“Help,” says Mark on the phone. “I keep busting through my tennis shoes.”
“OK,” we reply. “Come into the store and we’ll see what we can do to help you.”
Two days later he brings his shoes in for a look and we immediately see the problem. Mark is playing tennis in running shoes, not tennis shoes.
“The reason you keep busting through the sides of your shoes,” we explain to him, “is they are not tennis shoes.”
You see, Mark went to a big box store and told the staff that he wanted a super light tennis shoe. From what he told us, it sounds like he tried on the only tennis shoe they had, but he thought it was too clunky. He said he wanted something more like his running shoes. So they sold him exactly what he asked for. They sold him a running shoe.
That’s when Mark’s problems started. Running shoes are not designed for side to side movement. They are designed for forward movement only. So when Mark goes out wide to return a ball and has to push off sideways back to the center of the court, he eventually rips the seams on the outside of his running shoes.
It’s not the shoe’s fault. It is a running shoe. Running shoes are not designed for side-to-side movement. They are designed for forward movement only. Therefore Mark can’t make a warranty claim because he is using the shoes in way that they should not be used. In other words, the manufacturer is not at fault.
Part of the fault lies with the box store employee who sold Mark running shoes. But most of the fault lies with Mark.
You see, Mark is a bit of a princess. He is more concerned with the colour and the look of his shoe than he is with the shoe’s performance. He thinks that the most important characteristic of a tennis shoe is that it matches his outfit. He also thinks that tennis shoes are too “clunky looking.” He wants a tennis shoe that looks like a running shoe.
What Mark is learning, though, is that compared to running shoes, tennis shoes are clunky looking for a reason. He is learning that tennis shoes are subject to much higher stresses than running shoes. Therefore they have to be reinforced on the sides, on the toe and on the sole.
Mark is also learning that tennis shoes are typically both cheaper than and more durable than running shoes. For example, the Asics ™ Nimbus 20s that he keeps busting through retail for $200.00 a pair while the Prince ™ T22s that he should be playing in are just $140.00. When used for tennis, his expensive running shoes will last four or five weeks at most while the tennis shoes would last an entire season.
Unfortunately, it’s an expensive lesson that Mark is insisting on learning the hard way. We expect that he will eventually realize that playing tennis in tennis shoes will not only save him money, it will also make him a better tennis player. But today is not that day.
Men’s Tennis Shoes
A small sample of our mens tennis shoes.
Asics Gel-Resolution 8 WideCAD $180.00
Prince T22CAD $140.00
Babolat Jet Mach 3 All Court Tennis Shoe (White/Silver)
Babolat SFX 3
Babolat Jet Mach 3 All Court Tennis ShoeCAD $199.99
Yonex Power Cushion Durable 3
Yonex Power Cushion 65X3
Asics Gel-Game 8CAD $119.99
Yonex Power Cushion Eclipsion 3 Tennis Shoes (White)
Babolat Propulse Fury All Court (White/Yellow)
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