Is Your Most Important Piece of Equipment Underfoot?

January 25th, 2012 by Ben

What’s the most important piece of equipment you need to compete? A lot of us may say our racquet, glove, string, or even grip. I rarely hear shoes as an answer and it baffles me. Having a high performance shoe can not only benefit your game, but benefit the way you feel, too. That’s why we’re offering the chance to win a pair with the latest styling and technology. Click for more information and how to enter.

Ever since I can remember I have been most picky about the shoes I play with. Having a shoe that is comfortable, stable, properly fitted, and that caters to your style of play is no less important than choosing the right racquet or any other piece of equipment. From my past personal experience and from talking with others, a lot of racquetball players will settle on shoes that may not be the best option for them.The first thing I look for in a shoe is fit. If it doesn’t fit well it doesn’t matter what incredible technologies the shoe may have. It is often easy to make compromises to look good, but save that for off the court. I’ve done it, and I’m sure we’re all guilty of it! When I am looking at shoes I will look for a shoe that is narrow with a medium arch. If the shoe doesn’t offer either of those I pretty much know that it’s not going to offer what I need.

My second consideration is the technologies that are built into the shoe. There are a number of technologies designed specifically for competing on an indoor court surface. A few notable ones are: Mizuno’s Wave Technology providing superior stability and cushioning, Hi-Tec’s 4:SYS Midsole Technology that distributes impact to increase stability and support using seven different densities of foam, and Asics’ WET GRIP technology designed to increase traction on wet or dirty surfaces. These are only a few of the newer technologies introduced – for a full list check out the Racquetball Warehouse Learning Center. Technologies can have a significant impact on the performance of a shoe, especially in a fast-paced sport like racquetball.

The third and least critical aspect of my shoe-choosing process is cosmetics. Let’s be honest though, this is an important part to most if not all of us. We have seen a lot of wild colors and styles around sports in recent years so we do our best to offer a mix of traditional looks and colors as well as more modern styling. So what should you take from all of this? Take time to seriously consider the best shoe for you and remember – we have FREE Return Shipping if you make the wrong choice the first time.

If you have any questions about any of our products please feel free contact us any time at 1.800.824.1101, info@racquetballwarehouse.com, or facebook.com/racquetballwarehouse.

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Hi-Tec M550 – A Unanimous Winner

December 1st, 2010 by Ben

With all of the technology and engineering Hi-Tec has put into their designs, they really have shoe making down to a science. The M550 is the newest incarnation from Hi-Tec and our playtesters received it with open arms. This shoe hybrids technology and materials used in previous 4:SYS and H700 models to create the perfect player’s shoe. Unbeatable support and a light breathable upper combined with the locking lace system gives your foot the superior ventilation that is usually cast aside with the stifling materials used to provide support.

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Our testers tried this shoe out for an average of 20 hours and gave it an overall rating of 4 out of 5. Though views were slightly varied throughout the categories they all agreed that Hi-Tec has produced a high performance shoe for a wide range of skill levels. Our testers for this playtest ranged from B to Top 10 Pro in skill and from 15 to 55 in age. We have paraphrased our tester’s comments below for easier reading:

Comfort- 4

Out of the box, the shoes were comfortable to wear and had a minimal break-in period. Comfort and Arch Support both received a 4 out of 5 rating on average. After allowing adaptation to the new materials during court movement, all of the testers agreed that the shoes exhibited aspects of comfort that allowed them to forget that they were even wearing shoes, commenting that, “after the initial break in [they] were very comfortable. It is one of the few shoes I’ve worn that allows you not to think about the shoes while playing.”

Foot Support / Stability- 4.5

Stability is where this shoe really shined. All of our testers agreed that the stability was outstanding, “The most stable low tops I have worn.” Even our testers with ankle troubles found the shoe to be very supportive and reassuring when it came to planting and changing directions. Typically stability is sacrificed at the expense of comfort, as softer materials tend to be more comfortable, but lack the stability of a stiffer structure. This was not the case for the M550 as our testers found that the stability played nicely with the comfort.

