Prince T24 Men's Shoe Review
- Good fit for wider feet
- Runs hot
- Too wide for narrow feet
The Prince T24 lives up to the expectations that we have come to expect from the T series line from Prince. Just like its predecessor, the T22, the new T24 offers an extremely cushioned, heavy-duty and durable ride on the tennis court. Our playtesters loved the ample cushioning, especially after a short break-in period that enabled the shoe to mold more to the wearer's feet. We also loved the durability that we have come to expect from Prince's PRC 1000 outsole. Not only is the shoe extremely durable, but it's also backed by a 6-month durability guarantee. With the high level of cushioning and durability comes drawbacks, including some added heft, initial stiffness and a lack of breathability in hot and sweaty conditions. However, most of our playtesters didn't seem to mind, given the comfort and durability. If you are looking for a heavily cushioned and very durable tennis shoe, and you don't mind the extra heft, the T24 is definitely worth a try!
Comfort - Score: 4.0
All our playtesters loved the exceptionally plush cushioning in the T24. Jason said, "Like its predecessors, the T24 is very comfortable. The cushioning was plush, but the shoe required a short break-in period. Once broken in, the uppers didn't pinch thanks to the blend of synthetic leather and mesh. I did notice some slight rubbing on my pinky toe, but only on my left foot. Not too big of a deal."
Chris agreed that after a short break-in period the shoes felt quite comfortable. He said, "It took only one hit for these shoes to break-in. From then on I found a comfortable ride with no pinching or poking from the uppers. The fit was a little wide for my narrow feet -- even with two pairs of socks. The wide fit caused some discomfort, as my feet would slide around inside the shoes and that made the bottom of my feet sore. These are about as high fitting around the ankle as a low cut can get. I liked the fit and feel around the ankle collar as it was both comfortable and supportive. I liked the level of cushioning and found the soft and comfortable ride I have come to expect from Prince shoes."
Next in agreement was Mark, who said, "The interior of the T24 was flawless. It wasn't narrow, didn't pinch the Achilles, and there wasn't any stitching that might poke my feet during play. I would not say that the cushioning was plush, but it was just fine for my foot. Sometimes I don't feel secure enough on lateral stops with too plush of a shoe, and the T24 had a good blend of support and comfort."
Rounding out the team was Spencer, who also enjoyed the comfort after a short break-in period. He said, "This update to the T22 offers many of the same assets as its predecessor. While the cushioning was very spongy and soft, like the T22, the overall break-in and comfort wasn't quite as good. To start with, there was a smidgen of break-in that was necessary to get through the initial stiff feel. A snug fit in the forefoot and the lateral support straps caused some discomfort on my little toes until I got a few hitting sessions under my belt. After I wore them a couple of times my feet settled into the shoes, increasing the overall comfort."
Ventilation - Score: 3.4
Our playtesters felt the ventilation in the T24 was not its strongest point. Mark said, "The shoe had plenty of ventilation with the liberal use of mesh in the upper, but I would still give the edge in ventilation to the T22, which seems to utilize more mesh in its upper."
Spencer held a pretty neutral opinion. He said, "The ventilation was fair but not great. I thought there would be better temperature control, given the amount of mesh. Though I didn't experience any extreme heat issues, I thought there was room for improvement in this area."
Jason agreed, saying, "Despite what appears to be a fair amount of mesh in the upper and tongue, I still felt like these shoes played a little hot. It's not unbearable, but it's definitely noticeable."
The only playtester who seemed to have an issue here was Chris. He said, "My feet ran hot in these shoes. Ventilation felt lacking throughout and was the only real issue I had with them. My socks were soaked in sweat during every hitting session, and I found the shoes to feel hot even when just wearing them casually."
Arch Support - Score: 3.8
Our playtesters with medium arches seemed to really like the fit of the arch in the T24. Spencer said, "The medium arch hit in the right place, offering plenty of support."
Mark agreed with Spencer. He said, "I have a pretty middle of the road foot type, as far as width up front and arch height. The T24 fit well even though the arch support felt lower than medium, and it never felt like my arches were strained at all while running in them."
Once Jason wore in the shoe a little bit, he didn't have any issues with his low arches. He said, "This is another area of the shoe where I needed a slight break-in. After a few hours on the court I wore down the arch enough that it was no longer an issue."
