by Will Boucek

November 23, 2021   

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In this complete guide to the best shoes for tennis, we will review the top men’s and women’s shoes on the market for tennis players. We’ve also included a buyer’s guide to help you choose the right shoe for your feet.

We have tested and reviewed the major shoe and tennis brands to find the best tennis court shoes from each. Then, we analyzed each shoe’s weight, comfort, support, durability, and flexibility to show you how it will perform on the tennis court. Our goal is to help you find the right shoe, so you can play your best tennis.

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Before we review each shoe, here’s our list of the top 12 shoes for the sport of tennis.

The 6 Best Men’s Shoes for Tennis

The 6 Best Women’s Shoes for Tennis

Reviews of the 12 Best Shoes for Tennis Players

Below are our picks for the top twelve shoes for tennis players. We have tested and reviewed all the major brands and have narrowed it down for you.

Not all shoes are available in Men’s & Women’s models, but we’ve clarified in parentheses.

Adidas Adizero Ubersonic Tennis Shoe (Men)

If you’re a competitive tennis player, on the court a few times per week or more, and need a high-performance and durable shoe, the Adidas Adizero series of shoes is for you.

This shoe is made with a combination of textile and synthetic upper, with a thick rubber outsole for excellent durability. Adidas removed the tongue from these shoes, creating a mesh upper that you simply slide your foot into. It enhances the comfort level by reducing the chances of a tongue rubbing or irritating your foot. This new upper design also wraps around your foot like a sock, letting you control the shoe easier, increasing performance.

The thick, rubber sole makes it durable, making it one of the most reliable shoes on the market. For tennis players who drag their foot on serves or volleys, the Adituff toe creates extra protection.

This new line from Adidas is also more lightweight than their previous shoes. It seems like they reduced some of the cushioning around the ankle and top of the foot, which doesn’t decrease comfort, but may decrease support slightly.

Pros and Cons

  • Very durable shoe for advanced players
  • Very comfortable upper that fits like a sock
  • Great for any court surface or type of player
  • Perfect combination of durability & performance
  • Takes a few matches to break in
  • Less ankle support than other shoes

Nike Air Zoom Vapor Pro Tennis Shoe (Men & Women)

For a lighter-weight performance shoe, the Nike Air Zoom Vapor Pro is perfect. This is an updated version of their old Vapor X shoe and is used by multiple professional tennis players.

This shoe’s responsiveness is unmatched, making it a great shoe for advanced players. The Vapor Pro has a redesigned upper with several layers that enhance comfort and breathability. The inner layer wraps around your foot like a glove, while the outer layer adds a bit of support and durability. The midsole and outsole of the shoe have the same Zoom technology as the previous model for extra cushion.

Nike prioritized lightweight and versatility with this shoe, so the sole is not super durable. If you’re an advanced tennis player who moves a lot on the court, drags your foot on your serve, or simply wants something that lasts longer, we recommend the Adidas shoe above. Also, if you need extra ankle support, we’d recommend a different shoe.

If you simply want the best-performing shoe you can find, the Air Zoom Vapor Pro is a great choice. Nike also makes some of the best tennis shorts on the market today, so you can match your tennis gear.

Pros and Cons

  • Lightweight for all-court players
  • Great on any surface
  • Very comfortable and breathable
  • Low profile for extra mobility & versatility
  • Excellent responsiveness for advanced players to change direction fast
  • Not the most durable shoe
  • Little toe protection

Asics Gel-Resolution 8 Tennis Shoe (Men & Women)

Asics makes several great shoes for tennis. Players who use Asics shoes include Novak Djokovic and Gael Monfils.

For players who seek a quality shoe with comfort and durability, this is a great choice. The Gel-Resolution includes technology from the front to the heel of the shoe that increase comfort and stability on impact while maintaining excellent responsiveness. It is also cushioned well throughout the shoe, including a tongue that keeps debris from getting into the shoe, making it great for clay court tennis players.

The synthetic sole wraps around the toe, and the side of the shoe for added durability. If you do wear through the sole, Asics offers a 6-month outsole warranty!

This shoe is also one of the most supportive and stable on the market. It will take a few tennis matches to break in, but the well-designed upper offers a great combination of comfort, stability, and support.

The only minor complaint about this shoe is that it’s not as breathable as some competitors. It’s also not recommended for wide feet.

Pros and Cons

  • Excellent comfort
  • Top class in stability & support
  • Very durable shoe
  • 6-month outsole warranty
  • Does not breathe as well as others
  • Not for wide feet

K-Swiss Hypercourt Express Tennis Shoe (Women)

K-Swiss is a smaller player in the tennis world, but they provide both excellent value and products. This K-Swiss shoe is the perfect option for ladies with slightly wider feet and lower arches.

