Which are some of the top brands of shoes worn by the professional tennis players? Here’s a lowdown on some of the top men’s and women’s players in the world and the shoes they wear while playing tennis.
Professional tennis players wear some of the best tennis shoes in the market.
They have to!
They need as much stability, cushioning, durability and support as possible, and of course each player has their own favourite brand. Many of the professional tennis players are involved in the brand of their shoe, often being sponsored by the brand, as well as being involved in the design.
Tennis Players and Sponsorship / Endorsement of Tennis Shoes
A professional tennis player can be paid a handsome amount of money out of a tennis shoe, by putting their name to the brand.
Likewise, the brand will make a lot of money from the player endorsing the shoe. Saying that, these tennis players wear the tennis shoes they choose because they are brilliant shoes.
They would never wear a shoe that does not help them play a brilliant game; there is too much at stake.
It’s interesting for us that out of the top four male players, Djokovic, Nadal, Thiem and Federer, both Nadal and Federer wear Nike. Of the top women, Barty and Pliskoka wears Fila, while Osaka, Svitolina and Williams all choose Nike.
It’s interesting to note professional players tend to wear different types of shoes for different surfaces, and that should come as no surprise given the nature of and hence, the requirement for, each surface is different.
Let’s take a look at individual professional tennis players and their shoes, in order of rankings.
Top Male Tennis Players’ Shoes
Here’s a look at what are the top male tennis players are wearing.
Novak Djokovic has switched to ASICS Tennis Shoes
Djokovic, currently the world’s number one male tennis player, used to wear Adidas, but in 2018 he switched to ASICS.
He collaborated with ASICS on the design and has had tennis shoes made specifically for him and the tennis he plays. He currently wears ASICS Court FF 2 Novak, but these are not the only ASICS shoes that he wears, switching up ASICS between clay, hard court and grass.
For clay, Djokovic has worn the specialist ASICS French Open Court FF2 Novak!
Rafael Nadal wears Nike Tennis Shoes
Nadal, the current number two male tennis player, wears Nike tennis shoes, always with his Raging Bull logo. His tennis shoes are also made for him exclusively. Nadal signed up with Nike in 2008, a ten year contract.
It’s now almost 13 years later, so clearly he likes the shoe. Nadal, playing in the 2020 Australian Open, wore the Nike Court Air Zoom Cage 4 shoe. Nike also sponsor Nadal’s tennis clothing, with an entire tennis clothing range devoted to the star. It is thought the deal is worth $10 million per annum, so clearly this is big bucks for Nadal.
Professional tennis players make a ton of money when they play the Grand Slams, but make a ton of money from sponsorship and endorsements too! We never quite know how much they earn to endorse tennis gear, but it is a lot!
Dominic Thiem wears Adidas Tennis shoes
Dominic Thiem, ranked at number three although he has yet to win a Grand Slam tennis tournament, currently wears Adidas, The Solecourt Boost. As a clay tennis player, Thiem switches to a clay version of the Solecourt Boost for clay tournaments.
This shoe, Adidas Solecourt Boost, is pretty popular amongst professional players, including Stefanos Tsitsipas, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Fernando Verdasco, numbers 5, 62 and 65 respectively. There may be others who choose this shoe; it’s strong, sturdy and lightweight, a good combination.
Daniil Medvedev is a Nike Air Zoom fan
We are going to hear a lot about the Nike Air Zoom Vapor X, also worn by Federer and a bunch of other top tennis players. It’s a lightweight shoe (all the good top tennis shoes are lightweight) and extremely stable, strong and durable.
Again, all the top tennis shoes are stable, strong and durable, so it is really a personal preference of the player, and a lot of it depends on sponsorship or endorsement.
One thing we do know is Medvedev is working his way up the tennis ladder rankings, and his Nike Air Zoom Vapor X shoes are clearly working for him!
Roger Federer wears Nike Tennis Shoes
Federer has been a Nike fan for years, signing his first sports deal / endorsement with Nike when he was still a teen.
He wears the Nike Air Zoom Vapor X, although he does sometimes change the type of Nike shoe he wears, and of course because he is Roger Federer, he has an RF, his initials, on almost all the Nike tennis shoes he wears.
Nike sponsor his tennis kit, although in 2018 Federer switched to the Swiss brand ‘On’ for the signature tennis match in South Africa, against Nadal. This was a once-off, with Federer going back to Nike, clearly his tennis shoe of choice.
