Tennis Racquet Recommendations for Returning Player & Tennis Shoes for Synthetic Clay

(1) I played tennis pretty competitively for around 10 years throughout juniors, but have barely played for the last 10. I'm wanting to get back into it however looking for some recommendations on a new racquet. FWIW my previous racquet from juniors was a Head Liquid Metal Instinct which i loved, however after having a hit the other week i cannot control a thing (which i don't think is the racquets fault!).

(2) Any recommendations on what type of shoe would suit this surface the best or what shoe you use for synthetic clay/grass?



    Merged from Tennis Shoes for Synthetic Clay

    I'm wanting to get back into tennis after a 10 year hiatus so looking to buy some new tennis shoes. My local club has synthetic clay courts, but i can't seem to find a good answer as to what shoes would best suit this surface (hard court shoe vs clay court shoe).

    Any recommendations on what type of shoe would suit this surface the best or what shoe you use for synthetic clay/grass?



      Depending on how 'sandy' Synthetic Clay, it is usually better to have a clay specialised shoe.

      Look for shoes with full herringbone pattern. The herringbone pattern will give you consistent slide and traction. The downside is that the sole is usually softer so it will wear off quicker.

      I would suggest trying a clay shoe first and if that dosen't work, try the hard court/all court sole.

      Good luck!


        Thanks for the suggestion! The courts are quite sandy so i slide around quite a bit so i reckon i'll go for a clay court shoe like you've mentioned.




    Have a chat with the coaches at your local tennis club - they will be able to give you some suggestions on the best outsole for the court surface.

    Specialist tennis stores that stock a good range of tennis shoes are another suggestion as they will be able to fit you in-store.

    Are you able to hire tennis racquets at your local club/tennis store? This will allow you to trial different racquets to guage which suits your playing style best.

    • +2 votes

      Second this.

      Not sure about Melbourne but the last time I bought a racquet in Sydney (about 10 years ago now), Top Serve tennis had a setup where they took you on court with about a dozen racquets, and the staff fed you balls so you could try all the racquets out. The day I did it, the guy wasn't busy so we ended up having a full hour o fpseudo training session. Good times!

      If you went ahead with a racquet purchase, the service was free IIRC.

      So yeah, check with your local tennis shops.


        Thanks guys! Unfortunately my local club is very small but i've been doing some googling and there are some tennis shops nearby that let you hire racquets for a day or two, then if you purchase a racquet in the following 30 days, you get that hire fee ($5 i believe) off the purchase price. I'll visit those shops to get an idea of some racquets i could try before i buy then also enquire about the best shoe options for the surface i'll be on most of the time.

  • +1 vote

    I just bought one of these…

    I haven't used it yet, but have put an overgrip on it and bought a case.

    ADIDAS Men's Barricade, I think, is a pretty good tennis shoe. Although the last few years they have become a bit tight.


      +1 on Barricade


        I have wider feet and the Barricades were always too tight for me.

        The higher end Nike tennis shoes always felt too stiff for me.

        My latest pair are Asics Gel Resolution, I absolutely love them - so comfy without loss of feel.
        OP I neevr liked synthetic grass/clay courts so rarely played those surfaces. So I can't comment on the tread pattern that's best for you but I highly recommend you give the Gel Resolution (or whatever the latest incarnation is called) a try in store. Not the cheapest shoes but worth it IMO.


          Thanks! I'll have a look at the Gel Resolution as well as the Barricade. Don't mind paying a bit if they're a good quality and comfortable shot.


      Yeah I'm spewing i missed that deal. Probably would have given it a shot.

      Let us know what it's like when you have a hit. I'll check out the Barricades too.

  • +1 vote

    A racket that is good for one person is not necessarily good for someone else. eg My son loves his Head radical but I don't like it - find it too light.
    My other son prefers his Babolat Aero lite, but I like it even less than the head

    Tennis warehouse have an indoor wall where you can try out rackets (best to go an a weekday though as it gets busy on weekends).

    Sportsmart also have a wall, but the hitting area is tiny. I believe you can also borrow their demo rackets to take away and try

    The racket is only part of it though, also need to factor in a set of decent strings at the correct tension for you

    • -1 vote

      Yeah i completely agree that it's very much subjective. I'll visit tennis warehouse and Sportsmart during the week to see if i can demo some racquets. Ideally if i can rent them over a weekend that would be great.

      Yeah strings and tension is another thing i'll need to investigate. When i use to play I think i had Luxilon Big Banger strings but can't remember what tension i had them strung at. I'm presuming strings have developed in the last 10 years too so i'll ask these questions when i visit a store.


        Choosing a string is a lot harder now than it used to be. I also used to play competitively when I was younger, and started again recently. It used to be easy, but so many different technologies now. I really like the multi-filament strings, but they just break so quickly.


    Just a thought - did you give the old Head racquet a fresh string job before having a hit? If you're going to be playing regularly, don't rush into buying something until you've tried it out.

    In the mean time, a fresh set of strings might help turn back time a little ;)

    This being Ozbargain (and from personal experience), my recommendation is to hold off a new racquet purchase until you've proven to yourself that you're back to playing regularly. If you falter and stop playing, that new racquet will lose its appeal fast.

    Edit: also, playing a bit before you buy a new racquet might help your muscle memory fine tune itself a bit; you'll then probably be in a better position to judge the different trial racquets


      You make a very, very valid point. I didn't get the old racquets restrung and have rushed a little into wanting to buy a new racquet haha.

      Yeah i think in terms of the racquet, your approach is the best way to go. If i get my Head racquets restrung, i may actually find they do the job or at least keep me going until i've definitely got back into it where I could then look at new racquets.

      The shoes i will get though as i used some general running shoes last week and got blisters all over.


    depends on your style of play, heavy top spin, continental grip, western grip, single vs double backhand, more power vs more control, stiff frame or flexible elongated frame or wide, flat or spin or kick serves,

    strings can also affect the ability and style. like nylon, synthetic or natural gut. tension to suit your style and ability

    materials the racquet is made of, aluminium, titanium, graphite, composite.
    your only option is go to reputable racquet retailer try different request and see what suits your style of play. exact same racquet strung differently will big a big impact

    I played tennis pretty competitively for around 10 years throughout juniors

    then you should know all this


      yeah i should probably know more than what i do, but i stopped playing around 18 so much of this has slipped my mind especially around string types and racquet materials. I'll head down to a local retailer and see what my options are and what i sort of racquets & strings would be worth investigating/trialling.

  • Top