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It’s your game; don’t you want to be as good at it as possible?
The best tennis shoes make a much larger impact on your overall performance than most tennis players realize.
We all know the importance of finding a good running shoe or bowling shoe as they have attributes that directly relate to their primary sport or function.
Tennis shoes have an even more difficult set of criteria to meet and it’s hard to nail it down each time.
This list of the best tennis shoes was created to provide insight into exactly what characteristics you should be looking for in a tennis shoe.
We wanted to see if the hype was merited when it comes to these tennis shoes and the results may not be what you expected.
Check out our picks in this comprehensive buying guide so you know what to look for. Once you’ve picked your shoe, get out on the court and put them to the test!
Our Reviews Of The Best Tennis Shoes
#1 Asics Gel-Challenger 12
Asics is known in the shoe world, but not necessarily in the world of tennis. They make high quality shoes and also have a good model for tennis as well.
Featuring an all-rubber sole and ortholite sockliner, you’re basically walking on a cloud that’s a tremendous shock absorber.
Through long tennis matches you’re going to put any shoe you wear through the ringer. They must be built to last or you’ll be buying new shoes every other month.
With the Asics Gel-Challenger 12, you’re babying your feet and reducing strain with extensive cushioning.
That’s partially thanks to the solyte midsole, which was designed specifically for athletic use across multiple sports.
Asics also included a trusstic system that makes the insole super lightweight, but doesn’t impair the structural integrity of your shoe.
Think of it like having a defense system for your feet, only it’s made out of the most lightweight materials possible.
The rearfoot gel brand technology acts like miniature shock absorbers throughout your tennis match, keeping at bay all that tension your joints and bones would normally take on.
This Asics shoe has a large range of shoe sizes: from a men’s 6 all the way up to a 15. If you have a large foot, you can sometimes find yourself out in the cold with a manufacturer not making your size. Not so with this model!
They’re comfortable and durable, and will look good while you’re playing.
#2 Adidas Gamecourt Tennis Shoe
Adidas makes some of the best athletic shoes out there. In the tennis world, they are often considered the manufacturer that makes the best mens tennis shoes.
Adidas added cloudfoam midsoles to these shoes which basically transform your pressure points to feel like they’re on pillows. You’ll almost feel like you can fly in these.
Made out of a textile and synthetic design, they take ages to wear through.
Textile does a fantastic job at retaining its shape and structural integrity even after a long life and rigorous use.
Adidas made these with an intent to last and the rubber insoles are a testament to that.
They also did something unique to these shoes that aren’t in other Adidas sneakers: adituff, a better toe box and outsole near the toe box for increased durability.
You won’t be skidding around or damaging your shoes this way. The design of the upper makes them ridiculously easy to clean.
#3 New Balance Hard Court Tennis Shoes
New Balance isn’t necessarily known for tennis gear, but they make super high quality shoes and have tennis offerings that are worth considering.
Their shoe lines are known for generous sizing and that they’re built to last.
Starting at the bottom, you’ll be walking on a gum rubber outsole that absorbs a tremendous amount of impact.
It’s best used on hard courts, but it can be used on other court surfaces as well as long as you’re mindful of your footing.
Gum rubber can be prone to breakage, so use them on the tennis court and pick up another pair of shoes for other athletic endeavors.
Rubber insoles are durable, but that’s where their use ends (hence all the sock liners and insole replacements).
If you’re looking for a super comfortable tennis shoe, then look no further. NB is designed with a synthetic insole which was designed for comfort.
Lightweight and built to last, they also come in a variety of sizes for both medium and wide feet.
#4 Adidas Women’s Edge Lux 3
Adidas really hit the nail on the head with the best women’s tennis shoes for ultralight users.
This shoe may be called a running shoe, but it ranks super high for usage in racquet sports. The lateral support makes it great for tennis.
If you’re a fan of having as little weight strapped around your feet as possible, the blend of mesh and textile keeps it comfortable, lightweight, and most importantly aerated.
The main concern with lightweight shoes is that they’re not going to hold up against the test of time. Adidas combatted that by constructing this shoe with durable materials.
A rubber outsole provides excellent footing and grip to the court as you move.
Nobody likes having smelly feet and shoes, but the design of these lends itself to circulation to avoid odors.
Less than 8 oz wrapped around your feet will allow you to glide through the air between points.
Soft to the touch and reasonably priced, these are a top choice of many female tennis players.
#5 JOOMRA Lightweight Woven Tennis Shoes
Tennis isn’t a cheap sport. A racket and shoes are your primary needs to buy in order to enjoy the sport.
If you spent all your money on a quality racket, you may not have as much money left over for a pair of shoes. If that’s the case, these are the shoes for you.
Joomra isn’t a name brand known throughout the world. But at one point Nike was the new brand on the block too.
These shoes might not be the best rated tennis shoes, but they are very reasonably priced and are a good shoe for beginners who aren’t sure if they will love tennis.
There’s always a “You get what you pay for” mentality when it comes to shoes and these are no exception.
The manufacturers took used lightweight construction to keep the cost down and integrated mesh holes throughout the inner and outer sidewalls for breathability.
Everything on these shoes is synthetic from the insole right on down to the tongue material.