When Federer did wear ‘On’ tennis shoes, his shoes were called ‘The Roger.’ You can see how important branding is!
Federer’s appeal is so big and his reputation is so solid, that he is extremely popular when it comes to endorsements and sponsorship.
Stefanos Tsitsipas also likes the Adidas Solecourt
Just like Thiem, Tsitsipas chooses the Adidas Solecourt tennis shoe. You too can wear the Adidas Solecourt, they are available at most tennis sport shops and online.There are two versions, one for a hard court surface and one for a clay court surface, so choose carefully.
Alexander Zverev is a fan of Adidas too!
Interesting that the world number one wears ASICS, whereas between ranks 2 and 7 it is a choice of Nike or Adidas. Zverev has chosen the Adidas Adizero Ubersonic 2, an interesting choice because of his style of tennis. The German player is known for his running, stretching, leaping and slip sliding all around the tennis court.
This shoe clearly works for him!
We Have another Nike Air Zoom Vapor X fan, Andre Rublev
This is clearly a tennis shoe that speaks for itself. Rublev is a big hitter, a great tennis player, one who has been plagued by injury, but not injury from his shoes which have kept him solid and stable as possible.
Diego Schwartzman wears Fila Tennis Shoes
It’s good to see Schwartzman in the top ten ranked tennis players but it’s also good to see Fila tennis shoes in the top ten. Fila are a quiet shoe but a supremely consistent shoe and have been around for a long long time. They sponsor Schwartzman who currently wears the Fila Axilus 2 Energized shoes.
Matteo Berrettini wears the less common Lotto Tennis Shoes
We love a tennis player who comes up from almost nowhere and also, is individual in his tennis shoe choices.
Lotto is Berrettini’s tennis shoe of choice. You may not know them, they rarely make the tennis shoe lists, but it’s a really good shoe, also worn by Guido Pella and Kevin Anderson. They were the Mirage SPD whereas Berrettini wears the Mirage 100 SPD tennis shoe.
Top Female Tennis Players’ Shoes
We are now going to move on to women’s tennis shoes, and the choices of the top ten ranked women tennis players.
Ashleigh Barty & Karolina Pliskova wear Fila Tennis Shoes
The Aussie tennis player and a former world number one Ashleigh Barty, wears Fila, and oddly, so does Czech Karolina Pliskova.
They both wear the same shoe, the Fila Axilus 2 Energized, although when playing on clay Barty wears the Axilus Energized. Fila is a popular tennis shoe brand with recreational tennis players too and there’s a good range.
Filas latest shoe are a lot more lightweight than their previous women’s tennis shoes, so perhaps that is why they are now so popular amongst professional women players.
Barty is a popular player, the crowds love her!
This works for Fila who have been brilliant in quietly managing to sponsor four of the top ten women players – Sofia Kenin, Karolina Pliskova, and Kiki Bertens. They are new generation / old school style, as per their motto, and that is exactly what they do. Quiet, solid and stable, Fila are a great brand!
Simona Helep has chosen Nike
Simona Helep has been seen wearing Adidas in the past, but is now a fan of the Nike Air Zoom Vapor X.
We think she may like both styles of shoe, using them for different surfaces. Simona is sponsored by Lacoste for clothing although lately Adidas has sponsored her tennis clothing and shoes. Perhaps Simona is still trying to find her preference, or choosing who to endorse, either way, she’s doing absolutely marvellously as a tennis player.
Naomi Osaka wears Nike Air Zoom Zero
Nike had to make an appearance in the women’s top ten, and Osaka wears Nike Air Zoom Zero. Osaka is ranked number three. Svitolina, number four, wears the same shoe.
And then – numbers 5, 6 and 7, Andreescu, Halep and Kvitova, all wear the Nike Air Zoom Vapor X. Between numbers 1 and 10, it’s either Fila or Nike!
Osaka changes her tennis shoes on a regular basis. They have consistently been Nike tennis shoes and she also wears the Nike Air Zoom GP Turbo tennis shoes.
They are fab shoes, and like Serena Williams, Osaka has great style on the tennis court, her tennis clothing complementing her tennis shoes. She has worn beautiful colourful tennis shoes, sometimes an orange Nike shoe with a blue Nike skirt, or a pink Nike shoe with a black and green tennis outfit. Osaka shakes things up on the tennis court, in more ways than one.
