Image via Hisknibs
Image via Hisknibs

No. 10 – adidas Rod Laver

Baller factor: 2 out of 5
Why you shouldn’t play in them:
The mesh panels are great for breathability, but awful for lateral support.

It doesn’t get much more iconic than the Rod Laver. Originally released in 1970, these crispy whites have been spotted off the court on everyone from Will Ferrell to David Beckham to Yeezus himself. Still, as much as we love them, tennis shoes have come a long way in the last 40+ years, and trying to maneuver in these would be like trying to ball in Chuck Taylors.

Image via eBay
Image via eBay

No. 9 – Chanel Tennis Shoes

Baller factor: 5 out of 5
Why you shouldn’t play in them: One wrong move and those uppers are ripping in half.

So you really wanna flex on the courts, huh? Whatever you do, don’t cop these $1000 Chanels for match day. Sure, they have a nice, sporty style and look like they could handle some mileage, but the nylon based upper just isn’t going to be able to hang on a tough court surface. You’ll go from dropping a stack on your investment to having a pair of useless kicks real quick, real f’n quick.

Image via End Clothing
Image via End Clothing

No. 8 – A.P.C. Tennis Shoe

Baller factor: 3 out of 5
Why you shouldn’t play in them: Although it’s fairly durable, the leather lacks breathability and support.

A.P.C. is best known for their raw selvedge jeans and simplistic clothing, but they make some pretty sweet kicks, too. These “Tennis Shoe” model has a tough rubber outsole and is built with a smooth calfskin leather upper. As great as they look, that’s about the last thing you want wrapping your foot on the court. Instead, opt for a synthetic based sneaker.

Image via Supreme New York
Image via Supreme New York

No. 7 – Supreme x Nike SB Tennis Classic

Baller factor: 2 out of 5
Why you shouldn’t play in them: Leather and lack of lateral support and durability make these a negative for the court.

Anytime Supreme hooks up with Nike, you know it’s going to be good. Many of their releases are intended for skate use, so this Spring 2013 drop came as somewhat of a surprise. This SB version has Zoom Air cushioning, but that’s still not quite enough to make these fit for tennis use.

Image via Dr. Denim
Image via Dr. Denim

No. 6 – Puma G Vilas L2

Baller factor: 1 out of 5
Why you shouldn’t play in them: The protection is limited, especially in the toe area.

Although it's had a few updates through the years, this late ‘70s Guillermo Vilas sig still isn’t ready for use on the courts. The sleek, slimmed down model is comfy and relatively lightweight for a leather based sneaker, but there’s just not enough going on to protect your feet. Use these at your own risk!

Image via Freshness Mag
Image via Freshness Mag

No. 5 – Nike Air Tech Challenge 2

Baller factor: 2 out of 5
Why you shouldn’t play in them: The retro versions of this classic can’t hold a candle to the OGs.

If it came to down to it, you could probably play a few sets comfortably in the Air Tech Challenge 2. But that’s where we’d draw the line. What was once the shoe of choice for legend Andre Agassi has been watered down throughout the years with lackluster retros. It still looks just as awesome as it did in 1989, but the materials, Air cushioning, and overall build aren’t going to hold up very well with serious use.

Image via Nice Kicks
Image via Nice Kicks

No. 4 – New Balance CT300

Baller factor: 1 out of 5
Why you shouldn’t play in them: They’re (probably) older than you!

Wondering what the “CT” in this particular New Balance model stands for? That’s easy: court. This ‘80s model was the inaugural model of New Balance’s tennis line, and finally made its first return to shelves earlier this year. It’s a great way to relive memories of decades past, but besides that, there’s not much performance use to get out of these.

Image via E Seller Pro
Image via E Seller Pro

No. 3 – Common Projects Achilles

Baller factor: 4 out of 5
Why you shouldn’t wear them: Your feet will suffocate in these classy leather kicks.

The Achilles is the model that started it all for Common Projects. Thanks to their minimal aesthetic and top notch construction, these Italian made sneakers have gained a massive cult following throughout the last decade. They’re the kind of sneakers that go with anything… anything but tennis gear. Their genuine leather upper means your sweat will have nowhere to escape to.

Image via GQ
Image via GQ

No. 2 – Saint Laurent SL06 Court Classic

Baller factor: 5 out of 5
Why you shouldn’t wear them: No amount of perforations can save these leather sneakers on the court.

If you’re balling out on a Saint Laurent level, hopefully you aren’t foolish enough to actually take the SL06 Court Classic model out for a match. They can call them whatever they want, these things aren’t built for the courts. They’ll do just fine in the club, though.

Image via High Snobiety
Image via High Snobiety

No. 1 – adidas Stan Smith

Baller factor: 1 out of 5
Why you shouldn’t wear them: Leather strikes again.

We almost feel bad putting the Stan Smith at the top spot, but we’ve gotta call it like it is. The first leather tennis sneaker of all time is still flying off shelves, but hopefully no one is actually playing in them. We’ll give adidas props for using genuine leather on the retro, but that’s the last thing you want on the court. There’s little to no lateral stability or breathability, and the rubber outsole will take a serious beating on pretty much any court surface. Save these for the streets, not the serves.

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