Best Shoes for Tennis Reviewed & Rated
Tennis is a sport which is about control and performance. The correct footwear in a sport like tennis will not just mean looking the part, but even more, tennis shoes have the function of protecting you from injury and allowing you to perform at your maximum. With a lower profile than most athletic shoes, the soles on tennis footwear are made to provide good traction on outside courts. A good pair of best tennis shoes will provide you with enough cushioning and shock absorption so that you don’t feel any discomfort or pain in the feet or joints, and they will be durable both in the upper as well as on the sole area.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 18 hrs of research
Pro Torque Chassis
10 Best Tennis Sneakers
1. Wilson Rush Pro 2.5
Pro Torque Chassis
Soft Toe Guard
Slow To Dry
For those who play an explosive and fast style, the Wilson Rush Pro 2.5 is a natural choice. Updated in terms of color to follow the latest trends, this shoe gives you everything you would expect from a name that goes hand in hand with tennis. With the brand’s successful Sensifeel technology, the Rush Pro 2.5 combines comfort with stability for the best possible results. At 13 oz it’s a lightweight shoe that’ll feel like an extension rather than a weight at the end of your training sessions, making it a great choice for those who like to play long and full out.Read more
The Rush Pro 2.5 gives you great responsiveness so that your feet can naturally adapt to any step. Additionally, you’ll find that the 6 mm drop is the perfect amount for when you want to build speed, providing more effective acceleration than most other models on this list.
Using specially developed technology that provides stability from the arch, the Rush Pro 2.5 gives you torsion control so that you can remain certain that even during fast lateral movements, your feet will remain supported.
2. Babolat Jet
Kompressor Heel System
Ortholite memory foam Insole
Durable Rubber Outsole
Not For Slippery Conditions
The Babolat Jet is a Tennis shoe that was made with aggressive players in mind and is the perfect choice for advanced and professional players who demand the absolute maximum from their equipment. It’s a pair of shoes that are very lightweight, clocking in at just 11.5 ounces, but unlike most lightweight shoes, these do not sacrifice outsole quality and durability in order to shed the weight. Instead, the Babolat Jet worked with experts at Michelin to develop the best type of rubber which will offer you both traction and durability on the court.Read more
Most Tennis shoes will show signs of wear in the upper too fast, sacrificing the support and stability you need in order to make fast lateral movements without risking injury. Babolat incorporates Kevlar (the stuff bulletproof vests are made of) and high resistance polyamide threads into the upper to ensure maximum lifespan, no matter how hard you play.
The Jet includes a patented heel design by Babolat made to provide superior shock absorption in the heel, using a special TPR (thermoplastic rubber) tube compressing system. The insole is made by Ortholite and features memory foam for better cushioning and less damage on your feet and joints from those forceful impacts you’re bound to make during play.
3. ASICS GEL-Solution Speed 3
Comfortable GEL Cushioning
Personal Heel Fit
Flexion Fit Upper
These performance-oriented Tennis shoes are an improvement on one of the most popular models of tennis footwear, chosen by professional and advanced players, as well as those who want to have the best possible features when on the court. Featuring plenty of cushioning and ASICS’ specially developed technologies focused on providing good support and a comfortable fit, these shoes are a great, lightweight Tennis shoe that will take your game to the next level.Read more
Much like the GEL-Resolution 7, the GEL-Solution Speed 3 also features a FLEXION FIT upper for a flexible but stable fit around the entire foot. The Personal Heel Fit collar is another great addition for maximizing comfort and support throughout the upper, while locking the heel, thus preventing any slippage and lowering the chance for injuries or painful slips.
The outsole of the GEL-Solution Speed 3 features a High Abrasion Rubber outsole with a herringbone tread pattern made for excellent traction on all types of courts, while the PGUARD toe protector reduces the wear in the toe area which is a great feature if you are a player who tends to drag their toes while playing.
