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Top 9 Best Tennis Shoes in 2020 (In-Depth Buying Guide)

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When heading to the court for a game of tennis, the shoes you put on your feet will be the difference between a victory leap and ankle injury. In this guide, we’ve picked the 9 best tennis shoes you can buy this year.

Contrary to common belief, tennis shoes are not the same as sneakers ⁠— they’re designed with added support and cushioning for your ankles, feet, toes, and joints. The best tennis shoes also offer plenty of lateral support for sudden starts and stops as you dart around the playfield seeking out the ball. But tennis shoes come in a tremendous variety of designs and styles from hundreds of different brands, so it can be tricky to find the right pair for you.

To snag the perfect pair of tennis shoes, you’ll want to think about the type of court you often play on, your style of play, and the shoe’s material construction to ensure that you achieve optimum performance on the court. Whether you plan to knock a few rounds with your friends or take on your tennis club arch-rival, be sure to check out our handy buying guide below our top recommendations to find the best tennis shoes for you.

 

1. Adidas Men’s Gamecourt Tennis Shoe

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adidas Men's GameCourt Tennis Shoe, White, 10 M US

& Free shipping
Last update was on: October 29, 2020 2:30 am
$59.00 $65.00

Highlights:

  • Breathable mesh upper with TPU reinforced mesh upper for extra support
  • Lace closure for a regular fit, plus Adituff for best abrasion resistance in the toe cap; Adiwear outsole offers the ultimate in high-wear durability
  • Snug, sock-like feel

Review

Our favorite pair of the best tennis shoes is the Adidas Men’s Gamecourt. Take your gameplay to a whole new level with these exceptionally-constructed shoes from a top-tier brand. It delivers the so-called holy trinity – they’re durable, stability, and offer plenty of support for your feet, toes, and ankles.

If you’re tired of overly-snug-fitting shoes, then you’ll love Gamecourt; the feature lace enclosure with a regular fit, so no pinch on the heels or toes. If you ask us, this pair is pleasantly well-priced for the level of quality and comfort wear it offers. Seasoned players rave about their tread patterns that provide the versatile grip you require to conquer a variety of court types. You’ll love them when making impressively quick lateral movements

Expect extra cushioning in the insole than you’d find in most tennis shoes in the price range. Like most customers, we appreciate the mesh upper that’s extra-breathable, plus the TPU reinforcements for additional support during those game-changing stops and starts.

The soles are crafted from synthetic rubber, meaning the base is non-slipping and anti-sliding to offer the much-needed balance and stability. Overall, these are affordable, high-performing, and lightweight tennis shoes with sturdy construction – what more could you ask for?

 

2. Nike Women’s Court Lite 2 Tennis Shoes

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Nike Women's Court Lite 2 Sneaker, Pure Platinum/Racer Blue - Metallic, 8.5...

Last update was on: October 29, 2020 2:30 am

Highlights:

  • Shaft measures approximately low-top from arch
  • Combination of the synthetic sole and upper materials for durability and comfort
  • Mesh’s tongue enhances breathability

Review:

If you’ve just taken up tennis as a pastime or favorite sport, there are a few important accessories you’ll need to purchase – a quality racquet, some balls, socks, and other tennis wear. The cost can add up pretty quickly, but Nike’s wallet-friendly Court Lite 2 Tennis Shoe fits the bill without wrecking your bank account.

We’ve come to count on Nike to shine the way when it comes to outstanding quality and groundbreaking footwear technology, Court Lite 2 lives up to this hype. It’s the top choice for those who want nothing but the best tennis shoes for women. Like the previous Court Lite, the second iteration features a Phylon midsole that boasts lightweight insole cushioning.

The mesh fabric on the upper and tongue of the shoe is the game-changer when it comes to ventilation and breathability. Your feet will stay dry yet cool during play. The durable leather construction means this pair is built to last more than others on this list. Choose from several elegant color schemes, including Bordeaux/white/pink/rose, and coastal blue/echo pink/storm pink.

 

3. ASICS Men’s Gel-Dedicate 5 Tennis Shoe

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ASICS Men's Gel-Dedicate 5 Tennis Shoe, White/Silver, 8.5 M US

Last update was on: October 29, 2020 2:30 am
$61.38 $65.00

Highlights:

  • Solid Rubber Outsole: Provides enhanced durability and traction.
  • Forefoot GEL Cushioning System: Enhances shock attenuation during propulsion.
  • Trusstic System Technology: Reduces the weight of the sole unit while retaining the structural integrity of the shoe.

