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Excellent coordination, quick reflexes and optimal endurance are just a few of the important elements that make up a great tennis player. However, what’s almost equally important is the equipment you use on the court. While tennis gear like racquets, shorts, shirts and tennis skirts are pretty universal, any pro tennis player will tell you that the right shoes can make a world’s difference. Great shoes help with complicated footwork, keeping you feeling fresh from match to match, all while preventing injuries.
With so many shoes to choose from, finding the right pair for your playing style and foot shape can be a challenge. Luckily, we’ve put in hours of research to craft a list of the best tennis shoes on the market based on characteristics like durability, affordability, style and comfort. Come dive in with us as we take you through this list of top-tier tennis, as well as our guide to finding the best tennis shoe for your needs!
Our Picks for the Best Tennis Shoes:
- Price: $90
- Nike Air Max Bubble
- Grooved insole
- Players who want an all-around shoe
- Players who want better blister protection
Whether you’re just beginning your tennis journey, already an avid player or just want a pair of shoes that you can wear everywhere, from the court to the streets, the NikeCourt Air Max Volley shoes are your best bet. The Air Max Volleys come injected with Nike’s Air Max bubble, reducing pressure on your foot as you land hard. You also get heel foam pods for added protection.
Blisters suck. Nothing can take the fun out of a game faster than a bad blister. Luckily, these tennis shoes come with a grooved insole, which prevents your foot from sliding around as you maneuver about the court. This insole prevents friction, which, in turn, prevents blisters.
Compared to most high-end tennis shoes, the NikeCourt Air Max Volleys are relatively affordable. While there are so many things to love about these shoes, the only thing we wish they had was a better grip. Even though the tread pattern has a generative traction design for hard courts, the sliding channels and pivot points aren’t totally there, providing less stability.
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- Easy break-in period
- Grooved insole for blister protection
- Shock-absorbing bubble
- Not the best support
- Average grip
- Price: $130
- Bounce cushioning
- No break-in time
- Players who don’t want a break-in period
- Players who want a lightweight shoe
The Adidas Avacourt is one of the best tennis shoes in the game. It was designed specifically for women, taking into account the shape and size of a lady’s foot, as well as how female tennis players maneuver about the court. You can even ask Garbiñe Muguruza, who is just one of the famous players that reps this shoe.
The beauty of it is that it requires virtually zero break-in time, giving you pure comfort right off the bat. Most of this has to do with the bounce cushioning, which provides a slight spring in the step from the first wear.
One of the only major downsides to this shoe is the tongue, which comes up a bit higher than some people like. If you don’t wear protective socks, it could get a bit scratchy and cut into your ankle.
With that said, these women’s tennis shoes still provide a solid mix of durability, comfort, and style, living up to the Adidas name.
- Does not require a break-in period
- Lightweight materials
- The laces might be a bit too long
- Not the most breathable
- Price: $125
- Quality cushioning
- Players who want ground feedback
- Players who want more wiggle room in the toe
With careful attention to comfort and design, the Asics Gel-Resolution 8 Men’s Tennis Shoes allow you to run swiftly back and forth across the court without suffering from aching feet. Whether you’re a casual or serious player, you’ll enjoy the strategic design elements of this pro tennis shoe.
Note that these shoes run a bit large, so we highly recommend them for those with wider feet, as well as those who like to have a slight bit more wiggle room in the toe box. With that said, the midsole and ankle fit feel comfortable.
You get padding around the underside of the foot, which makes every step feel like you’re walking on clouds. However, we never felt disconnected from the floor, which is crucial.
One thing to note is that the top of the shoe uses a harder material, meaning it will require some break-in time.
- Comfortable cushioning
- Quality sole pivot points
- Tons of grip
- Toe box is slightly longer than average
- The break-in period feels a bit long
- Price: $54
- State-of-the-art stitching
- Fresh Foam guards
- Players who want a shoe with a locked-in heel
- Players who want impact protection
It’s easy to fall in love with New Balance shoes, as the company always seems to come out with the most colorful, eye-catching designs. However, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to the New Balance Fresh Foam LAV shoes.