4. Adidas Barricade
Abrasion Resistant ADITUFF
Torsion System Support
The Adidas Barricade is an immensely popular Tennis shoe which can be seen on courts all over the world. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced player, you’re sure to love this pair of footwear seeing that it is completely performance driven, and is perfect for the aggressive player who needs a stable and supportive shoe. Featuring Adiprene+ cushioning in the forefoot and heel, these will feel great even during forceful landings.Read more
One of the things that makes these shoes so good is the ADIWEAR Outsole which works great on all surfaces. The midfoot features the 3D TORSION SYSTEM which provides additional support and stability which are so important for fast lateral movement, while the forefoot is covered by the abrasion-resistant ADITUFF which is a good addition for players who drag their feet.
The upper of these shoes is made with Barricade mesh which is highly breathable thanks to the perforations which allow airflow. The synthetic overlays provide a snug fit for better stability and support.
5. Nike Men's Court Lite
Named after the winged Greek goddess that leads soldiers to victory, Nike is heavily invested in creating top-notch products for athletes and casual folks alike. As the name implies, The Court Lite sneaker is designed with a full-length Phylon midsole, which properly supports your feet without adding extra weight to the shoe. A mesh tongue reinforces breathability, while the full synthetic upper provides the right balance of comfort and durability, no matter how hard you play.Read more
With any sport, your shoes are bound to take a beating. So, it’s important for them to be durable. A durable shoe will last you far longer, allowing you to get more value out of them. The Court Lite is made with 100% synthetic materials that are designed with durability in mind. There is also an added layer of material covering the toe section to reinforce abrasion resistance.
We mentioned the Phylon midsole before the jump, but what is it really? The Phylon midsole is a technology unique to Nike shoes, and the manufacturing process involves heating up compressed EVA foam and then allowing it to cool in a mold. Because these lightweight and low-profile midsoles are molded, they can be made into a variety of shapes to support any foot.
6. ASICS GEL-Resolution 7
Flexion Fit Upper
Extremely Lightweight Midsole
memory foam Lined Collar
High Abrasion Rubber Outsole
Small Toe Box
The successor to the already amazing ASICS GEL-Resolution 6, the next version takes all the features that make the six such a popular option among professional athletes to a whole new level. This shoe gives you excellent flexibility; this means that athletes will no longer have to sacrifice stability or support. In the front of the shoe, the toe protector has a high abrasion rubber sole which ensures long use. This product is even covered by a six-month warranty for excessive use.Read more
One of the things that distinguish ASICS athletic footwear from other brands is the gender-specific forefoot and rearfoot GEL cushioning that is there to absorb shock from forceful impact and to allow the best possible for your foot to move over multiple panes all throughout the gait cycle. All this comes with the added benefits of a SOLYTE midsole which is supportive, but lighter than EVA and SpEVA foam midsoles.
The 7th edition of the ASICS GEL-Resolution saw most of its improvements in the way the upper fits your foot. The upper is updated to include the FLEXION FIT UPPER which provides form-fitting comfort and gives a good amount of support throughout the entire foot. The heel is fitted with 2 layers of memory foam which line the collar in order to provide a fully customized heel fit that molds to your foot.
7. Babolat Propulse Fury
Durable Michelin Rubber Outsole
Stabilizing TPU Cage
Wide Toe Box
Low To Ground Feel
May Rub Ankles
The Babolat Propulse Fury is a pair of tennis shoes that completely focus on providing the highest possible level of comfort through an innovative upper that wraps around the foot and offers excellent support and stability throughout your practice sessions. Offering a natural fit and a good amount of cushioning underfoot, these are good shoes for aggressive players who need a pair of footwear that will accommodate their style of play. These shoes are available in an all court and a clay version.Read more
One of the best features of these shoes is the Ortholite insole which provides excellent cushioning underfoot, and good arch support, best suited for players with medium and low arches. The upper breaks in fast, making these shoes flexible and very comfortable for wear, even for players who have a wider foot and need more room in the toe area. The higher shoe collar improves lateral support.
This pair of shoes will have you riding low to the ground, enabling to get a better feel of the court while maintaining a high level of stability through the TPU cage which wraps up around your foot. This is especially important for aggressive and fast changes of direction when you need your shoes to securely hold your feet to prevent any slippage or even injury.
