Prince Rebel 2 Women's Shoe Review
- Great fit for wider feet
- Minimal break-in
- Lightweight feel
- 6-month durability guarantee
- Too wide for narrow feet
- Laces come untied easily
Prince continues to expand its offerings in the lightweight, speed shoe category with the Rebel 2. (Note: The original Rebel was a men's shoe, and the first of the light speed shoes for women was called the Poise.) True to Prince's reputation for making comfortable shoes, our testers found the Rebel 2 felt great out of the box with minimal break-in. Also known for making stable shoes with a generous forefoot width, Prince again delivered with this Rebel 2, but our testers with narrow feet disliked the wider fit in the forefoot and experienced excessive loosening of the shoe over time. Excellent durability complemented superb traction. Some playtesters found the traction almost too good, with the outsole grabbing the court a little too much. At 13.1 ounces, the Prince Rebels felt lighter than their weight would indicate, and surprised some of our testers with their fast feel. Prince got it right with the Rebel 2, a shoe that offers comfort, durability and support, with a lightweight feel.
Comfort - Score: 4.2
Most of our playtesters felt the Rebel 2 cushioned their feet well. Initially Karly didn't think these were the most comfortable shoes to play in. She said, "I thought the bottoms were just too firm, and I didn't find the best cushioning in the insoles. After a short break-in period the comfort of the shoe took a turn for the better. My opinion changed drastically and the shoes really softened up, to where they were noticeably more comfortable to play in."
Carol found the shoes to be great with no break-in period. She said, "This shoe was very comfortable, with great cushioning. I never noticed any rubbing, poking or pinching from this shoe throughout the playtest."
Siobhan also found the comfort of the shoes to be high, saying, "I liked these right out of the box. There was a good fit, support, comfort and cushioning. They had just the right amount of stiffness, and I felt really good in these. Prince did a good job."
Brittany found immediate comfort. She said, "They were extremely comfortable right out of the box. I was very comfortable playing aggressively in them from the start of the playtest to the finish. I didn't experience any blisters or rubbing and found the cushioning to be a perfect combination of not too much and not too little."
Ventilation - Score: 3.8
The synthetic mesh in the upper and the air mesh tongue managed to offer decent ventilation for our testers. Siobhan thought the breathability was fine. She said, "I didn't feel like my feet got sweaty, but the shoes were perhaps a bit warm. I could have used a little more ventilation, but to be honest, it was nothing to complain about."
Carol agreed, adding, "Ventilation was decent. My feet never felt overheated, and I didn't have that immediate need to take the shoe off after playing. I was very comfortable with the ventilation this shoe offered."
Wishing for a little more breathability was Karly. She said, "Overall I thought the ventilation was average. I didn't ever notice my feet feeling overheated when playing in them, but they also didn't leave my socks very dry when I took them off. To be honest, I was a little disappointed with the ventilation. I had higher expectations for the shoe's breathability, probably because of the lightweight mesh upper."
Brittany had no problems with the ventilation. She said, "My foot stayed at a pretty neutral temperature, and I was able to wear the shoe around comfortably after tennis. When I wore them for workouts my feet stayed at a comfortable temperature."
Arch Support - Score: 3.7
The low arch height drew mixed reactions from the testers. Karly experienced some discomfort, saying, "The arch support fell below average for me. I thought the arch was too low and didn't offer much support. My feet usually started to ache about a half-hour into the hit. After a grueling hitting session I felt like I was walking awkwardly because my feet were sore."
Brittany had mixed opinions, saying, "I would definitely say this shoe has a low arch, and it didn't seem to have enough support of my medium arch. However, it felt like there was a slight edge on the shoe that sometimes would make my arches sore at the beginning of a hit. Overall, the arch support wasnÕt really a positive or a negative."
Siobhan didn't have any problems, saying, "Great. Like I said earlier, the Rebel 2 is an all around comfortable and supportive shoe."
Carol also had a comfortable experience with the arch support. She said, "There was great arch support. I really felt that this shoe fit great and provided ample arch support."
Foot Support/Stability - Score: 4.0
While support and stability were positive features for most of the testers, some found that the shoe loosened up too much over time. Brittany found the shoe didn't fit her narrow foot well. She said, "My forefoot was slipping around in my shoe while I moved on the court. I was able to slightly fix the problem by tightening the laces. I found the back of the shoe held my heel in place comfortably, and the ankle support met my needs. I felt very confident that my ankle was secure when moving around the court."
