A Guide outlining the points to focus on when choosing the best tennis shoe for you + our top picks for men, women, flat feet, wide feet and also the best tennis shoes for kids.
An athlete should have a shoe specific to each sport they play, and this is especially important for the racquet sports such as squash and tennis.
This guide focuses on choosing the best shoes for playing tennis. Tennis demands a shoe with a lot of lateral support because of the stop and go, side to side motion inherent in the sport.
There are specific factors to consider when choosing tennis shoes and you may be asking yourself ”what are the best tennis shoes?”
Let’s take a look at the dynamics that are involved in making and choosing top rated tennis shoes.
|Nike Court Flare||for Women|
|Adidas Performance Adizero Ubersonic||for Men|
|ASICS GEL Resolution 6 GS||for Kids|
|Adidas Performance Men’s Barricade||for Flat Feet|
|Adidas Performance Men’s Energy Boost||for Wide Feet|
- Your Foot Type
- Play Surface
- The Demands of Tennis
- Tennis shoe tips
- Special Considerations for Children’s Tennis Shoes
- Note about Brands
- Some Best Rated Tennis Shoes and Reviews
Your Foot Type
Tennis shoe manufacturers make shoes for several types of feet. There are three general categories of foot type, as it applies to tennis:
- Flat Feet
- High Arch
- Normal Arch
To determine your type grab a pair of your old athletic shoes. Wear to the outside indicates flat feet or over pronation. Wear to the inside edge of the sole points to underpronation or high arches, and even wear or wear at the back of the heel indicates normal arch or no pronation.
Another clue to your foot type is to get outside and find some concrete, like the driveway or sidewalk. Dip the sole of your foot in water and make a footprint on the concrete by standing normally.
If there is a lot of space between the ball and heel, this indicates high arches, a medium or normal amount of space points toward a normal arch, and little or no arch indicates a flat foot.
How your foot operates: If you are flat footed and see wear on the inside edge of an old shoe, there is a good chance you overpronate. Flat feet have low arches. When moving forward or running, the big toe and its neighbor toe two, do the work, and your foot tends to roll inward.
What you should look for in a shoe:
Over Pronators need a lot of support and structure in their shoe. A stiff midsole will give the arch support. You can also use an insert of prescription orthotic to add to the support.
You need a shoe that supports the ankle to prevent it from rolling toward the wrong direction.
The shoe should bend at the toes, as opposed to the mid sole. A shoe that bends midsole as opposed to at the toe will not be supportive enough. You should not be able to twist and turn the shoe too much as this also indicated lack of support for flat feet.
The heel should also be stiff to support the heel bone and keep it from turning inward.
How your foot operates: If you have a normal arch and your shoe wear pattern is normal it is likely your feet do not pronate much when moving.
Injury Risk: Not much risk from pronation, but not immune to injury either.
What you should look for in a shoe: A mix of support and shock absorption.
Under Pronators or Supinator’s-High Arched Foot
How your foot operates: If you have a high arch or the foot wear pattern on an old shoe is more worn on the inside edge and ball of the foot, you are likely an under pronator.
Injury Risk: Strain on the ankle, Plantar Fasciitis and shin splints.
What you should look for in a shoe: You need a shoe which will absorb shock. Midsole cushioning and cushioning on the outside edge are also necessary.
High arch feet place pressure at the heel and ball of the foot. They tend to be stiff. A shoe with cushion can help with this.
Asics gel shoes, which often have a gel pad conveniently located at the heel and ball of the foot, are great for high arches.
The surface you will be playing on is something to consider when deciding on a shoe. The best clay court tennis shoes may be different from the best hard court tennis shoes.
Clay courts are softer than hard courts and they tend to have less traction. A shoe with good traction will serve you well here. A herringbone pattern on the sole is great for traction and the herringbone pattern gives Omni directional traction for lateral moves as well as back and forward moves.
You will also need a shoe with a non-marking sole as it will probably be a requirement to play on the court. A snug upper is necessary and you may slide a bit playing on the court and you need the support. This shoe type will also work on astro turf.
Concrete or Hard Court
Hard courts can be unforgiving so you want to focus your attention on getting a shoe with good shock absorption and a hard outsole. Hard courts are also hard on your shoes so durability will be a concern. A shoe with a harder sole and strong upper is a wise choice.
