You know that one saying "a picture is worth a thousand words?" Well, believe it or not, the same goes for tennis shoes.
You can tell a lot about a tennis player just by looking at the type of sneakers he's wearing. And we're talking about more than just how loaded his pockets are. For instance, what type of surface he likes to play on, style of play, as well as tendencies on the court. Why does a guy like Roger Federer play in the Nike Zoom Vapor 9 Tour? Because it's the one shoe that best compliments his all-around tennis game. And Rafa Nadal the Air Max Courtballistec 4.3? Because (as we all know), he's the king of the clay, and the Courtballistec 4.3 is the
adidas adiZero Feather 2.0
You’re a wildcard player who will take on anybody, anytime, anywhere (shout-out Pat Hill). You prefer to slide around on the clay, but can get down on the hard court too. Taking command of the baseline is your style, and the Feather 2.0 lets you do that with a lightweight cushioning and support.
You’re in it for the experience. You just picked up sport, noticed your favorite brand back in the day was still going strong in the tennis game, and decided to go with the Fila Sentinel. Little did you know, the Sentinel and you were destined to play together. There’s plenty of cushioning for a weekend’s worth of tennis.
Nike Air Max Courtballistec 4.3
If you play tennis in the Nike Air Max Courtballistec 4.3, chances are you’re a risk taker who plays a high velocity game. The Courtballistec is the perfect shoe to compliment your speedy and agile style of tennis. And like Rafael Nadal, who is all about the Courtballistec, you like to look good on the court while obliterating your opponents.
Babolat Propulse 4
You were introduced to Babolat by your favorite player growing up, Andy Roddick. And even though A-Rod has hung up his Propulse sneakers, there’s a new (and even better) version of his favorite shoe out that you just can’t help but notice. You rely on the Propulse for it’s lateral support as you chase down the ball.
Nike Zoom Vapor 9 Tour
Worn on the regular by arguably the best tennis player ever, Roger Federer, the Nike Zoom Vapor 9 Tour is for the all-around player. If you just can't get through a point without your Zoom Vapor 9, you’re a perfectionist who can “play just as well in any other shoe,” but still choose to go with the best of the best.
Yonex Power Cushion 308
If you find yourself wearing the revamped Yonex Power Cushion 308, you like to put some extra mileage on your shoes before tossing them out. You’re a no-nonsense player who packs a mean stroke. Durability is just a part of what you’re about, though. You like the Power Cushion 308 for its responsive cushioning and sleek design built for the spotlight.
Adidas Barricade 8
The choice shoe of Andy Murray, the adidas Barricade is for the underdog tennis player looking for something to prove. You like to feel confident on the court, so you go with a shoe that is solid in both performance and style. Playing like you is like playing against the wall—nothing gets past you.
Asics Gel Resolution 5
Built in a rugged yet flexible frame, the Asics Gel Resolution 5 is for players who like to tough out long, grueling matches, whether on clay or on the hard court. A shoe for the pro’s pro, the Gel Resolution 5 commands respect on the court, and delivers when you need it the most.
Wilson Rush Pro
If you’re refusing to let go of your Wilson roots, you’ve been around the game for a long time, and don’t like to mess with a good thing. A perfect shoe for old school players looking to keep up with today’s competition, the Rush Pro combines the classic Wilson look with modern technology to produce a tour-worthy shoe. If you’re trying to play at a local country club this weekend, the Rush Pro just might get you in.
Head Speed Pro III
For you, the name of the game is speed. And lucky for you, the third installment of the Head Speed Pro series is the fastest yet. It’s the perfect shoe to compliment your agile style of play. You like to own the entire court, and the Speed Pro III lets you do that with ease.
Gurvinder Singh Gandu is a New York City-based writer with west coast roots. A resident wear-tester for Sneaker Report, and contributor to Complex Media, follow him @GurvinderSG for the latest in performance footwear and gear.