Clay Courters. Your Shoes Could Make A Difference.
The only way that your tennis equipment can make a difference in your clay court game is on your feet. Most players wear tennis shoes designed for all around play, meaning both hard and clay courts. Surprisingly there are very few clay court specific shoes. We spoke with Thomas Otton, Product Manager at Babolat, on the subject. "Playing on clay requires a better grip than on hard courts, due to a more slippery and movable surface," said Otton. "The specificity of clay court shoes is that they have deeper herringbones in order to increase grip. Hard courts require less grip but more durability, which explains why hard court shoes have thinner herringbones so they wear out more slowly."
Otton explained that the new Babolat Team Clay III shoe (pictured left, the choice of Igor Andreev) takes into account the need for grip with large and deep herringbones on the internal side of the outsole and features thinner herringbones on the medial side of the outsole which is used for sliding. Another nice feature is the clay stopping tongue that prevents little bits of the surface from entering the shoe.The Team Clay III is available in men's sizes only (sorry ladies) and has a $89.00 USD price.
Other clay court specific shoes include the adidas Clima Cool IVY III $75 (pictured right — to be released in January 09) for women, the adidas Clima Cool Feather IV, $100 for men (also Jan 09, but the CC Feather III is available now) and the Wilson Trance II, $79.00, available now for both men and women.
Hey you've got more than one pair of day shoes in your closet, why settle for just one pair for tennis, especially if one of these specialists could make a difference in your game?