Getting hold of the best tennis shoes for men is a quest that puts most tennis players in jeopardy. With so many brands showcasing their shoes to be the best fit for you, determining the right footwear is a daunting task indeed.
Millions of shoes meant for this popular racket sport are sold annually. This in turn has spurred an unprecedented surge in various styles and brands that showcase their footwear to be the best. The more the variety, the higher is your confusion level.
Nonetheless, with the correct buying strategy and knowledge on good tennis shoes, you can achieve your goal easily. Well, read on to find out more on this topic.
Best Tennis Shoes for Men Article Contents
- What is a Tennis Shoe?
- How to Buy a Good Tennis Shoe?
- Is it Important to Buy a Good Tennis Shoe?
- How Often Should You Change Your Tennis Shoes?
- What are the Best Tennis Shoes for Men?
- What are the Best Tennis Shoes for Women?
- What are the Best Tennis Shoes for Clay Court?
- What are the Best Tennis Shoes for Hard Court?
- What are the Best Tennis Shoes for Kids?
- What are the Best Tennis Shoes for Beginners?
- What are the Best Tennis Shoes for Wide Feet?
- What are the Best Tennis Shoes for Flat Feet?
What is a Tennis Shoe?
A tennis shoe can be defined as a piece of footwear designed specifically for this racket sport. There are different styles for men, women and children. Nonetheless, the material used remains almost the same.
What is the History behind Tennis Shoes?
It was by chance that tennis shoes came into existence late in the 19th century. They were in the form of canvas shoes that were used for utilitarian purposes. Soon, sportsmen started making use of these shoes and they became popular among racket sports.
The rubber soles of these canvas shoes enabled them to grip a wide variety of surfaces. This helped sportsperson to maintain their stability during rough play.
Soon, these shoes became fashionable. This led to the introduction of sneakers and training shoes. Heck, even felons made use of it as it offered a quick and silent getaway.
The Crocket Shoe:
In the late 1800s, Charles Goodyear introduced vulcanized rubber. This was stronger and more flexible form of the original rubber.
When it was attached to fabric, it became crocket shoe. Later, it was turned into a good tennis shoe. Nonetheless, it was way too expensive and a single pair cost $6.50. It was mainly used and worn as a fashion statement by the rich.
The Sears Shoe:
In the early 1870’s Sear introduced a rubber sole shoe based on a fabric top. This was sold via the Roebuck Catalogue for 61 cents. It gained popularity and was used by tennis players.
The Sears tennis shoe gained immense popularity when it (a ladies version) was showcased in the Vogue magazine. This happened in the early 1890s era. From then onward, this shoe became a fashion statement.
Birth of the Plimsole Tennis Shoe:
In the year 1893, the canvas shoe resting on vulcanized rubber gained immense popularity.
It was owing to the blue colored lines that adorned the sides of the soles that this tennis shoe got its name. Pilmsole is the measuring instrument for determining the weight of a ship.
This helped the shoe to be names ‘tennies’ in the south eastern part of England. It was also called ‘sneakers’ in the north eastern part of England.
How to Buy a Good Tennis Shoe?
A tennis shoe is designed to complement the surface that you are playing at. Grass, cement and clay surface have different tennis shoes to compliment your game.
The sole is usually on the flatter end with groves of various kinds. Some are deep and hard while others shallow with softer indentations. This is all to help you play the game in a simple and effortless manner.
The increase and decrease in cushioning, variations in groves and the thickness of the sole is all done so as to permit you to move forward, backward and sideways effortlessly.
How to Buy a Good Tennis Shoe?
Choosing a good tennis shoe for your game is neither easy nor difficult. Here are a few basic tips that can help you minimize errors while doing so:
The Thumb Width Method:
To avoid your toe scraping the front of your shoe, include a gap of half an inch. This gap is to be maintained from the tip of your shoe to the tip of your toe.
If you avoid this gap then, stress on your heel and calf area is inevitable. You can also develop blisters on the toe, ankle and heel area.
Watch Your Tibia & Fibula Gap:
The sides of your ankle too need to be considered while choosing a suitable tennis shoe. Some tennis players face an issue wherein the top edge of the shoe rubs against the bones of their ankle.
When this happens, you can get blisters. If you avoid that somehow, the feeling of constant rubbing against your sock can be irritating.
Your Feet have a Larger Base:
Some tennis players have wider feet. This could be owing to genetic reasons or others. Nonetheless, normal shoes shall not sync well with feet that have a wider base.
So, you might have to pick a tennis shoe that compliments the width of your feet. Opt for a few brands and try-on a few shoes to get the best fit.
