Prince Poise Review Shoe Review
|Prince Poise Shoe Scores|
|Overall Sole Durability||4.1|
- Slight break-in required
Our testers were pleased with the direction Prince have taken with this shoe: lighter and faster. The comfort level was still high for the majority of the testers, though some noted a very short break-in period was required. When it comes to speed, weight is not the only factor. Traction also plays an important role in on-court quickness, and the Poise again impressed, with all our testers singing its praises. Throw in the fact that the team was pleased with durability, and this Prince Poise proved itself to be a smart choice for competitors seeking a blend of comfort, speed and durability.
That's the mantra behind the new LightSpeed Series of shoes from Prince. The women's top model, the Poise, aims to deliver speed on the court with a ride that is low to the ground.
In the past Prince shoes have gotten rave reviews from Tennis Warehouse playtesters for their comfort and durability rather than their speediness on court. Is this new Prince offering poised to be the shoe that offers players signature Prince performance while adding lightweight speed to the mix? We outfitted our playtesters with the Poise to find out.
Comfort - Score: 3.9
Jumping right into it, how did the Poise fare with the team when it came to comfort? The Poise has a new cushioning system that can be seen in the heel, Shock Eraser PRO, which impressed Kimber. She said, "Throughout the testing period my feet were very comfortable. The insole and the padding throughout the inside of the shoes gave my feet a snug and glove-like fit without any poking or rubbing. Most heel collars hit my Achilles tendon in the wrong spot, and during aggressive stopping and starting and side-to-side movement I would be uncomfortable, but these shoes fit just right. The Shock Eraser Pro in the heel absorbed the shock from pounding, which enabled me to play longer on the court in comfort."
After putting in 30 hours in the shoes, Suzie reported, "Overall, I found the shoes to be very comfortable, except they were too narrow for my feet and I could feel some rubbing on my pinky toes. I did not get any blisters, though, which I normally get when I play with a new shoe. After I broke them in, over about four hitting sessions, I really liked them and felt great wearing them. The jamming of my toes was the only problem I had with these shoes. Every day I start my tennis practice with ladder drills and sudden changes of direction drills. I noticed my foot and toes felt jammed whenever I would run through the ladder and whenever I made sudden sharp turns and changes of direction. However, it got progressively better as I wore the shoes in, until I barely noticed the jamming of my toes towards the end of the test."
Kana couldn't have been happier. She stated, "This shoe fits my foot like a glove! It has just the right amount of cushioning and flexes in the right areas. On the first wear it felt like there might not have been enough cushioning, but it softened up, allowing the shoe to mold to my foot."
The shoes struck a good balance for Brittany, who said, "These shoes offered average cushioning. I felt the cushioning was substantial enough that my feet were comfortable, but the cushioning was not so overdone to where my feet sat high in the shoes. I did have a slight break-in period of a couple hours and did feel some rubbing on the pad of my foot at the beginning of the playtest. My only negative would be the shock absorber in the heel. I felt at times, when I had to stop abruptly, I would feel the plastic in the heel."
Ventilation - Score: 4.3
With the air mesh tongue and side panels, the Poise's breathability pleased the team. Suzie said, "The ventilation felt really good, and I felt like my feet could breathe in these. Normally, once I finish a match I take my shoes off immediately, but with the Poise I completely forgot to take them off."
Agreeing, Brittany reported, "The shoes were well ventilated with mesh inserts on the side. There was excellent breathability, and I never felt my foot was overheating while playing."
"I always feel that padding in the upper materials adds to how well the shoe is ventilated," said Kana. "Too much can make your feet heat up, but too little makes the shoe uncomfortable. With the Poise, I felt the cushioning was a little on the lighter side but still had enough to keep the shoe comfortable and breathable. Even though there wasn't much mesh in the upper, my feet never overheated."
Kimber noted the cool weather during the playtest period, saying, "Most of the time I was wearing the shoes in colder weather. Often the court was damp and the conditions were cool so my feet were never able to heat up as they would under warmer conditions."
Arch Support - Score: 4.0
For the most part the arch support pleased the team. Kana said, "The arch support could have been a little higher, but because I have such a flat foot it worked out great for me."
With medium arches, Kimber was comfortable, saying, "My standard answer for arch support is if I do not feel the arch then the support is adequate. What is the worst for me is having an arch that is too high and extends my arch unnaturally. These shoes felt great on the court and my arch was comfortable."
Suzie agreed. She said, "The arch support felt really good on my feet. I normally do not have a problem with arch support, but I really felt that it was just right for my medium-arched feet."
Brittany found the support to be slightly off, saying, "I felt the arch to be a little high, but it wasn't detrimental to the shoe. The arch did not affect my play, and I did not feel any discomfort."
Foot Support/Stability - Score: 4.2
The Poise is loaded with plenty of support and stability features. There's a midfoot TPU shank and a Propulsion Plate to help keep your foot moving forward properly. Brittany also found fit to play a role. She said, "My feet fit well in these shoes. I have narrow feet so I normally slide around in shoes and have to lace them tightly. The Poise fit better than most, and I felt stable while moving around the court. Also, I had enough room in the toe box for my toes."
The shoe bolstered Kana's confidence. She stated, "I felt like this shoe was made for my foot. The support and stability worked great during high performance play. I could play extremely aggressively and not worry about slipping or rolling my ankles."
Kimber was pleasantly surprised, saying, "I felt solid on the court right from the start. Previous Prince shoes I have worn were bulky. The Poise felt lighter, gave a lower to the ground feel and gave me the confidence to move around the court quickly. The wider base in the forefoot and heel gave a stable feel while on the court, and I did not trip or catch the edges of the shoe. The heel fit felt snug, and throughout the midfoot the shoe contoured to my foot to give it a secure feel. Even though the width is a little roomy, my feet did not move around and my toes did not jam into the front of the shoes."