Review:

If you’re after a budget-friendly option that gets quite comfortable after the break-in period, look no further than the Gel-Dedicate 5 from ASICS. These are exceptionally hard-wearing shoes, so much so that they can help take you from a newbie all the way to a powerful baseliner without needing to be replaced.

From experience, this is an all-around tennis shoe ideal choice for someone who plays frequently with mid-intensity footwork. Thanks to its versatile design, you can use this baby on a soft or hardcourt without sabotaging support, performance, and durability. The GEL Cushioning System in the forefoot helps absorb shock while the solid rubber outsole gives the shoe more traction and extra durability.

The highlight of the Gel-Dedicate 5 is the Trusstic System Technology that makes it feel lightweight and comfortable on your feet, all without compromising sturdiness. This attractive shoe is jubilantly stable and comfortable while retaining good drag on the toes for a quick side to side motion. Of course, you must break then in before taking these shoes for a spin in the court to improve flexibility and avoid blistering. The sizing runs narrow, which is something to keep in mind if you’ve got wide feet.

 

4. Adidas Kids’ Grand Court Sneaker

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adidas Kids Unisex's Grand Court Tennis Shoe, White/Dash Grey, 10.5 Little Kid

& Free shipping
Last update was on: October 29, 2020 2:30 am
$33.74 $45.00

Highlights:

  • Well-designed kids’ shoes with a rubber sole, comfort straps, and soft feel
  • Measurement: Shaft measures approximately 0-6″ from the arch; Platform measures approximately 0-3 inches; Boot opening measures approximately 10″ around
  • Regular fit

Review:

Nearly all big footwear brands focus on adult tennis shoes, leaving the children aisle for mid- and lower-tier companies to spoil for a competition. That seemed to be the case until Adidas introduced the Grand Court Sneaker for young tennis players and enthusiasts. This state of the art shoe is crafted from 100% synthetic material that’s uber-lightweight and breathable.

The all-rubber sole reduces the weight to help kids stay quick on the little feet without sacrificing comfort and durability. They flaunt an anti-slip grip on the base too, so you can be sure your will one will not slide or slip on soft grass/indoor courts.

If you’re on the market for the best tennis shoes for kids ages 4-8 or 8-12, Adidas has got you covered. They also have comfort straps for a good fit and snug, soft feel. These are regular fit shoes, which means you don’t have to be concerned that they’ll be overly snug.

 

5. ASICS Men’s Gel-Game 7 Tennis Shoe

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ASICS Men's Gel-Game 7 Tennis Shoes, 12.5M, White/Silver

Last update was on: October 29, 2020 2:30 am

Highlights:

  • Made of 90% Leather and 10% Synthetic with an all-rubber sole
  • Nifty Features: ABZORB cushioning, C-CAP midsole, and Lightning Dry Liner
  • The ASICS is for tennis players looking for superior stability and support

Review:

Some tennis players don’t require a great deal of shock-absorbent cushioning. They’d rather go for added support and stability. If this sounds like you, the ASICS Tennis Shoe will definitely appeal to your style. It’s yet another very reasonably priced all-rounder, even though it does it best on a hard court.

With toe cap reinforcements and herringbone tread on the soles, count on MC806 to deliver all the support and durability you need to make light work of hard courts. At the same time, this stylish shoe design gives you superior traction and non-marking outsole, making it an easy choice for clay courts, too!

If you’re a player who prefers leather uppers, you will flip over this shoe’s structured grain leather construction with a little touch of synthetic material. As if that isn’t amazing enough, the inside of the shoe is lined with moisture-wicking material to help your feet stay dry and blister-free. Some customers reported that it feels a little stiff. Still, we think this is one pair of the best tennis shoes you can find right now.

 

6. ASICS Women’s Solution Speed FF Tennis Shoes

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ASICS Women's Solution Speed FF Tennis Shoes, 7M, Safety Yellow/White

Last update was on: October 29, 2020 2:30 am

Highlights:

  • FlyteFoam Midsole Technology – Our FlyteFoam technology provides exceptional bounce back and responsiveness no matter the distance, utilizing organic super fibers to help reduce packing out that traditionally happens with softer, low-density foams.
  • AHAR Outsole – Acronym for ASICS High Abrasion Rubber; placed in critical areas of the outsole for exceptional durability. Combined with Twisttruss System and Removable Sockliner, a sock liner which can be removed to accommodate a medical orthotic
  • Rearfoot and Forefoot GEL Technology Cushioning System – Attenuates shock during impact and toe-off phases, and allows movement in multiple planes as the foot transitions through the gait cycle.

