Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hunt For Tennis Shoes!

All I wanted were new tennis shoes to replace the ones I had worn out by kicking my racquet. A pair of Reebok Club C, the same brand and style I had been buying annually for the past 15 or 20 years of racquet-kicking.

So I go to the sporting goods store in the mall and ask the young employee where the tennis shoes are located.

“Did you want, like, cross trainers, power trainers, speed trainers, zone trainers, interval trainers, treadmill cross tra ...”

“Like, tennis,” I interrupt.

“Tennis trainers?”

“Tennis shoes,” I explain. “I’m way past the training stage.”

“You mean, like, shoes you play tennis in?”

“That’s pretty much what I was thinking I’d use them for,” I agree. “Although I might wear them for walking the dog once in a while.”

“I don’t think we have any shoes just for tennis. But I can check to see if we have dog walking shoes.”

None of the other 30 or 40 sporting goods stores in that mall have tennis shoes for tennis, either. So I go outside the mall to a huge sporting goods store that is part of a national chain.

The store has dozens of athletic shoes on display. There’s one entire wall filled with golf shoes and another with basketball shoes priced just right for anyone who recently has won the lottery or received a government bailout. The selection of tennis shoes, on the other foot, consists of two, neither of which is the model I want.

I don’t know why it’s so hard to find tennis shoes these days. Maybe it’s because all those boomers who used to play tennis now have had hip replacements, which has forced them to give up athletics entirely and turn to golf.

And part of the problem may be that tennis doesn’t spend millions of dollars promoting its shoes the way basketball does. If Maria Sharapova endorsed whatever shoes she wears, I’m sure they would become best sellers.

Then again, it’s possible that Maria Sharapova doesn’t even wear shoes when she plays; all I’ve ever never noticed about her is her major attributes, such as her backhand and her topspin lob.

Whatever the reason, I finally give up the search for tennis shoes in sporting goods stores and go home to look for them online.

My first search leads me to a site that sells table tennis shoes. The Killerspin Kinetic shoes, the site declares, were “designed by a team made up of engineers and world-class table tennis athletes” and are on sale for $45.

Another search takes me to a site that offers Bridal Sneakers Wedding Shoes, which apparently are an actual product, although you never can be too sure with the Internet.

According to the site, the shoes come in all heights and the “color works well with both white and ivory dresses.”

The four-inch heel wedding sneakers cost $139.95, but have “a plasticized finish durability.” I’m not sure why wedding shoes have to be durable.

Eventually I locate my Reeboks online and now my tennis shoes are in the mail.

While I wait for them to arrive, I’ll pass the time trying to find a pair of tennis shorts.

Sent to me by my friend Steve Bowen- by D.L. Stewart at

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