Your Toe Compartment:
If you want to avoid ingrown toenails, corns, blisters and even blackened toenails then, pay attention towards the toe compartment of your shoe.
So, find a toe box shoe that fits your toes the best. Callousness on your part can lead to nerve damage (owing to compression) and even arthritis. Once again, you need to try out several shoe brands to get an ideal shoe.
Is it Important to Buy a Good Tennis Shoe?
Yes, if you want to have a comfortable match then, a pair of shoes is an ideal companion. Like any other sport, shoes in tennis add comfort to your play.
If you skip buying good tennis shoes then, here is where all you can face an issue:
You Game shall Lack Robustness:
The game of tennis is volatile in nature. You need to execute serve and volley, hit ground strokes and run to & fro. These abrupt movements require you to have rock solid stability.
Only shoes that have a good grip over the surface and comfortable on your feet can help you achieve such stability.
Tennis shoes use special plastic inserts that are placed on the sole to provide rigidity to the shoe. This added firmness stops your ankle from twisting.
While the ‘shank’ stabilizes your ankle, the ‘firm upper’ helps encapsulate your feet. Hence, you are able to move around the court without injuring yourself.
You Shall be in Distress:
If you choose an ordinary shoe over a tennis shoe then, you shall compromise on your comfort level. A tennis shoe is stiff and sturdy. This helps you execute ‘stop and go’ movements with ease.
The midsole of your tennis shoe are cushioned and so is the insole. This helps keep the feet in a completely relaxed state. Some tennis shoes allow you to replace an insole for enhancing your overall comfort level.
The Flexibility & Weight Related Issues:
If you have a shoe that is ordinary and not specific to tennis then, you compromise on flexibility, weight and speed. In a nutshell, tennis footwear is specific to the game.
The sole, the weight of the shoe and the rigidity level enhances a player’s game. So, any deviation from that can cause severe discomfort to the end user.
You Need a Shoe that Lasts:
You need a shoe that lasts a long time. If you play tennis using sneakers then, you may have to replace your shoe every two months.
Tennis shoes on the other hand, have a sturdy sole that does not yield to the rigorous movements so easily. As the surface is hardcourt for most tennis players, the sole is vital for the life of the shoe.
The ankle of the shoe is also made rigid so as to ensure that the side-scrapes do not damage the shoe. So, you need a shoe that is meant specifically for this racket sport.
How Often Should You Change Your Tennis Shoes?
If you are wondering whether there is a specific time period attached to changing your tennis shoes and replacing them with a new one then, you are wrong.
This is not the correct approach to replace your worn out tennis shoe. Changing the old tennis shoe and replacing it with a new one is completely dependent on your discretion.
In case you feel as though the grip is not apt or your knees and calves hurt after play then, the shoes need a replacement.
Also the wear and tear of your shoes is dependent on your nature of play. If you play tennis daily then, you need replacements often. If you are a monthly player then, your shoes shall last longer.
The quality of your shoe and the brand also determines the replacement process. If you wear low quality tennis shoes that are soft and not rigid then, replacing them often is quiet common.
A rule of thumb for replacing tennis shoes used for hard-court is the ‘noise’ factor. If your shoes do not emit a screeching noise then, they need to be replaced.
If you play daily for an hour then, ideally every three months, you should wear a new tennis shoe. This completely depends on your discretion (as I have mentioned above).
What are the Best Tennis Shoes for Men?
When you choose a tennis shoe for men then, you need to consider your level of play. You also need to keep in mind how often you play the game – daily, weekly or monthly.
Well, here are a few tips:
Your Comfort Matters:
When you play tennis then, comfort is always given a priority. This in turn implies the cushioning your chosen footwear has to offer to you.
An ideal choice for comfort would be K-Swiss Hypercourt express 2 tennis shoe.
Look for the Speed:
Men love to play tennis with all their energy. So, a shoe that compliments your speed is essential. Your ability to start and stop, run sideways etc. is completely complimented by the Nike range of tennis shoes. I (LeanAndFit)would recommend the NikeCourt Air Zoom Vapor Pro shoe for this very purpose.
The Stability Factor:
Apart from sudden acceleration, your tennis shoe should also be fortified with stabilizing the player. In a nutshell, your tennis shoe should be able to help you maintain your position regardless of your sudden bursts of speed in the court.
When talking of stability then, the NikeCourt Air Zoom Vapor Cage is best suited for this purpose.
The Money Matters:
You also need to keep a tab on your budget. After all, your tennis shoe is dependent on how much you can spend.
If you do not have too much to spare and are short on funds then, opt for a budget shoe. An ideal choice would be the Adidas Court Jam Bounce.
