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If you aspire to look like Maria Sharapova, Anna Kournikova or Venus Williams on the tennis court, start with a great pair of shoes. Doctors agree that the right support is even more important than the sexy tennis dress you choose to run around the court in looking like a woman possessed. Plenty of organizations and publications claim to be the ultimate authority on best-selling tennis shoe brands, so consider this your opportunity to decide which one meets your personal criteria.
What Constitutes a Best Seller?
There are a myriad reasons a tennis shoe becomes a best seller. Physician recommendations can drive shoe sales, as foot docs know the physiology of a good fit that offers flexibility in the sole area and enables quick, repetitive movements on grass or courts. Tennis magazines publish lists of top-selling shoes, but these picks may be based solely on facts and figures supplied by the manufacturer plus the occasional free pair of tennies sent to the editor. Like it or not, celebrity endorsements can drive a tennis shoe from oblivion to the top of a best-seller list, so you get to decide which list to believe.
TIA/SMS Top Sellers
The Tennis Industry Association and Sports Marketing, headquartered in Bordentown, New Jersey, evaluate tennis shoes every year, and their conclusions are grounded in solid shoe performance research. In 2010, the TIA/SMS named the Prince T22 tennis shoe its best-seller. Based on both numbers of shoes sold and total sales, the organization calls the company’s shoe a “testament to the product’s true performance qualities." Citing the unparalleled scientific research that goes into the development of its shoes, TIA/SMS names the Prince “Lightspeed” Series women’s Poise LS model as its top pick.
Galt Technology Top Sellers
Galt Technology has been tracking best-selling tennis shoes long enough to recognize brand trends. It was one of the oldest websites and is known for product and buying reviews guides. Reviewers for the site have picked shoes made by New Balance repeatedly, proclaiming select styles best-sellers for a “soft cushion ride that provides comfort and functionality.” Tennis shoes on the website's best-selling list include these New Balance styles: 1002, 802, 653 and 520. It's anybody’s guess how long New Balance will remain on the Galt Technology list since research indicates Puma tennis shoes for women are quickly catching up.
Tennis Warehouse Top Sellers
According to reported sales figures, Tennis Warehouse names a handful of moderately priced tennis shoes made by some of the nation’s top brands as their biggest sellers. The Prince Fastcourt QT and Scream QT were the only same-brand shoes to make the list besides these other top-selling women’s tennis shoes: Reebok NetMaster DMS, Nike Air Zoom Vapor Speed, Wilson Pro-Staff 1000, Head 900 and Adidas Barricade II. At the time of publication, all retail for under $90.
Top-selling Endorsement-driven Brands
It’s no secret that Maria Sharapova's deal with Nike and Anna Kournikova’s Adidas endorsement deal drove sales, but when the Williams sisters endorsed Reebok, injuries, playing inconsistencies and bad press impacted sales numbers. Rather than using celebrity-driven top-selling numbers as your criteria, turn to entities like "Fitness" magazine, GaltTech.com and the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society for their take on top sellers. You may discover that the best tennis shoes on the planet rarely make headlines.