For this week’s installment of Save vs Spurge I take a look at some of the best shoes to wear on the court for any tennis player’s wallet. For those who don’t want to break the bank, the adidas Bercuda 3 would be the perfect fit coming in at $49.95. With its stylish looks, this shoe features adiPRENE+ technology for responsive feel and has adidas’ signature stability claws in the forefoot. For those looking for a high performance shoe, check out the adidas Barricade 8 for $114.95 (and our review). This sleek black/green colorway has plenty of stability and support for even the most aggressive player. While the Barricade 8 has an adiWEAR 6 outsole for high durability, it also comes with a six-month outsole durability guarantee for extra protection.
Check back next week for another save vs splurge!
Tomas Berdych shocked the world Wednesday night with a four-set victory over world #1 Roger Federer at the Open. His untouchable serve and blistering groundstrokes proved to be too much for even the great maestro Roger himself to handle. Let’s take a look at the gear that Tomas is wearing this year in New York…
His weapon of choice (along with women’s semifinalist Maria Sharapova) is the Head YOUTEK IG Instinct. This re-engineered version of the Instinct is light, fast through the air, and really easy to swing, making it ideal for generating tons of power and spin. In addition, Head did a great job making this lightweight racquet feel super stable at impact, even on those off-center shots. Our playtesters believe it’s a must-try for any advanced level player.
With Head providing the racquet for Berdych‘s bone-crushing shots, Nike keeps him looking good and performing at his best. Tomas, along with many other touring pros, is wearing the Nike Vapor 9 Tour shoes. Chris, our most experienced playtester, think they are the best tennis shoes he’s ever worn! Super lightweight and low-profile, with stability to boot, you barely feel like you’re wearing anything on your feet with them on.
Nike keeps Tomas outfitted in the Fall Statement Graphic Crew and Fall 10″ Woven Short. Both the shirt and shorts are available in a variety of colors to make sure you find your perfect style. He accessorizes with the Nike Men’s Basic Featherlight Hat and Nike Swoosh Double Wide Wristbands in Black/White.
Be sure to get some of the sweet gear that Tomas is rocking at the Open, and maybe you could rip your forehand just like him (we can all dream, right?).
You’re looking at what is directly to my right, as I sit at my desk writing this article. The smorgasbord of tennis equipment you see is most of the gear that I am fortunate enough to playtest on a daily basis. Racquets, strings, shoes, and even grips! I want to give you a “behind the scenes” look at what I’ve been trying and what some of my recent favorites are…
Let’s start with racquets! The three models that are pictured above are two of my own and one TW racquet. You can see two of my Prince TT Warrior MP racquets, the old classic popularized by the serve and volleying Aussie Patrick Rafter back in the early 2000s. In my opinion, there is no better feeling racquet around the net…EVER! Along with those you’ll see my other racquet of choice, the Yonex RDiS 100 Mid, which unfortunately just stopped being produced. I played with these during my brief stint on the pro tour. Along with my collection of racquets there’s a Wilson BLX Pro Staff Six.One 95. Just trying to bring out my inner Dolgopolov.
In all these racquets there’s different strings. In my Warriors, I’m trying the MSV Focus Hex 17 and Gosen Sidewinder. I’m finding the MSV to be a nice, fairly standard polyester which is turning out to be quite comfortable to hit. The Sidewinder is great, as it’s shaped AND twisted, along with being super soft. It’s really comfortable to hit and offers tons of spin off the stringed.
I have a different string in each of my four Yonex frames. One of them has a set of Luxilon Original in it that just refuses to break, proving to be the most durable string I’ve tested so far. Next up is Prince Beast XP 17g (this is also in the Wilson PS), which is turning out to be fairly stiff with great tension maintenance. The third one has the Solinco Tour Bite 16L in it, which is the racquet I have been using in our Gotta Want It initial episodes. I love hitting the Tour Bite, as it gives me great control with tons of pop and spin.
My fourth racquet has a concoction that our resident string expert and my desk neighbor at work cooked up (“The Wolfman” as we affectionately call him). He put 18 gauge Ashaway Kevlar in the mains, and 18 gauge Pacific natural gut (which is unfortunately not available for sale) in the crosses, and it feels AMAZING! This is Wolfman’s string setup of choice in his racquets, along with Andre Agassi’s set up early in his career. It’s stiff, offers great control, but the natural gut softens up the stringbed and makes it super comfortable.
My current shoe test has me in the Lacoste Repel 2‘s, which I’m finding to be very lightweight and nice fitting. I’ve been playing in them for less than a week now.
Well, that’s it for the behind the scenes look! Stay tuned for all our video and written reviews on all these products! Thanks for reading!