear through. Felt like my nike cage 4’s, just solid. They are very stable and strong to me. I don’t see the soles burning through anytime soon. Again I want to see how they do in a couple months with the sole.
-toe durability: 9/10 Made to last, I am not a toe dragger but if you did it has a lot of rubber to support the drag. The Venom shoes are on par with other shoes in the market for toe durability. I can’t foresee anyone having issues with the Venom shoes.
-traction: 9/10 Felt great and well build. No stickiness or uncomfortable steps. Was built to start and stop and grabs but doesn’t over-grab to where you feel stuck on court. You can slide a bit as well.
-weight: 8/10 They didn’t feel clunky or overweighted. They felt mid range for me a little bit lighter than my cage so 4’s I felt.

General reaction/comments on overall performance:
Was great to try these and they felt solid. I am pleasantly surprised at how much I liked the shoes. Going in I was skeptical. This is one of the best shoe reviews to date. I have been on a couple of shoe reviews and the Venom has set the bar for me going forward. Will they take over my cage 4’s, probably not. But they are my next go to shoes as of now. I also love the different colors. Well done Prince!

Thank you to @TW Staff and Prince for the playtest. This was a great playtest and I see myself using these shoes on court a lot and buying a different color way if these do last on court.
 
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jim e

Legend
Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley): 4.0 player. Cover all court. A typical baseline hitter
Current shoe: Asics gel Challenger
How many hours did you play with the shoe?15-18 hours approximately . Mix of singles and doubles.
Normal Size: 12
Playtesting Size:12

Comments on shoe performance (3-5 sentences per category):
-comfort: very snug fit. Size wise with this shoe, I could have gone up a half size. Was just a small amount short. I stretched them out in between using them with shoe stretchers and they finally fit more comfortable. The shoes fit a little small in my opinion.
-arch support: no issues there. Arch in proper spot and was comfortable. Right on the money here.
-stability/support: This is a big attribute for this shoe. Has great lateral support. Twice in past I have rolled ankle with my Asics. I doubt that would happen with these. Great support!!
-ventilation: Hit a lot in the heat. No issues with ventilation. Comfortable with temperature wise. Feet stayed dry!!
-sole durability: Hardly any wear noticed. Most likely will have great durability.
-toe durability: I am a toe dragger on serves. This shoe holds up just fine. Will not be a problem for you typical toe dragger , even with hitting on a hard court. No noticed toe wear!!
-traction: Great traction on both hard court and clay. A friend has a red clay court, and worked equally well on clay as hard court. This shoe can function as both types.
-weight: This shoe is a little heavier than my Asics, and not as low to the ground. It makes it up in having great support.
General comments.
This shoe made a great shoe the practice in, and when I'm in a match went back to my lighter ones the asics. I try to cover the court as much as I can as I do like running the ball down. Light shoes make a difference. After hitting in practice with these shoes, made my Asics seem a lot lighter. This shoe is a great one for practice for me. Seems to have great durability, and hardly any wear so far. These shoes should hold up for a long haul, especially since it has great lateral support, as the lighter Asics lateral support breaks down rather fast. Just a trade off with a lighter pair of shoes.
This is a quality shoe, great support and ventilation, and durability. Runs a little small in size, I would recommend going up a half size, but that is me with my fit.
Thank you TW for the playtest!
Just got off the court hitting singles with these shoes again,and then posted this review.
 
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bigserving

Hall of Fame
TENNIS EXPERIENCE/BACKGROUND - Self taught current 4.5 league and tournament level player. Transitioned from playing other youth sports, basketball baseball and football, to tennis. Now with decades of tennis competition experience. Spectate for about 20 to 30 days of professional tennis including ATP, WTA, USTA Circuits, and WTT, each year.

MY PERSONAL PLAYING STYLE - Well-rounded, all court 4.0 - 4.5 singles and doubles player. One-handed backhand, flat fastball first serve with an unpredictable kicker for a second serve. All court player that can rally, chip and charge, and I love to serve / volley on offense. All-court defender that attacks, and love to end points at the net.