8. Asics Mens Gel-Dedicate 5
Synthetic, Flexible Upper
Forefoot GEL Cushioning System
Trusstic System Technology
Size Runs Narrow
This is one of those court shoes you want in your arsenal during cooler days. The synthetic, flexible upper does not allow for great airflow; a desirable component in cool weather. There is good traction and the shoe is built to handle abrupt changes in movement. Furthermore, the gel cushioning system promotes better shock attenuation during propulsion.Read more
This system is in place to reduce the overall weight of the outsole without reducing the overall integrity of the design. Furthermore, the structure remains solid enough to make these shoes last through the season. Flexibility is a must-have feature when evaluating the sudden stops and starts found in pickleball/court play. The upper does not disappoint, in this regard. It is not, however, a shoe for summer, as there is little ventilation. On the other hand, it is perfect for cool weather play.
These shoes are great for cool weather play; but more importantly, this is a pair of shoes which is budget-friendly. As such, you cannot go wrong with this pair of pickleball and court shoes.
9. New Balance 806
EVA Foam C-CAP Midsole
NDURANCE Rubber Outsole
Lightning Dry Lining
Run Slightly Small
“We don't make our shoes to fit an image. We make them fit.” That's the philosophy New Balance lives by, using their money for research instead of endorsements from professional athletes. And it seems like their research has paid off. The MC806 is a pair of tennis shoes that are solely focused on stability and support and is perfect for playing on hard courts. With plenty of cushioning and shock absorption, these shoes are made to bring your game to the max without having to worry about slipping or rolling an ankle.Read more
These shoes are made to cushion each of your landings, minimizing the force of impact your ankles and knees would otherwise take from the hard concrete court. ABZORB cushions made of foam and rubber can be found at the front and back of the MC806, while the compression molded EVA C-CAP midsole offers support that some people love so much they even wear these shoes like a pair of casual sneakers.
These New Balance tennis shoes feature the specially developed ROLLBAR, a posting system found at the outsoles on the back of the shoes to help minimize movement of the heel. This helps maximize control of your feet and minimizes the chances of rolling your ankles. Also, the NDURANCE rubber outsole gives excellent traction and wear time on all surfaces.
10. K-Swiss Hypercourt Express
Perfect For Wide Feet
Non-Slip Lined Heel
Padded Collar & Tongue
Herringbone Pattern Traction
Unsuitable For Narrow Feet
The Hypercourt Express by K-Swiss is a lightweight tennis shoe, featuring a specially designed upper that is meant to offer performance and comfort without creating too much bulk. Perfect for players with wide feet looking for a shoe that enables sleek and fast play, the Hypercourt Express by K-Swiss is an excellent choice for those who want good ventilation and comfort while being ready to sacrifice durability for a little less weight.Read more
The best feature of these shoes is the upper which was constructed with K-Swiss specially developed Seamfree technology which bonds layers of a TPU cage on a breathable mesh, creating a completely seamless, lightweight and breathable upper that will perfectly wrap around the foot, providing a flexible, but very stable fit. The ankle collar and tongue provide plenty of padding, eliminating any pressure points or hotspots that might appear with other shoes.
The die-cut EVA foam sock liner found in the Hypercourt Express provides the perfect combination of cushioning and arch support and is a good choice for players who wear custom orthotics, seeing that when the insole is removed, plenty of space will still be left for their own inserts. The heel is lined with a non-slip material, preventing any heel slippage inside the shoe.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Tennis is a sport which requires fast thinking and lightning fast reflexes. Quickly starting and stopping, moving at a high speed in one direction only to change that direction in a millisecond requires you to have an outsole which is sturdy and provides you with a good grip of the surface underfoot. It is the soles of your shoes which can protect you from injuries such as sprained ankles or Achilles tendon injuries, so this is the aspect of the shoe you will need to consider the most before making your purchase.
Tennis shoes will have hard rubber outsoles with a wide footprint in order to provide a stable and secure grip, while the traction is usually given by the tread pattern. You will see that most tennis shoes have a herringbone tread pattern as it performs excellently on all types of surface, both concrete, and clay.
