There's a lot to consider when looking for the best tennis shoes, especially because the type of court you play on will influence the kind of trainers you go for.
For instance, hard court shoes typically come with classic herringbone patterns for traction on what's already a fairly grippy surface. Therefore, you may need something with a little more grip to keep you balanced on grass.
With this in mind, we've rounded up a selection of top tennis shoes for both grass and hard court matches based on their price, reviews, and any unique features that set them apart from their competition.
As a result, there's no shortage of great options for us to choose from. However, we've narrowed things down to a handful of trainers that, we believe, can take your game to the next level.
Stick around too because we've answered some of the most frequently asked questions about tennis shoes to help you come to a more informed decision about which shoes are right for you and your play style. Before that though, let's get into our list...
Best Tennis Shoes
- ASICS Gel-Resolution 8
- NikeCourt React Vapor NXT
- HEAD Spring Pro 3.5
- K-Swiss Hypercourt Express 2
- NikeCourt Lite 2
Best all-round tennis shoes - ASICS Gel-Resolution 8
While tennis shoes come in an array of different shapes and sizes, we feel you won't find many as well-rounded as these ASICS Gel-Resolution 8s.
ASICS boasts its tennis shoes promote a responsive stride with a close-to-the-court feel thanks to their FLEXION FIT uppers for form-fitting support and AHAR compound in the outsoles that work in conjunction with the PGUARD toe protector to increase traction on the court.
Moreover, the shoes feature DYNAWALL technology, which has been designed to deliver more midfoot stability during lateral movements and coast-to-coast coverage to help make returning shots that bit easier.
All in all, we feel you won't find many shoes packed with more technology than these highly advanced Gel-Resolution 8s.
Best hard court tennis shoes - NikeCourt React Vapor NXT
For hard-court games, we believe these NikeCourt React Vapor NXTs are well worth considering.
What we like about these shoes, in particular, is that Nike has used data to inform its design, resulting in features such as herringbone outsoles that are engineered to provide optimal grip without impacting your ability to slide.
The data also helped decisions like placing the soft foam near the arches of your feet as it seems to work best with the firmer foam along the outsides which, in turn, should make it easier to get closer to the ground.
On the whole, React Vapor NXTs are strong contenders and a great example of Nike's expertise in sportswear.
Best grass court tennis shoes - HEAD Spring Pro 3.5
Stability and balance are key when it comes to playing on grass, and these HEAD Sprint Pro 3.5s look as though they have both in abundance.
For instance, they feature TPU heel counters across the heels which, HEAD states, can help improve stability on the court.
Furthermore, the aggressive herringbone traction pattern is designed to provide optimal grip on both hard and grass surfaces.
As a result, we feel it's hard to look past these HEAD Sprint Pro 3.5s if you typically play on grass.
Best tennis shoes for wide feet - K-Swiss Hypercourt Express 2
If you struggle to find tennis shoes that fit comfortably, then these K-Swiss Hypercourt Express 2s could be your answer.
K-Swiss boasts the shoe's Durawrap Flex gives them additional support with no break-in period, while Surgelite midsole technology should provide all-day comfort.
Not only that but their lightweight and breathable frame should provide enough flexibility in order to accommodate all foot sizes.
Ultimately, these sneakers look to be well worth considering if you're looking for tennis shoes built for wider feet.
Best tennis shoes for beginners - NikeCourt Lite 2
Tennis shoes can be quite expensive; however, these NikeCourt Lite 2s look to be a great pick if you're trying to secure a top pair for less to get you started.
Their lower price tag doesn't mean they're not packed with technology though. For example, you get five distinct traction patterns across the outsoles, with each one designed to maximise grip during the five fundamental movements.
The shoes also feature padded collars and tongues for added comfort around your ankles as well as security to help minimise the risk of injury.
Overall, the NikeCourt Lite 2s look as though they can seriously upgrade your tennis game, and their relatively low price is a definite bonus too as a beginner as well.
Frequently Asked Questions About Tennis Shoes
With so many tennis shoes available, you may have a few questions about what makes each of them stand out.
Don't worry though because we've answered some of the most common queries right here.
Why do you need tennis shoes to play tennis?
Tennis is a game that can be played in a simple pair of running trainers for instance; however, we'd recommend picking up dedicated tennis shoes if you're serious about the sport.
Tennis shoes are designed to provide lateral support with their relatively flat outsoles and outriggers to maximise your grip on the court.
In turn, this should help minimise your risk of injury and can even improve your speed across the surface to help you get the most out of your tennis ability.
Tennis shoes also tend to feature toe guards for protection when you make quick stop-and-go movements whilst chasing down returns.
What should you look for from a pair of tennis shoes?
As mentioned, one of the first things you'll need to consider when trying to pick the right tennis shoes for you is the type of courts you play on.
Hart court shoes tend to classic herringbone traction patterns and come with tons of cushioning to help absorb shock upon impact with the harder surface.
By comparison, grass court shoes often come with "pimples" or more aggressive traction across the outsoles to improve grip on what is typically a more slippery surface.
Other factors you might want to consider include the weight of the shoes as well as the size in order to remain comfortable during a game or practice.
To help you get the size right, make sure you check out our guide on measuring your shoe size right here.
How much should you spend on tennis shoes?
This will really depend on how seriously you take and invest in the sport, plus your available budget when it comes to buying a new pair.
As shown in our list, tennis shoes can sometimes cost a fair bit; however, you don't necessarily have to spend loads to pick up a top set.
We'd suggest figuring out what exactly it is you're in need of from a pair of tennis shoes, then using that information to inform how much you'll need to spend to get exactly what it is you're after.
What are tennis shoes made of?
This depends on the shoes in question, although most tennis trainers these days are made from either leather or mesh and feature flexible rubber outsoles to deliver comfort, grip, and breathability.
Some may also come with plastic sections designed to encase the shoes to provide better lateral stability and support. This is vital in tennis, in particular, as you'll find yourself running along rather than to and from the baseline more often than not.
How do you clean tennis shoes?
We'd recommend regularly cleaning your tennis shoes, particularly their soles, in order to maintain their performance and lifespan.
To do this, simply use a soft-bristled brush to remove surface dirt, then take a damp cloth and some shoe cleaner, like Angelus Easy Cleaner, to remove any remaining stains.
As mentioned in our guide to cleaning tennis shoes, make sure you leave them to dry naturally and away from direct sunlight to avoid permanent damage.
How do you lace tennis shoes?
One of the most commonly used methods of lacing tennis shoes is actually one we've covered before in our guide to lacing football boots.
Start by creating a bar across the first row of eyelets (the holes you thread shoelaces through), then weave the two ends through the next eyelets up on the opposing sides until you reach the top.
There are a few alternative methods you could try; however, this cross-over approach seems to be the most common.
How long do tennis shoes last?
There's no set rule on how long tennis shoes last as it all depends on how often you play wearing them, your play style, and the type of courts you play typically on as hard courts tend to wear out your shoes faster.
That said, the USTA says that, on average, a pair of tennis shoes will last around 45-60 hours of playtime before the midsoles become worn out.
Therefore, if you play once a week for an hour at a time, then you may find it beneficial to replace shoes at least once a year.
Can tennis shoes be used for running?
The simple answer is yes, although they may not be as effective as a pair of the best running shoes.
Most notably, tennis shoes tend not to feature as much cushioning as running shoes because you need a certain degree of stability and feel on the court.
Tennis shoes also come with significantly more lateral stability than needed for running thanks to the back-and-forth nature and the side-to-side action of the sport.
That being said, tennis shoes are definitely not the worst shoes you can wear to run in, and if they work for you then there's little point changing.
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