The Hypercourt Express has great cushioning and comfort with a slightly wider fit. The flexible synthetic leather upper gives this shoe a secure yet flexible fit, allowing you to move around the court quickly. The toe protection helps with durability, while the materials make for a very lightweight shoe.

For ladies with narrow feet, this is not the best shoe. This shoe also lacks support around the outside, so players who run and cut quickly may not get the stability they need. This shouldn’t be a problem for most recreational players, however.

Pros and Cons

  • Very lightweight & responsive
  • Great for wider feet
  • Excellent comfort
  • Good toe protection
  • Very little time to break in
  • Not for women with narrow feet
  • Less supportive than other options

Nike Air Zoom Vapor Cage 4 Tennis Shoe (Men & Women)

Nike’s Vapor Cage line of tennis shoes is built prioritizing support, stability, and durability. These shoes are used and designed for Rafael Nadal.

The laces combine with the upper of the shoe to wrap around the midfoot to create maximum stability and responsiveness. The outsole also wraps around the outsides and toe for extra durability. The Air Zoom technology under the foot makes these shoes very comfortable.

These are excellent hard-court tennis shoes because of their durability and stability. You can slide and move around the court with ease and comfort. These shoes are best for intermediate to advanced level tennis players looking for high-performance shoes.

Pros and Cons

  • Great support & durability
  • Good stability for people who slide or move quickly
  • Very comfortable
  • Excellent responsiveness
  • Slightly heavier than some shoes
  • Does not breathe as well as other shoes

Adidas Stella Court Barricade Tennis Shoe (Women)

For women who want a high-performance, comfortable, and lightweight shoe, the Adidas Stella Court is one of the best shoes on the market.

The Stella Court, like most Adidas shoes, has a great combination of comfort, performance, and style. These shoes come with a mesh upper material that gives them a sock-like fit. This helps add comfort, support, and responsiveness. The upper is also very breathable to help keep your feet dry. The technology put into the sole of the shoe offers great cushion without sacrificing performance.

It’s a lightweight shoe without a ton of outside support, but excellent comfort. Advanced tennis players who play several times per week and move quickly around the court may wear these shoes out quickly, but will love the performance.

Pros and Cons

  • Great comfort & performance
  • Very lightweight
  • Secure, sock-like fit
  • Breathable upper helps keep feet dry
  • Not as stable as other shoes

Prince T22 & T22.5 Tennis Shoe (Men & Women)

The Prince T22 tennis shoe is a great value for recreational and competitive tennis players.

This shoe offers excellent comfort, durability, and support for hard court players. They have a slightly wider fit than other shoes for tennis like Asics, allowing your foot room to breathe. These shoes offer great toe protection which helps with toe drag. The cushion under the foot is better than most shoes as well, making this a great shoe for players who need extra ankle or knee support.

They have a 6-month outsole guarantee as well. The area these shoes are lacking is their weight. They are slightly heavier than most other shoes, but that comes with better support and comfort.

Pros and Cons

  • Very durable
  • Good toe protection
  • Excellent cushion and support
  • 6-month durability guarantee
  • Wider toe box allows feet to breathe
  • Great value for recreational players
  • Less arch support than other shoes
  • Heavier than most shoes

Best Tennis Shoe for Wide Feet: New Balance MC 1006 4E (Men)

New Balance makes some of the best tennis shoes for men with wide feet. Their MC 1006 4E model is designed with maximum comfort for wider feet.

Similar to other New Balance shoes, this shoe is made of high-quality materials in the sole, midsole, and upper. Their REVlite technology provides extra cushion and comfort under the foot. The outsole also wraps around the front of the toe and inside of the shoe to increase durability.

The upper is lightweight and made of mesh and synthetic materials that help with breathability. The cushioned tongue helps create even more comfort around the upper.

Pros and Cons

  • Best shoe for wide feet
  • Very comfortable
  • Good breathability & lightweight shoe
  • Durable outsole
  • Not the best support

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Shoes for Tennis

Similar to choosing a tennis racquet, when purchasing shoes for tennis, you will want to figure out what is most important to you.

There is no one perfect shoe for everyone, so below, we will help you decide what type of shoe is best for you. If you want a lightweight shoe, for example, you may need to sacrifice some durability in the shoes you choose.

What Makes Shoes Better for Tennis?

Shoes for the sport of tennis are different than normal “tennis shoes” in several ways.

  • They have a flat sole with less tread helping them respond better to your movements.
  • They offer more toe protection and cushion to increase durability.
  • The outside is built to keep the foot stable when moving laterally.

The Parts of a Tennis Shoe

Before we find the right type of shoe, there are several terms related to shoes you should know to fully understand this guide.