If you play on a grass court traction will be of utmost importance. Tennis shoes for grass have pimples surfaces which resemble miniature rubber cleats with blunt points. Shoes for grass courts also have more cushion due to the nature of grass courts.
The Demands of Tennis
Tennis involves a lot of stop and start motion. You will move forward, backwards and side to side (aka laterally). Lateral support will be more important for tennis shoes than most sports, perhaps on par with basketball.
Tennis courts are usually somewhat smooth surfaces so the shoes will need good traction. Tennis shoes frequently have a rubber sole and some sort of high traction pattern to accomplish a good grip.
Babolat brand tennis shoe has even paired with famous tire maker Michelin to incorporate rubber technology into the outsole of their shoe to gain traction on the court and in the marketplace.
Tennis involves a lot of work, which can mean a lot of sweat. Ventilation in your shoes will add to your comfort as you play.
So, as you shop for the best tennis shoes keep the game of tennis in mind as you review each shoe’s unique features.
Tennis shoe tips
Do not get shoes with raised heels or ‘air’ type soles because these shoes are not good for tennis. You can easily go off balance with a higher heel or ‘air’ type sole because of the lateral moves and sudden stops and starts.
Avoid thick soles
Shoes that place your feet closest to the ground are best because this lowers your center of gravity and increases stability.
Don’t let your shoes get too old
Old shoes will have less cushion and tennis is a high impact sport so it will wear the cushioning faster than, say, walking. Cushioning is important to protect against injury, so you want to make sure it is effective and not worn out.
Grip is paramount
Tennis is fast action, start and stop on a smooth playing surface. This can cause you to slide and unintentionally place strain on muscles and joints. A shoe with good grip will help.
Don’t wear running shoes for tennis
Running shoes are designed for bounce and repetitive motion. Bounce leads to instability in tennis, and tennis motions are not repetitive, they are quite varied. For these varied and strong movements, you want a stable shoe that supports the foot.
Toe protection is vital
Tennis will wear the tip of the shoe more so than other sports. Be sure to pick a show with toe protection on the upper to avoid premature wear and replacement of the shoe.
Tennis shoes must have stability, support and durability
The sole of a tennis shoe will be harder than a running or basketball shoe. It will have some protection on the upper as well, usually around the toe area, as the toe will make contact with the court surface.
Special Considerations for Children’s Tennis Shoes
Children are famous for wearing out shoes even before they outgrow them and since tennis is so hard on shoes, durability is even more important. Rubber soles that come up over the tip of the shoe and are reinforced at the toe will be perfect.
Adults are prone to injuries from high impact, but children are more prone to injury from persistent stress, such as using a shoe with insufficient support, or a shoe that is too heavy pulling on ligaments and tendons. That’s why they need a lightweight shoe.
When buying the best lightweight tennis shoes for your kid, look for a pair that offer support and are designed specifically for children who play tennis.
Children have a lot of energy, or at least they should. If your child prefers the tennis court better than the couch or sofa, give them a high five, then go look for shoes to support their enthusiasm.
Since children are still growing it is important to protect their joints from impact, especially in the heel area.
Note about Brands
Adidas brand tennis shoes generally offer the most stable shoe and this will help because you will be less likely to twist or turn your ankle in them.
Prince brand shoes are known for offering one of the best wide tennis shoes.
Wilson brand also makes many shoes for wide feet and Wilson is known for having good cushion, which is a plus for over pronators and those who are heavier.
Head shoes are known for comfort.
Yonex brand are one of the lighter shoes, but you will end up losing out on durability and cushion.
Babolat also make their shoes very light, but with special technology in the sole, they are also durable.
Asics are famous for using gel cushioning in the soles of their shoes so if you have high arches or over-pronate this brand might be good for you. This brand is about comfort.
Some Best Rated Tennis Shoes and Reviews
Best Tennis Shoes for Women
Best Tennis Shoes for Men
Best Tennis Shoes for Flat Feet
Best Tennis Shoes for Wide Feet
Best Tennis Shoes for Kids
We hope you have enjoyed our guide to choosing the best shoes for tennis.