This shoe provided a lot of support for Carol. She said, "I felt very comfortable with the quick stop-and-goes and changes of direction. I never had to worry that the shoe wouldnÕt support me in these moves. My ankles felt very protected with this shoe, and the fit really molded to my foot, not allowing my foot to slide around in the shoe at all."
Siobhan felt the shoe changed a lot over time. She said, "Granted, I have narrow feet, but the shoe felt great the first couple of times I wore it. As I wore it more, it stretched more than I'm used to. Keeping in mind the shoe had a wider forefoot, I had to keep tightening the laces all the way down the shoe to keep it at a level of support that I liked. That said, I felt protected, stable and able to move freely without any fear of a sprain."
The stability and support of the Rebel 2 was so-so for Karly. She said, "I found stability with the low-to-the-ground feeling, and I felt there was enough support around the ankles to keep me from rolling them, but I thought the wider fit hindered the stability. The shoe fit wide from the get-go, especially in the forefoot, which was where I experienced a bit of sliding. I normally don't like shoes that fit narrower toward the toes because my foot is wider in the forefoot, but I think the Rebel 2's forefoot was just too wide."
Overall Sole Durability - Score: 4.1
The durability of the Prince Rebel 2 proved to be good for all of our playtesters, with the majority being impressed by the low amount of wear, even after many hours on court. Karly thought the durability was decent for such a lightweight shoe. "It wasn't the most durable shoe, but it ranked higher than average in its weight class. There was a little bit of wear, mostly near the toe of the sole, but the sole and its traction lasted much longer than I was expecting, which really impressed me."
Siobhan experienced a little bit of wear, but thought the shoes performed well. She said, "Not bad at all! I played with these shoes a lot, and I can see some wear on the pivot point and medial edges of the sole on each forefoot, but more just a balding versus any serious wear and tear."
Brittany liked the guarantee Prince offered in combination with the durability of the sole. She said, "I found the durability of this shoe to be about average compared to other shoes I have tested. I found some smoothing in the toe area, but about what I would expect from my tennis shoes. The Rebel 2 has a six-month guarantee, which is an extra bonus."
Carol was singing the praises of the Rebel 2. She said, "I've been playing in these shoes for weeks, and they still look brand new! There is no comparing the durability of the Rebel 2 to other shoes. I've never seen a shoe with this kind of durability."
Toe Durability - Score: 3.9
For our two toe-draggers, toe durability was up to standard. Brittany puts a lot of pressure on the toe bumpers of her tennis shoes. She said, "The Prince Rebel 2 held up to the test. The white toe bumper had a textured pattern that had started to smooth out, but I still have plenty of hours left with these shoes. A bonus feature for me was that the Duraskin XD came all the way down to the toe bumper to offer extra protection to the top of the shoe."
Karly was surprised by the toe durability. She said, "I thought the toe durability was higher than average for such a lightweight shoe. I enjoyed the amount of coverage the shoe offered on the upper (with the sole and synthetic material) to help keep the toe protected. The toe was, however, where I experienced the most wear and tear. "
Traction - Score: 3.9
Traction on the Rebel 2 was excellent, but almost too good for some players. For Karly it was nothing but a positive experience. She said, "I really enjoyed the amount of traction I got on the court with the Rebel 2s. The shoes gave me confidence when starting and stopping quickly. I could change directions effortlessly and without hesitation. The combination of the traction and lightweight feel made it easy to move quickly in all directions. I noticed a little bit of smoothing toward the top of the sole, but I thought the shoe kept its traction really well."
Carol found the traction to be a great feature for this shoe. She said, "It is almost too good. During my playtest I felt that I was stuck to the court at times. It wasn't easy to lift the shoe from the ground and move for the next ball, especially when running and planting. This did get better as the playtest went on, but I still felt the traction was almost too good."
Brittany, on the other hand, struggled with the traction, saying, "Probably my biggest negative with this shoe was the traction. I feel the shoe almost gripped the court too well. When I was quickly changing directions I would get stuck on the court. I also felt like I wasn't able to start up again as quickly as I would have liked when I was suddenly stopping to get to a ball. As the playtest progressed I was able to adjust to the shoes, and I found the traction improved slightly."
