Tennis Shoes History
From Past to Present: Understanding How Modern High Performance Structure and Design Has Revolutionized the Tennis Shoe
Tennis Shoes History
When Kara started working at her new job, she learned that many of her co-workers participated in an office "tennis group" that met every Saturday for a quick game and lunch afterwards.
She had never really played tennis before and especially in any kind of organized team. Yet she really liked the new people she
was working with, and wanted to take part in the tennis games.
Kara had no idea what to wear on the tennis court and the only athletic shoes she had were at least five years old and very well worn. They were actually tennis shoes but she had
never used them for that.
As Kara checked out the latest additions to the vending machines at break, one of the office clerks, Nancy, mentioned Saturday's game. "So, Kara, are you coming to the tennis court with us on Saturday?" She had expected she would come by since Nancy was the one who organized the group. Ready to reply, Kara said "Yes, I would love to play. Count me in!"
Getting Ready To Play
Right after work, Kara set out to find some new tennis apparel and tennis shoes.
Although she did not expect to be the best player on the courts, she definitely wanted to make a good impression with appropriate women's tennis shoes that were designed for the sport.
In the elevator, she noticed Brian, another co-worker who was also fairly new to the company. After exchanging a few pleasantries, he asked Kara if she was going to attend the tennis game on Saturday. She told him that she was, but had to
find some tennis shoes first. Incredibly, Brian said that he used to be an associate at a local sporting store in the tennis department and would be willing to help Kara find the necessary tennis gear.
He mentioned that K-Swiss womens tennis shoes were a very good make, and even better, headquartered in the USA!
They agreed to meet the next evening at a local coffee shop with internet access, so that they could chat and shop online for all of her purchases.
Kara couldn't believe her good fortune. She would be able to enjoy some java and chat with a nice, friendly guy, purchase her tennis shoes online, and receive them before Saturday's game.
The Start of Something New
As they browsed online, looking for a great pair of tennis shoes, Brian talked about the design and style of the best performing court shoes. He asked Kara if she knew what the earliest tennis shoes looked like and how they had changed
over the years. She had absolutely no idea, so Brian filled her in.
Sneakers, or athletic shoes, were first introduced back in the 1800's and were very basic rubber soled shoes made by a shoemaker. They were not designed for optimum movement, comfort or performance, and were simply considered useful for a variety of sports.
One of the earliest names was "plimsolls", and Kara thought that was rather amusing. This kind of shoe was generally considered any kind with a rubber sole and usually canvas top with laces and was worn by both men and women.
As the need for more specific shoes for tennis became necessary, and the industrial revolution made manufacturing much easier, new kinds of tennis shoes were introduced to consumers.
In 1931, Adidas produced its first tennis shoe. It was very basic, and it was not until 1947 that a more specialized and sport specific tennis shoe was on the market.
By the 1950's, the market was expanding considerably, and the range of tennis shoes being manufactured was growing rapidly. Brian explained to Kara that tennis shoes today are designed with flexibility, durability, stability and traction in mind.
And there is a significant difference in the way that men's and womens tennis shoes are expected to perform. Mostly based on the fact that women's bodies are generally smaller and that women tend to look for different specifications than men.
Today's Tennis Shoe
Brian pointed out a variety of women's tennis shoes online and explained to Kara why they would be good choices. She really liked a pair of Divine Adidas tennis shoes and also a cute style from Diadora.
They were really quite affordable and would match perfectly with the tennis apparel she had already purchased online.
Brian agreed with her selections and told her that the white and pink Diadora Speed Shot's were designed with top performance in mind as well as good stability. Kara was immediately attracted to the high style and colors too.
There were also some nice Mizuno Wave Tornado 2 tennis shoes that Brian thought would look great on Kara and would also perform well. They came in a nice black, white and silver color and were built to excel on the court. They were lightweight, offered outstanding support and cushioning and even a gum rubber
outsole that would be superb for traction and flexibility. As soon as she saw them, Kara knew that they were the ones. They suited her style and according to Brian,
would be a good choice.
And on Saturday….
The game went well on Saturday, better than Kara had ever expected. Brian offered to play in the doubles match with her and they won! The rest of the group could not believe that Kara was so new to the game.
She was so happy! A new job, a new friend and a new sport that she enjoyed and could participate in with success. Kara was so glad that she had met Brian in the elevator and that he knew absolutely everything about tennis shoes. Brian’s help
and knowledge had really impressed her.
And to think, it all started with a tennis shoe!
- Cheri Britton
Cheri is the editor of Womens Tennis Apparel.com.
Her passions are ladies tennis apparel, tennis, and the promotion of the game of tennis worldwide. She also watches far too much tennis than is good for her.
Appropriate Tennis Shoes
Tennis Shoes History
Other Tennis Articles by Chris Lewis:
Are Tennis Champions Born? -- Or Made?
Pete Sampras: Sorry Pete, But That's No Sacrifice
Wimbledon Center Court: What An Experience
On Court Coaching: Should It Be Allowed?
Tennis Parents: "The Ugly Parent Syndrome"
A National Junior Development Program Disaster
Harry Hopman: A Tennis Legend
Vitas Gerulaitis: Rest In Peace
Tennis Marketing: Substance Versus Image
Other Articles by Chris Lewis:
A Tribute to Maria Montessori -- An Article on Child Education
More Tennis Articles:
Mental Toughness - by Tomaz Mencinger
Tennis Psychology - by Tomaz Mencinger
Womens Tennis Apparel - By Cheri Britton
The Wimbledon Trophy -- A History - By Miguel Seabra
Doubles Tennis Strategy - By Kathy Krajco