Tennis shoes can be an expense, especially if they are good quality. All racquet and ball sport shoes, whether they are for running, squash, volleyball, table tennis, paddle ball, pickle ball or racquet ball, are costly, and, as a tennis player, you need to decide if you want to invest in a good pair of shoes or not.
One Pair of Tennis Shoes Should Suffice
The truth is, you do not need to have specialist footwear for each and every sport. A good pair of tennis shoes, a pair that is decent, will see you through a lot of other racquet and ball sports.
Tennis shoes can be used for walking and for running, as well as for the sports mentioned above. It all depends of course on how often you are using them.
If you are a pro tennis player, then you will NOT want to use your tennis shoes for any other activity. But if you are a new tennis player, a beginner, intermediate or social tennis player, you can use your tennis shoes for a number of activities.
A good pair of tennis shoes will:
- Support your feet.
- Support your ankles, knees and body,
- Be long lasting and durable.
- Allow you to move quickly and nimbly.
- Stop you from slipping or skidding.
- Help you recover quickly from a difficult tennis shot.
- Protect your feet.
The most important aspects of a good pair of tennis shoes are comfort, wear and tear and support. It is vitally important that you don’t play one game of tennis, get bad blisters, and never play again.
It is also extremely important that the tennis shoes you wear support not just your feet, but your whole body.
Tennis is an active game, you are doing a lot of stretching, running, twisting and turning. You need to look after your whole body and a good pair of tennis shoes can help you to duo that.
Here’s a great updated video from The Tennis Warehouse, talking about their favourite tennis shoes.
Tennis Shoes for Beginners
When you start playing tennis, you do need to lay out a bit of money for equipment (here’s our guide on how you can buy tennis equipment in the USA).
A tennis racquet, which does not have to break the bank, is the most important piece of tennis equipment.
Tennis balls are pretty important too, unless your friends have them or the club you play at rent them. Your coach will have tennis balls, but it’s nice to have your own, to play or practice with.
And tennis shoes, or sports shoes, are vital.
Whether you are playing tennis on a clay court, hard court or grass court, indoors or outdoors, you need to wear shoes. (yep, there are different tennis shoes for different surfaces)
A beginner player does not need to have specialist tennis shoes, but does need to wear a pair of sports shoes. Preferably with a light sole, so as not to leave any marks behind.
Social Tennis Players
If you are playing tennis on a social basis, say once a week, you can use sports shoes that you use for other sports.
Often ‘tennis shoes’ are also suitable for running or walking. Your shoes should have support, they should be comfortable, and they should stop you from slipping or sliding after a particularly difficult shot, but you do not have to have a specialist pair of tennis shoes, for sociable tennis. Unless you want to, of course!
Frequent Tennis Players
So you have fallen in love with the game of tennis. You are having tennis coaching once a week, play with your school tennis team, and play over the weekends, socially or at a club in a league.
It’s probably a good idea to have a specialist pair of tennis shoes, ones that you do not use for another sport.
You can, if you also play racquet ball or similar, but it sounds like you don’t have the time for other sports. If you are a frequent tennis player, get yourself a pair of tennis shoes that you love, that fit well, that are comfortable and offer good support, and keep them for tennis only.
Tennis Sports Shoe Brands
These are just some of the more well known tennis shoe brands. The shoe you buy depends on your budget, first and foremost, and then, how often you play and that you need from the shoe.
Take your time in making a decision. Tennis shoes should last you for a long time – hopefully your feet don’t grow too quickly – so make sure they are a good fit and are comfortable and offer support.
- K Swiss
- New Balance
If you are buying your first pair of tennis shoes, it is probably best to go to a specialist sports store where you can have your feet measured and make sure you are buying the right size shoe.
Thereafter, you can buy tennis shoes online from any decent online sports shoe shop. If you know your size, buy online anyway, as most stores will return if the size is wrong. We like the idea though of really having your shoe size checked by a specialist store
Are You Still Growing?
This is an important question while buying tennis shoes.
If you have a child or teen tennis player that is still growing, remember they are going to grow out of their shoes pretty quickly!
While it is important your child / teen has good shoes, support and all that, you may need to buy a new pair in a few months.
Put some thought into that; we know some people buy shoes a size too big for their children for this very reason, padding them up with good thick socks, but this is not the best idea. Always buy tennis shoes that fit the player, but bear in mind if your child is growing, you might be buying another pair soon.
Good Tennis Shoes Can Improve Your Game
It’s the same as having a good tennis racquet and using good quality tennis balls.