The only playtester with a little bit of a fit issue was Chris and his high arches. He said, "The arch support was too low for my medium to high arches. The shoes had decent rigidity under the arch, but I would have liked a higher fit and even more support. To make the shoes a better fit for me I switched to Superfeet insoles with a built in arch plate and a higher fit. With my insoles in place I found the support and fit to be spot on."
Foot Support/Stability - Score: 4.1
There were mixed feelings among our team when it came to the support and stability of the T24. Mark felt very comfortable and confident moving around the court in them. He said, "With straps on both the medial and lateral sides of the shoe, and the way the rest of the shoe is constructed, I give it extremely high marks for support. Being that the toe box is wider than most other shoes I have been wearing lately, the stability felt great; it was almost impossible to get any sort of roll over from sudden lateral stops."
Also enjoying the stability was Spencer. He said, "I felt very safe in this shoe. There was plenty of stability when moving laterally and when starting and stopping. It's not the lightest shoe by any means, but the security it offered when planting and changing direction was very good. Once the short break-in time was over I felt I could lace them up snug and secure for a supportive fit."
Chris had a slight issue with the width of the shoe, but overall felt well-supported. He said, "I liked the stable ride I found in these shoes. I was able to make aggressive starts, stops and lateral cuts without fear of the shoe rolling. The wide fit had my feet sliding around inside the shoes, which compromised the level of support I could find. I had to lace the shoes as tightly as I could get them, and I still had issues sliding around inside the shoes. While the width felt very similar to the T22, I found the uppers of that shoe to be softer and easier to wrap more tightly around my feet."
Jason liked the support when moving laterally but wanted a little more ankle support when moving up and back on the court. He said, "The T24 left me wanting just one more pair of eyelets. As soon as I laced them up I noticed my ankles didn't feel snug and fully locked in. And once on court it was confirmed. The uppers were stiff enough that my feet did feel secure when planting and changing direction, but when sprinting forward for a ball I could feel my feet slip due to the laces not going up high enough."
Overall Sole Durability - Score: 4.4
The sole durability was a major strength of the T24, with its PRC 1000 outsole. Chris said, "In typical Prince fashion the outsoles proved to be very durable on these shoes. I did not see any premature wear on the outsoles and the outsole met my level of expectation. I'm hard on the outsoles under the big toe area -- especially on the right shoe -- and even in this area these shoes held up extremely well. I'd put them up against any of the other durability guaranteed shoes and expect them to finish at (or very near) the top of the pile."
In agreement was Mark, who said, "I am not the teenage player I used to be; the kid who could wear out shoes in three weeks and caused my dad to actually saw tennis balls in half and glue them to the toe box of my shoes. However, I always redeem my sole warranty shoes prior to the six-month limit. The T24 is a very durable shoe, from the contact patch on the court to the material protecting the top of the toe. Even among other sole warranty shoes the T24 is one of the more durable shoes available."
Spencer also had no problems with the sole durability. He said, "Like most other top of the line outsoles, I felt the PRC 1000 compound does a great job in combining durability with traction. I had the usual wear on the medial side of my forefoot, under my big toe."
Rounding out the group was Jason, who also had no issues with durability. He said, "I thought this outsole was very durable. After about 15 hours on court there was still plenty of tread left on the outsole. I only noticed minor wear and tear on the medial forefoot."
Toe Durability - Score: 4.9
The toe durability was up to the test of our toe-dragging playtesters as well. Mark couldn't put a dent in the heavy toe guard. He said, "Like I said, I am not the kid I used to be, but I do tend to wear out the ball and big toe portion of the tread. My T24s definitely show use, but are in no way ready to be turned in for the warranty."
Chris had no problems with the toe durability, either. He said, "The toe durability was excellent. The outsole material wraps up nicely over the tip of the shoe and further protection is provided by a substantial toe guard. The toe guard wraps around both sides of the toe, providing excellent durability. I gave the shoes top marks here."
Traction - Score: 4.2
Traction was another major plus for the Prince T24. Chris loved the traction and felt very comfortable changing direction on court. He said, "The traction was very good in these shoes. I was able to move aggressively and didn't worry about slipping or sliding on court. The shoes provided all the grip I needed for quick starts and stops. On lateral moves there was just enough give to prevent the shoes from getting hung up on the court surface, yet there was enough grab to slow me down and get me ready to change direction."