For starters, many have praised this shoe for its secure fit, which is thanks to the unique stitching across the exterior. On the underside, you get NB’s Fresh Foam guards for heel impact protection.
The shoes are made for hardcourt games with the abrasion-resistant Ndurance outsole, which provides a relatively wide base under the ball of the foot for added stability. The supreme herringbone tread pattern provides grip and balance as well, helping you pivot and make lateral cuts without difficulty.
The only downside to these casual tennis shoes is that they are a bit heavier than we’d like them to be. Of course, sometimes you sacrifice lightweight functionality for cushioning, and you just have to go with it. Other than that, these are top-notch on-and-off-the-court shoes.
- Comfortable plush cushioning
- Very stable
- Tons of grip
- Relatively heavy
- Removable sock liner is a bit uncomfortable
- Price: $70
- Wrap-around tongue design
- Reinforced arc
- Players who want a solid hardcourt tennis shoe
- Players who want a budget-friendly tennis shoe
When it comes to zig-zagging back and forth across the court, the Adidas Barricade Tennis Shoe can be your best friend. This shoe uses a wrap-around tongue design, locking onto your feet and, unlike Rose Bukater, never letting go.
Beyond the supreme tongue design, these shows have a reinforced arc with plenty of bounce, giving you the speed and agility you need to take control of the court.
Some of the past iterations of the Barricade were sub-par. We’re glad they remedied a few of those past discomforts, providing players with a locked-and-loaded feel for more serious matches.
Do note that the mid-section will require a break-in time, and the harder back that is meant to provide more lockdown and support may dig into your heel if you wear thinner socks.
Other than that, if you suffer from flat feet and haven’t been able to find the right shoes to give you the support you need, your search can stop here.
- Supreme lockdown
- Tons of support and stability
- Breathable materials
- Relatively long break-in period
- Hardback can dig into heel
- Price: $115
- Wide toe box
- Surgelite midsole
- Players who have wide feet
- Players who want a flexible upper
The K-Swiss Hypercourt Express 2 is a super versatile shoe made for players of all skill levels. The shoe is incredibly lightweight, provides plenty of cushioning for comfort, and has a wide toe box for broad-footed players.
The shank in the midfoot is a nice little touch for players who tend to tip inwards, as it provides an added level of stability. The underside traction is just as versatile as the rest of the shoe, allowing you to play on a wide range of surfaces without trouble. Plus, compared to the first iteration of the shoe, you get plenty of lock-in.
If you’re in the market for a swift and lightweight shoe, the K-Swiss Hypercourt Express 2 provides it without compromise. Even with reduced weight on the bottom, the designers didn’t skimp out on shock absorption, adding the Surgelite midsole.
The only downside to this shoe is that the wide design could be a bit too wide for some players.
- Superior comfort
- Excellent traction
- Flexible upper
- Not the most durable
- Can be too wide for most players
- Price: $85
- Hybrid tread pattern
- Bounce midsole technology
- Players who want a multi-surface shoe
- Players who want plenty of foot protection
Whether you play regularly at a club or recreationally on the weekends, you can enjoy all of the benefits of this budget-friendly tennis shoe. The Adidas CourtJam Bounce comes with plenty of cushioning, breathable materials and a supportive sole.
One of the main reasons we love this shoe is that it can be used on several court surfaces, making it one of the most flexible shoes on the list. It’s super lightweight and provides a surprising amount of protection with quality synthetic materials.
We can’t ignore Adidas’ trademark Bounce technology, which puts a bit more pep in your midsole. If you play hard, you’ll enjoy the added cushioning, which keeps your feet free of injury, even after pounding around the court for a few hours.
The only minor downside we could think of with these shoes is that the toe box may be a bit too roomy depending on the shape of your foot, which could make the shoes slightly uncomfortable for those with smaller feet.
