SummaryI like these shoes almost as much as the Stiga Speed-Grip shoes. They are fairly light, comfortable, reasonably durable, and with good grip. A good shoe.
Construction and VentilationThe Stiga Rapid ping-pong shoes use leather as the main construction material, along with fabric inserts on the sides and toe to provide ventilation. The rubber ribbed sole also extends for about half an inch up the side of the shoe.
No doubt about it, these babies are solid. With stitched leather construction, you won't be ripping holes in these shoes any time soon! The ventilation also works well.
Cushioning, Comfort and SupportThese shoes are very comfortable to wear around. They provide good cushioning, and I like these for training since I can wear them for hours at a time on and off court without getting sore feet.
The leather construction makes these shoes a little stiffer than the Speed-Grips I use for competition, providing more support to the ankle. They aren't straight-jackets for your feet though, just a bit firmer.
GripThe grip is excellent. The rubber sole is fairly similar to the Speed-Grip shoes, in that it provides good grip on all surfaces except truly dusty floors. I think maybe that the sole on the Stiga Rapid shoes wears out a little faster than the Speed-Grips, mainly on the edges of the sole. However, this really isn't a problem, since it will be time to replace the shoe due to the loss of shock absorption qualities long before you need to worry about the soles. (Most table tennis shoes will lose a lot of their shock absorption after 3 months or so - remember most use thin cushioning to keep the weight down.)
The Stiga Rapid shoes also have the sole extending up the side of the shoe for half an inch or so, which helps stop you from skidding if you accidentally put the edge of your shoe down on the floor first.
Weight and FlexibilityThese shoes are definitely light, but not as flexible as the Stiga Speed-Grip shoes. The Stiga Rapids can easily bend in half around the ball of your foot, but elsewhere they are firmer and more difficult to bend. Good if you prefer a stiffer sole.
DurabilityDurability is not a problem here. The uppers are well-stitched leather and fabric, and the rubber sole lasts pretty well too. The only problem you might encounter is if you tend to drag the toes of your feet when moving around the court. I used to do this a lot, and this caused the rubber soling to part company with the leather uppers at the spot where I drag my right foot. It didn't really affect the usability of the shoe, but since I didn't want to risk the split widening, I superglued the gap and the problem was solved. By the time I bought my second pair of Stiga Rapids, I had corrected my footwork and the problem did not recur. So it probably says more about me than the shoe!
Value for MoneyAt about $45 US for a pair of Stiga Rapid ping-pong shoes, it is pretty good value for money overall. If you are looking for a quality table tennis shoe that will last well, but don't want to spend a fortune, then these fit the bill.
ConclusionAnother good shoe from Stiga. A little firmer and heavier than the Stiga Speed-Grip, but also with more cushioning and comfort.
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