Any tennis player knows that things like consistent groundstrokes and proper rotation are key to having a solid tennis game. But the right equipment, especially the right shoes, is just as important for facilitating footwork, keeping legs cool during long matches, and preventing injuries.
In tennis, there’s a lot of lunging, ducking, and running backwards and forwards. A good pair of tennis shoes should have a well-placed support to accommodate all of these changes in direction. “You always want lateral stability in a tennis shoe,” says Karen Moriarty, co-owner of Sportech in Rye Brook, NY. “That’s why you shouldn’t play tennis in running shoes.” You also need to consider the surface of the court, which means you need to consider whether you’re playing clay or hard court, or switching between them, depending on the season.
With the wrong tennis shoes, you could end up with a sprained ankle or knee or other less serious but really uncomfortable issues such as blisters, knocked nails or just a bruised ego after suffering a loss on the ground. Here we consulted the experts to find the best tennis shoes on the market today.
Best Overall Tennis Shoe
KSwiss: a high-performance shoe that balances comfort and versatility
Best Lateral Support Tennis Shoe
Asics: increased stability with additional cushioning
Best Flexible Tennis Shoe
Mizuno: A fast shoe for when you want explosive speed
Best Tennis Shoe for Stability
Diadora: a performance shoe focused on fit
Best Tennis Shoe for Clay Courts
Adidas: an ideal shoe for support and speed
Best tennis shoe for sliding
Nike: pleasant flexibility and traction with flexibility and grip
Best Durable Tennis Shoe
Wilson: a competitive tennis shoe that can take a beating
Best Lightweight Tennis Shoe
Adidas: play like a pro in this comfortable model
Best Multisport Tennis Shoe
Prince: old school style meets durability
Frequently asked questions about tennis shoes
What kind of tennis shoes should I look for?
Buying the best pair of tennis shoes for your game is about more than fit. “When choosing a pair of tennis shoes, it’s important to first consider the surface you’re playing on, whether it’s clay, hard court or grass,” says Karen Moriarty , co-owner of Sportech in Rye Brook, NY. “Clay shoes tend to be more flexible and lighter. Hard-court shoes have plenty of cushioning and are built to last. In general, hard athletic shoes tend to be physically heavier and have more reinforcement in the toe area, she says. “There are also multi-terrain shoes that can work for different surfaces.”
How should tennis shoes fit?
Fit is largely down to your anatomy and personal preference, but there are other tips for finding the perfect size and comfort level. “When trying on tennis shoes, do it late in the day when your feet are swollen. That way you’ll have the right fit in your shoes and they won’t be too tight,” says Moriarty. “Also, try shoes in the type of socks you will wear while playing. If you wear inserts or orthotics, try on potential shoes with those as well.