This complete guide to the best shoes for tennis will show you the top shoes on the market for both men and women, and how to choose the right shoe for you.
Here’s what we did. We reviewed the major shoe brands for tennis to find the best shoes from each. Then, we analyzed each shoes weight, comfort, support, durability, and flexibility to show you how it will perform on the tennis court.
Our goal is to help you make the best decision for your feet, so you can play your best tennis without pain.
Before we dive into the individual reviews of each shoe, here’s our list of the top 9 shoes in case you’re in a rush.
There are several terms related to shoes you should know to fully understand this guide.
Now that we’re talking the same tennis shoe language, let’s figure out what is important for you in a shoe.
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.
With shoes, you typically have to choose what combination of durability and weight that you want.
Durability makes the shoe last longer. 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 brands 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.
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.
Choosing between flexibility and support is similar to choosing between a durable and lightweight shoe. As you prioritize one, you sacrifice the other.
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.
Who uses more flexible shoes for tennis?
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.
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.
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.
Who needs a more supportive shoe?
If you’ve had tennis injuries, ankle, or knee pain in the past, support will be a priority for you.
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.
As with any purchase, you have to decide how important the quality of the shoe is to you.
There are many shoes on the market you can get for well under $100, 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. Below, we have reviewed both types of shoes.
Below are our picks for the top 9 shoes for tennis players. We have reviewed 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 below. We have reviewed lightweight shoes, performance shoes, supportive shoes, best value shoes and more.
You can be confident that you’ll find a good fit for you below!
If you’re a competitive tennis player, on the court a few times per week or more, and need a stable and durable shoe, the Adidas Barricade series is for you.
This shoe is made with a combination of textile and synthetic upper, with a rubber outsole for excellent durability. Adidas uses a seamless mesh and flexible, soft tongue to enhance the comfort level as well. The Barricade chasis in the midfoot area add stability for all-court players, making it one of the most reliable shoes on the market. For tennis players who drag their foot on serves or volleys, the Adituff outsole wraps around the toe and midfoot area to create extra protection.
This shoe does take some time to break in, and is slightly heavier than other options. However, there is no better combination of durability, comfort, and performance than the Adidas Barricade.
Colors Available: 8
For a lighter weight performance shoe, the Nike Air Zoom Vapor X is perfect.
If you had to choose a shoe for only 1 match, this is it. The Vapor X is a version of Roger Federer’s shoe, and is the most versatile shoe in tennis. Nike’s Dynamic Fit system wraps around the foot for added comfort, while its breathable textile keeps your foot cool in warm conditions. This shoe has Zoom technology in the heel for extra cushion, but still has a low profile so you don’t sacrifice mobility.
Nike prioritized lightweight and versatility with this shoe, so the sole is not super durable. If you move a lot on the court, drag your foot, or simply want something that lasts longer, we recommend the Adidas shoe above. If you simply want the best performing shoe you can find, the Air Zoom Vapor X is for you.
Colors: Over 12
Asics makes several great shoes for tennis. Players who use Asics shoes include Novak Djokovic and Gael Monfils, who uses this shoe.
For players who seek a quality shoe with comfort and durability, but don’t want to spend too much, this is a great choice. The Gel-Resolution 7 incluses technology from the front to the heel of the shoe that increase comfort 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, great for clay court tennis players.
The synthetic sole wraps around the toe, and the side of the shoe for added durability. However if you still 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’s a little snug at first, but once broken in, it maintains support with a well-designed upper that offers a combination of comfort, stability, and flexibility.
The only minor complaint about this shoe is that it’s not as breathable as some competitors, and will take a match or two to break in. It’s also not recommended for wide feet.
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 comfort with it’s Seamfree technology. It’s outsole and toe protection also make this shoe last longer than most on the market. The flexible synthetic and textile upper makes this shoe breath very well, and allows for you move around the court with ease. This shoe is relatively lightweight compared to other shoes with similar durability.
For ladies with narrow feet, this is not the best shoe. Some players have reported that their foot slides too much because of the shoe’s width.
Another K-Swiss shoe, the Bigshot Light 3 tennis shoe for men offers great support and stability at a lower cost than competitors.
The supportive upper made of textile stabilizes your foot, so if you’ve had ankle or leg injuries in the past, this shoe might help. These shoes are comfortable and have a sole that wraps around the toe all the way to the inside of the midfoot for extra durability.
These shoes are not ideal for competitive players (USTA 4.0+) who want to move quickly around the court. The shoe prioritizes support and stability over flexibility and performance. But for most recreational players who want to spend under $100 on shoes, the Bigshot Light 3 is a great choice.
For women who do not play competitively, and want good value, Adidas’ Barricade Classic Bounce is a great shoe.
The Classic Bounce, like most Adidas shoes, has a great combination of stability, comfort, and performance. The Bounce technology provides comfort when your foot strikes the court. The textile and synthetic upper add extra comfort and stability. shoes areThese also very durable with extra toe protection and a rubber sole that protects the edges of the shoe.
This shoe is not ideal for advanced tennis players who play several times per week, as it lacks flexibility and does not breath great. The materials are also not the most durable for players who move quickly around the tennis court.
The GEL-Court Bella from Asics is perfect for women with normal width feet who need arch support.
This is one of the most comfortable shoes for the price on the market. Asics uses their GEL technology combined with memory foam to give any foot a snug fit. The shoe is slightly narrower in the front and includes high arch support. The rubber sole and toe protection make this shoe very durable as well.
This shoe has a low profile for ankle mobility but does lack some flexibility when compared with other shoes, so it is not an ideal shoe for advanced players (USTA 4.0+). For beginner to intermediate players, looking for great comfort and value, this is an excellent choice.
Another great shoe for recreational level tennis players, the Asics Gel-Challenger 12 is a very lightweight player friendly shoe.
If the K-Swiss Bigshot shoe above is perfect for beginner to intermediate players seeking stability and support, the Gel-Challenger 12 is ideal for the same level player who wants flexibility and performance. Acics used all of their latest, lightweight technology to cut ounces out of this shoe making it fast, and flexible.
The toe protection does help with toe drag, however this is not the most durable shoe. We don’t recommend it for advanced tennis players who are on the court often. The shoe also isn’t the best option for stability or support, if you’ve had injuries.
This is the best tennis shoe for men with wide feet. Adidas Barricade’s Classic Wide 4E model allows maximum comfort and support for wider feet.
Similar to the rest of the Barricade series, this shoe is made of synthetic materials that increase comfort and durability for tennis players. Their Adiprene technology provides cushion and response in the forefoot, while the Adituff sole comes around the toe and inside of the shoe to make it last longer.
The upper is made of mesh and synthetic materials that add stability around the foot. The cushioned tongue also creates extra comfort.
By now you should have an idea of what type of shoe for tennis you need.
To recap, decide which of these criteria are most important to you.
Our pick for the best men’s shoe for tennis is the Adidas Barricade for it’s combination of performance, comfort, and durability.
For ladies tennis players, our top choice is the Nike Air Zoom Vapor X. It is a lightweight, comfortable, and responsive shoe for any level of tennis player.