"My ankles felt really good in these shoes," said Suzie. "The only problem I had was when I was on the run moving for a ball, I sometimes felt like my feet would slide around inside the shoes and my toes would get jammed."
Sole Durability - Score: 4.1
The durability guaranteed PRC 1000 outsole was living up to its promise for our testing team. Kana said, "After 20 hours of wear, the sole is still intact."
Also impressed, Suzie said, "I do not wear down shoes that quickly, but when I do it's near the ball of the foot. After around 30 hours of playing, the only place it began to wear down was at the ball of the foot. I thought this was pretty good, considering I had put so many hours on the court in them."
"I started to see slight wear on the outsoles under the toes of both shoes," said Brittany. "However, this is normal for my shoes and these held up to competitive match play quite well."
Durability was a plus for Kimber, too, who said, "The durability is a plus for these shoes. The wear overall on the outsole seemed consistent and normal. Underneath the big toe is the first place to go for me, but after a month of solid play the tread is intact. A shoe I've worn with similar durability is the Wilson Tour Vision."
Toe Durability - Score: 3.8
Our toe dragging playtesters were equally impressed by the Duraskin II placed on the toe for protection. Suzie said, "After many hours the shoe was holding up really well. There was no wear in the toe front, no holes, and the shoe still looks in prime condition. The only thing that bothered me was that the once bright white shoes now look a bit washed out."
Seeing little wear, Kimber said, "I can drag my shoe when I serve and get a little lazy with my footwork, so the extra protection is key. The more durable material placed on the toe is scratched up, but the overall appearance of the shoe is still good."
Brittany agreed, saying, "There was a little smoothing in the toe guard, but overall the durability was pretty solid."
Traction - Score: 4.0
With its modified herringbone tread pattern, the Poise was gripping the hard courts well for the team. Kimber said, "The diverse pattern on the outsole gripped the court well. We tested during the damp months, so the courts were sometimes somewhat slick with moisture, but I was confident throughout play. Sliding was not a problem. Movement from side to side and up and back throughout matches was easy. I even had the chance to try them out on a clay court and had no traction complaints."
Brittany competed with confidence in her footwork, saying, "I felt the traction was a positive for this shoe. I was able to start and stop with ease and change directions relatively smoothly."
Suzie concurred, "The traction in these shoes felt really good when I was moving side to side. I never had to think about it when I played. I only had one time where I slipped and that was when the court was a little wet and slick. Overall, I felt like I could change direction and get to the ball quickly and efficiently."
Quickness wasn't a problem for Kana, who said, "I was comfortable making aggressive moves in the Poise. I was not afraid to take sharp cuts on the court, and I would definitely wear this in high competition situations."
Weight - Score: 4.3
Prince sought to make a lightweight shoe with the Poise, which is part of the Lightspeed Series. The Lightspeed moniker was fitting, according to Brittany. "I was actually pleasantly surprised with the weight of the shoe. I felt the shoe to be a good weight, not too heavy and not too light. I felt quick, but also stable on the court in both practice and match play."
It was a match made in heaven for Kana, who said, "The weight of the Poise was just right. They felt light enough to be fast, yet there was enough material for support."
Prince took Kimber by surprise. She said, "Normally I don't choose Prince shoes because they can be heavy and I prefer a lighter weight shoe. Prince has done a good job with the Poise shoe. The comfort and durability were not compromised while the weight was decreased, making it a more speed oriented, lower to the ground feeling shoe."
"The shoes are a comfortable weight for my feet," said Suzie. "I prefer having lighter weight shoes, rather than those that feel really heavy. The shoes felt like they were on the lighter side, which was good."
Overall - Score: 4.2
Suzie "They were very supportive and my feet could still breathe. Even though they was a little narrow at first, my feet eventually felt like they fit in them really well."
Kimber "The Poise shoe was very comfortable. Even though the width is not as snug as my Asics Challenger 7s, the tight fit in the heel and through the midfoot made for a very comfortable shoe. The simple and classic white shoe is always a favorite with me."
Kana "This has officially become my favorite shoe of all time. Everything about it just worked."
Brittany "I liked the weight and stability."
Suzie "I did not like how my toes touched the sides of the shoe and were jammed whenever I made a quick directional change. Again, I have really wide feet and these shoes were just too narrow for me."
Kana "Cosmetically, this shoe isn't the most appealing."
Brittany "I felt the aesthetics of the shoe could use some updating, maybe some color and a different toe box shape."
Comparing the Prince Poise to other shoes they've worn, our testers said:
Suzie "Most shoes take me awhile to break- in, and until I break them in I don't like them. I have worn the Barricade II for years now and compare all shoes to them. If I were not so in love with my Barricade IIs I would switch to the Prince Poise. I could wear them all the time and felt comfortable on and off the court, especially towards the end of the test."
Kimber "I particularly enjoyed the overall comfort level that these shoes provided on the court and off. The Asics Gel Challenger 7s are one of my favorite shoes, and as with those, I was happy wearing the Poise throughout the day."
Kana "I felt the fastest in the Poise than in any other shoe I've playtested."
Brittany "This shoe is right in the middle of all the shoes I have worn. There were some definite strengths that I benefited from most notably weight. However, they did not fit my feet as well as the Nike Lunar Speed 2."
Playtester Foot Types:
Suzie Wide width/Medium arch
Kimber Medium width/Medium arch
Kana Wide width/Low arch
Brittany Narrow width/Medium arch
Review date: May 2011. If you found this review interesting or have further questions or comments please contact us.
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