CURRENT SHOE - NikeCourt Zoom NXT / Adidas Barricade Classic Bounce

HOW MANY HOURS PLAYED WITH THE SHOE - Approximately 16 hours of actual playing/court time. Another five or so more hours of walking and casual wearing during the one-month test period. I got in a match (two hours) on clay, the remainder was on hard courts.

NORMAL SHOE SIZE - US 10.50 - 11 tweener

PLAY TESTING SHOE SIZE - US 10.5

COMMENTS ON SHOE PERFORMANCE:

COMFORT -
All of this test was done with the stock insole. These shoes comfortably grabbed my foot the first time that I put them on. The snug fit around the heel has remained without getting mushy or soft and provides much support. Interior cushioning fits snugly and comfortably and has very good feel. The interior sleeve feels like thick, plush felt. After periods of up to a couple of hours of play, to up to eight hours of wear, my feet remained comfortable during and after. Due to the limited ventilation, they can run warm. They offer an extremely comfortable ride running-shoe level of softness.

ARCH SUPPORT - My arch seems to be about average, and I normally do not have any problems with my arches or their support. That is not something that I personally tend to look for in a shoe. The outside design of this shoe cradled my foot the way that it looks like it is designed to do. The mid-foot design cradles from the sides around to the arch area down underneath my feet. The interior arch height and the level of support seem perfect for me. Even after much play and plenty of walking around them, the arch support has not diminished at all. I did not have any arch issues with these Prince shoes.

STABILITY/SUPPORT - The design of these shoes built-in support that very much compliments a natural foot shape. For that reason, these shoes offer great stability and lateral support without the feeling of at being rigid or stiff. My feet normally tend to want to slide forward in court shoes mainly due to the constant hard forward braking when attacking net. I had no such problem with foot sliding with these shoes. During the test, surprisingly I did not notice any diminishing of support. The design fit my feet well.



VENTILATION - There is not much natural ventilation in these shoes. I did not have any real issue with overheated or uncomfortably hot feet. After hours of play on a pretty hot court surface, feet were definitely warm but never overly uncomfortably so. I do not have very sweaty feet, so a wet interior was never an issue for me.

SOLE DURABILITY - So far, so good. The soft wave style works well and seems to be quite durable in this shoe. The sole continues to look very new (after a wipe-down) and looks to have most all of the original tread still remaining. At the point, there is only a slight notice of wear on the tread. Very impressive for such a soft feeling shoe.

TOE DURABILITY - I am still a bit of a toe dragger when hitting my one-hand backhand. Much less now than back in the day. Because of that, I get the opportunity to drag my left toe plenty while defending my backhand. After twenty five or so hours, the toe protector on my left shoe is just now beginning to show a bit of wear. Not excessive and it seems that I would not wear through the toe before the rest of the shoes get worn out.

TRACTION -
Most of my play was on hard courts, with about two hours of that being on a Har-Tru surface. Hard court traction is outstanding. I experienced no inadvertent slipping when long striding and able to comfortable push off hard and maintain traction and stop confidently from lots of different angles. On the Har-Tru surface stopping, pushing off and changing direction was surprising good as well due the large contact patch.

The wave tread design that allows for proper flexing for every wearer and every type of foot. Players with different optimum flex points will benefit from the ease of flexing due the the tread pattern. The flex assures a maximum contact patch at all times. I believe the design result allows such a high level of traction on all surfaces.

WEIGHT - These shoes play surprisingly light given the high level of stability. They are quick and do not have a bulky feel or play bulky at all. That may be due to the design evenly distributing the weight over the entire length of the shoe. So far, the reduced weight has not contributed to a less durable shoe.

