Why are pro shoes so slippery???

Tennis sprew

Hall of Fame
So I’m watching some old clips and I’m watching all these players slip and slide out, like USO where Federer dropped Djokovic, but if you see the slow mo, his shoes are already buckling and slipping. Same with Monfils and a bunch of other shoes. What’s up, custom traction? Or maybe they just fill the court with dust.
 
The custom outsoles, as you mentioned play a large part. They are a lot less durable but "higher performance". Note; very few pros actually use a custom outsole. Federer and Nadal are in the minority there. Players such as Rublev, Kyrgios, Khachanov all use retail outsoles to the best of my knowledge.
 

Tennis_Hands

Bionic Poster
The custom outsoles, as you mentioned play a large part. They are a lot less durable but "higher performance". Note; very few pros actually use a custom outsole. Federer and Nadal are in the minority there. Players such as Rublev, Kyrgios, Khachanov all use retail outsoles to the best of my knowledge.
The pattern of their outsoles is custom (more like an already discontinued patterns, or a mixture of discontinued patterns and new patterns). I seriously doubt that the rubber compounds are custom: that is not happening even for Federer, Nadal etc.

 

88fingers

New User
If you drive a car at 5 mph and slam the brakes you are not going to skid. Drive the same car with the same tires at 20 mph and you will skid.
Thats the difference between the pros and some of us.
 

Zoid

Professional
lol at custom 'outsoles' . Maybe fed and djok, but what's really custom is their footsped. These guys move hard and fast enough to push the grippiest new shoes to the limit. Most decent players can slide in new shoes no problem.
 

legend

New User
So I’m watching some old clips and I’m watching all these players slip and slide out, like USO where Federer dropped Djokovic, but if you see the slow mo, his shoes are already buckling and slipping. Same with Monfils and a bunch of other shoes. What’s up, custom traction? Or maybe they just fill the court with dust.
The reason pros shoes wear out so quickly is the court surface - oh and of course they move and stop a little quicker than you do!! The acrylic surfaces are re-painted prior to a tournament arriving in town - if you’ve ever played on a newly painted court - the grip is totally different - mind your Achilles!!’ All the courts at a tournament play very slightly differently depending on the paint mix (should be identical) or how much play they have had - You’ll find the non grandstand courts always play a little faster - reason? more hours have been played on them - more often allocated as practice courts!!
 
lol at custom 'outsoles' . Maybe fed and djok, but what's really custom is their footsped. These guys move hard and fast enough to push the grippiest new shoes to the limit. Most decent players can slide in new shoes no problem.
I am much faster


In my dreams. I am also wealthier, better looking, and retired!
 
This is TTW: it must be the gear!
It is probably the socks.
No. According to top TTW logicians, since these pros use a proprietary pro stock blend of polymers in their polyester strings, when they string their frames at a tension equivalent to the 21st through 27th digits of Pi, it allows the drag coefficients of their rackets to speed them up enough to be able to slide on hard courts.

If somebody could only get us the match-used racket of a pro then we could reverse engineer to figure out the polymers, after that we would be able to spend all of our paycheck on formulating the exact same setup as the pros in our 1943 aero pro drives that we swear were the best ones. Only after doing this would we finally be able to slide on hard courts, and impress everyone at our 65+ Men's 3.0 league.
 

blablavla

Hall of Fame
No. According to top TTW logicians, since these pros use a proprietary pro stock blend of polymers in their polyester strings, when they string their frames at a tension equivalent to the 21st through 27th digits of Pi, it allows the drag coefficients of their rackets to speed them up enough to be able to slide on hard courts.

If somebody could only get us the match-used racket of a pro then we could reverse engineer to figure out the polymers, after that we would be able to spend all of our paycheck on formulating the exact same setup as the pros in our 1943 aero pro drives that we swear were the best ones. Only after doing this would we finally be able to slide on hard courts, and impress everyone at our 65+ Men's 3.0 league.
if only we could purchase these custom made muscles with custom made shoes with custom made socks with custom made frames with custom made strings...
forget about all the practice hours on the court and gym, it's all about those custom made
 
if only we could purchase these custom made muscles with custom made shoes with custom made socks with custom made frames with custom made strings...
forget about all the practice hours on the court and gym, it's all about those custom made
See, you get it...
 

jmacdaununder2

Hall of Fame
No. According to top TTW logicians, since these pros use a proprietary pro stock blend of polymers in their polyester strings, when they string their frames at a tension equivalent to the 21st through 27th digits of Pi, it allows the drag coefficients of their rackets to speed them up enough to be able to slide on hard courts.