Parts of a tennis shoe
  • Sole or Outsole – the bottom of the shoe. Usually made of rubber.
  • Insole – the insert that goes inside the shoe under your foot.
  • Upper – the top part of the shoe that covers the foot. Typically textile & synthetic material.
  • Tongue – the part of the shoe under the upper that goes over the top of your foot.
  • Laces – you better know what laces are 😉

In this video, Dr. Zach Thomas explains in great detail all the parts of a shoe built for tennis and how each part helps tennis players perform better.

Now that we’re talking the same tennis shoe language, let’s figure out what is important for you in a shoe.

Do You Want a More Durable or Lightweight Shoe?

With shoes, you typically have to choose what combination of durability and weight that you want.

Durability Helps the Tennis Court Shoes Last Longer

Characteristics of shoes for tennis

This is important for advanced players who play tennis often, and move fast around the court but don’t want to have to buy a new pair of shoes every 6 months. Players who choose a more durable shoe also typically (but not always) get more support. We’ll have more on support below.

However, to make a shoe for tennis that is durable, shoe manufacturers have to add more materials to the shoe. This increases the weight of the shoe.

There are some materials and technologies that will help a shoe stay lightweight and last long, but that only works to a certain point. Playing tennis is tough on shoes, and all materials wear out eventually. Adding a fraction of an inch to the sole is an easy way to make a shoe last longer, so that’s often what the designers do.

Lightweight Shoes Help the Tennis Player Move Faster

A lightweight shoe will obviously let you move faster on the tennis court. You’ll be able to feel court easier through a thinner sole and move quicker. Tennis players who are in good shape and who like to cut, jump, and run quickly will often want a lighter shoe.

In general, lighter shoes will not last as long, so you have to buy new shoes every 6 months or so, depending on how you move on the court and how often you play.

The best tennis bags often have pockets for shoes to keep them protected when you’re not on the court.

Flexibility & Performance vs Support & Stability

Choosing between flexibility and support is similar to choosing between a durable and lightweight shoe. As you prioritize one, you sacrifice the other.

Who Uses More Flexible Shoes?

Flexibility allows the shoe to mold to your foot better as you move around the tennis court. A more flexible shoe will help you cut and run around the court better because as you move, the material in the shoe will adjust with your movement.

A more high-performance, flexible shoe is typically for advanced players who are in good shape, and less prone to injury. This type of player moves quickly on the tennis court and needs a shoe that can respond to their movements fast.

A good rule of thumb is, the more flexible you are, the more flexible your shoe can be. A shoe that is more flexible, however, will also usually have less support.

Who Needs a More Supportive Shoe?

Support provides stability and cushion for your feet and joints. A supportive shoe can have a higher profile around the ankle for extra support. It can also have more cushion in the sole and upper to absorb the impact and keep your foot stable when it hits the tennis court. This helps with pain and can help prevent injury, but does sacrifice mobility and flexibility.

If you’ve had tennis injuries, ankle, or knee pain in the past, then support will be a priority for you. To increase support and comfort further, make sure you’re wearing the best tennis socks for your feet.

Also, if you’re new to tennis or about to start playing more, and plan to play on hard courts, we recommend prioritizing support. Playing tennis on hard courts is harder on your joints than almost any sport you’ll play, so starting with a supportive shoe is advised.

Note: If you have had injuries, or are worried about injuries, please speak with a doctor about the right type of shoe and insole for you. We are not medical professionals.

Quality vs Value in a Tennis Shoe

As with any purchase, you have to decide how important the quality of the tennis sneaker is to you.

Man wearing Prince Tennis Shoes
The Prince T22.5 shoes are great value shoes for beginners and advanced players.

There are many shoes on the market you can get for under $70, but they will typically not last as long or have the combination of performance and stability that competitive players look for.

That said, if you’re only a recreational tennis player who only plays a few times per month, then a better value could be more important to you.

You ultimately have to decide for yourself. Above, we have reviewed both types of shoes.

Conclusion: Our Pick for the Best Shoes for Tennis

By now you should have an idea of what type of shoes for tennis you need. To recap, decide which of these criteria are most important to you.

  • Durability vs. Lightweight
  • Flexibility & Performance vs. Support & Stability
  • Quality vs. Value

Our pick for the best men’s shoe for tennis is the Adidas Adizero Ubersonic for its combination of performance, comfort, and durability.

For ladies tennis players, our top choice is the Nike Air Zoom Vapor Pro. It is a lightweight, comfortable, and responsive shoe for any level tennis player.

Will Boucek

About the author

Will Boucek is the Founder & CEO of The Tennis Tribe. He has played and coached tennis for over two decades. Will is a strategy analyst for ATP & WTA tour players and coaches. He also tests the latest tennis racquets, shoes, & other gear from Wilson, Babolat, Head, Prince, and other tennis brands. He currently lives in Fort Worth, Texas where he plays USTA leagues & tournaments.