Sofia Kenin, a player who likes Fila tennis shoes.
As mentioned above, Kenin wears the Fila brand, a brand that is really popular with women professional tennis players. Fila have made a real comeback, although truth to be told, they never really went away.
Fila have made consistently good tennis gear over the decades and they’re still doing it! Kenin favours the Film Axilus 2 Energized tennis shoe.
Elina Svitolina is with Osaka in choosing Nike
Also a fan of Nike Air Zoom Zero, a solid, lightweight, stable and durable shoe. The women tennis players all choose these shoes in amazing colours by the way, sometimes to match their outfits, sometimes to contrast their outfits, but always, to improve their tennis game.
Pliskova is another Fila fan
These numbers are definitely saying something for Fila tennis shoes. The brand was established in 1911 – that is more than 100 years ago, and they are well known for the shoes, clothing and tennis racquets.
We have mentioned their quiet comeback before, but as we said, perhaps they never went away. If you wear a File tennis shoe, you know your are wearing a reliable Fila tennis shoe.
Bianca Andreescu loves her Nike tennis shoes
Nike tennis shoes are superbly popular amongst both men and women who are highly ranked in professional tennis and Bianca Andreescu wears them too! She wears the Nike Air Zoom Vapor X.
These tennis shoes are on the market, in stores or online, so you can choose a pair for you. Even if you are not a professional player, you do know your tennis shoes will be extremely durable, lightweight, strong and cushioned, and will support you well in your game of tennis.
Petra Kvitova is another Nike tennis shoe buff
Petra is with Bianca in favouring Nike as her tennis shoe of choice, an ultra durable tennis shoe. Petra plays tennis with a Wilson racquet but endorses tennis clothing and tennis shoes from Nike.
Kiki Bertens loves Fila
Shout out to Fila tennis shoes because they are definitely doing something right. File really features strongly in women’s tennis; well done to them and to Kiki Bertens who favours their tennis shoes and is making her way up the tennis ladder.
Aryna Sabalenka has gone with Nike Air Zoom Vapor X
What this list has taught us is that it is a very close call between Nike and Fila tennis shoes for women. This doesn’t mean there are not other tennis shoe brands for women, there are plenty, but Nike and Fila, with a little Adidas thrown into the mix, have definitely cornered the professional women’s tennis player market.
No list would be complete without mentioning Serena Williams. She is currently ranked 11 in women’s tennis, but her clothing and shoes are always important! So here goes:
Which Shoes Does Serena Williams Wear?
Serena signed her first deal with Nike in 2004, which means she has been wearing Nike shoes for over 16 years. That’s pretty impressive and Nike and Serena Williams clearly have a good relationship.
She too has had her own signature tennis shoes and currently wears the Nike Flare 2HC. It’s a shoe that was designed to celebrate her many achievements, not just as one of the best female tennis players in the world. It’s a shoe to celebrate her achievements as a black woman, a feminist and a mother.
Serena has always made a statement on the tennis court with her tennis clothing that is cutting edge, often designed by Nike on a tailor made or custom design basis. Her shoe colour matches her outfits; if Serena wears yellow, her Nike tennis shoe are yellow too.
In 2018 she wore amazing tennis outfits that were a Serena Williams, Nike and Her Virgil Abloh for Off-White collab.
Serena used to wear the Puma brand, a brand of tennis shoes that is still going strong but not necessarily worn by the top professionals. Puma did Serena’s clothing too, and if you go back to 2002 you will find Serena in an incredible pink tennis outfit, with pink Puma tennis shoes to match.
She’s always had an eye for style, on and off course. When Serena signed up with Nike in 2004, she wore a white and silver dress, with white and silver Nike tennis shoes to match. (Actually, as we write this, we are thinking of doing an article ONLY on Serena William’s tennis clothing!)
What Tennis Shoes should you wear?
It depends on how often you play tennis, what your budget is like, and if you are playing tennis recreationally or professionally. If you are playing professionally, hopefully you are being sponsored. Otherwise, there is an enormous range of tennis shoe on the market, male and female, including:
Each brand has a range of tennis shoes so find the shoe that works for you. And if Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Williams or Osaka are your tennis heroes, then wear the same brand that they do.
And when you buy your tennis shoes, think of branding and the importance of branding. Nike, for example, do not have their name on their logo. Their famous Nike tick is enough for everyone, worldwide, to recognise the brand.
Makes you think, doesn’t it!