Having a good pair of tennis shoes can improve your game. If you are loving tennis, wanting to improve your game, playing more than you had expecting, thinking of entering tournaments or playing professionally even, then get a good pair of tennis shoes.
Proper tennis shoe are designed with the game of tennis in mind, with the surface of the tennis court in mind, and with the actions of the tennis player in mind. So if you are playing regularly, and want to get better, buy good shoes!
Watch this tennis video from Tennis Express. You will notice a pattern with the favourite tennis shoes of coaches and players.
Don’t Mix up Sneakers with Tennis Shoes
Sneakers are a fashion statement. They’re to be worn with jeans or a pair of shorts. They can be worn for a slow activity, a gentle walk or a social bike ride.
And sneakers are different from tennis shoes.
Tennis shoes have decent support, padding, insulation, breathing, arches, and more.
They are designed for tennis and for the physical exertion you are putting on your feet and body. Tennis shoes give you traction that sneakers do not give you.
It’s okay to play the occasional game of tennis in sneakers (not really) but otherwise, get tennis shoes. And remember, you can wear your tennis shoes for the slow activities, gentle walks and social bike rides too!
The Tread in a Tennis Shoe
The surface of a tennis court is pretty hard, even if it grass. While your feet are impacted differently on grass, clay or a hard court, you need a similar kind of shoe, one that gives you good traction.
There are specialist shoes for grass courts, but chances are you are playing indoors or outdoors, on a hard court or a clay court.
Get the appropriate tennis shoes, which are durable, will cushion your feet, and help your stability. It is the tread on the shoe, or under the shoe, that stops you slipping or sliding.
Tennis is a Different Motion to Running
While you definitely can use your tennis shoes for running (but you might be sorry) and you can use your running shoes for tennis, the movements are different and you are going to shorten the lifespan of your shoes.
Running shoes are pretty lightweight, to give the runner traction and speed. Tennis shoes are lightweight but in a different way, and a tennis shoe is a bit stiffer for support and up and down / sideway movements. A tennis shoe is better equipped to a tennis game.
A running shoe is better equipped to running!
Think of the motion with running. It is straight, up or down. Tennis is up and down, sideways and backwards, fast and quick, to the left and to the right.
Tennis shoes need to be a little more flexible than running shoes, while both need to offer support.
How to Select your Tennis Shoes?
We mentioned a bunch of branded tennis shoes above, but under each of these brands are a number of tennis shoes.
If you are a professional player, you go for the shoes you love, are perhaps sponsored by, that help your game and you know from experience that they help your game and that are best for you.
If you are a new player, you go for the shoes you love and that fit your budget. Sometimes you find the right tennis shoe through trial and error.
Here are some of the tennis shoes that the top male tennis players wear or have worn in the past:
- Novak Djokovic – Asics Court FF 2 Novak
- Roger Federer – Nike Air Zoom Vapor x.
- Rafael Nadal – Nike Air Zoom Cage 3 HC Rafa
- Daniil Medvedev – Nike Air Zoom Vapor X
- Dominic Thiem – Adidas Solecourt Boost
Top-ranked Tennis Players Involved in the Design of their Tennis Shoes
You can see that Novak has an Asics shoe brand of his own and Nadal has a Nike shoe brand of his own.
This is the upside of huge sport celebrity. Players like these go through a LOT of tennis shoes, sometimes even one pair per match.
We did find an interview that Federer gave in 2018 when he was asked about his tennis shoes. He said he had been involved in the design of the Nike Zoom Vapor 9 Tour tennis shoes, and in all tennis hoes that come his way, from the design to the colour to the shoelaces!
He also said he does not change his tennis shoes as often as he changes his tennis shirts!
Female Tennis Players and Their Favourite Tennis Shoes
Women tennis professionals wear a variety of brands but Asics, Mizuno and Nike are extremely popular. Some of the more popular tennis brands for women, according to the professionals, are:
- Asics Gel Resolution 8 Women’s Tennis Shoes
- Lotto Mirage 100 SPD Women’s Tennis Shoes
- K-Swiss Women’s Hypercourt Express 2.
- Mizuno Women’s Wave Exceed Tour 4 Tennis Shoes
- Nike Court Air Zoom Vapor X Women’s Tennis Shoes
- Nike Court Air Zoom Zero Women’s Tennis Shoes
- New Balance Fresh Foam LAV Women’s Tennis Shoes
- Wilson Rush Pro 3.0 Women’s Tennis Shoes
We would suggest you always look for the online sales as prices can change from day to day and there are often incredible online specials. Remember, if you get your size wrong, you can only return your shoes BEFORE you wear them.