The One Size Fits All:
Sometimes, men would like the good points of all variants squeezed into one shoe. This is when the most suitable tennis variety comes into picture. Asics Gel Resolution 8 is a classic example of such a shoe.
What are the Best Tennis Shoes for Women?
Women are assertive as well as aggressive tennis players. Like men, they too play the game with all their energy. Hence, their shoes too get worn out very soon.
Here is how women tennis players can choose a suitable shoe for their personal use:
The Aggressive Female Player:
If your playing style is ‘assertive’ then, you need to opt for a light weight tennis shoe. The upper portion of your chosen footwear should be covered in mesh. Do not stress too much on the outsole as you slide too often.
Your midsole should have moderate cushion cover. The midsole should be grounded. It should be capable of keeping your feet firmly placed on the ground.
The Active Female Tennis Player:
Female tennis players that are active on the court and medium in weight would prefer a different set of shoe.
The insole for such players should be thick and have a bounce. This is owing to the speedy movements that such players have.
The outer sole should be of durable material as ‘wear and tear’ is possible. With regards to the upper portion of the footwear, the possibilities are endless.
The Baseline Female Tennis Players:
If you belong to the class of female tennis players that play from the baseline then, you need footwear that provides stability.
The shoe is heavy and has TPU overlays on the topmost portion. This helps in providing support to the tennis player. As far as the mid-sole is concerned, it is cushioned and often fortified with shanks.
Usually, your outer sole is hard and fortified with tough layers of additional support. This enables the shoe to last longer.
What are the Best Tennis Shoes for Clay Court?
Even before I suggest which tennis shoes to use in clay court, first understand what this surface is all about.
What is Clay Court?
The surface of this tennis court contains mineral aggregates, brick and minuscule pebbles. Even shale is a constituent of the clay court.
Usually found in Latin America, North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific region, clay courts are of two types – red clay and green clay. Red is natural and green clay is called rubico.
The ball bounces off the clay and slows down. This gives ample time for the player to react. So, the French Open is famous for long rallies. The bounce (tennis ball) produced by clay is also high.
My Recommendation on the Outsole:
Herringbone lug is the design mechanism that is used for clay court outsole. This style helps the players to keep his/her feet free from unwanted dust particles found in abundance in clay courts. This design also helps you slide onto the court with ease.
My Recommendation on the Upper Material:
You need to wear shoes that are made from materials that inhibit dust entry into the shoe. The upper portion of a clay court tennis shoe is snug fit. It helps stabilize the feet of the player.
My Recommendation on the Midsole Material:
The midsole of a professional clay court shoe needs to be soft. As it is light in weight, the grounded feel is inevitable. It maintains your composure while you play your shots.
What are the Best Tennis Shoes for Hard Court?
When you play on a hard court then, you need footwear that is in sync with that surface.
What is a Hard Court?
This surface is made from concrete and is sealed using acrylic resins. The surface is also made from asphalt. As there is less friction on the surface, the ball travels relatively fast after the bounce.
Hard court helps the ball bounce high in the air. This enables the player to play spin related strokes. The speed of the ball is determined by the level of sand that is placed in the acrylic resins. More sand leads to less speed and vice versa.
The level of traction produced on this surface is higher than the one produced on clay surface. Level of play is fast and your body & shoe is also put under tremendous pressure.
My Recommendation on the Outsole:
For a hard court play, the tennis player should ideally choose a shoe that is high on grip. The tread should be such that it permits sliding without losing composure.
Usually treads spread the outsole in all directions. The lugs of the sole are also sturdy in nature.
My Recommendation on the Upper Material:
The upper material of a hard court tennis shoe is supposed to be firm enough to encapsulate your foot. The material needs to be firm so that it protects your foot at all times.
My Recommendation on the Midsole Material:
The midsole of a hard-court tennis shoe have a fortified cushion cover. This is far more as compared to the cushion found on a clay court tennis shoe. This is to protect your feet from the hard surface.
What are the Best Tennis Shoes for Kids?
Just because your kids are young does not mean they can do without the correct footwear. Using correct footwear helps your kids to excel in the sport. It also helps protect your child against injuries.
In my personal opinion, I would not go in for professional shoes for my kid. I would begin with a pair of sturdy sneakers. As my kid progresses, I would then opt for professional tennis shoes.
Kids Tennis Shoes I Recommend for Hard Court
If your child prefers to play on hard court then, you need to opt for footwear with sturdy outsole. The grip too should be firm yet grip friendly. This enables your kid to play tennis without slipping.