Review:

ASICS Women’s Solution Speed FF Tennis Shoes have pretty much everything the majority of women tennis players and enthusiasts are interested in a pair of the best tennis shoes. They have a gorgeous structure combined with feminine style, unrivaled durability, and comfort of running shoes.

Customers praise the modern style and design with an impressive set of state of the art features. These include FlyteFoam Midsole Technology for increased cushioning, AHAR outsole for superior durability, Twisstruss System technology and removable sock liner for extra comfort, and GEL Cushioning Tech for added shock-absorbing capacity. This multi-purpose shoe is suitable for many different court surfaces and foot structures. That’s in part due to stable rubber outsoles, supportive uppers, and structured design.

 

7. K-Swiss Men’s Hypercourt Express

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K-Swiss Men's Hypercourt Express Tennis Shoe (Glacier Gray/White/Silver, 10.5)

Last update was on: October 29, 2020 2:30 am

Highlights:

  • The Hypercourt Express is a lightweight tennis shoe designed for performance and comfort.
  • Features Synthetic Leather Upper, Textile Collar Lining, and Lace Closure
  • Draggaurd Rubber & Aosta Rubber Outsole

Review:

Serve-and-volley players who’re looking for the best tennis shoes designed for speed and agility will find K-Swiss Men’s Hypercourt Express to be right up their alley. With these lightweight jewels, you’ll be quick on your feet and super comfortable from the heel to the toe.

The synthetic leather upper and lace construction offers the right dose of rigid support and stability you require to dart across the court in pursuit of fastballs. They are great for lateral starts and stops, as well.

 

8. New Balance Women’s 1006 V1 Tennis Shoe

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New Balance Women's 1006 V1 Tennis Shoe, Reflection/Rose Gold, 5 M US

& Free shipping
Last update was on: October 29, 2020 2:30 am
$78.00 $114.95

Highlights:

  • 75% Synthetic, 25% Mesh, plus Rubber sole
  • Lace-up tennis shoe featuring breathable mesh upper with padded tongue and collar
  • Long-wear drag tip, REVlite midsole, non-marking rubber outsole, and removable foam insole

Review:

If you’re a lady with narrow feet, you know finding the right tennis shoe can be a real struggle. That extra give and room in the shoe can be a recipe for tendon or ankle injury. That’s a thing of the past thanks to the New Balance Women’s 1006 V1 Tennis Shoe – hands down the best tennis shoes for women with narrow feet.

Aside from the form-fit, we were quite surprised by the REVlite midsole that injects more energy and extra bounce to your steeps for a fast-paced game. The non-marking rubber sole offers a nice grip on slippery courts; while the foam inserts leave some room for orthotic customization if needed.

The mesh upper that makes up a quarter of the entire shoes guarantees extra breathability. There’s also a well-padded collar and tongue for added comfort.

 

9. Adidas Men’s Barricade Club Tennis Shoe

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adidas Men's Barricade Club Tennis Shoe, Scarlet/White/Black, 11 M US

Last update was on: October 29, 2020 2:30 am

Highlights:

  • Lightweight air mesh upper for maximum breathability
  • Abrasion-resistant Adituff wraps around the toe and medial forefoot to help protect against foot drag that occurs during serves, volleys, and extreme lateral movements
  • 360-degree TPU support foil for durability in key abrasion areas and superior lateral stability; lightweight EVA midsole; 3D Torsion provides adaptive midfoot support

Review:

The Barricade Club is the perfect answer for the regular tennis player looking for breathable, durable, and lightweight shoes. True, most options on this list are lightweight; however, the Barricade is praised for being exceptional for sudden stops and explosive movements. Customers also love the stylish design and impressive set of nifty features.

This feature-rich shoe starts off with an air mesh upper for optimal breathability, combined with a rubber sole for maximum grip. The adaptive midfoot support and lightweight EVA midsole work in tandem to cushion and protect your ankle and feet.

