If you play tennis at any level, then you’ll know the importance of wearing the right shoes. Running shoes don’t offer the lateral support for side-stepping nor the sufficient stability.
Tennis shoes are actually specific footwear that aren’t as versatile as you’d expect. In fact, they’re highly specialised and designed for the sport in mind.
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Quick Buyer’s Guide
Ready to start shopping top-rated tennis shoes right away? Simply use the Quick Buy Guide below and head straight to the online retailers. Otherwise, scroll down to learn more about each tennis shoe below.
"Great for practice & competitions." Very happy with my choice that I found here.
Having tested and worn a dozen pairs, check out the our top recommendations for men’s tennis shoes:
- Premium Shoes: Nike Zoom Cage 3
- Comfortable: ASICS Gel-Solution Speed 3
- For Overpronation: ASICS Gel-Resolution 7
- Optimal Stability: New Balance MC806
- For Plantar Fasciitis: Adidas Barricade Classic Bounce
- Classic: Adidas Stan Smith Original
- For High Arches: Nike Air Zoom Vapor X
- Best Budget: Nike Court Lite
If you have already found what you’re looking for, use the links above to jump ahead.
Breathtakingly stylish, the Nike Zoom Cage has a textile upper beneath a pliable rubber overlay with a webbed design. Furthermore, they offer some of the best ergonomics we’ve seen in a tennis shoe that feels like wearing a heavy sock rather than a shoe.
Designed with hard courts in mind, you have an external TPU shank for torsional stability as textile footbed. Meanwhile, the external heel clip locks the foot into place, which offers extra responsiveness thanks to Encapsulated Zoom Air.
Although available in a variety of colour schemes such as black and white with different accents, we’re very fond of one in particular. This is the cool grey rubber overlay over white textile with laser orange accents.
ASICS are renowned for designing comfortable athletic shoes thanks to their gel cushioning system. Therefore, it’s no surprise that they offer premium comfort for tennis too.
The Speed 3s feature two layers of memory foam that mould to the wearer’s heel known as the Personal Heel Fit. Similarly, you can expect heightened forefoot lateral propulsion for responsive movements. The midsole have a Trusstic System for better stability and there’s a toe protector for missteps.
Available in three colours, there’s a dark grey with turquoise accents, light grey with black or white with light grey. We have a fondness for each of them but do like the turquoise accents.
Like the ASICS featured above, these offer excellent comfort and similar structure. However, they’re renowned for being a firm favourite of those with flat feet or who may overpronate thanks to superior cushioning and motion control.
These offer the same features as the ASICS above but also come with an Impact Guidance System, which provides motion control for enhancing your natural gait. Furthermore, AHAR Plus rubber is found in critical areas of the outsole to slow down wear whilst a Flexion Fit upper gives a snug fit without losing support.
Although only available in two colour options, we’re quite fond of the classic white shoes with silver streaks. However, there’s also a darker grey pair with black accents too.
Another brand well-versed in designing exceedingly comfortable athletic footwear, New Balance offers an excellent tennis shoe. Furthermore, they’re AA5500 diabetic approved for Medicare.
With a rollbar built in with medial and lateral TPU Posts, expect great motion control. Furthermore, the ABZORB cushioning offers excellent shock absorption. Similarly, a C-Cap midsole gives the wearer superior cushioning and support.
Only one colour option is available, which is white with a few grey and black accents. These resemble a classic tennis shoe, which look and feel great on your feet.
Those who are affected by Plantar Fasciitis may be reluctant to take up such an active sport like tennis. However, Adidas offers an excellent solution that will let you play freely to your heart’s content.
Firstly, the moulded foam insole and a Bounce midsole for an energy returning step, which offers comfort and shock absorption. Similarly, the Adiwear rubber outsole gives excellent traction and the Adituff toe will improve durability and protect against missteps.
We love the contemporary interpretation of the classic Adidas style in these shoes. They come in either pure white, white with black accents as well as white with black accents. Each time, the subtle stripes come with a pop of colour, which looks great.
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Although now a largely fashionable shoe, Stan Smiths were originally designed for tennis. They still perform very well today and offer both the comfort and stability that you’ll need for lateral movements.
Although not as modern as the other shoes on this list, they still perform well. Furthermore, you have a stunning full grain leather upper for great style. There’s a full-length EVA midsole for lightweight cushioning as well as a tonal rubber outsole for traction.
Stan Smith sneakers are an iconic white. However, they also come with a variety of different accent colours to choose from on the tongue and heel. We’re fans of the green accent but you can also go for either red, blue or yellow.
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If you have high arches and struggle to find the right shoes for you, look no further! Made specifically with this in mind, these are ideal for those that underpronate. However, neutral or low arches may not find them comfortable.
The cushioned footed features a Zoom Air heel for motion control. Meanwhile a TPU midfoot shank give you lateral support for quick side steps. Finally, the XDR rubber sole features a herringbone pattern for extra traction.
There’s a plethora of colours to choose from with these Nikes. From grey to white with lime accents or even turquoise blue, we’re quite fond of the light great with orange accents.
Whether it’s the club membership or equipment, tennis can be a pricey sport. However, you can still enjoy it on a budget. Nike have developed a an excellent budget tennis shoe that offers brilliant value for money.
Whilst not bristling with all the features of the other shoes on this list, these are still very solid and wearable shoes. A sturdy GDR rubber outsole offers traction and performance on hard courts. Meanwhile, a moulded foam footbed and Phylon midsole give you comfort and support.
Available in a variety of colours, we quite like the white shoes with a subtle black Nike logo. Alternatively, you could opt for black with a white logo. For a pop of colour, you could go for white with black accents and a red logo.
What Are Tennis Shoes?
Firstly, tennis shoes are athletic footwear like running shoes. However, they’re not quite the same and are specifically designed for the sport in question.
For instance, running shoes are made for quick forward movement. Meanwhile, tennis shoes are made to provide with lateral support for side steps and rapid movement in all directions.
Furthermore, tennis shoes are made with hardier material around the toes to account for missteps whilst superior cushion protects the feet from sudden movements.
In short, wearing the wrong type of shoes for tennis can cause injury and put unnecessary strain on your feet.
What Are Tennis Shoe Characteristics?
Although we’ve quickly mentioned a few above in how they differ from running shoes, let’s explore the requirements of a quality tennis shoe.
Firstly, a quality tennis shoe needs to be lightweight in order to perform well. If too heavy, a tennis shoe will feel sluggish and slow down your movements. It’s important that a tennis shoe is light and flexible to allow for rapid movements without sacrificing stability and support.
As mentioned earlier, sudden movements can put a lot of strain on your feet. You’ll be also moving in all directions, which means that omnidirectional cushion won’t suffice.
Therefore, it’s important that you have lateral cushioning as well as heel-to-toe support. This will make sure that your feet are comfortable and fully protected from all the shocks that they’re exposed to.
However, note that tennis shoes don’t offer better cushioning than running shoes. Instead, the cushioning is engineered differently according to their needs.
Unlike contemporary running shoes that feature large soles and deep cushion, tennis shoes concentrate on low profiles for more responsiveness. This creates a more stable shoe that enables players to execute quick movements without tripping.
Nevertheless, some cushioning is important as highlighted in the section above.
As tennis usually takes place on hard and coarse courts, the outsoles are designed differently than running shoes. Here, the attention is focused on designing durable shoes that won’t wear through when exposed to friction on these surfaces.
Meanwhile, running shoes tend to lose their spring over time before having a chance to wear down.
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