The cushion should be firm yet supportive on the heel area. The taraflex material embossed over concrete can be hard on the heel. So, the extra cushion saves the heel and ankle of your child from getting jostled. I would also suggest that you pick a tennis shoe that protects the sides of the shoe.
My Choice of Hard Court Tennis Shoe for Kids
@ I would recommend Nike Court Vapor X for hard-courts.
@ It offers fantastic grip and has ample traction.
@ This shoe is breathable and offers perfect fit.
@ Heck, it moulds its shape as per the shape of your kid’s feet.
@ My kid never gets blisters (that are common to kids playing tennis) when he wears this shoe.
@ I only find the cost to be on the higher side. Also, if your kid has narrow feet then, avoid getting it home.
Kids Tennis Shoes I Recommend for Grass Court
A grass court is also an ideal surface for your kids to play tennis. Over here, you have the ability to play a fast game. Serve and volley is best attributed to grass court tennis.
So, the player needs to run ‘to and fro’ from the baseline and the net. The grip of your shoe needs to be firm to avoid you from slipping.
The shoe should have an outsole that is flexible. The sole should also be firm so that it can withstand wear and tear.
My Choice of Grass Court Tennis Shoe for Kids:
@ Nike Kids Court Jr Lite 2 is my choice for grass court shoes.
@ I prefer this shoe because it is affordable in nature. Also, it provides the necessary cushioning to my kids feet.
@ Nike Kids Court Jr Lite 2 is made from breathable fabric. The outer sole is made from skid-resistant leather.
@ My kid’s ankle is protected via the special padded collar in the shoe. The tongue area is also padded.
@ The midsole of this shoe has ample cushion cover.
@ Lastly, the blend of synthetic and leather enables this shoe to last longer.
Kids Tennis Shoes I Recommend for Clay Court
In case your kid loves to play in the clay court then, he is bound to slip, slide and use powerful strokes. All this requires a sturdy pair of footwear that is firm enough to withstand such impact.
I would recommend buying shoes that have ample ankle support. You should also have grip-focused shoes that are able to shed the extra clay content absorbed from the court.
When your kid plays in clay, he is using baseline play as his preferred choice. So, long rallies and hard hitting is inevitable.
My Choice of Clay Court Tennis Shoe for Kids:
@ Asics Gel Resolution 8 is what I would recommend.
@ This shoe has great design and is comfortable to wear.
@ It has special gel support for keeping your kid’s ankle safe and secure.
@ I find this shoe to be flexible as well as stable on clay.
Kids Tennis Shoes I Recommend for All Court
Lastly, if you kid prefers to play on multiple surfaces then, you should opt for a hybrid variety. Such shoes should be flexible and well cushioned.
You can play on hard court as well as clay surfaces using these shoes. So, the grip, outer sole stability and upper fabric, should be breathable.
My Choice of All Court Tennis Shoe for Kids:
@ The Babolat Junior Propulse is what I would recommend for all court surfaces.
@ It is perfect for aggressive players.
@ This shoe offers added comfort and is made durable in nature.
@ The forefoot of the Babolat Junior Propulse contains a special sole made by Michelin. It provides added protection to the player’s foot.
What are the Best Tennis Shoes for Beginners?
In my opinion, understanding your foot type shall help a beginner level tennis player to choose a suitable shoe. You simply need to understand your foot type to pick ideal footwear for playing tennis.
>>> Standard Foot: This foot type is considered to be perfect. Over here, the toe and heel have perfect balance. There is no asymmetrical issue, which helps tennis players to wear all types of shoes.
>>> The Pronated Foot: Almost 70% of the world’s total population have pronated feet. This kind foot leaves more weight on the inner section of the foot.
So, your footwear should complement your foot type to prevent injuries while playing tennis.
>>> The Supinated Feet: This foot type tends to lean the body outwards. Hence, the outer area of your toe and heel tend to dig deeper onto the ground as compared to the inner section.
So, you need to choose tennis shoes that have greater shock absorption capabilities. Your footwear should also offer flexibility to your ankle while playing tennis.
What are the Best Tennis Shoes for Wide Feet?
If your feet are wider than normal then, you need to pick a tennis shoe that compliments your foot shape. A wide foot can pose numerous issues (compression, bunions, crossover toe, hammer toe etc.)
Wide Feet explained by an Example: For example, you wear a US 8 size shoe then, the normal width of your feet should be 8 cms. Nonetheless, if your feet are 9 cm or even 10 cm in width then, you have wide feet.
You can opt for Babolat Propulse Fury, Adidas Barricade Classic Wide4E or Nike Mens Court Lite 2 shoe, if you have wide feet.
What Causes Wide Feet?
