Hot news: Nigel's got new shoes, and he got 25% off his Mizunos with his Local Tennis League discount. But how should you break in new shoes? We have some tips. Get the hairdryer out!
SAVE 25% on MIZUNO SHOES!
All Local Tennis League account holders can save 25% on Mizuno products in its nes shop (find the link and discount code here!
ABOVE:The new Wave Intense Tour 5 CC, a shoe perfect for competitive and elite tennis players who need the best stability to control the game from the baseline (Clay Court). Great for Rafa trips!
A new pair of tennis shoes is one of the pleasers of playing, but it is also a moment of slight trepidation. For a start, it usually means farewell to a trusty pair of loafers which have stood with you through umpteen matches and now nurture every contour and bunion of your feet. Will your new pair match up?
Whether you have gone for a like-for-like replacement, or a new brand and style, there are steps (warning expect more puns) you can take to maximise the performance of your new shoes.
Don't just put on your shoes and play a match. Even a new pair of shoes in exactly the same style will feel different to your old pair. They will be stiffer and the grip more profound. Playing in brand new shoes that haven't been broken in at all can effect your footwork and even make you trip.
Unbox your new shoes, sit back and admire. Get to know them and any clear differences with your old pair. Are they laced the way you like? How rigid is the sole? Remind yourself what the manufacturer has said - there are often very useful tips to be had from the technical descriptions that relate to how the shoes perform.
"While I loved my Mizuno Wave Exceed Tour 3s, I wanted to see what the Wave Flash with its ap+ cushioning, designed for extra comfort whatever the playing surface would be like," says Nigel. "I had in mind that these shoes had to bear up both my local park hard courts and be a good choice for the clay of the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar for my upcoming visit in March,"
To get to know the shoes, loosened the laces, put the shoes on and tie the laces snugly but not too tight. Wear the shoes around the house for a few hours. These aren't playing conditions, so it is not so much about wearing the same socks that you normally play in, as gently knocking the newness out of your trainers.
Park the shoes overnight stuffed with your tennis socks, paper or shoe-spreader if you are old school. This will continue the breaking in process.
HOT SHOE SHUFFLE
Not recommended by every one, but some players are adamant that gently heating the interior of your trainers with a hairdryer (right) before wearing them for the first time helps mould the shoes to your feet. It certainly makes the shoes cosy but be careful not to damage the shoe with excess heat.
ESCORT TO COURT
You don't do this anyway, but don't travel to the courts wearing your new shoes. Over time, wearing tennis shoes as street shoes will wear them out faster, but perhaps the main concern with a new pair is the psychological damage you will do if you tread in the wrong thing!
Bring your old pair too - especially if this is a match. Even though your new pair will soon fit like Cinderella's slipper, if you are having initial issues, you need to be able to switch to old faithful.
And be careful: "When I arrived at the courts to play for the first time with my new shoes," says Nigel "there was a light film of ice.
New shoes or old there was no way we could play and my Mizunos will have to wait to make their debut."