Tennis Prose



The Man Who Loves Mizuno Tennis Shoes

Mike Onello told me a month ago how much he loves Mizuno tennis shoes, calling them the best tennis shoe he’s ever worn, and he’s tried them all.

A former amateur boxer turned 4.5 tennis player based in Indian Wells, California, Onello plays tennis every day. With curiosity, I decided to phone call and ask Mike to explain why he prefers Mizuno over established brands like Nike, Adidas, Wilson, Prince, Babolat, etc.

Question: You told me a month ago you like Mizuno tennis shoes the best. Why are they so good?

Mike Onello: It’s funny you ask me that now. I just got off the phone from ordering a new pair from Tennis Warehouse, I got the blue pair for $79.99. I prefer the black but I got the blue. Mizuno is by far the best tennis shoe you can have. I like K-Swiss too but I’ll take Mizuno over anything.

Question: Why?

Mike Onello: Speed. You can run so fast. They maneuver well. Durability. They take a beating. The sole gives you good life wear.

Question: Mizuno shoes actually make you you feel faster? They give you speed?

Mike Onello: Yeah. Oh yeah. They give you that aerodynamic feeling for your feet.

I like the low to the ground feeling. Adidas feels high off the ground. I don’t know how Djokovic can move so well wearing them. Adidas is a good shoe but they feel high off the ground. I don’t like it. Nadal plays with a very low to the ground shoe. I was a boxer. I wore a low to the ground shoe. I guess that’s why I like it. It’s a personal preference.

Question: How did you discover Mizuno shoes?

Mike Onello: Because I suffered with my arch from jumping rope so much from boxing, I didn’t understand what was causing the pain. So I tried every brand of shoes. I came across Mizuno. My arch still hurt but the pain was the least by far. Okay, I’m sold.

Question: How many pairs of Mizuno have you bought so far?

Mike Onello: (Counts)…Five.

Question: What other tennis shoe brands do you like?

Mike Onello: K Swiss. Wilson. Wilson wears very well, they take a beating. But they feel like I’m in a U-Boat, heavy, stable. A pro here I know wears them, because he’s on the court all day and they protect his feet. But he said, they feel good on court all day but I’d never play a match in them.

Yesterday I played a match and lost 64 64. I played a player who hits with no pace. I love heavy pace. He didn’t miss. So I had to move a lot. Before the match started I realized I forgot to put my Mizuno shoes in my bag, I left them on my kitchen counter. So that negative was in my mind to start the match. I prefer to play matches in Mizuno not my back up pairs. My K Swiss are worn out. I felt like I was sliding on the court (clay). I couldn’t stop or change direction. We will play again next Thursday and I will make sure I don’t forget my Mizuno.

Mizuno is Japanese. So is my racquet – Yonex. Japan makes good products unlike China. I will never buy anything made in China.

Question: Of all the tennis shoes you have worn in decades, you are certain Mizuno is the very best tennis shoe you have ever worn?

Mike Onello. Yes.



  • Jeanius · May 4, 2020 at 8:17 pm

    Snarky: why were they on
    The kitchen counter? Can’t imagine

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 4, 2020 at 8:21 pm

    Probably to keep away from pet bulldog from chewing )

  • Jon King · May 5, 2020 at 8:43 am

    Yonex racquets are top quality. I wish they would increase their US sales and service. Our pro shop guys tell us dealing with their customer service is a nightmare.

  • Winston Smith · May 5, 2020 at 4:15 pm


    Really like the site a lot more since you and the other guy (I forget his name) parted ways.
    More focused, better writing, more interesting.
    I would suggest more gear reviews like this, stringing tips and such, tennis people really like this (as do sponsors.)