- Outstanding ankle protection
- Excellent support
- Toe box is roomy
- Lacks serious durability
- Price: $130
- Primeknit coverage
- Lightstrike midsole
- Players who want a shoe that gels with their aggressive playing style
- Players who want tons of bounce
The Adidas Adizero Ubersonic 4 is one of the best clay court shoes around, perfect for aggressive players who play with speed and need a shoe that’s responsive. Even with their premium design, they are relatively affordable. You get plenty of bounce with the new Lightstrike midsole and total flexibility with the knit mesh upper.
Even with its comfortable design, you still get a close-to-the-ground feel that’s more responsive than previous iterations of the shoe.
Outdoor summer players will enjoy the breathable Primeknit coverage, which provides a form fit without a claustrophobic feel. It never feels stiff or inflexible.
The one downside to this shoe is the toe box, which is a bit tighter than we’d like it to be. However, that’s a small price to pay for an otherwise outstanding tennis shoe.
- Responsive midsole
- Straight-from-the-box comfort
- Lightweight design
How to Choose the Best Tennis Shoe for You
One of the most important aspects of your tennis shoes is the fit.
With a good fit, your shoe will feel secure around your foot, providing you with stability and grip on the court. There are a few things you’ll want to look for when determining whether or not your shoes fit well.
For starters, you’ll want to note the feel in the forefoot. You should have a slight bit of space just in front of your big toe. The space should be half an inch at most. This additional bit of space provides wiggle room as you move around during longer games. If the forefoot is too tight, you risk swelling.
Consider the width of your foot too. Most tennis shoes are fairly narrow, though those who manufacture wide shoes often mark it in the specs, so we recommend looking out for that wide marking if you don’t have narrow feet.
Next, you should look at the mid-foot. This area should feel firm on foot, acting somewhat like a brace to give you side-to-side stability.
Lastly, get a feel for the heel. This area should also feel locked in. You don’t want your heel to move around in your shoe, as it could cause blisters.
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Consider your playing style when picking the best tennis shoes. While there are plenty of playing styles, we often like to segment shoe types into three categories:
The category you prioritize will have a lot to do with your preferences.
Shoes that prioritize stability are great for the average player. Stability is something your muscles will have to take time to develop when playing tennis. Shoes built for stability can help you develop this much more quickly.
Note that stability is often correlated with weight, so you’ll find that these shoes tend to be on the heavier side. They come with supportive features on the uppers, such as TPU overlays, and an abundance of embedded support structures to stabilize the feet.
For example, you may look for shoes with a midsole shank if stability is something you’re concerned about.
Next, we have shoes that are built for speed. These kinds of shoes are great for aggressive players who prioritize agility. Out of these three categories, these types of shoes are the lightest.
You’ll find minimal and flexible designs on the upper, helping you to flex the foot more efficiently. The midsole will deliver a close-to-the-court feel with slightly less cushioning to refrain from bogging the player down.
Note that the lightweight materials and design are often less durable compared to stability-style shoes.
Lastly, we have shoes that prioritize comfort. These types of shoes are excellent for players who like to move around the court a lot. Expect thick, bouncy cushioning and a super durable outsole.
The one main downside to these shoes is that they don’t support the best agility.
Your foot type can have a major impact on the type of shoe that you choose to play with. If you don’t know what type of foot you have, you can use a “wet test” to make a determination.
Wet your foot in a bit of water and step down onto a dark piece of construction paper. Your wet foot should make an imprint on the paper, telling you which of the three foot types you have:
You’ll know you have overpronation if you see a complete imprint of your foot. Overpronators have the habit of rolling their foot inward on strides, meaning having stable shoes is wildly important.
If you have moderate space in the arch, you have a neutral foot type. The beauty of neutral feet is that just about any type of tennis shoe should work for you.
If you find a large, open space on the arch, then you have a supination. Supinators often roll their feet outward during strides. The best shoe to remedy this problem is an ultra-flexible shoe that alleviates shock during fast, lateral movements.
Most manufacturers categorize their shoes based on the type of court they are made to play on. You’ll often choose between hardcourt shoes and clay-court shoes. However, if you’re new to tennis, we recommend checking out all-court trainers, as these are good for different court styles.