You’ll have a stitched pull-on loop on the heel to aid you in getting these on and decent traction on the bottom that should only be used on the tennis court.
This is a good tennis shoe that will last 12-24 months of tennis time without breaking down. They aren’t a high-end name brand, but you won’t pay for that name either.
Tennis Shoe FAQ
What is the Difference Between Tennis Shoes and Sneakers?
A sneaker doesn’t really have any requirements or attributes specific to athletic performance; they just need to cover your feet and have a rubber sole beneath.
Standard sneakers are designed for comfort.
Sneakers need to last the wearer a long time to build brand trust and have them feel like they got a good value, but they don’t help with any specific sport or activity; they’re just footwear.
Tennis shoes feature lateral support and contain more shock-absorbent materials than normal sneakers.
Tennis shoes also have non-marking outsoles so that you don’t leave an imprint on the court regardless of what it’s made of.
Oddly enough tennis shoes are generally thinner than standard sneakers, but they cost a lot more.
Our recommendation is to save the tennis shoes for the courts.
Can I Wear Hard Tennis Shoes on a Clay Court?
It isn’t recommended. Clay is soft and malleable, especially when there’s your body weight plus the pressure of the impact you’re causing when you land from serving.
Clay courts are considered premium as they’re quite a bit more expensive to maintain them over time.
Tennis clubs often have clay courts as it gives you a reason to pay their high monthly fees to access courts.
Hard shoes can ruin clay courts. Even the smallest of divots can greatly mess up a ball when it bounces on or near it, so you really do have to be careful.
Some courts may strictly state that you cannot use harder tennis shoes on them.
For a concrete or asphalt court, you actually need to have harder shoes to combat the impact and vibration that you’re going to encounter.
But even with a hard court, you must be mindful of the sole of your shoes so they don’t scuff up the courts.
Do You Need Tennis Shoes to Play Tennis?
No, you do not need the top rated tennis shoes to enjoy a game of casual tennis, but you will run into problems if you try to go into a club or a private tennis court with standard sneakers on.
The main reason is that it will damage the court and leave scuff marks.
Your feet will also suffer as sneakers are also not built to withstand shock as well as tennis shoes.
To enjoy tennis, you don’t need them. To play properly and regularly, you definitely do. A good pair of tennis shoes, when exclusively used for tennis, can easily last you a season or two.
They’re a bigger investment upfront but if you have the ability to invest in them, it’s worth it.
Tennis shoes do make playing a lot more enjoyable because of the dedicated attention to detail that shoe manufacturers take to suit the game of tennis.
They’ll absorb more impact and move with you a lot better than standard sneakers would.
How Long do Tennis Shoes Last?
Tennis shoes can last you for a season or two. That may not seem like a long time, but they take a beating when you’re competing hard. Couple that with the cycle of them being sweat in and drying, and they only last so long.
It is recommended to only wear them for tennis – don’t wear them for a long run as they won’t be as comfortable for running and they’ll break down sooner.
How to Lace Tennis Shoes?
You can lace tennis shoes the same way you lace running shoes.
You need a good lace to ensure your feet stay firm throughout all the stress you’re going to put them through. The two best ways to lace up your tennis shoes are:
1. Speed Lacing
Speed lacing is simple and effective, and only requires a single lace.
Run your lace through the top aglet on your shoe near the tongue, and criss-cross run it through until you get to the end, which should be on the fourth aglet or the last of your shoe’s upper.
Tie a single knot on each end so that it’s completely taut.
This might require you to buy shorter laces than what you’re used to, because you want the knots on each end to be right up against the metal part of the aglet.
2. Skip Lacing
Much like the speed lacing, this allows you to have just enough extra room for your feet to move around freely, while still being constricting enough to keep your movements precise.
Skip lacing does what you’d expect: skip laces.
Just lace through every other aglet, and bring both laces out with the same amount of slack either way.
This lace system is easy to use and even easier to adjust while out on the court.
How to Stretch Tennis Shoes?
Even if you end up buying the best tennis shoes for arch support, they’re still brand new off the assembly line and may be tough to get on your feet.
If you need to stretch them out a little before taking to the court, here are a few ways to do so.
1. Wear Them
Wear them around the house. They’re okay to wear on carpet or hardwood, just try to keep usage indoors for now.
This way you can just kick them off when they feel uncomfortable or whenever you believe you’ve adequately stretched them out.
2. Use a Shoe Stretcher
You can actually buy shoe stretchers. They’re meant to mimic the human foot, and create tension and pressure on the inside of the shoe that stretches it out properly.
3. Freeze Bag
Yeah this one sounds odd, but it works.
Get a double duty Ziploc bag and then put it inside of another one.
Use these to line your tennis shoe, and fill up the central bag with water until the shoe (or rather, bag lining) is filled up to the heel.
When you put it in the freezer, the 10% water expansion when it forms into ice will do the expanding for you. Leave it in the freezer for 24 hours and they should be good to go.
Your Tennis Shoes, Your Control Over the Game
Tennis shoes serve a much bigger part of your overall strategy and gameplay than most people realize.
Follow the guidelines of using tennis shoes only on a tennis court and you’ll match or exceed your opponents as they desperately attempt to defeat you.
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