With Weapon Underfoot. Tennis Shoes for Grass Court Play.
You can't see it but when playing on grass, the pros have a key weapon hidden underfoot. Grass court specific shoes have pegged or dimpled soles that provide extra grip for the player's game and protection for the hallowed courts. Hard court or clay specific tennis shoes can be slippery on grass and bad for the surface itself.
Here is what's new on the market – in the U.K. only – so U.S. residents, if you want them, call a friend across the pond. There just aren't enough grass courts in the U.S. to make it worth selling them here.
Above is the new adidas CC Feather IV Grass shoe, £80 (app. $130 USD). Developed with the London 2012 Olympic games in mind, the outsole features an innovative dimple pattern with rubbery spikes. The spikes grip but give a flat push off area ensuring quick directional change ability for players.
Tim Henman, reports that he "found [the shoes] provided amazing grip and support on both dry and damp surfaces…" Dinara Safina, Novak Djokovic, Fernando Verdasco, Marat Safin and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will all wear new adidas for grass at Wimbledon (Novak's will be custom).
Fila has also released a great looking grass court version of their new new-to-market Fila Alfa Wimbledon line (above). Decked out in its namesake's purple and green the Fila Alfa Wimbledon Grass Court (unisex) is another "dimpled sole" option. Added-value, built-in superaction inserts increase the responsiveness of this shoe, £77 (app $126 USD).
Buy the adidas shoe in the U.K. at: Tennis Nuts, Wigmore and ProDirect. Here's a little video.
The Fila Alpha Wimbledon is online at Shop Wimbledon.
For a pro's take on grass court shoes check out this clip on Travis Parrot's blog. Parrot is U.S. ATP Tour player (currently #25 in dubs). Nike unfortunately only makes their grass-court specific shoe for the pros.