Before a person goes out to buy tennis shoes, a couple of questions often go through their mind. Are the shoes appropriate for the surface I’m playing? How durable will they be? Or, even, are these shoes multi-surface?
One other question that occasionally goes through tennis players’ minds when searching for shoes is whether or not the shoes are non-slip or slip resistant?
First of all, a clear definition of the term in question is of great importance.
What Does Non-Slip Shoes Mean?
Non slip shoes, as suggested by the title, are shoes that are built to have a firm hold on the surface and thus are resistant to slipping, sliding, or falling.
Therefore, while playing on tennis court, these types of shoes will help you maintain a firm grip on the surface most of the time.
You can still slide and fall on heavily greasy and wet surfaces, no shoe will give you a 100% pure guarantee from that, but such non-slip shoes should protect you on the surfaces that they are made to play and use on.
So the question remains, are tennis shoes slip resistant?
As with many things sports and tennis-related, there isn’t necessarily a blanket answer. For the most part, shoe manufacturers make their shoes sturdy on the surfaces that they are to be played on, ensuring that they have more than enough grip to survive the surface.
They will also mostly market this in many different names such as non-slip, slip-resistant, or even skid-resistant shoes.
However, even shoes that aren’t marketed as non slip are still made with specific considerations to the surfaces that they are to be played on.
What is Considered A Non-Slip Tennis Shoe?
In short, any shoe that gives you great a grip is classified in the non-slip shoe category.
What differentiates them from normal shoes is that non-slip shoes are created from rubberized soles and specifically have patterns which are deep threaded; these types of shoes, in fact, avoid the use of thick soles which would not factor into making them resistant to slipping, their key concentration is more on the design of the treads and the kind of material employed.
This is done to provide a solid grip when playing on slippery surfaces.
When reducing the danger of sliding or slipping, the most important element of the shoe, as stated before, is the tread, which is found on the shoe’s outsole. Shoes with greater resistance are made with grooves and treads which have great depth. This type of deep treads fight against slip-ups because they grasp the ground suitably.
The greater number of both grooves and treads that are on the soles of your playing footwear, the more non slip the shoe will be.
Additionally, the manner that the tread designs and patterns are shaped in also has a great effect on the shoes’ resistance against slippery courts. Round and circular tread designs on outsoles increase the shoe’s grip, particularly on surfaces such as wet floors.
This is why most shoes that are slip resistant aren’t flat. For flat shoes, liquids such as water are not able to flow from beneath the outsole of the shoe, meaning that the player has a higher probability of slipping, sliding, or even falling.
Key Factors To Hold Before Buying Non Slip Tennis Shoes
Before you take your shoes to the court, or before you even buy your shoes, there are a number of factors that you have to remember about the non-slippery elements of shoes:
1. Courts Still Matter
In our article detailing the kind of shoes to be worn on different tennis surfaces, we described the importance of shoes on each of the main tennis court.
One of the main conclusions of that article was that shoes for grass surfaces required the most traction, followed by clay, and then hard-court shoes; which is a key factor because various shoe manufacturers are very specific about such details when designing shoes, hence the need to always use a shoe to its preferred surface.
There are other factors which also come into play.
For grass and clay courts especially, a bit of rain may cause a huge difference in the playing surface. Depending on how much rain there is, you can always choose to continue or stop.
Grass, an already slippery surface, can become even increasingly more slippery in such circumstances.
Clay courts are better able to absorb water in such circumstances. But once they get saturated, your level of traction will be much worse, which is why it is also advisable to stop playing in such circumstances.
But in periods of light rain, you can certainly play on clay and will need non-slip shoes with ample traction to ensure that you don’t fall and risk any sort of injury.
2. The Material and The Shoe’s Design
Here, we are specifically referencing the type of material that is found on the shoe’s outsole.
The soles are made from either rubber, PVC, and or PU, with rubber currently considered the best since it has better non-skid qualities than the other two aforementioned compounds.
This rubber will also ensure that a player’s footing can hold on a slick court more effectually, meaning that you can glide on the court with great ease while still being confident that you will not fall.
With specific reference to the design, we are mainly talking about the tread design, in combination with the shoe’s patterns, which are employed in non-slip tennis shoes. These type of non-skid shoes have intertwined tread patterns that ensure no water is trapped beneath the shoe.
Water, or any other type of fluid, is able to pass through the sole giving the shoe the appropriate contact required with the court’s floor, which in turn provides greater traction.
Knowing If Your Tennis Shoe Is Non Slip
As stated before, most tennis shoe manufacturers take into consideration the courts to be played, hence meaning that a lot of the more common brands make their shoes to be non slip.
However, since there is a bevy of manufacturers nowadays, one could simply have sold a normal pair of running shoes and labeled them as tennis shoes.
To check whether your shoes are indeed non slip, you can check the soles for the tread design described above. Additionally, if the manufacturer did not state whether the shoes are non slip, you can easily contact them or search the model online to see if it is indeed listed as non slip.
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Making Do With the Tennis Shoe You Have
If you’re using older shoes, or have shoes that have lost grip, a bit of creativity might save you a trip to the store—though it’s always important to remember that safety is the key element to be considered when implementing such strategies. And, even with this creative advice, it’s always best to strictly stick to tennis shoes when playing on the courts.
Firstly, in some cases, your shoes may have been worn out too much and may need replacing. In the meantime, you can add a textured grip pad to the outsole of your shoe which will give them a bit of some extra life that they may direly need.
Another way of making do is by scuffing the shoes with sandpaper or something hard which will help increase its traction; but this is often applied to very slippery shoes, or shoes without any anti-slip qualities, which can be a risk if you intend to play with them on the courts.
Lastly, coating spray, a newly found product available on the market, can also be used on the soles of shoes. After it is sprayed on the shoes’ outsoles, the product adds traction and also improves on the sole’s gripping strength.
They are, however, mostly used on specific slick floors or surfaces, for example gym floorboards and hardwood exteriors, and the spray is also mostly used during the winter season.
Key Benefits Of Non Slip Shoes
The most obvious one, slip-resistant shoes help to avoid slip-ups and accidents which could lead to injuries; a key consideration for any athlete or even for anyone partaking in the sport part-time.
Another benefit of such shoes would be the increased durability that such outsoles offer. Though this would vary depending on the court the shoe is to be worn on. Hard-court shoes, for example, are made with thick outsoles that are specifically targeted to enhance durability.
Lastly, the peace of mind that an athlete gets knowing that they’re well protected by simply wearing appropriate footwear can give an added boost in their performance.
Taking Safety Into Consideration
Whether or not your shoes are non slip, you should always take safety into consideration.
If it’s rained too much, avoid playing on water-logged surfaces, because most non-slip tennis shoes will not protect you in such situations.
If your shoes are worn out on the soles and you are hesitant on applying some of the above do-it-yourself methods, a new pair will not only keep you from such worries but will also ensure that you have a clear state of mind as you enjoy the sport we all love.
Final Words on Non Slip Tennis Shoes
A large number of tennis shoes are indeed non slip as they have important qualities that are essential in playing on the different courts.
These non-slip shoes ensure that players glide on the court with the right amount of traction required so as not to slide and fall on the court.
Their treaded outsoles are the key design which helps in providing a better grip and better balance, which is essentially needed when playing any sport, let alone tennis.
Therefore, guaranteeing that the shoes you purchase or the ones that you have meet these requirements, or are rightfully labeled as such, is key in ensuring that you have the appropriate footwear.
This will not only help you keep your grip on the surface, but will also assist you in fully dominating your opponent on the court.