TENNIS.com gear editor Justin diFeliciantonio and his technical advisers answer your equipment questions each day. Click here to send in a question of your own.
Do any companies other than New Balance manufacture tennis shoes for wide feet? I have a very wide foot type, and finding appropriate shoes has gotten to be a problem.—Krueger
Unfortunately, Krueger, New Balance is the only brand we’re aware of that offers men’s and women’s tennis shoes, in the U.S., specially for extra-wide feet—specifically, in 2E and 4E sizes. All other brands only offer shoes in the standard D-size width.
Still, if you haven’t already, give a pair of New Balances a try. One shoe I’d recommend you demo is the New Balance 996. (Read our profile of the 996 here.) Unlike many of the company’s more conservative, club-level shoes, which they’re known for, the 996 is built for light-weight performance. The men’s version weighs in at 12.5 ounces (in a size 9.5), the women’s 10 oz (in a size 7), and both feature Probank technology, support near the front of the shoe that New Balance says increases lateral stability. Further, the 996 has a 12-month outsole guarantee—among the longest in the business.
Because we’re still putting the 996 through our weartesting process, I can’t render any judgments about the shoe as of yet. (A review of the New Balance 996 will appear in Tennis Magazine’s 2013 Shoe Guide, in the May/June issue.) That said, there are two other, albeit older, New Balance models you might want to consider: the 1005 and the 1187, both of which we reviewed in the 2012 Shoe Guide. (Read complete reviews of 1005 and 1187, respectively, here and here.)
As I wrote in a blog post last year, “At 12.6 ounces in a men’s size 9, the 1005 is relatively lightweight, but is only appropriate for neutral foot types; the 1187, on the other hand, is appropriate for all foot types, but is almost two ounces heavier than the 1005.”
(To access our 2012 Shoe Reviews, click here.)