Second, you need to look at the type of rubber used on your tennis shoes, as harder surfaces will take a bigger toll on the outsole. Some manufacturers such as ASICS and Adidas use high abrasion rubber which is supposed to last longer and be able to take more of a beating, ultimately providing you with a long time of wear. Other manufacturers will use their own rubber compounds which are just as effective in giving you the required traction and durability.
Some manufacturers take into consideration the parts of the shoe which deteriorate the fastest and add stronger elements in order to ensure an even wear on the whole of the shoe. Toe guards are such a feature and are inserted into the shoe in order to prevent the uneven wear which happens when players drag their toes during serves and volleys.
Overall, you can expect a pair of tennis shoes to last you about 60 hours of play, after which you will start seeing signs of wear, flattening of the tread and a decrease in the level of grip you get from your shoes. Once these signs of wear start to show, it’s important that you replace your shoes. Playing with worn out soles is not just going to make your play less effective, it can lead to serious injury which could prevent you from playing for weeks or even months.
The midsole of your shoes is the part which ensures that you get the required stability, support and cushioning that allows you to play at the top of your game.
What to look for:
The upper material of a tennis shoe needs to be both supportive and flexible, to allow you to move freely, without letting your foot slide around, especially during fast cuts. Tennis shoe manufacturers are aware of the demands of the game and have taken up the task of creating uppers which are both strong and supportive, keeping the foot steadily in place, but also soft and flexible to prevent any rubbing or discomfort inside the shoe. Also, with difficult physical activity comes perspiration, so it is important that your chosen tennis shoes can breathe well without making your feet feel like they’re in a pot of boiling water.
Sports shoes today will usually feature perforated uppers, and this is the case for most of the items on this list. You may also look into the lining material of the shoe, as you will want a mesh-like textile or synthetic which will wick away moisture and feel soft to the touch. Some of the shoes on this list have linings which have been treated to prevent the development of odors, which is a great addition to have in your next pair of athletic footwear.
Materials to look for:
Also, you want to pay attention to what type of socks you are wearing. Sweaty feet from hard practices lead to a plethora of problems for your feet. From itching and burning athlete’s foot to that awful odor that always seems to creep in. Merino Wool is one of the best moisture wicking materials for socks, and it does an excellent job of keeping your feet nice and dry.
When selecting Tennis footwear, you also need to consider the sole material. Different courts require different shoes. You may only play on hard courts, such as concrete, but if you’re going to be making your way across grass and clay as well, then you’ll most likely need a couple of pairs of shoes.
The price of a shoe can sometimes be a deal breaker. That’s part of the reason why footwear manufacturers invest time and energy into creating cost-effective technologies to incorporate into their shoes to make them durable, long-lived, versatile, and inexpensive.
Durability & Longevity
Footwear, usually, lasts more than a few months, because shoes that are going to fall apart after a few months of use aren’t worth the investment of more than a few dollars. Leather and synthetic overlays can be used to make the shoes more durable without sacrificing flexibility. Firm leather or synthetic uppers provide durability and support.
Great footwear can be used for more than one activity. Walking and running shoes, for example, can be used in some casual sports. Stylish athletic footwear could be used in informal work environments. Sandals can be used in casual and semi-formal settings. The more situations you can use the shoe in, the more value it offers for the price.
Good footwear is easy to maintain and clean. They don’t require a lot of expensive shoe treatments or time-consuming upkeep. Shoes that need a lot of effort, time and money to maintain, don’t sell as well as shoes which are easier and cost less to keep.
As mentioned earlier, removable inserts in footwear make it customizable, but that’s not the only bonus to removable inserts. Removable inserts increase the longevity of the shoe, which is why some come with removable inserts.
A hefty price tag can be a deal-breaker for people on a budget. That’s why many can be found in the low-to-middle price range. They’re affordable, and if they are priced a little higher than others, then they offer many features to make the footwear worth the extra investment.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
You tennis shoes may have different soles, based on where they are intended for using. outdoor courts can wear shoes down drastically, so soles tend to be a bit more hearty. Indoor tennis shoes many times will have non-marking soles so rubber doesn't show on the court from quick stops.
One of the worst things when you're starting out in the game, learning swings, positioning, and serves, is to develop tennis elbow. This is usually caused by overuse of the tendons in the forearm and hands, when gripping, hitting, and swinging the racquet.