As a tennis player with wide feet, you need to know why you have this feature. Here are a few reasons for the same:
>>> Your father or forefathers may have wide feet. The DNA in your body is responsible for this physical feature.
>>> Injuries, medicines and illnesses cause your feet to swell. This is also termed as edema. Such swelling compels your feet to retain fluids. This in turn widens your feet.
>>> The tendons as well as the ligaments of your feet tend to widen as you get older.
>>> If you wear shoes that does not compliment your foot shape then again, you may suffer from wide feet.
>>> The relaxin hormone in pregnant women widens the feet. So, the separation in ligaments during your pregnancy is to be blamed for your wide feet.
>>> Calluses and bunions are major causes behind wide feet.
Why You Should Avoid Wearing Incorrect Tennis Shoes for Wide Feet?
>>> If you wear narrow shoes for your wide foot then, you cannot move around the court with ease. If your feet are always compressed, they disable your natural foot movement.
>>> Aches and pains would be common if you wear narrow shoes. Right from your toe to your ankles, your feet shall ache.
>>> The possibility of getting blisters is also high.
>>> Lastly, you may damage a nerve on your foot or restrict normal blood flow.
How to Choose Tennis Shoes if You Have Wide Feet?
>>> Wide feet need tennis shoes made from leather or mesh. Even synthetic material is preferred (the topmost portion).
>>> The upper part of the tennis shoe should contain breathable material.
>>> An EVA sole is best suited for wide feet as it offers cushioning. You can also opt for gel based midsole.
>>> The outer sole of shoes for wide feet should be flexible. They should be ideally made from rubber.
>>> A lightweight tennis shoe is preferred for wider feet. It should have a protective toe cap for enhanced player comfort.
>>> I feel if you have wide feet and play on hardcourt then, opt for a tennis shoe that offers superior cushion. On the other hand, if your preferred surface is grass then, opt for a sole with good grip.
>>> Do not go by the brand name or hype. Try a few shoes and opt for the one that offers you the best comfort level.
What are the Best Tennis Shoes for Flat Feet?
This is a condition wherein the sole of your foot flattens owing to fallen arches. The sole of your entire foot tends to rest onto the ground.
The missing arch tends to reduce the springiness that a natural foot arch provides to your front and hind foot. This does not imply that your athletic progress is hampered in any which ways.
What Causes Flat Feet?
>>> Strain to your tendons can cause flat feet. Sometimes, it is in your genes.
>>> If you suffer from nerve related issues then, flat feet is a common occurrence.
>>> Any issue with the Posterior Tibial Tendon causes your foot arch to fall.
>>> Fractures or dislocation of the bones of your foot can also cause your feet to flatten.
Tennis Shoes for Flat Feet – My Top 3 Picks:
@ Adidas Barricade is my optimal choice. It is stable, abrasion resistant and has a soft upper mesh that can be stretched as per your foot shape.
@ Nike Air Zoom is yet another tennis shoe I recommend for flat feet. It is breathable, offers arch support and is comfortable to wear.
@ ASICS gel based tennis shoe is my third and final choice. It has leather fortified mesh for the upper section. Your fallen arches get gel based support. Overall, it is a great fit for tennis players with flat feet.
How to Pick a Tennis Shoe if You Have Flat Feet?
If you have flat feet, you do not need to worry. You can play tennis as well as an individual with a normal foot arch. Nonetheless, you do need to take extra precautions in order to protect yourself from injuries and discomfort.
Choosing good footwear is among the precautionary measures you need to take. Here are a few tips:
Your Fallen Arch Needs Support: You need to ensure that your feet are well balanced when you play tennis. For this very purpose, you need to pick a shoe that supports your fallen arch.
Never Compromise on Your Coziness: While arch support is vital, you also need to ensure that you are comfortable. Hence, your shoe should be cozy.
The Impact Needs Added Support: When you jump, run and shuffle from one end to another, your flat feet tend to ache. This is what needs to be cushioned. So, use a gel based tennis shoe that does justice to your flat feet.
Make it Colorful: While sticking with the basics helps, do not go too far. In simpler words, you need a tennis shoe that feels and looks good. So, go in for the latest styles and designs.
While wearing a good pair of shoes does compliment your game, it is not everything. In a nutshell, you need to first learn how to play the game before opting for accessories.
So, it is always important to pick a shoe that compliments your playing style, chosen surface and foot type. In my opinion, a casual canvas shoe that is primarily meant for sports is good enough for a beginner.
As you progress, you can choose a different shoe for different playing surfaces. I always believe that first you need to learn how to play tennis the correct way before accessorizing yourself.