GENERAL REACTION/COMMENTS ON OVERALL PERFORMANCE - These Prince shoes should be held in quite high regard and graded rather highly across our tennis community. I visually examined these shoes quite carefully and I am impressed with each the design, and the quality of the craftsmanship, and the construction of this shoe. Very thoughtful as well a fashionable. I tested the Green, white, black colorway. They have unique looking colorways and markings. I continue to get compliments about the look of these shoes. The narrowing heel contributed snug and comfortable fit for me. These shoes feel lightweight and feel quite comfortable right out of the box. They are designed for, and have a foot-shaped, glove-like fit as a result of the design.

The entire play time of the test was done with the stock insoles. I don't believe that the flexibility, playability, or the comfort will be compromised in in any way by adding the use of stiffer, after-market insoles.
 

lim

Professional
Tennis experience/background: 4.0

Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley): aggressive baseliner

Current shoe:
cage 4 and gel res 8

How many hours did you play with the shoe? ~20 hrs

Normal Size: 8.5

Playtesting Size: 8.5

Comments on shoe performance (3-5 sentences per category):

comfort:
Good comfort out of the box. The uppers felt a touch firm on first wear especially in the toe box, but within an hour they softened up. I haven't experienced any pain or discomfort throughout the duration of the playtest. Compared to cages/gel res the width felt like a nice in between. Cages to me feel wider overall but pointy in the toes whereas the gel res feel a bit more narrow and long. Length felt a little on the longer side but heel lock down was more than adequate for me so I didn't have any issues with my feet sliding around. Insoles were not plush but they did have enough cushion while still providing court feel.

arch support:
I had no issues with arch support. I have a medium arch and was fine just going with the stock insoles, so I'd say these felt average in that regard and should work out for the majority of folks. Through the duration of the playtest I didn't feel any discomfort in regards to the arches even after 2 hr session for multiple days in a row.

stability/support:
Overall support felt good. Although the toebox was a little roomy to me, the lace lock down was good and kept my heel locked in place. I felt 100% confident sliding side to side and forward and back of the court so I would say they had great lateral support. I was able to get out to wide balls and make quick steps to transition back to the center so they were a good shoe for rebounding off of explosive movements. The uppers I would say were soft enough that my toes never got jammed in them but firm enough that I my feet felt secure and I never felt like my feet were going to burst out of the shoe. I'd compare the support to being close to how my gel res feel.

ventilation:
Weather has been hot and dry here averaging mid 90s during the week. I'd rate the breathability as good as the cage 4s if not better. Uppers felt more close to the gel res in terms of breathability. Did not experience any significant overheating. Most of the practice sessions and sets were 1.5-2 hours and I had no issues playing through due to sweat or being too hot on my foot that I needed to take them off.

sole durability:
The outsoles are one of the most critical elements of a shoe for me. I slide a lot and while I don't need help from the shoes to be able to slide, my number 1 complaint with the cage 4s is that they were too grippy and even once I wore into the midsole they didn't have a predictable slide. Gel res are my ideal shoe for sliding since I don't have to get overly low to the point that I start tearing into the uppers. The venoms felt really close to me in terms of performance to the gel res. They have the same loud squeaking that I get with my asics just from taking a lot of small steps to get in to position. Sliding was equally easy and very reliable for me to calibrate how much momentum i needed to get to those balls on the stretch. Through the duration of the playtest the are soles are still looking good. I think the wavy tread pattern is a good combination of traction but provide enough give for sliding. It is easy enough to transition between sliding and switching directions. As of now, i'd say the only question for me is how long the soles will hold up, but performance wise I'd give them a thumbs up. I will continue playing these until I wear through to the midsole. Toe durability is good. I don't drag my feet on serves but slide on the inside of my foot but overall they have held up well. Weight felt comparable to gel res. No issues on my end since I wouldn't consider them a speed shoe in that regard that need to be extra light and nimble.