Take your time when learning, and after practice, stretch your fingers and forearms, and even get a quick forearm massage. Warming up properly, and allowing your tendons time to strengthen will only improve your game!
Other Factors to Consider
A good pair of shoes for tennis needs to have a good grip of the ground, it needs to absorb the shock from hard landings, and it needs to fit comfortably and be in the right size. A great pair will also last long, especially when it comes to the tread pattern on the outsole and the upper which takes a rough beating quite often. When making your choice it is crucial to consider the features that will make a pair of shoes perfect for you. In addition to size, width, and type of fit, you also need to consider your style of play, as well as some unique necessities you may require such as custom orthotics, toe guards, removable insoles, special lacing systems or a specific type of cushioning. To ensure that you are making a good choice, you can read up about how we compiled our list of the top 10 tennis shoes available on the market in the Criteria for Evaluation and Frequently Asked Questions sections, which include plenty of useful information that will help you make the best-educated purchase.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What are some of the differences between tennis sneakers and any other kind of shoe or sneaker?
Because tennis sneakers are intentionally designed for multitudes of starts and stops, they are typically flatter. This allows for enhanced agility. Additionally, the outsoles are fortified with developed patterns designed for optimal surface grip, these will vary depending upon the court type that is being played on.
q: If I am a Baseline Player, what type of sneaker should I consider?
Since baseliners usually frequent the back of the court, you would need heavy-duty lateral support. Look for sneakers which emphasize stability, such as the Prince T22, ASICS GEL-Speed Solution 3 or K-Swiss Hypercourt Express.
q: If I am a Serve and Volley Player, what type of sneaker should I consider?
Because these players have constant back-sliding foot action (during the serve) along with a love of charging the net, a sneaker with a reinforced toe (toecap) would be optimal.
q: What are tips for purchasing sneakers based on court surface type?
Many readers may be interested in purchasing a sneaker based on court surface type. There are traditionally three main options:
For the typical hard-court player, one would benefit from more rugged materials like a leather or vinyl, integrated into either the outsole of the uppers. These uppers should be ultra-supportive, have the ability to “bounce back” and endure the test of time with unmatched resilience.
Softer courts are all about the traction, this portion of the sneaker is where details count. It will come down to the design and materials used to create the ridges and valleys engraved in the outsoles of the tennis sneaker, these will have to be non-damaging, the lightest and most delicate of traction surfaces possibly designed. They have to grip the court – yet do so with a softest of caresses.
Multi-court players want a sneaker that will stand up to all court surfaces. There are specially designed tennis sneakers especially created to withstand both hard and soft court surfaces, wearing the same pair and not having to switch to another pair of tennis shoes.
q: Is there a physical (and simple!) test that I can take that will help me in the pre-selection phase of my future tennis sneaker?
Yes, it could help to determine the type of foot you have – this will ensure a sculpted fit and also identify which areas of your foot need support. Make your foot wet and step on a concrete pathway or a piece of paper. The resulting footprint will leave an outline and you will be able to identify if you are one of the following types:
Overpronator – wide footprint, not much narrowing toward the middle of the sole
Neutral – hourglass silhouette, wide near toes, narrower sole, slightly wider heel
Under pronator – Odd uneven shadow, where the middle is a “wisp”, thin and narrow with a wide toe and fairly narrow heel
q: Could you recommend which types of sneakers to look for and what types of health issues and tips there are regarding overpronators, neutrals and under pronation?
If you tend to overpronate, then you might want to consider a tennis shoe that stabilizes your stride and steps, you tend to roll your foot towards the inside with every step, a thoroughly developed support system will help to stabilize your motion.
The neutrals are fortunate, any tennis players or sneaker wearers with this sneaker type can wear and adjust to almost any tennis sneaker. The foot is flexible and adaptable enough to conform to all structures.
The under pronators will do the opposite of the overpronators, with every stride they talk, the outward roll of the foot is highly-distinguishable. By selecting an extremely flexible sneaker, they can have greater chances of avoiding pain or raw patches by uneven wear. A sneaker with give will also help to provide a form of shock absorption, providing support when the feet head outwards.