Siobhan agreed with Brittany. She said, "I would probably use the word 'sticky' to describe these shoes. The first thing I noticed when I played in them was that I appeared to stick to the court, and I couldn't move my feet as freely as I'm used to. I think the stickiness lessened as I wore the sole in a little bit more, but it was definitely a sensation I wasn't used to. I felt secure moving around the court in these, but I was a little uncomfortable because I sometimes felt like my feet had glue on them."
Weight - Score: 4.2
The Prince Rebel 2 surprised some of our testers by feeling lighter than 13.1 ounces (size 8.5) on the court. Siobhan noticed the weight, but wasn't put off by it. She said, "They're a bit heavier than some of the lightweight Nike or Asics shoes I've been playing in, but I didn't really notice. I actually liked how I moved around the court with their weight."
Carol was a believer in the weight of the Rebel 2, saying, "It's amazing how light this shoe is! I would expect a shoe like this, with great arch support, cushioning and durability, to weigh a ton, but it is very light and manageable. The light weight really helped during the long matches I would play. Heavy shoes can really weigh me down and impair my movement as a match progresses, but this shoe really allowed my movement to stay at a high level."
Karly was similarly surprised by the weight of the Rebel 2s. She said, "My first impression of the shoes' weight went something along the lines of, 'Wait, these shoes are over 13 ounces? No way, get outta here!' They felt much lighter than their actual weight. I felt I was able to move much faster than usual while playing in them, and I was able to chase down shots that I'm not normally able to get to in time -- it was great!"
Brittany also found this shoe to play lighter than its actual weight. She said, "I prefer lightweight shoes that are around 11 ounces and less. The Prince Rebel 2 weighs in on the heavier side for my liking, but surprisingly didnÕt play that way. It was very easy to move around the court and the shoe wasnÕt weighing me down."
Overall - Score: 4.2
Karly - "I fell in love with the lightweight feel and traction. I wish I could move this fast in every shoe!"
Siobhan - "Comfort right out of the box -- just a generally good performing shoe all around."
Brittany - "I liked the comfort and awesome silver/yellow color combination!"
Carol - "The first thing I noticed was the cosmetics. Prince did a great job in designing the shoe, making it look sharp and different from their competitors. This looks like a player's shoe. It was very comfortable and light. The support and comfort levels were definitely high, along with the cushioning. My foot never felt weighed down or overheated during matches, which is very important to me. My favorite aspect was the durability."
Karly - "The low arch was a major drawback for me. It was the first time I considered wearing orthotics."
Siobhan - "Aside from the stickiness, my biggest complaint would be the laces. It's like they had a mind of their own. I definitely needed to double knot those suckers."
Brittany - "The toebox was too big for my narrow feet, and the traction sometimes was too sticky."
Carol - "My only dislike (if you can even call it that), is the high level of traction. During my first 8-10 hits with this shoe I felt the traction was too good. This did seem to decrease as the playtest went on, but only marginally."
Comparing the Rebel 2s to other shoes they've worn, our testers said:
Karly - "The Rebel 2 reminded me of the Nike Zoom Courtlite 3 because of the weight and comfort, though I thought the Rebel 2s were more durable, especially around the toe. Technically the Rebel 2 weighs about an ounce less than the Babolat Propulse 3, but I thought they felt about 3 ounces lighter when wearing them. "
Siobhan - "Comfort out of the box reminded me of the Nike Zoom Courtlite 3, because I could put them on and play right away with no issues."
Brittany - "I found similarities with the comfort, ventilation and weight of the Prince Poise, and with the cushioning and weight of the KSwiss BigShot. However, I prefer the Rebel 2 because they werenÕt as clunky feeling as the BigShot."
Carol - "This shoe is definitely at the top of my list. I prefer this shoe to most of the other speed shoes I have tested with Tennis Warehouse. I think itÕs a great shoe."
Playtester Foot Types:
Karly - Medium width / Medium-low arch
Siobhan - Medium width / High arch
Brittany - Narrow width / Medium arch
Carol - Medium width / Medium arch
Review date: May 2012. If you found this review interesting or have further questions or comments please contact us.
All content copyright 2012 Tennis Warehouse.