Coaches and players alike are fond of Adidas’ Adiwear outsole technology that guarantees superior support, durability, and stability for the feet. Aditfuff technology supercharges the shoe with superb toe protection on all types of court surfaces.

What ultimately makes this an outstanding tennis shoe is the Adiprene technology in the front area of the foot. This allows the player to accomplish sudden, explosive sprints and push-off while giving the necessary traction for immediate turns and stops.

 

Tennis Shoes Buying Guide

Tennis is a game that’s enjoyed and played the world over thanks to its playability. However, it doesn’t matter if you play recreationally or professionally, wearing the right tennis shoes is indispensable; it can mean the difference between foot pain or ankle injury and showing your nemesis who’s the real deal in your neck of the woods.

When it comes to choosing the best tennis shoes, one size doesn’t fit all; you’ve got to find a good match for your playing style, where you play, and much more. Keep reading for important factors, considerations, and tips you should keep in mind to pick that winning pair.

 

8 Tips on How to Pick the Best Tennis Shoes This Year

(1) The Court Type

You’ll come across a wide variety of surfaces on which tennis can be played, and the type of court you usually play on will determine the shoe support, foot protection, and construction you require. That’s why court type is perhaps the most important factor to keep in mind when shopping for tennis shoes.

a) Hard courts

Hard-surface courts offer an even playfield for both power-play and fast-paced players, so they suit nearly all levels of experience and playing styles. Expect astonishingly fast ball speeds and bounces, meaning shoes that’ll enable you to be quick on your feet are more appropriate. Unfortunately, concrete and other hard surfaces generate a ton of friction and therefore expose your shoes to greater wear.

Because of this, it’s best that you pick a pair of hard-wearing and sturdily-built shoes, so they’ll withstand constant wear and frequent use. Ensure they’re constructed of tough yet lightweight materials, plus the tread should be especially designed to stand up to abrasion.  We recommend a shoe design featuring a thick sole as well as an outsole with added support and cushioning.

To recap:

  • The friction generated by hard surfaces, especially concrete, can take a toll on the shoe – hence the necessity of holistically sturdy construction and durable outsole to preserve longevity. Outsoles and uppers constructed from vinyl, leather, and other strong materials will do the trick.
  • Hard courts are less forgiving on hard impacts, thus the need for shoes with shock-absorbers and cushioning, particularly around the ankle and toes.
  • A sturdy exterior and outsole is a must to hold up well to the rigorous requirements of concrete and other tough courts.
  • Make sure the shoe is built to provide extra support for fast lateral movement and stability

b) Clay courts

If you play on clay courts, you know how soft and tricky they are. They allow for slow gameplay, which is why clay courts are preferred by power-play players who are able to deliver powerful volleys from the baseline. Since clay courts are softer and more forgiving, they don’t require the level of lateral support and stability demanded by hard courts.

When playing on a clay court, however, you’re more susceptible to sliding and slipping. These concerns call for tennis shoes that offer additional traction on the tread, grooved outsole, and an all-around sturdy construction to meet the demands of the softer surface. Also, ensure that the tread on the sole provides a superb grip without getting caked with clay or leaving unsightly marks on the court surface.

  • Lightweight shoes with a snug fit will allow you to move around the clay court quickly and easily
  • Softer surfaces require good grip to counterbalance less traction offered by the clay court
  • A non-clog outsole groove design will ensure an easy and hassle-free release of clay
  • Well-built uppers and extra-strong sides will prevent injury and ensure longevity from constant side-to-side slides

c) Grass courts

If you’ve ever envied the likes of Serena Williams and Maria Yuryevna Sharapova as they do their magic on the green courts of Wimbledon, you are not alone. These elegant grass courts may not be as widely available as clay or hard courts but they sure are pleasant to play on. Be that as it may, grass can be slippery, making it easy to slide.

