by Bob Considine
Prince has hit the sweet spot with their new T22 Footwear. Although Prince calls it an update of the very popular T10 it feels like an all new shoe. I can’t imagine many sports that are more demanding on footwear than Platform Tennis. You need a shoe that provides the maximum amount of foot stability, a lot of cushioning and sole durability, and if that’s not enough it would be nice to make it lightweight and comfortable with some flexibility. While stability and durability go hand in hand, cushioning, comfort and flexibility generally work against that goal. The T22 achieves all a paddle player can ask for.
Prince uses the same PRC1000 rubber outsole used in the T10 and T20’s. Prince stands behind it with a 6 month outsole warranty. I won’t tell you that the hard core paddle player won’t wear these out but it is about as durable an outsole as you will find. Even the recreational player who may wear out a couple of pair of bargain sneakers during a season would be making a wise investment.
The T22 uses the same P804 last used in the T10 (known for its stability) so it sits on a very solid base. Like the T10 it continues to use “4Foot Wrap” to hold the foot securely in place. it differs from the T10 in the upper where “Air Mesh” replaced leather and synthetic leather components. The Mesh enhanced the flexibility with very little loss in stability.
Like the Adidas Barricade series the T-22 fits like a glove. The “Air mesh” quarter fits snug without any pressure or pinch points. Unlike other high durability shoes the T22 required virtually no break in period - a 2 minute walk and they felt like I had been wearing them for a week. Unlike some other shoes, I would wear these all day even if I’m not playing paddle.
At 15.5 oz (Men’s size 10.5) this is the lightest high durability shoe I have found. It under weighs the Barricade IV by 2.2 oz, the Tour II by .5 oz, and the T10 by 1.2oz
I love the Anthracite/Yellow color and the shoe definitely stands out in the sea of tennis whites. (I’m waiting for the day when the first paddle club posts a sign “No White Clothes Allowed”.)
I have tried many sneakers and really wanted to wear a shoe from either Prince or Wilson. I have tried the Wilson Tour, TourII and All Court, and the Prince T10 and T20 – all offered great support and durability, but my feet felt tired and even hurt after extensive wear. After trying every new shoe that Wilson and Prince brought to market I kept going back the Adidas Barricades (until now). After 3 weeks of extensive wear the T22 is my new favorite.
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As seen on the court Jane Fleming Memorial Tournament - Greenwich CT