My Adidas Stan Smith's couldn't take any more shoe goo (I can more than triple the life of a shoe with it), so I had to replace them. According to Adidas the shoe introduced 1965 sold over 30 million pairs, an all time classic. I think I got mine sometime after 1965 . It has a leather (remember that stuff) upper. You can still get a Stan Smith 2 for around $60. They are popular as street shoes now. P. Diddy wears them.

Anyway I figured technology has improved in the last 45 years so went on a search for the next classic. Actually I don't think there will be classic anything anymore, because of shorter product life cycles (that's another story).
A search for "tennis shoes" on the adidas web site returned 71 results. A search for Adidas tennis shoes on Amazon in March 2011 came up with 50 mens and 17 women's shoes. Most only had a couple of reviews. The Adidas Barricade alone had 4 models.

No product review publication can afford to test even a small fraction of them, so the results below are no where near complete.


Some considerations are the sole type depending on the surface, hardcourt, indoor carpet, grass, or clay.
Different types of tennis shoes with their outsole pattern. From left to right: smooth sole pattern for carpet, herringbone pattern for clay court, dimples for grass and a combined herringbone/dimple pattern for hard courts.

Cushioning: EVA, Polyurethane, gel. There are pros and cons to each.
You need to balance cushioning, support and weight.

Length of time you play is also a factor. You can tollerate a heavier shoe for 1 1/2 hours of doubles but 3 hours of singles is another story.
Your age and the condition of your back and knees is also a factor.

Durability is also an issue. I'm a toe dragger and my toes always wear out, but I can tripple the life with shoe goo, which was invented in 1972 for "tennis toe". (I know there are new styles of serving which eliminate the toe drag, but it's easier for Rafa to change his style than for me.) Many models now come with reinforced material over the toe.

Shoes should be matched to your gait, supinated, pronated, or neutral. Many shoes will work regardless of your gait, but some are better for particular foot types. See feet in the health section here. Tennis.com lists shoes by foot type.

The Society for Tennis Medicine and Science published the following advice from Royal Netherlands Lawn Tennis Association (KNLTB).
Practical tips for choosing the ideal tennis shoe.

  • Shoes should fit well and feel comfortable on first fitting. A shoe should not have to be worn in to fit properly.
  • Try on both shoes and walk around the shoe store for a minute. Lunge for an imaginary ball, and make a sudden stop, as for a drop shot. The foot should not be able to move in the shoe.
  • Wear your usual tennis socks when trying on the shoe, especially if you usually wear a thicker sock.
  • You should be able to stretch your toes completely when standing.
  • The heel of the shoe should fit snugly around your heel, and should be firm, to prevent any lateral movement.
  • The inner sole should be made to provide absorption and stability.
  • Examine the flexibility of the shoe. Hold the shoe by the heel firmly in one hand and push the toe upwards with the other. The shoe should bend at the ball of the foot ( where the foot naturally bends) and not at the middle point of the foot.
  • The upper banding must be stable in order to limit lateral movement.
  • Double lacing allows players to tighten or loosen a part of the shoe without this affecting the rest of the foot.
  • Arch support on the inner side of the foot can be adapted to the individual player (individual supplement).
  • Wear shoes with a softer, durable outsole on soft, smooth surfaces, such as clay, to get better traction.
  • Wear shoes that have a good shock absorbing inner sole on hard courts
  • On indoor carpet, choose a shoe with a smoother profile that would also be suitable on a gravel court as this allows better pivoting and turning.
  • Shoes specially designed for (synthetic) grass are available. These have an outer sole with small nubs that prevent slipping. This card is produced by the Royal Netherlands Lawn Tennis Association (KNLTB)
Sources:
See "Buying Tennis Shoes - A Guide" at expert-tennis-tips.com
Tennis Injuries and Court Surface at the Society for Tennis Medicine and Science

New Balance, K-Swiss, Adidas, Wilson, Asics and Nike are popular for hard courts.
Recent reviews Mar. 2011
New Balance 1187
MSRP: $114.95
Foot types: Neutral, pronated, supinated
Warranty: 12-month outsole guarantee
  (specifically to the N-Durance outsole, not the entire shoe)
Wear testers' rating: 8.4
Dr. Sharnoff's rating: 8.1

Asics Gel-Resolution 3 	
MSRP: $115
Foot types: Neutral, pronated, supinated
Warranty: Six-month outsole limited durability guarantee
Wear testers' rating: 9.0
Dr. Sharnoff's rating: 8.8 
Mfg. Model Cost Rating
Tennis
.com
Amazon
New Balance CT1004 $115 8.0 4.3
New Balance MC804 $110 4
New Balance 1187 $115 8.1
K-Swiss Defier miSoul Tech (light) $135 8.0
k-Swiss K-force $80 8.1
k-swiss Defier DS $100 8.4
K-Swiss-Mens-Ultrascendor $95 4.3
K-Swiss Classic Remastered $70 5
Adidas Gel-Resolution 2 $115 8.4 5
Adidas Barricare 2 $120 4
Adidas Barricare IV $120 5
Adidas Barricare 6 $125 4.3
adidas Nastase Millenium $60 5
Adidas Originals Rod Laver $65 4
Asics Gel-Resolution 2 $115 8.4 5
Wilson Men's Pro Staff Classic $56 5
Wilson '11 Men's Tour Vision $100 5
Wilson Tour Spin $120
Nike Air Max Courtballistec 1.3 $120 7.9
Nike Air Max Courtballistec 2.3 $120 8.1
Head Speed Pro $130 8.5
Head Radical Pro $110 8.3
Prince T22 $100 4
* Only shoes with 8 or more reviews have their Amazon rating shown

Blog-Forum comments:
from what I hear Asics wear out fast. 2011.
Nike's are notorious for falling apart quickly. 2008

Friends comments:
The New Balance 650 series has been comfortable and gives me good support. They are flexible where a more expensive model was very stiff and bothered my feet. I wear special insoles so arch support is never a problem. I have been wearing New Balance 803 for 5 years. Unfortunately this model has been discontinued but I will use the replacement model. I like New Balance for running and tennis and buy these shoes online.  For the past few years I have been wearing a pair of NB 653 for tennis and I don't notice them when they're on my feet - my main benchmark for comfort.  They have been durable as well.

See Also:
Advice:
Buying Tennis Shoes - A Guide
Shoe Forum at Tennis Warehouse.
feet in the health section here.
Tennis Injuries and Court Surface at the Society for Tennis Medicine and Science
Reviews:
GaltTech.com recommends New Balance Men's CT1003
Fitness Magazine reccomends the Adidas CC Ivy III (Runner-Up: Nike LunarLite Speed) for women.
TENNIS.com - Gear - Shoes
Tennis Shoes Reviews at Tennis Shoes Guide
Where to Buy:
Mall athletic shoe stores such as Champs, Foot Locker and Models typically do not carry tennis shoes. You need a specialty store like City Sports.
Mail Order:
Amazon.com: tennis shoes Men's Tennis Shoes
Holabirdsports has good discounts.
Tennis Warehouse
Tennis Express

last updated 18 Mar 2011