Tennis ShoesThe technology used in tennis shoes was first created in the early 1800s to provide Marines and sailors with adequate footwear to walk on slippery surfaces. It was not until the mid-1800s that these shoes were used on tennis courts. Although the design of tennis footwear has drastically changed over the decades, the rubber sole has been a constant, preventing players from slipping when running around the court.
Benefits of Tennis Shoes
Unlike most sports, tennis shoes are extremely versatile thanks to their rubber sole, which makes them also wearable as lifestyle shoes. It is common to see people sporting this type of footwear outside of the tennis courts, even pairing them with casual clothes.
Playing a tennis match, especially at a professional level, requires wearing attire that could be comfortable and resistant for a long time. A tennis match involves continuous side-by-side movements and even sprints to play at the net, which means tennis shoes have to grant players stability and speed. The sole prevents slipping when changing direction, while the shoe’s lightweight design makes it comfortable, allowing players to be quicker in their movements. In recent years, leading brands, such Nike, Adidas, and Asics, have been able to turn tennis shoes into something that can express the players’ creativity and character.
Things To Consider
When looking for tennis shoes, you'll want to consider the following:
- What size shoe do you wear?
- Where will you be playing tennis?
- How frequently do you play tennis?
- How much money do you have to spend on tennis shoes?
What are you looking for in tennis shoes?
- Adult size
- Youth size
Tennis shoes are known for their durability and adaptability to different surfaces. However, while it is still possible to buy all court tennis shoes, brands have also developed footwear that is best suited for hard and clay courts.
Hard Court Tennis Shoes
Hard courts demand the most durability and resistance from a player’s shoes due to the nature of the surface. Thus, hard court shoes provide players’ with more cushioning than other tennis footwear and offer more protection overall. However, they are also the heaviest, which could make them uncomfortable, especially for kids and casual players. Hard court tennis shoes can be found for as little as $65 but can also cost as much as $160 for top of the line models.
- Best protection for the joints
- Can be used on hard and clay courts
- Less comfortable
- Could damage the court without non-marking sole
Clay Court Tennis Shoes
Clay court shoes are the lightest among tennis footwear, as they need to grant players quickness and stability in their movements. However, this could give them less protection on the joints. The sole of clay court shoes also makes it difficult for them to adapt to other surfaces. However, their durability and price, typically in the ballpark of $70-$120, make them a must-have for those who regularly play on clay courts.
- Offer optimal grip
- Best lateral support
- Best for quick movements
- Least versatile
- Less protection for the joints
- Low durability
All Court Tennis Shoes
If you are a beginner or a casual player, all court shoes are your best option. Their adaptability to different surfaces and their affordability make them perfect for players that do not play frequently. However, they do not offer the same grip as clay court shoes or the bulkiness of the hard court models. Prices for all court tennis shoes start around $55 and will increase depending on the brand, materials, and special features.
- Best type for beginners and casuals
- Resistance to all surfaces
- Limited cushioning
- Can clog with clay
- Could lose traction when sliding
Major tennis footwear brands include world leaders in the whole sports industry, such as Adidas, Asics, and Nike, who have developed great technologies for all courts in recent years.
Adidas all court shoes are extremely popular among tennis players of all levels. The German brand also produces footwear for each specific court. The low price, coupled with great design and adaptability to different surfaces, makes the all court shoes a best seller. Beginners and casual players can get their hands on footwear sported even by professional players for only $55.
Worn by all-time great Novak Djokovic, Asics tennis shoes have increased in popularity in recent years thanks to their technologies, especially in the clay court models. Sold for as low as $70, the Asics clay court shoes offer great support for sprints and slides while also preventing clay from clogging thanks to their herringbone-style tread.
Nike shoes are the best option for hard courts. Their footwear offers added protection and great durability thanks to the use of materials like foam which makes the shoes resistant to long matches played on the hard court. For only $65, tennis players can get their hands on the same shoes repped by tennis legend Rafael Nadal.
How do you clean tennis shoes?
The best performance on a tennis court requires not only picking the best gear but also taking proper care of it. The best way to clean these shoes, especially with clay court models, is to first use a dry brush then soak them with a cleaning solution. The laces and soles need to be washed separately but still following the same process. Then, the shoes, soles, and laces need to be air-dried. Putting them in the dryer would ruin them, regardless of the type of footwear.
How do you know what size tennis shoes you need?
Whether you are purchasing your tennis shoes at a store or online, it is crucial to measure both the length and width of your feet. Playing long matches on physically demanding surfaces, such as hard and clay courts, requires the shoes to be both comfortable and resistant. Thus, measuring the width of your feet is important to not break through them when sliding and sprinting. It is also advised to pick shoes a half size larger than your foot measurements for this reason. Most brands will offer a size chart for reference in picking your shoe size.
How much do tennis shoes cost?
While most tennis essentials, such as rackets and bags, are sold for well over $100, footwear is fairly affordable. All the major brands offer a wide selection of products for all budgets. Both hard and clay court shoes start at $70, while all court shoes are priced even lower, with models available for $55. More expensive models with specialized technology, color customization, and extra high-quality shoes can cost upwards of $160. Thus, whether you are an experienced player looking for gear offering the best performance on a specific surface or you are just learning how to play, you can purchase shoes worn by professional athletes at many different price points.