In light of this, grass court tennis shoes should offer excellent grip. Since the game is a bit slower on grass, you probably don’t have to worry about the durability of the shoes. For grass courts, look for the best tennis shoes with the following features:

  • Flat outsole design is important to minimize damage on the grassy turf. In fact, players at Wimbledon are required to wear fully flat tennis shoes
  • Outsole treads with pimples, nubs, and textured designs will help increase traction on the turf and prevent accidental slips. Avoid cleat-style shoes as they will cause more damage to the grass surface.
  • A snug fit and flexible uppers will provide greater freedom of movement as you sprint around in pursuit of the tennis ball.
  • Choose lightweight shoes over durable ones if the choice comes down to the two

d) Indoor courts

Play often indoors? Most indoor courts sport rubber-carpeting or laminate flooring like basketball courts. Like grass, these surfaces can present a challenge when it comes to traction, particularly when wet. For indoor tennis courts, look out for the following features in your shoes:

  • A softer outsole offers extra grip while not adding bulk or weight, making sure that you don’t slide or slip on the slippery surface
  • Rubber carpeting can be susceptible to marking and scratches. Avoid cleat-type shoes and go for ones with a smoother outsole
  • The ball can be pretty bouncy on a smooth surface, generating lots of speed. Make sure your shoes are lightweight and fit comfortably for quick play. Support for lateral movement may also be a huge deal.

(e) Multipurpose

What if you don’t have a specific court type? If you switch frequently between outdoor and indoor courts, it makes sense to have at least two pairs of shoes, one for each court type. Of course, if you split your training or practice between soft courts (grass, clay, etc.) and hard courts like concrete, it is imperative to pick a pair of versatile, multipurpose shoes.

Multi-court tennis shoes are designed to cater to the best of the two worlds. They offer plenty of stability and lateral support to meet the demands of hard courts, as well as the grip quality needed to play on soft courts. This way, you can step up your game without having to worry about owning the right pair for the court type.

(2) Your Playing Style

While the court type is a crucial consideration when buying tennis shoes, you should also consider your style of play. What’s your level of experience and skill? More importantly, what type of tennis player do you consider yourself to be?

Some tennis shoes work best for an aggressive baseline player, while other designs do well for serve & volley. What if you’re an all-around player? Whichever your style of play, it’s important to choose the right pair of shoes for your style.

Baseline playing style: if you prefer to play tennis close to the baseline, chances are high that you’ll be darting side to side a lot in pursuit of wayward balls. While comfort is important overall, you’ll need shoes that cushion and support the lateral movement, as well as provide enough stability as you unleash powerful volleys from the baseline.

As a general rule of thumb, baseliner needs tennis shoes that feature:

  • The shoes should have a sturdily-built outsole and tread to stand up well to repeat use and constant lateral motion. This should go hand in hand with strong material and a good fit to make sure you’re both comfortable and flexible when sprinting side to side.
  • Superior cushioning will help protect your feet and absorb some lateral shocks from sudden stops and starts.
  • Players playing on a hard or hybrid court should go for a pair with a mid-length outsole which will provide greater stability. However, if you need extra grip because the court surface is softer or slipper, you should get one with full-length outsoles since they deliver the best of the two worlds – better grip and added stability.

Serve-and-volley playing style: If you are a player who typically makes a serve and sprint towards the net, you’ll want a shoe that will fit the occasion. For serve-and-volley players, lightweight and flexible tennis shoes are what the doctor prescribed.

Look for:

  • Shoes with well-supported and durable toe caps to provide the flexibility and protection you need as you charge forward after serving.
  • Aside from a durable toe design, you should put some thought on the overall durability, fit, and arch support as you may find yourself dragging your feet along the surface.
  • A well-built and snuggly-fitting insole is a godsend, so as to safeguard your foot as you dart back and forth between the baseline and the net.

(3) Size and Fit

It’s a no-brainer that you need to get shoes that fit down to a tee. Protecting your ankle, toes, and feet starts with the right shoe size. The last thing you want is to suffer from pain and cramps after leaving your feet coup up in tight shoes.

Another important thing to note is that your feet tend to swell during and after an extraneous activity like running, training, or playing tennis. This is especially the case when it’s warm or hot during the day. As such, it makes sense to fit shoes sometime in the afternoon or later in the day when your feet have swollen to their max.

Naturally, you should know your correct size. However, if you aren’t completely certain of your size, you ought to get your feet professionally measured. Shoes that are even a touch too tight can end up hampering your performance. Good thing, most tennis shoes brands avail a sizing chart to help you zero in on the correct size.

Don’t forget that wearing socks — thick or thin — with your tennis shoes will affect their fit. That’s why it’s a wise idea to wear your regular playing socks when getting your feet measured. As a rule of thumb, pay particular attention to reviews that mention the fit and sizing issues with a particular tennis shoe.

(4) Foot Type or Structure

To find the best tennis shoes, you must take both your foot structure and type into consideration. The more you know about your foot, from the toe to the ankle, the better position you will be to find to pair with the right features you require to prevent injury and perform your best out on the court.