Spencer felt that the traction of the T24 lived up to the reputation of the other shoes in the T series. He said, "I've always been happy with the amount of traction I've found in the T series shoes, and the T24 was no exception. The rubber compound wasn't too hard or too soft, allowing an ideal amount of tack on the hard court. It performs at a high level."
Feeling comfortable both indoors and outdoors was Mark, who said, "I used the T24 on hard courts. The outdoor courts I play on tend to be dirty, so you can slide a bit in some shoes. We also have an indoor court here, which is extremely slow, and the T24 was versatile enough to play well on either surface type."
The only playtester who had a slight issue with the traction on side-to-side movement was Jason. He said, "I felt like the PRC 1000 outsole did an above average job gripping the hard courts. It was great for any movements going toward or away from the net, but I did notice a few slippage issues when trying to plant and change direction. The tread pattern was basically a full herringbone, so maybe a more modified herringbone pattern would help with side to side traction."
Weight - Score: 3.3
Due to the exceptional level of durability and cushioning in the T24, our team found the shoe to be a bit on the heavy side. However, most of our playtesters didn't seem to mind the extra heft in exchange for the comfort and stability. Spencer said, "There was some definite heft in this one. That being said, I usually don't mind a little weight in my tennis shoes as it means better stability and durability. I liked the stability and durability in this shoe, so the actual weight of the shoe didn't bother me all that much."
Also not minding the extra weight was Chris. He said, "The feel on court was just a tad on the heavy side for me. However, considering the stability and durability, I would expect some weight. I still felt pretty fast in them, but they are far from a speed shoe. On the other hand, they make great shoes for practicing everyday, as they offer all the comfort and durability needed for long practice sessions."
Mark felt pretty neutral about the weight of the shoe. He said, "Although the weight of the T24 is comparable to other sole warranty shoes and almost the same as the T22, these felt a bit heavier."
Jason was the only one who seemed to have an issue with the weight of the T24. He said, "There's no way around it and there's no hiding it, this shoe feels heavy. It is somewhat to be expected, though, because the cushioning and the durability are so good. I guess that's the trade-off, but I prefer my shoes to be lighter (as I'm not the fastest guy on the court and need all the help I can get)."
Overall - Score: 3.9
Mark - "Stability, traction on court, seamless interior surface, ventilation and support are its strong suits. Almost as good as it gets."
Jason - "The two standout characteristics for me were the cushioning and outsole durability."
Chris - "I liked the comfort, durability, traction and stability."
Spencer - "The cushioning, traction and durability. This is a shoe that can be worn as a daily trainer on a hard court."
Mark - "I had a hard time switching directions because the toe box was pretty wide. I have been playing with narrower shoes and feel like I roll laterally to change direction in those, where I feel like I have to sort of tip the shoe to the outside edge to alter my direction in the T24."
Jason - "The ankle support could've used another eyelet to beef it up. I also felt the shoe lacked ventilation and was too heavy for my taste."
Chris - "The fit was too wide for me, and they ran hot."
Spencer - "The initial stiffness and discomfort was a bummer, especially with the expectations I had coming from the T22."
Comparing the T24 to other shoes they've worn, our testers said:
Mark - "The black version of the T22 was one of my favorite shoes all around. I felt the T22 was a very durable shoe, but the T24 feels like a more heavy-duty shoe, and is also slightly wider than the T22. It's perfect for the player who runs it all down, and needs a supportive/durable hard court shoe."
Jason - "It felt like the T22 in many ways because of the cushioning and overall ride, but this version felt stiffer initially and played hotter."
Chris - "This shoe definitely continues where the T22 left off. I can't think of another shoe that comes as close in its feel to this shoe as the T22."
Spencer - "It certainly compares to the T22 in most every way with some subtle differences. The traction, durability and cushioning were on par, but the break-in and comfort level still remain higher with the T22."
Playtester Foot Types:
Mark - Medium width / Medium arch
Jason - Wide width / Low arch
Chris - Narrow width / Medium arch
Spencer - Medium width / Medium arch
Review date: July 2012. If you found this review interesting or have further questions or comments please contact us.
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