If somebody could only get us the match-used racket of a pro then we could reverse engineer to figure out the polymers, after that we would be able to spend all of our paycheck on formulating the exact same setup as the pros in our 1943 aero pro drives that we swear were the best ones. Only after doing this would we finally be able to slide on hard courts, and impress everyone at our 65+ Men's 3.0 league.
55+ 3.0 league thanks very much :)
 

Jack the Hack

Hall of Fame


This is a picture of the custom outsoles on Federer's Vapor X. He has a ton of customization on his shoes, as does Rafa. Personalized for the shape of his foot with more padding, more cushioning, carbon fiber shank, different outsole pattern, and a few other things you can't see. But I agree... the ability to slide on a hard court has less to do with the shoe and more with the skill and athleticism of the player.
 

Tennis sprew

Hall of Fame


This is a picture of the custom outsoles on Federer's Vapor X. He has a ton of customization on his shoes, as does Rafa. Personalized for the shape of his foot with more padding, more cushioning, carbon fiber shank, different outsole pattern, and a few other things you can't see. But I agree... the ability to slide on a hard court has less to do with the shoe and more with the skill and athleticism of the player.
That is an awesome picture!
 

Mr Backhand

Rookie


This is a picture of the custom outsoles on Federer's Vapor X. He has a ton of customization on his shoes, as does Rafa. Personalized for the shape of his foot with more padding, more cushioning, carbon fiber shank, different outsole pattern, and a few other things you can't see. But I agree... the ability to slide on a hard court has less to do with the shoe and more with the skill and athleticism of the player.
Where did he even come up with that pattern?
 

rafa_prestige89

Professional


This is a picture of the custom outsoles on Federer's Vapor X. He has a ton of customization on his shoes, as does Rafa. Personalized for the shape of his foot with more padding, more cushioning, carbon fiber shank, different outsole pattern, and a few other things you can't see. But I agree... the ability to slide on a hard court has less to do with the shoe and more with the skill and athleticism of the player.
This outsole pattern probably lasts less than a week on hard courts :-D
 


This is a picture of the custom outsoles on Federer's Vapor X. He has a ton of customization on his shoes, as does Rafa. Personalized for the shape of his foot with more padding, more cushioning, carbon fiber shank, different outsole pattern, and a few other things you can't see. But I agree... the ability to slide on a hard court has less to do with the shoe and more with the skill and athleticism of the player.
Don’t mention the shank word
 

Rabbit

G.O.A.T.
I have a friend I've known for 30+ years. His son, who I've hit with since he was in middle school, now plays D1 tennis. The last time we were on court together, he was a senior in high school. He was sliding on hard court. It has nothing to do with the soles as I can guarantee you he had on stock shoes. At the time they were Nikes. The university he attends has a deal with adidas. He still slides. :)
 

blablavla

Hall of Fame
I have a friend I've known for 30+ years. His son, who I've hit with since he was in middle school, now plays D1 tennis. The last time we were on court together, he was a senior in high school. He was sliding on hard court. It has nothing to do with the soles as I can guarantee you he had on stock shoes. At the time they were Nikes. The university he attends has a deal with adidas. He still slides. :)
I can sense a conspiracy theory here.
this guy has access to custom made shoes for pros, that neither Nike nor Adidas won't sell to us.

(sarcasm)
 

Ocean Drive

Hall of Fame
I have a friend I've known for 30+ years. His son, who I've hit with since he was in middle school, now plays D1 tennis. The last time we were on court together, he was a senior in high school. He was sliding on hard court. It has nothing to do with the soles as I can guarantee you he had on stock shoes. At the time they were Nikes. The university he attends has a deal with adidas. He still slides. :)
Nobody is denying you can slide in normal trainers, but why is it so hard to believe that professionals have personalised equipment? It's ridiculous to suggest otherwise, actually.

I don't get what's so hard to fathom.
 

blablavla

Hall of Fame
Nobody is denying you can slide in normal trainers, but why is it so hard to believe that professionals have personalised equipment? It's ridiculous to suggest otherwise, actually.

I don't get what's so hard to fathom.
cause it works in a different way.

first you need to become relevant for a company to make personalized gear for you.
and guess what, you need to use the retail stuff for this.
then, and only then you might get personalized stuff.

if you take tennis only.
there are appox 1500 pro tennis players.
do you know how many of them are not sponsored?
which means that they play with retail shoes, retail frames etc.

even if you take the gifted juniors, that might get special treatment.
first they learn to play in all usual retail gear.
only when they "shine", only then they might get access to some privileged service.

NOT the other way around.
 

Tennis sprew

Hall of Fame
220 grit extra fine sandpaper that Djoker uses/used to reduce the frictional coefficient on his soles.
Huh, very interesting. I heard on the TW podcast they talked about pros shaving down the soles to get more give on their shoes, which is something I would probably never do, but it’s an idea I may explore. Have you tried it?
 

jmacdaununder2

Hall of Fame
I used to play extensively on Plexipave way back in the day and preferred worn down shoes then, although it was more about being able to shuffle like on en-tout-cas (clay adjacent surface) - nobody was sliding on Plexi in the early 80s, except when it was wet lol! these days I'm only playing on grass, synthetic grass, classic clay and en-tout-cas and sliding around on these - especially the clay derivatives - when needed. :sneaky:
 
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