The Pro Shop

Shoe Reviews: New Balance 1187

Wednesday, March 09, 2011 /by

By Dr. David G. Sharnoff and Richard Pagliaro

1 Men’s

Weight: 14.3 oz.
Sizes: 7-13, 14, 15 (in D, 2E, and 4E widths)
Colors: Silver/black/orange; white/black/purple
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

Likes: New Balance’s design philosophy is based on the premise that a better fit produces better performance. The brand put that into practice by offering the 1187 in a wide variety of widths. The shoe debuts on April 1 and should satisfy New Balance devotees by combining foot-caressing comfort with outer-sole staying power—the latter backed by a 12-month outsole guarantee, the longest of any shoe we tested. Breathability is an asset, and the Ndurance rubber compound outsole allows the shoe to hold up on all surfaces. Cosmetically, the shoe takes a step forward with a sharper, more aggressive look than past New Balance high-performance entries.

Dislikes: Height and weight were the only real objections offered by wear testers. Some felt the shoe would benefit by being built slightly lower to the ground, while others said the shoe would be a bit more responsive if lighter.

Bottom Line: If comfort, widths and reliability are primary prerequisites in your purchase, this is a shoe for you. Overall, New Balance has responded to its customer base in creating a well-built product at a reasonable price.

***

2 Women’s

Weight: 11.4 oz.
Sizes: 5-11, 12 (in 2A, B and D widths)
Colors: White/aquamarine; silver/pink/black
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: 8.3
Dr. Sharnoff’s rating: 8.1 
 
Likes: New Balance understands its niche in the tennis market and delivers with its new performance-shoe entry. Set for release on April 1, the 1187 offers ample comfort, a more aggressive color scheme, a lengthy manufacturer’s warranty and comes in an abundance of widths. It also incorporates S-Curve technology to provide forefoot, midfoot and heel support and stability, particularly when a player makes quick cuts on court. A long-wear drag-tip helps protect the toe box area for players who sometimes slide across hard courts.
 
Dislikes: Some wear testers reported maneuverability concerns due to the shoe’s weight and said it would be more manageable if built lower to the ground. And while the brand—which has a history of basic white cosmetics—has taken a fashion forward step in dipping deeper into the color palette, some testers found the white/aquamarine color scheme a bit nondescript.
 
Bottom Line: Though New Balance is not always strongly identified with tennis, the fact this well-built shoe comes in so many widths is a significant asset. Feet are ever evolving, so your foot size at 18 years old may change as you reach 28, 38 and 48. It should be a hit with the senior set and players with wide feet.

Dr. David G. Sharnoff is a podiatrist practicing in Shelton, Conn. He has served as TENNIS’ shoe adviser since 1986 and as a consultant to the WTA since 1989. A graduate of Ohio State, he played on the university’s varsity tennis team for four years.

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