For the eagle-eyed reader of my website and Facebook pages you may have noticed a change in the badminton shoes I’ve been wearing this year. In February I decided to take the plunge and try some new badminton shoes. That’s not particularly remarkable, however I have always preferred predominantly white shoes. So this year I’ve made massive progress by opting for bright colours. As a result, I thought I’d share my experiences with those of you who are dead against or undecided whether you should go with the more coloured options.
The story unfolds…
Roll back the months to me joining Victor in September 2013. At the time I had my sights on the renowned SH9000 Ace badminton shoe in red and white. Sorry to say these shoes were out of stock. I was sent the 8600 shoe in white with blue trim. Very nice, they fit really well and were extremely comfortable…I still have them.
I was aware that the 9000 Ace was being replaced by the 9100 and looked forward to seeing this exciting new badminton shoe. Shock horror! When I saw the pictures I was stunned…What, no white version? So I have to choose between red, yellow and black or blue and green. After much deliberation I ruled out the red on the basis they looked like something from the Wizard of Oz. This was one step too far! I liked the blue and green shoe best but decided that as I have a yellow tracksuit top, I’d play safe and opt for the yellow and black version.
I first tried on the SH-P9100 badminton shoe at The All Englands when I was in Birmingham stringing for Team Victor. Oh boy, they were really nice. They felt solid, comfortable and had plenty of support in all of the right places. All I had to do now was stop staring at my feet and forget about the colour! Am I going to look ridiculous in these badminton shoes? I may need therapy at this rate, fretting over the colour. And, what will other players think? Will they laugh? Will I be really conscious of the colour when I first walk onto court? Will I spend more time worrying about the colour of my shoes rather than how I play?
All of my fears melted when I finally wore my shoes on court for the first time. They looked great with my black tracksuit bottoms on and my yellow tracksuit top. I’m now officially trendy and colour co-ordinated…perhaps a first for me? I had to endure a number of comments about players having to wear their shades because of the bright light emanating from my feet. I could take that.
After a short while I forgot about the colour of the shoes. They were feeling great and that’s what mattered to me. Grip was fabulous and I really enjoyed not having to wear them around the house to break them in. I just went straight onto court and got on with the job.
I’ve been really impressed with these shoes. The fitting was slightly wider than a typical Yonex shoe and sizing was spot on, exactly the same as my previous Yonex versions. 9100 is certainly a very sturdy shoe.
In September I received another box of goodies from Victor and this time I was really excited as I knew what had arrived…my new bright green Lee Yong Dae signature shoe. These shoes are only available in two colours, bright green and rose red. I have to question the rose red labelling here…they are bright pink. Looking at superstar Lee Yong Dae’s shoes, they look more like a dark magenta or a different green, however I think this is purely down to lighting as I have seen photos of me with my LYD and they look the same colour as the man himself is wearing.
Whilst I’m absolutely thrilled with these shoes, and will share more thoughts on this in a moment, I have to say that at the time, there was no way I would consider going onto court wearing bright pink shoes. However, having worn my green shoes for some time and seen the pink version, I honestly believe I could be persuaded to wear them now. Why?
Let me tell you a secret…
I absolutely love these LYD shoes. I first wore them for one of my residential coaching courses. Players who see me at Lilleshall know that I am on my feet from 8am in the sports hall until around 6.30 in the evening. I take very little time away from sports hall on day one, except for an hour eating lunch.
I wore the green shoes for the entire weekend without ever feeling like I had to change my shoes – a huge benefit. Again, width is slightly wider than a Yonex shoe and therefore provided a lot of comfort. The talon claws on the outer edge of the shoe did not cut into my foot at all.
Support on this shoe is first class. No matter which way I twist and turn I always feel protected, just like I did with 9100. The grip on the shoe is fantastic. I coach in a number of slippery halls and have felt confident although, being honest, no shoe would stick to some of these floors.