Hardcourt tennis shoes are made for acrylic-covered asphalt or concrete courts. These courts are much tougher than clay courts, providing more traction and supporting faster playing styles. With that said, they can be hard on the shoes and even harder on your feet and body.
If you’re planning to play on a hard court, look for a shoe with a multi-directional tread pattern, as it’ll provide ample grip and sliding. Plus, this tread pattern is very durable, and will hold up much longer than your average full herringbone lug pattern.
The mid-sole should have more comfort to protect your feet from the harshness of concrete. If you’ve ever played long, aggressive matches on concrete, you know exactly what we mean.
Lastly, check for solid upper materials. While lightweight, flexible materials seem to be all the rage right now, they don’t provide as much stability, which is a necessary factor on hard courts.
Clay-court tennis shoes are made for shale, stone, or crushed brick courts. These courts are much softer than concrete or asphalt courts, making for slower games. While they are easier on the body and feet, they don’t provide as much traction, meaning outsole grip is crucial.
Look for a herringbone lug pattern. This unique traction pattern won’t collect dust resting on the top of the court, allowing for better sliding and greater traction.
Mid-soles on clay court shoes often have less cushioning, as the softness of the court makes up for it. They are also often lighter, as they don’t require super durable materials to hold up on the hard surface.
Uppers should definitely feel tighter to prevent your ankle or foot from rolling. A snug fit is essential.
Lastly, you have all-court shoes, which are strictly for recreational playing. The beauty of these shoes is that they can be used on hard courts and clay courts, as they have hybrid sole patterns that can adapt.
The mid-sole will depend entirely on the model. The same goes for the upper. Your best bet is to find shoes that fit your style and comfort needs.
Though they are pretty rare at this point, if you ever plan on playing on a grass court, make sure your outsoles are built for it. This surface is very soft, similar to clay, though it plays fast. You’ll want to get a tennis shoe with “nubs” on the outsole. These nubs are very similar cleats, though much smaller.
They provide excellent grip for quick players. Just note that you should never use this type of outsole on other surfaces.
The color of your shoes will be totally up to you! White shoes have definitely become the norm for tennis players, though many players (pros and casual players) are starting to look for shoes that express their style.
Of course, neutral colors will go with everything you wear, which can be ideal if style is important to you, so that’s certainly something to consider.
When to Wear Tennis Shoes
Tennis shoes are great for casual use walking shoes, though make sure you’re wearing the right tennis shoes if you’re going to wear them around each day.
For starters, we recommend refraining from wearing ultra-lightweight tennis shoes every day, as they don’t provide as much cushioning and support. You’ll have a lack of protection, comfort and shock absorption.
Is it obvious enough?
Once you’ve found the right tennis shoes for your game, make sure to check out our list of the best tennis rackets to optimize your game!
Can I wear running shoes for tennis?
We don’t recommend running shoes for tennis for a few reasons:
- They don’t provide much protection from toe dragging
- They don’t offer high levels of lateral support
- They don’t provide ample tread patterns for sliding and gripping
- Outsole durability isn’t as strong
Can tennis shoes be used for walking?
Absolutely! We just recommend getting a pair of tennis shoes that are cushioned and have plenty of support.
How long do tennis shoes last?
If you’re using your tennis shoes every day, they should last for a few months before you have to buy a new pair. Shoes will last slightly longer if you play on clay courts versus hard courts.
What’s the difference between tennis shoes and sneakers?
Tennis shoes are specialized footwear designed for speed, agility, support and comfort on the tennis court. You can wear tennis shoes both on and off the court. Sneakers, on the other hand, are casual shoes with rubber soles and casual topping, often made of canvas or other solid materials. These are not meant to be worn on courts, as the rubber outsole can be damaging.
With the rise of sports like tennis and pickleball, there are more shoe options for players than ever before.
Finding the perfect tennis shoes doesn’t need to be a challenge, as long as you have all of the right information. The shoes listed above are tried and true options, great for beginners, weekend warriors and pros alike.
Don’t rush the process, and we guarantee you’ll find the perfect shoe to optimize your game.
Prices are accurate and items in stock as of publish time.