Prince T24 Women's Shoe Review
- Well cushioned
- Mediocre ventilation
- On the heavy side
- Requires a break-in
As an update to Prince's T series, the Prince T24 offers the support and durability needed for high level tennis. Our testers found these shoes needed a break-in period due to the stiffness of the shoe and the rigidity of the plastic forefoot straps. They did, however, enjoy the heel cushioning and found the shoe to be more comfortable after they had been worn in a bit. With a stable ride and excellent traction, our testers were able to move confidently and aggressively. As usual, Prince impressed with durability. There is usually a price to pay when a shoe features ample cushioning, excellent stability and top-notch durability, and that's weight. All of those benefits adds up to a hefty shoe. The Prince T24 doesn't skimp on performance, so though it may be a bit weighty for some, players can count on it for stability, traction and durability.
Comfort - Score: 3.1
Our playtesters liked the ShockEraser cushioning in the heel of the Prince T24, though the stiffness in the forefoot and the longer break-in period caused some issues. Brittany initially found the Prince T24 very stiff. She said, "I definitely needed a break-in period with these shoes, and it took about a week's worth of hitting before I finally felt more comfortable in them. My right foot's pinky toe was being pinched at the start, but as the shoe loosened up that pain went away. After the break-in period the shoe became much more comfortable. There was plenty of cushioning, especially around the heel area."
Also finding discomfort from the stiffness of the shoe was Karly, who said, "The shoe had plenty of padding, but I think the stiffness took away from the comfort. I had a hard time getting over how stiff they felt, especially where the shoe flexes. I was constantly thinking about the plastic piece on the vamp, which was where I experienced the most discomfort. I also had difficultly loosening that area; no matter how I adjusted my shoe, the forefoot always felt tight. Overall, the shoe provided a decent amount of cushioning, but the break-in period and pinching at the forefoot from that plastic piece made the comfort subpar."
Siobhan had some mixed opinions regarding the comfort of the T24. She said, "There was a bit of a break-in period, as there are plastic forefoot straps that initially pinched and took a while to loosen. I found that to feel secure in the shoe I had to tighten the whole lacing system, and if I did it too tightly I ran the risk of making my feet go numb. I am also a bit lazy when I put my shoes on, and when I was a bit rough, pushing my foot into the shoe caused the back of the heel to bunch down behind my Achilles. I guess it's a lesson to take the time to put my shoes on properly, but it was still something I found annoying and uncomfortable. That all said, the cushioning inside the shoe itself was comfortable, and once the shoe loosened up a bit the stiffness turned into stability, which was an advantage of this shoe. I never got any blisters, and my feet were comfortable once they were in the shoe properly."
Carol liked the cushioning, saying, "This shoe provided nice cushioning and fit my foot well, especially around the arch. I really loved the ShockEraser Prince added in the heel. It really absorbed a lot of shock to my feet."
"I often use Prince shoes as a barometer when it comes to comfort," said Tiffani. "I was surprised that I needed a break-in with the T24. The shoe felt quite stiff right where the support straps are, and it took me a few hours to get a comfortable heel-to-toe flex. The toe box is quite wide and deep, but through the area with the straps it remained snug, almost too snug, on my wider feet. There is nice cushioning underfoot, but I just wish there was a little more forgiveness where Prince placed the support straps. It's the widest part of my foot and felt like the narrowest part of the shoe."
Ventilation - Score: 3.2
Breathability was acceptable for some playtesters, but others wished for a little better ventilation. Siobhan said, "It was OK. It was not the most ventilated shoe simply due to the design of the plastic wrapping its way around the shoe. I don't really have any complaints because overheating isn't an issue for me usually. I just don't think it was designed to be as cohesive toward ventilation."
Karly would have like the ventilation to be a little better. She said, "I thought the breathability fell below average and left my socks feeling damp after any amount of play. On the court my feet felt warm and absorbed a lot of sweat. Unfortunately, ventilation was definitely not one of the shoe's strong points."
Tiffani found things heating up during play. She said, "As I tested the black version of the shoe during the warmer months I got what I expected as far as ventilation is concerned. The shoe runs on the hot side, and I liked to change out of my shoes and socks immediately after playing, but the heat build-up didn't cause any distractions while I was playing."
Wishing for a little better ventilation was Brittany, who said, "Playing in the black colorway and with the lack of mesh, the Prince T24 wasn't as well ventilated as I would have hoped. I found this shoe to be very warm, especially now that it is summer. My feet did not breathe very well, and they definitely got sweaty. When I finished playing tennis I always took the shoes off for a breath of fresh air."
Arch Support - Score: 3.9
Most of the team found the arch support to be comfortable and cushioned. Tiffani liked the support the T24 provided on court. She said, "There was some good support for my lower arches, and there was just a very short hour or so break-in for me. I felt that after the hour I sunk into the cushioning more, so my arch (however small it may be) was comfortably supported."