The easiest and quickest method of knowing your foot type is to take a wet test. True, no two feet are exactly the same, but there are three common foot types, and each kind calls for a little different shoe design for optimal results:

i) Ideal/ neutral foot structure: If a wet test says that you have a neutral and well-balanced foot mark, then you belong to the ideal foot group. This should be sweet music to your ears because that means most tennis shoes are suitable for your feet. It’s typically people with even shoe wear that fall into this category.

ii) Supinated (high arch) foot structure: It might sound like soup, I know, but it has nothing to do with your favorite dish. If you’ve got this foot structure, the wet test will indicate an empty space in the middle of the arch region of the foot mark.

If you aren’t keen on taking a wet test, there’s another way to know if you have supinated feet. First of all, you need to check your old running shoes, trainers, or tennis shoes. Are they worn down on the outside area of the forefoot and the heel? If yes, then there you’ve it! In either way, if you’ve got a supinated foot structure, you’ll need to find the best tennis shoes that offer greater shock absorption and flexibility, as well as extra space for the heel.

iii) Pronated (low arch) foot structure: Unlike the supinated structure in which shoes wear down on the outside, pronators will note that their shoes tend to wear down mostly on the inside region, especially close to the balls of the feet. People with feet that curve inward when running, standing, or walking belong to this category.

If you choose to take a wet test, you’ll notice a low, flat arch that leaves a large foot mark on the surface. In other words, the entire impression of your feet will be visible on the wet ground with minimal or no noticeable space.

Around 6 in every 10 tennis players have a pronated foot structure. So, if you’re among the majority, you are better off investing in a pair of tennis shoes with added lateral support and cushioning to protect your ankles and knees from injury.

(5) Comfort

Not to be overdramatic, but comfort is everything when it comes to acing tennis. Remember, this is a high-paced sport in which even a little discomfort can cost you dear points, sabotage your performance, or even worse, lead to a career-impacting injury. Thankfully, the best tennis shoes from the leading brands incorporate an array of design features to spruce up comfort.

If comfort is a top concern for you, as it’s for many players, be on the lookout for the following design elements:

Foam padding – Ideally, the more foam cushions lining the inside of the shoe, the more comfortable it is to wear. Nonetheless, the padding should allow for easy movement as you dart around the court and conform snuggly to your foot. The cushions are supposed to cover the tongue, the sides, and the insoles of the shoes, offering a subtle balance between comfort and support for your feet.

As far as cushioning goes, you’ll find tennis shoes that feature either polyurethane (PU) or ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA) foam padding. In general, PU foam cushions are more stable and durable, even though they’re a little on the heavy side. EVA foam cushions, on the other hand, appear in the best tennis shoes because they tend to be more flexible and lighter than their PU counterparts. They come at a premium price tag, too.

Lightweight design – In as much as they should be constructed of sturdy, durable, and top-notch quality materials, tennis shoes should obviously be lightweight. A heavy pair will naturally weigh you down and end up costing you precious points against your arch-rival.

Every aspect of the shoe design should be aimed at making it lightweight yet comfortable and sturdy. In addition, the material used to construct the shoe should be breathable and support unfettered ventilation, so your feet can stay comfortably dry throughout the game.

Mesh panels – You can’t talk about breathability in shoes without mentioning mesh fabrics. The panel meshing is designed to increase ventilation into and around the shoe, all while keeping the feet dry and cool during those fierce matches and rigorous training.

(6) Shoe Construction

The quality of shoe construction will impact your performance on the court, the durability of the shoes, and their comfort, plus their playability, breathability, and much more. That’s why this should be among the top factors to consider when shopping for the best tennis shoes.

What makes a well-constructed and quality tennis shoe? Look at the following construction elements:

Outsole: This is the underfoot area of the shoe that comes in direct contact with the ground. Depending on the court type, the right outsole should have plenty of traction to prevent you from sliding or slipping during the game. Of equal importance, the outsole should offer the support and stability you need on the court.

Thanks to its exposure to friction and abrasions, this is the section of the shoe that tends to wear down the quickest, which is why you should go for ones made from sturdy materials like carbon-rubber composite. There’s also the issue that some shoes cause damage to the court surface.