General reaction/comments on overall performance:
All in all I'm happy with this playtest and would easily recommend these to people I play with. When I think of Prince shoes I know the T22s, but right out the box these look modern & streamlined, the colors are good, and the performance was up there. I think this is a great all around shoe that has a good blend of comfort, support, and responsiveness for the average player. On the flip side I think offensive minded players can get something out of these as well because the shoes have good protection all round the toe and medial sides and plus the outsoles are durable, grippy, yet are predictable when sliding for those that are hard on their shoes. On the final note the price point is very friendly for a shoe that can perform in these regards.

Thanks again TW for the playtest!
 

Chairman3

Hall of Fame
First 1.5hrs on hard court (finally!) tonight
I pretty much stand by everything I said in my review, which was all clay court.

Traction is great and the rubber must be pretty durable as it doesn't look worn or scraped. The hard courts in question were pretty tired and sand is everywhere here in FL. They squeaked a few times they were gripping so well.

Comfort is good, not great. For most, the comfort will be more than adequate. These really do play more like a speed shoe but with slightly better comfort. All that to say, they aren't the most plush, foam seems pretty firm.
They don't feel quite as fast on hard court as they did clay, don't know why. (Maybe gripping too well..?) So I felt the weight a bit more, but not a deal breaker.
Stability still excellent, very planted.

The main downside is the weight, not sure where they could lose it, maybe cut some of the midsole rubber as that is the least contacted point. Everything else seems pretty lightweight overall.
Again, not tiring to play in, and a lot of recent Nike shoes are on the heavy side, but maybe a redesigned outsole for V2 to reduce unneeded rubber.
 

M Pillai

Semi-Pro
The main downside is the weight
I bet, you have not used the classic Prince T22 :)

By the way, guys like me would definitely trade speed for more cushion/support/stability/durability. And of course more cushion/support/stabilty/durability comes with more weight on shoe.
But I totally understand the sentiment of the "speed/light" crowd.
 

M Pillai

Semi-Pro
I was able to slide on clay with these

I rarely get chance to play clay. But I am curious about the sole pattern to slide relationship if any. Venom has a unique sole pattern. Does that help or hurt the slide on clay? Or is it mostly irrelavant ?
 

Chairman3

Hall of Fame
I bet, you have not used the classic Prince T22 :)

By the way, guys like me would definitely trade speed for more cushion/support/stability/durability. And of course more cushion/support/stabilty/durability comes with more weight on shoe.
But I totally understand the sentiment of the "speed/light" crowd.
Not ever used the T22, but have used some heavy shoes.
I mostly play on clay and clay versions of shoes are almost always heavier due to the extra rubber on the outsole.
With these, I didn't notice the weight, I was just being nit-picky for sake of reviewing.
Also, for the weight, I don't think they're as plush as some other shoes.
For me that isn't a problem, I don't like cloud/pillow shoes, but I was trying to highlight important details for others.
I think these are good shoes that alot of people might overlook, so I wanted to be thorough.
 

kreative

Hall of Fame
Tennis experience/background: 4.0 USTA league doubles player. Also have been mixing in some pickleball in the past year.


Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley):
Generally an all-court player mixing in aggressive baselining, serve & volley, or defensive play. Love to get to and finish points at the net. Eastern forehand, 2-handed backhand w/ 1-handed slice.


Current shoe:
Nike Zoom Court NXT


How many hours did you play with the shoe? ~20 hours so far


Normal Size: 8.5 (size up to 9 for Nike’s)


Playtesting Size: 8.5


Comments on shoe performance (3-5 sentences per category):

Comfort:
4/5 The Venom fit snug and true to size right out of the box. I did feel the upper was a bit stiff at first taking about 2-3 hours to break in. Cushioning felt good, soles felt well supported and stable. No foot soreness after 2-3 hour play sessions.


Arch Support: 4/5 Arch support felt average and adequate although I don’t usually have issues in this area. I haven’t felt the need to get custom insoles for my tennis shoes, the Venom included. Over the playtest time I also didn’t feel any degradation in support.