Traction- 4.5

Backing up the stability was the traction of the shoe, which was well received by our testers. One of the players mentioned that, “On one occasion I was playing with an individual that was slipping all over the court, and I had no problems while wearing the Hi-Tec shoe.” The Peak Force gum rubber outsole is what can take credit for the great traction our testers experienced on a variety of different surfaces.

picture-2The only complaints to come from our testers pertained to the fit of the shoe, commenting that the opening seemed a little small, which caused some discomfort with the positioning of the tongue on the foot. The stiff materials presented a problem for some at first but after a brief break in period they could all agree it was not an issue.

With comfort, traction, and stability highlighting the performance of this shoe, it is easy to see how Hi-Tec hit the mark for those looking for a competitive high performance shoe. The testers spoke on their experience and Hi-Tec has the science to back it up, now it’s your turn to give these shoes a run for your money and see how a well-made shoe can amplify your experience on court.

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Posted in Product Reviews | 220 Comments »

Super Shoes with Superfeet

November 16th, 2009 by Ben

My feet have never felt so good, and I have never felt so confident.

When I started playing racquetball, I mean really started playing racquetball, my only concern was putting the racquet on the ball and getting the ball to the front wall (remember your first time on the court before you pass judgment here). As my game progressed, my next concern became eyewear, then racquets, then gloves and so on. My point? Shoes were not a top concern until much later.

I now realize this was backwards thinking as my feet and footwork are the foundation of my game, and you need a strong, stable foundation. Within the last year I have switched shoes several times, from Ektelon to Wilson to Adidas to Asics and finally, to Hi-Tec. While I wasn’t unhappy or disappointed with any of those shoes, my feet have never been happier than they are in Hi-Tec shoes.

Just when I thought I had the perfect shoe, Hi-Tec did it again with the H700.

hth700With improved breathability, a heel locking system and the same incredible support of 4:SYS technology, my shoes have never felt so much like an extension of my body. Though I have suffered from a bit of separation anxiety since switching from my Lime Green 4:SYS shoes, I have found the perfect solution! Lime Green Superfeet Performance Insoles.

sfpiHaving completed the Gait Analysis at our sister company Running Warehouse, I know that I over-pronate (I lean more heavily on the inside of my foot). I have never worn insoles before, but with the Superfeet insoles and 4:SYS shoes combined, I felt more stable than I knew was possible. My feet didn’t hurt and my legs weren’t as sore at the end.

My point to all this? If you are unhappy with your shoes, go Hi-Tec. If you are happy with your shoes but want support, take a look at some insoles, Superfeet are the right fit for me.

- Ben

Posted in Product Reviews | 203 Comments »

For those in the market for shoes…

May 11th, 2009 by Ben

We just received some shoe shipments that you may be interested in. First, take a look at the new offerings from Adidas:

http://www.racquetballwarehouse.com/appspage.html?ccode=ARBS&cat=shoes

The Stabil S is going to provide oustanding performance and stability while coming in a full ounce lighter than last year’s Stabil 7. The adiCORE will give superior breathability and comfort  without sacrificing support and is one of the lightest shoes available.

We also restocked on Asics shoes:

http://www.racquetballwarehouse.com/appspage.html?ccode=ARBS&cat=shoes

The Gel Domain is a favorite of mine for fit and comfort. It fits like a glove, breathes great and has fantastic grip on the court. Also, for you ladies out there, we now have 3 women’s shoes available in Asics.

Last, a shoutout to the Lime Green Hi-Tec 4:SYS.

http://www.racquetballwarehouse.com/descpage.html?PCODE=HT4SLIM

If you want to stand out on the court then your search is over. Not only that but the 4:SYS is an amazing shoe and since switching to it I don’t think I will be able to go back to anything else. Check out the video on the shoe page; you will not be disappointed with these shoes!

Thats all for now, check back soon!

- Ben

Posted in General, Product Reviews | 133 Comments »