Arch support was functional and comfortable for Brittany. She offered, "This shoe supported my medium arch perfectly. I had zero problems from start to finish. I didn't feel the support when I was playing, which is a bonus. It was perfectly placed in the shoe, and wasn't too far forward like I've experienced in other shoes."
Carol agreed with Brittany, saying, "There was great arch support. I really felt that this shoe fit great and provided ample arch support."
Karly had no complaints, but would have liked to see a little more support. She said, "The arch support was just so-so for me. The insoles were pretty flat, and my arches didn't get much support, but they also didn't bother me. They were lower than average, but not low enough to cause any pain or discomfort."
Siobhan thought her high arches felt good, even with the medium support. She said, "It was very supportive, I felt like I had great support within the shoe while I moved around the court. My feet felt pretty fresh (unless I had laced it too tightly) after I played, and my high arches were never tired."
Foot Support/Stability - Score: 4.0
Most of the playtesters agreed that stability was great, though the wide toe box caused a few issues. Karly had praise for the T24, despite the size of the toe-box. She said, "The shoes definitely fit wider than most shoes in the toe box so I experienced a little bit of sliding, especially when making harder, faster stops. But even with the sliding, I thought the shoes provided good support. The shoes were very stable and I never felt like I was going to roll an ankle. Although I experienced some sliding in the forefoot, I was still confident in the shoe's support."
Looking for more support was Carol. She said, "The shoe was comfortable, but I felt that it was too wide on the outside of the foot, which impaired some of my movement on the court. I also felt that the shoe needed one more lace hole at the top. I didnÕt feel that my ankle had the support it needed, especially for a wide shoe such as this. I wasnÕt confident that the shoe would provide enough support during side to side movements."
Siobhan found the forefoot straps provided stability throughout the playtest. She said, "Initially the upper was too stiff to really wrap around my foot and support it easily without causing some comfort issues. That said, after the break-in period the stability would be the thing I found the most efficient about the shoe, and I think this is where the plastic support really functioned."
Brittany struggled a little with the overall support of the Prince T24. She said, "I felt this shoe had some ups and downs when it came to this category. I thought the shoe held the back part of my foot in place, as well as my ankle. I felt very confident in the shoe's stability. However, the toe box was very roomy for my narrow feet, and I found the front of my foot slipping."
Tiffani thought this was the standout area for the T24, saying, "Prince did not skimp on support features. The shoe is wide enough to offer a stable platform for my footwork, and the midfoot shank kept the shoe from twisting during quick movements. The one issue I had was slight heel slippage, but this did not cause me any ankle worries. I think it may have been because the shoe was on the stiff side, and I never quite got the heel-to-toe flex I was wanting. The laces also refused to stay tied, and that didn't help the matter. Despite this, the shoe was up to aggressive hitting."
Overall Sole Durability - Score: 3.9
The durability pleased most of our testers. Tiffani had nothing but positive feedback. She said, "As usual, I'm impressed with Prince's PRC 1000 outsole. I've put about 20 hours on the outsole and it has smoothed some, but it certainly has lots of rubber left. Even when compared with other durability guaranteed shoes, I'm impressed."
Karly also thought the Prince T24's sole durability was impressive, saying, "I saw very little smoothing of the outsole after about 20 hours of wear. When I look at the bottom of the shoe it's hard to tell that I actually put that many hours of play into the shoe. I don't think I'll be needing to use the six-month outsole durability guarantee Prince offers with these shoes!"
Carol never had any doubts. She noted, "Sole durability is great. This shoe is meant to last forever."
Siobhan gave the soles a run for their money but was happy with their performance even after they showed some wear. She said, "I gave this shoe plenty of court time, and I definitely saw the wear and tear around the medial forefoot. The traction held up even when the soles wore out a little bit, and the six-month guarantee was still there if I needed it, so I wasn't disappointed."
Brittany had some issues with wear, but nothing that stood out. She said, "They wore out a little quicker than I had anticipated. However, the shoe does have a six-month outsole durability guarantee, which I think makes up for it. After wearing the shoe for over 20 hours I found some smoothing underneath my big toe. "
Toe Durability - Score: 4.5
Toe durability received high marks from all of the testers who were toe-draggers. Finding it more than efficient was Brittany. She said, "There was plenty of protection on the T24 when it came to toe durability. The black toe bumper is thick and goes up high on the front of the shoe. I had absolutely no signs of wear and no damage to the top of shoe. No complaints from me!"
"I thought the toe durability was exceptional," said Karly. "Wearing through the shoe's toes was the least of my worries. The shoe had a great amount of coverage around the toe box. Combine that with the durable sole and you get a hefty outsole that can take a lot of abuse. I was very impressed with the amount of wear the toes could handle."
Pleased with the toe protection was Tiffani. She said, "I've done little damage to the toe area. The bumper and material covering the top of the toe are both very durable. I especially like that the shoe doesn't look dirty or scuffed from my toe dragging habit."