Stability/Support: 5/5 Stability and support for me was the highlight of these shoes. Wearing these shoes, my feet felt locked in and stable and reminded me a bit of the older series of Adidas Barricades. Sudden start/stops, quick lateral movements, these shoes never failed.


Ventilation: 3/5 Although it looks like it has a bunch of mesh and ventilation on the uppers, I would rate the Venom as having average ventilation. Playing in a warm dry climate, it didn’t breathe as well as my Zoom NXT’s, but it wasn’t uncomfortable and I didn’t feel like my feet were in a sauna either.


Sole Durability: 4/5 I felt the soles had above average durability and has held up reasonably well during my 20 hours (and counting) of play. I’ve only started noticing a bit of wear in the forefoot area. Much more durable than my normal Zoom NXT’s.


Toe Durability: 4/5 I am a toe dragger and have only started seeing some minor wear. Toe area seems well built with lots of rubber and support.


Traction: 4/5 I was a bit skeptical when I saw the tread pattern on the outsole on how good traction would be, but it was surprisingly great. It did have a short break-in period, but after that it had a nice blend of grip and forgiveness where I felt I could stop on a dime but not feel jarring in my joints. I continue to hear the squeakiness when I stutter and split step and I feel confident that it won’t slip.


Weight: 3/5 These felt heavy when I first put them on, but I think in terms of static weight they are actually lighter than my Zoom NXT’s. I attribute this to maybe how the shoes were build with the Zoom NXT having more slim and bouncier feel vs the Venom which had a lower more stable feel. That said, I didn’t feel like the weight hindered my movements at all.


General reaction/comments on overall performance:
First off, thanks @TW Staff for the opportunity to playtest these shoes. The Venom’s were a joy to review. While playing in them, I felt planted with good stability and support, coupled with the strong traction and durable soles make this shoe a winner in my book! I would be confident wearing these shoes for match day.
 
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Cowboy

Rookie
All these reviews make me want to buy a set.

I'm currently on my second set of Adidas Ubersonic 4 and have noticed them rub on the achilles tendon. Not enough to do any damage for a single match, but I had one weekend where I played 3 matches over something like 18 hours. Damage was done. In talking to a friend, he said that Adidas has a tendency to rub in that area. So I suppose I have 2 questions:

1.) Do the Prince Venom rub the back of your foot a lot?
2.) Does anyone concur about Adidas rubbing? (not trying to turn conversation. Just wondering if there is any truth in what that friend said)
 

kreative

Hall of Fame
All these reviews make me want to buy a set.

I'm currently on my second set of Adidas Ubersonic 4 and have noticed them rub on the achilles tendon. Not enough to do any damage for a single match, but I had one weekend where I played 3 matches over something like 18 hours. Damage was done. In talking to a friend, he said that Adidas has a tendency to rub in that area. So I suppose I have 2 questions:

1.) Do the Prince Venom rub the back of your foot a lot?
2.) Does anyone concur about Adidas rubbing? (not trying to turn conversation. Just wondering if there is any truth in what that friend said)

I didn't have any issues with the Venom rubbing the back of my foot.

The "sock-like" foot collar on the Ubersonics felt really tight to me and with the heel fabric going up pretty high I could see how it could rub against your Achilles and be uncomfortable. I don't have direct experience playing in the Ubersonics (just tried them on and walked around so take my opinion with a grain of salt), but have had similar shoes with high back where that was an issue.
 

Chairman3

Hall of Fame
I wanted to throw in a little update as I think most people will overlook Prince shoes as "inferior," unless they are devotees of the T22.

I've used these another 10hrs on hardcourt and am still enjoying them. The foam is a bit firmer but in a good way, supportive and doesn't cause foot or any other pain. The outsoles seem very durable, the rubber seems "hard" in that it doesn't wear down quickly even on very gritty courts. This is probably part of the reason they're a bit heavier too. Very good traction as well.