    I have a kid who is a National level junior, with tennis essentially shut down, kids have to find private courts or they can’t play. Today the kid had access to a private court at an $8 million house 16,000 sq ft castle, friend of a friend. When will this silliness end?
    I’m playing golf every day…for free in the evening,

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 5, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    Thanks Winston. Happy to hear you like the variety of content. There are no limits to where our tennis content will explore. Yes many top juniors are struggling to find courts but where there’s a will there is a way. Finding private courts. Friends helping friends. I’ve helped two national champ juniors find open courts in NJ, there are a few that nevee locked in West Milford. These top juniors nevee lost hitting but had to drive more. But one top junior i know in s florida went a month without hitting a ball. I will continue to do these type interviews about equipment and shoes.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 5, 2020 at 4:36 pm

    Here’s a good story about a hacker hitting a grand slam champion in the chest in a pro am…

    I (Marty Judge) played a doubles match a few decades back with John Newcombe as my partner against Tony Roche and another “nobody” like me. We were at 4 all in the first set, no breaks, with Newk just starting to serve another game to the other “nobody” on the deuce side. I was up at the net. Newk hit a strong serve and, as he was coming into net, the other nobody hit a 9 foot high floater across the middle of the net – right into my forehand power zone. On instinct, but forgetting momentarily who was standing diagonally across the net from me, I pounded the ball as hard as I could right into the chest of the opposing net man – meaning Rochie. Of course, I could have hit the ball at his feet, or deep up the middle, or maybe to one or two other locations and still won the point, but noooooo. I had to be a show off and pound a sitter into the chest of a multiple Grand Slam champion and one of the greatest players of all time. It was a foolish move.

    Needless to say, we won the point. But Newk didn’t look so happy. He called me aside and, whispering, proceeded to read me the riot act: “Are you f*cking crazy? Are you an idiot??? That’s Tony Roche across the net from you! The man that I won 12 Grand Slams with. Rochie, my good mate. If we get out of this match with a win, we will be lucky. If you get out of it and you’re not on a stretcher, it will be a miracle. I can no longer protect you, so just be careful.”

    And so it began. Every shot that Newk or I hit seemed, miraculously, to be right within Rochie’s reach, and every ball that Rochie hit seemed to find my chest, or shoulder, or back, or leg, or arm, or right hip. The only part of my body that Rochie actually missed were two or three head shots where I did manage to duck in time, and once when he went right at my groin but got my leg instead. (You should have seen the bruise.) Oddly enough, Newk and I managed to win the match, but it was more because Rochie was fixated on trying to kill me and, thus, made a few mistakes that he would not otherwise have made than that Newk and I actually deserved to win.

    Anyway, after the match was over, Rochie gave me an evil grin as he shook my hand and said, “Good on ‘ya, mate.” And then the four of us went off to have a beer together.

    One of my fondest tennis memories, ever.

  • Jon King · May 5, 2020 at 7:23 pm

    Winston, fellow parent/coach of juniors. Junior tennis is coming back online bit by bit.

    The ITF and USTA have put out guidelines to safely reopen. Our sources say junior tournaments will be back with some precautions this summer. Proworld and other Florida academies are coming back. Proworld had to negotiate with the town and put out a 4 page document outlining safety rules, so the silliness does continue.

    We never missed a single session even though we were in a hotspot and lock down area of Palm Beach County. We were able to do hitting sessions and 4 hour fitness sessions on athletic fields. But it took plenty of hassel with all the panic.

    First our tennis was on neighborhood courts and fitness on county fields, those gradually closed down. So we drove 1 county north and continued work. Then that county closed so we used Google Earth to find rural courts. 1 hour drive each way but found both tennis courts and an athletic field. 4 hour sessions without even a single miss, although got home very tired when combined with all the driving. Lots of driving on rural roads stuck behind tractors and slow moving trucks.

    But its getting better. Palm Beach County reopened its athletic fields to small group workouts. Our neighborhood board, after numerous threats of legal action, reopened tennis courts yesterday. Today the fields and courts in our county had lots of kids working out in small groups and it was a great thing to see.

    Hang in there, junior tennis will come back fairly soon. Kids rarely get sick from the virus and precautions can be taken to allow them to play tennis. So as a fellow tennis parent I am also ready for the overreaction as far as kid’s tennis and forms of other sports to be over.



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