For grass and indoor courts that are susceptible to scratching, look for reasonably flat and ungrooved shoes that won’t leave those unsightly marks. For hard surfaces like concrete, make sure the outsole is sturdy enough to measure up to increased friction and wear.

Tread: This entails patterns, pimples, nibs that appeal on the outsole. By design, they are meant to increase traction and to enhance the aesthetics of the shoe. The downside is that some treads can get clogged with clay or leave marks on certain delicate surfaces, notably clay and indoor courts.

In general, if you frequently play on a clay/indoor court, think herringbone patterns or treadless outsole designs that aren’t likely to leave markings, or get clogged with clay. If you happen to play often on grass courts, pick tennis shoes with an elaborate yet subtle nub pattern to generate enough traction without damaging the grass.

Upper: The upper of the shoes covers its front and top portions. The material used to make the upper should not only be sturdy and durable but also breathable. Ideally, a section of the upper should feature mesh panels to facilitate ventilation and keep your feet cool and dry during play.

Synthetic or genuine leather is the go-to for durable uppers, while a combination of mesh fabric and leather will provide the best of the two worlds – uncompromised breathability and optimum durability for an all-around pair of the best tennis shoe.

Toecap: If your shoes provide too much give when moving around, your toes will bear the brunt of a beating. This can be particularly brutal if you’re a serve-and-volley player who dashes forward after serving. Luckily, this is where the toe design comes into the picture.

The general rule of caution is to go for tennis shoes with reinforced toe caps, which is the curved design right above the toes. Reinforcement helps create appropriate toe drag during play, offering protection for your feet. Shoes with a toe guard take it up a notch with additional rubber padding on the front area to increase toe drag and protection.

Vamp: This refers to the top middle section of the tennis shoe (sandwiched between the two upper sections). In layman terms, this is the section where you’ll find the lacing holes and laces. Vamps should be flexible by design to enable quick, unresisted motion, which is very helpful if you make fast side to side movements.

Since the tongue is usually dense and padded, you’ll want vamps that feature perforations for increased ventilation and breathability. You’ll rarely find tennis shoes that don’t use laces as they are difficult to fit.

Heel Counter:  Also called the heel collar, this is an insert made from composite material or plastic, and goes into the heel cup to provide added reinforcement and improve heel support. The best tennis shoes typically have sturdy construction that includes a comfortably-fitting heel collar to correct for over-supination and over-pronation (that’s too low or too high arching).

(7) Price

Your budget and the price of the product are two crucial factors in any purchase decision, and it’s even more important here. If you’re just getting started in the world of tennis, the chances are you won’t be looking to shell out top dollar for the shoes. But, if you are a professional player or looking to take your game to the pro level, you’ll want to invest in the best tennis shoes that provide the level of stability and lateral support you’ll need.

Tennis shoes’ prices vary greatly depending on the brand, materials used, and whether it’s designed for men or women. For men, you can expect to pay between $50 and around $200, but women’s shoes are a little cheaper, ranging between $20 and $100+.

Budget-friendly men’s tennis shoes cost anywhere between $50 and $120, and usually sport mesh and leather upper. Cheap women’s tennis shoes, on the other hand, go for $20-$30 and may have durability problems in the long haul.

Mid-range men’s shoes often feature a more sturdy upper constructed of synthetic materials and will set you back between $60 and $145. Expectedly, mid-range women’s tennis shoes come cheaper at between $40 and $60.

High-end options are the best of the very best tennis shoes, sporting superior construction quality, comfort-enhancing features, and built to last. Most of them boast an upper made from genuine leather, synthetic leather, or leather/synthetic composites.

The best tennis shoes for men in the high-end of the spectrum will run you between $70 and $200+, while women’s counterparts can be found upwards of $100. If you play at the tournament level, getting serious about the sport, or just want to buy the best tennis shoes that will stand up to repeat use and provide superb performance, a pair of these expensive options are surely worth checking out.

(8) Your Weight

Shoes with thin outsoles and padding will not cut it for heavy players. They’ll want to invest in a pair of shoes with additional underfoot support and cushioning.

 

Tennis Shoes Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Are tennis shoes and sneakers different?

As mentioned earlier, the two are different as chalk and cheese. Sneakers are everyday footwear that can serve as walking shoes, dressing shoes, trainer shoes, etc. ⁠— and are not exactly designed for a specific sport, leave alone a highly specialized game like tennis.