I feel like these could be good for a teaching pro on their feet alot. Comfortable, supportive, and great outsole durability. Seems like alot of folks use custom insoles anyway, and that would likely resolve most peoples issues.
I didn't have any alarms bells and would buy them.

They deserve some attention.
 

StringStrungStrang

Professional
I wanted to throw in a little update as I think most people will overlook Prince shoes as "inferior," unless they are devotees of the T22.

I've used these another 10hrs on hardcourt and am still enjoying them. The foam is a bit firmer but in a good way, supportive and doesn't cause foot or any other pain. The outsoles seem very durable, the rubber seems "hard" in that it doesn't wear down quickly even on very gritty courts. This is probably part of the reason they're a bit heavier too. Very good traction as well.

I feel like these could be good for a teaching pro on their feet alot. Comfortable, supportive, and great outsole durability. Seems like alot of folks use custom insoles anyway, and that would likely resolve most peoples issues.
I didn't have any alarms bells and would buy them.

They deserve some attention.
I agree with @Chairman3 on this; the Prince Venom shoes are excellent! They are quick enough, comfortable, supportive, stable with great traction. Comfort and stability are major upsides to this shoe and are non-negotiable for court shoes. They are a great all-around shoe and are perfect for the days when you plan to be out there all day or when your feet need a break. Quick enough around the court for sure, but they are a touch heavier than some. I said it before but when I when I wear these my feet feel better post match and the next day and this lets me play more. For many people this is the shoe they need! I really do like the sole too ! Very stable, solid traction with excellent durability. These should definitely be considered.
 

FloridaAG

Hall of Fame
Update - I have been wearing these to play basketball, general workout and walking for the last week and I give them very high marks for this. Very comfortable. I am gonna get them back on the court in a few weeks
 

d-quik

Hall of Fame
Update - I have been wearing these to play basketball, general workout and walking for the last week and I give them very high marks for this. Very comfortable. I am gonna get them back on the court in a few weeks
By chance, do you have any interest in eventually trying the Diadora Finale if a good deal is found?
 

Chairman3

Hall of Fame
Meant to post these already, happened around 30-31hrs. Now have about 41hrs and it isn't significantly worse
SHEp4B.jpg

f7ywlK.jpg
Rubber has torn, same spot on both sides. Right foot is a bit worse. There is fabric beneath so the rubber on this bit may be more for aesthetic. Otherwise the shoes continue to hold up really well. Still plenty of tread on the outsole and they remain comfortable.
 

d-quik

Hall of Fame
Meant to post these already, happened around 30-31hrs. Now have about 41hrs and it isn't significantly worse
SHEp4B.jpg

f7ywlK.jpg
Rubber has torn, same spot on both sides. Right foot is a bit worse. There is fabric beneath so the rubber on this bit may be more for aesthetic. Otherwise the shoes continue to hold up really well. Still plenty of tread on the outsole and they remain comfortable.
The 1st generation of the B.Icon 1 had this problem too where the corner of the toebox would just start tearing due to natural movement and not "dragging". Very annoying :(
 

eremes

New User
For those of you that loved these shoes or at least thought they were good solid competent court shoes - here is your chance.
TW is offering them @ 45% off right now !!
I bought one because of this discount - tried it on and walked around at home and it hurt my feet. The sizing was right, but it felt really narrow. I promptly packed this up and returned it.
 

bigserving

Hall of Fame
I got really great mileage out of these shoes and enjoyed them very much. Very comfortable all throughout. Very impressive performance from a very reasonably priced shoe. I got the white/green colorway for the play test. Of course, I would have much preferred the Black / Gray Raiders colorway! No real complaints at all though.
 

lim

Professional
back to these as practice shoes for the past 2 weeks. After playing in these these 3-4x a week they are showing some wear

513-B793-A-BA86-409-A-B8-A3-CA81347-E42-E8.jpg


A3-DD03-E5-3-BB7-49-AF-BF4-A-21-DF1-D79288-D.jpg
 
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