Instead of the ultimate table tennis shoe, what I've assembled instead is a list of ten shoes that are all worthy of recommendation in their own right, while not simply being clones of each other. Regardless of which shoe you choose, you can be sure that you will be getting a shoe that has some outstanding features of its own.
The Yasaka Gatien De Luxe are the upgraded model of the Gatien Pro shoes (click on the link for a full review), and promise to be just as popular. With a new design but retaining the best features of the old model, I can guess which shoes I'll be buying for my partner pretty soon!
Update 15 Feb 2008 - I got a pair of the De Luxe shoes for my partner a few months ago - needless to say she loves them!
Note as of September 2007: Now that I've been wearing these shoes for several months, I've got a full review of the Stiga Speed-Grip shoes now available.
Yes, they are pretty pricey, but if you want to use what the pros use, these appear to be the real deal, if not a real steal.
Many table tennis shoes are a bit lacking in good cushioning for bigger people, so heavier table tennis players may want to give serious consideration to adidas shoes that use adiprene, such as the mi-TT-enium and NewTTanglin. The joints that you save may be your own. My own aging knees are putting in a request to try a pair!
Donic Waldner Flex is the model that Jan-Ove Waldner prefers and wears. But what about the Mizuno shoes that he is supposed to be using? Beats me. It's not uncommon for players to be supposed to be using one brand and actually using another.
Regardless of whether Waldner really uses these shoes or not (you can guarantee he hasn't worn yours if you buy a pair!), the Waldner Flex table tennis shoes is another good shoe, with a grippy shock absorbing sole, breatheable material, and without too much weight.
Killerspin have been a breath of fresh air on the American table tennis scene, and their shoes are no exception.
While the claims made about the shoe on their website and how it will improve your game may be a little over the top, they appear to have several very nice table tennis shoes on their hands (or should that be feet?). Features include a non-marking rubber sole, rounded outsole grip for better traction, ultra-light mesh for breathability, and light-weight suede on the toe and heel for durability.
The Donic Puma Persson UltraFlex III table tennis shoes were given the thumbs up on our forum, with forum member AGOODING2 mentioning that they give a little bit more support and cushioning than the Butterfly Radial 050's (see recommendation #9).
Like the Mizunos, they aren't the cheapest shoe around, but sometimes you do get what you pay for.
(Note: These seem to be a bit hard to find these days - their successor appears to be the Donic Targa Flex 2 shoe - Buy Direct)
So if you are looking for a table tennis shoe that can also double for squash, racketball, volleyball and the like, these just might be the shoes for you.