Traction - Score: 4.2
Most of our testers felt confident moving and changing direction in the T24. Tiffani didn't notice any slipping or have any difficulty moving. "I can't say that I ever thought about the traction, which must be a good thing. I was always confident in starting and stopping and moving side to side. I never slid or felt like I was stuck to the court."
Carol weighed the traction against the support by saying, "Traction was good with this shoe, but again, I was not confident in the support around the ankle and worried that the good traction would be an issue."
Brittany had high praise for the traction. She said, "I thought the shoe did a good job gripping the court. Even though the weight is on the heavier side, I was able to stop and change directions pretty easily. I never slipped and was able to confidently move in any direction."
The traction was long-lasting for Karly. She noted, "The traction was great from the very start. I never worried about slipping when quickly changing directions and felt I had a good grip on the court without the soles being too sticky. I thought the shoes held their traction very well, even after several hours of play. "
Siobhan concurred. She added, "I liked this a lot. I felt really comfortable moving aggressively around the court in these shoes. I was able to change directions laterally and vertically and felt like I could get to a lot of balls with these shoes on my feet."
Weight - Score: 3.0
While the weight was noticed by all the players, it bothered some more than others. Siobhan noticed the extra weight. She offered, "They were a little heavy, but that's hand in hand with how stable they are. I like lighter shoes, but the weight didn't bother me and didn't stand out as a problem."
Karly had similar thoughts, saying, "The shoes were on the heavy side for me. It might have been a combination of the actual weight and wide shape that made them feel bulky and clunky, but I felt slower than usual on the court in the T24s."
Carol found the weight to be a little bit of a hindrance. She said, "This shoe was a little heavy to me. It was difficult to adapt to the heavier weight of this shoe, given most of our recent reviews have been lightweight shoes. The weight does add extra durability in the sole and support for the arch."
"This is the heaviest shoe I have playtested so far," said Brittany. "I found myself really concentrating on moving my feet to get into position, as the shoe felt clunky. I felt there was a little too much bulk, but I guess that is the trade-off for having a stable shoe. I love lightweight shoes so I wasn't a fan of these."
Tiffani noticed the size more than the weight. She said, "Though I don't ever complain about a shoe feeling heavy, the T24 is one of those shoes that just feels bulky. It's great for training but I don't feel at my fastest in it, so I would switch to a more streamlined shoe, like the Rebel 2, come match time."
Overall - Score: 3.5
Brittany - "I loved the color, the comfort once they were broken-in and the ankle stability."
Karly - "The outsoles offered exceptional durability and traction."
Siobhan - "The colorway and the stability."
Carol - "I think Prince is doing a great job with their cosmetics this year. This is a sharp and edgy looking shoe. I really enjoyed the cushioning the shoe provided. My foot was very comfortable and didn't overheat. The durability was unbelievable. I think this shoe and Twinkies could last forever together."
Tiffani - "The stability, cushioning and traction were all great features. I also like option of a more aggressive color alongside the traditional white version."
Brittany - "The weight and ventilation were big issues for me."
Karly - "The stiff plastic piece toward the front of the shoe caused quite a bit of pinching and made the shoe fairly uncomfortable."
Siobhan - "I struggled with getting these shoes to a comfort level I liked, although it was a matter of how tight or loose I did the laces."
Carol - "I think this shoe needed an extra shoe lace at the top. With the great traction and heavier weight I don't think my ankle was supported enough. I also think the shoe was a little wide for me."
Tiffani - "The break-in was a bit long, and the laces didn't stay tied. The laces were also a little short for my wide feet."
Comparing the T24 to other shoes they've worn, our testers said:
Brittany - "This shoe is very similar to the Babolat SFX in terms of fit. I found this to fit me on the wider side with a very roomy toe box. It also reminded me of the KSwiss Bigshots in terms of weight, comfort after break-in, and stability. The Babolat Propulse Lady 3 had a similar break-in period, but I found the Prince T24 more comfortable in the long run."
Siobhan - "The stiffness and stability reminded me of the Propulse Lady 3."
Karly - "They reminded me lot of the Babolat Propulse Lady 3. Both shoes had plastic pieces on the outside of the shoes that make them very stable and offer a ton of foot support. However, both shoes were uncomfortable at times because of how stiff they felt."
Carol - "I would prefer the Prince Rebel 2. I think the Prince Rebel 2 provided everything I wanted in a shoe: light weight, comfort, durability and support!"
Tiffani - "The shoe that offered similar stability, cushioning and durability is the Babolat Propulse Lady 3. Both required a break-in and are built for heavy hard court play. The T24 is also similar to the T22, but requires more of a break-in and feels narrower through the midfoot."
Playtester Foot Types:
Brittany - Narrow width / Medium arch
Siobhan - Narrow width / High arch
Karly - Medium width / Medium-low arch
Carol - Medium width / Medium arch
Tiffani - Wide width / Low arch
Review date: August 2012. If you found this review interesting or have further questions or comments please contact us.
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