Tennis shoes, on their side, are specially designed to provide support for your feet, stability, shock-absorption, comfort, and traction needed when playing on a variety of tennis courts. They’re ready-made for tennis!

2. How do you wear tennis shoes correctly?

Tennis shoes are, well, meant to be worn during tennis play or practice. However, there are no hard-set rules that prevent you from pairing these beauties with your favorite pants, jeans, etc., or take them for a fun ride, hike, or run. Be that as it may, that isn’t their inherent purpose.

With that in mind, here are a few pointers to keep in mind to ensure the longevity, performance, and durability of your tennis shoes:

Don’t wear your tennis shoes for running, hiking, or cycling. I know, I know – tennis shoes look the part, and you can do a great deal of jogging, running or walking on the sturdy pair. However, they are not going to be forgiving on your feet since tennis shoes are designed to offer more lateral support and extra stability, plus you’ll end up damaging them with high-impact landings.

The opposite is also true: you should avoid playing tennis in cross-trainers or running shoes. Most types of athletic shoes don’t provide the level of cushioning and stability you require. In fact, most of them won’t stand up well to lateral motion that’s commonplace when playing tennis, plus some athletic designs possess tread patterns that are way too deep for a tennis court.

Buy the tennis shoes for the specific court type. We covered this topic extensively in the tips section, but it’s worth repeating that it’s a great idea to find the best tennis shoes for the court surface you frequently play on.

If you buy a grass-court shoe, for instance; it might not provide enough lateral support and cushioning that hard courts like concrete require. The other way around is also true: concrete-court shoes might slow you down on a clay court, giving some advantage play to your opponent.

Don’t play basketball, soccer, or football with your tennis shoes. Again, shoes specifically designed for tennis have an overall low-top profile and lighter plus less-padded than basketball shoes. Some tennis shoes might also leave marks or damage the basketball court.

3. When should I replace my tennis shoes?

The million-dollar question! Use your instinct here; there are obvious signs, such as when they’ve become too tight (or too loose), the tread has lost its grip, or the shoe itself is falling apart. If your ankles, back, and feet are unusually sore and fatigued after play or practice, it might be time to purchase a new pair.

If you’re a stickler for a timeline, the midsole of a tennis shoe lasts about 60 hours playtime before it wears down enough to affect your performance. That’s not a hard timeline. Generally, you should retire your tennis shoes after 6 months of heavy use, but it could be sooner if you play on concrete and other hard-surface courts.

4. Do tennis shoes need breaking in?

The best tennis shoes don’t need breaking in as they’ll fit snugly and comfortably on your first wear. However, if you must stretch them a bit for an extra-comfortable fit, you can have them stretched by a professional at a steep price. Better yet, you can use the traditional method of placing a water-filled freezer bag inside each tennis shoe; after more than 8 hours in the freezer, they’ll come out nicely stretched and comfy.

5. How do you clean tennis shoes properly?

The vast majority of the best tennis shoes are machine-washable, but it’s imperative that you follow the given washing instructions to the latter. Usually, you can toss fabric and leather tennis shoes in the washing machine, which is perhaps the most hassle-free way to clean them.

First, remove insoles, laces, and other inserts before rinsing their exterior with cold water to get rid of soil, dirt, and other chunks. Generally, removable inserts aren’t machine-washable, so you should hand wash them.

Remove laces and inserts before machine washing your shoes. The laces can be placed in a mesh laundry bag for delicates and washed with a load of laundry. Removable inserts typically shouldn’t be cleaned in the washing machine.

Once the shoes are nicely rinsed, put them in a mesh laundry bag, set on a delicate cycle, and use heavy-duty detergent.

Don’t dry heat tennis shoes, instead use no-heat setting in the dryer for 20-30 minutes, or let them air-dry in a properly-ventilated environment.

6. Are tennis shoes heavy?

No, the best tennis shoes are constructed to be lightweight, especially those designed for women. Expect most tennis shoes to weight just 1-2 lbs., although this can vary from one shoe style and brand to another.

7. Why are my tennis shoes squeaking and what can I do about it?

Some tennis, especially those made from leather or ones with loose soles/heels, tend to squeak on the court. It can be particularly irritating to you and others on the court. If they are leather-made, make sure to oil your tennis shoes often, however, don’t forget to keep them squeaky clean.

Loose soles and heels should be rectified to minimize squeaking. Applying baby powder under the insole, however, is probably the best course of action to stop this issue.

 

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