Whether you’re a tennis beginner, professional, or hobbyist - you’ll want a solid pair of tennis shoes to maximize your control and performance in the game.
You’ll need shoes that can keep up with your quick-changes stops, starts, and lateral movements while properly protecting, supporting, and cushioning your feet.
Some dialects of the United States use “tennis shoes” to refer to all sneakers in general, but today we’ll be looking at shoes specifically optimized for playing tennis.
For our ratings we considered several factors including aesthetics, support, breathability, traction, comfort, durability, price, and the type of tennis court the shoes were designed for.
With all of the running and quick foot position changes that come with tennis, you’d hope that your shoes would keep up with you and stay on your feet.
Here are some great tennis shoe picks for you to try on:
The top spot goes to the popular Adidas Barricade Club Tennis Shoes for their reasonable price and great quality. The Men’s and Women’s shoes have a few differences between them, but they’re both well-known for good performance.
The Men’s will run you between $60 and $163, and the Women’s will be about $45 to $90 on Amazon.
They’re an all-court pair of shoes that work on many different surfaces thanks to their high-quality rubber Adwear Outsole. And for those who drag their feet, the Barricade Club Shoes have an abrasion-resistant Adituff forefront.
The upper part of the shoes is made with Barricade mesh for great breathability and airflow through the perforations. They’re also good-looking shoes with plenty of color and design options.
The shoe’s 3D Torsion system gives your midfoot excellent support and stability for fast lateral movement while the Adiprene cushions your heels and toes for protection and comfort when you’re working them into the ground on the court.
If you have foot trouble and need personal orthopedic insoles don’t worry – the insoles of the Barricade Club Shoes are removable and easy to pop out and replace with the ones you need (it also makes cleaning your shoes a lot easier).
Pricey but with the quality to match, the New Balance MC806 Tennis Shoes are some of the best tennis shoes you can get for comfort. They’re not the most attractive, but they sure get the job done. Expect to pay between $105 and $225 on Amazon.
The MC806 tennis shoes are ideal for hard-court players who need support and stability – you’ll get plenty of shock absorption with the foam and rubber Abzorb cushioning at the front and back of each shoe. The midsoles too offer killer support with the compression molded EVA C-CAP feature. You’ll also get great toe protection with the shoes’ reinforced toe box.
Sick of rolling your ankles and want to prevent it from happening again? The MC806’s Rollbar system on the outsoles of the back of the shoes helps minimize the movement of your heel so you get increased control of your feet and are less likely to roll your ankles. Plus, you’ll get nice traction from the Ndurance rubber outsole suitable for all surfaces.
This is a great pair of tennis shoes that manages to be comfortable and lightweight without sacrificing durability. You’ll easily be able to move quickly around the court in these flexible puppies that won’t wear down easy with their MatrXY upper technology of high-tenacity and abrasion-resistant polymide fibers and Kevlar.
Reviewers particularly note the Babolat Jet’s excellent performance with aggressive tennis players. The outsole’s side 2 side EVA technology will keep your feet stable and supported while the Active Flexion sole technology and Tri-Fit with shock-absorbing Kompressor system in the heel will keep your feet cushioned with Ortholite memory foam insoles that will hold their shape and revert back after a shock.
The shoe fits small, so be sure to get the Babolat Jets a half-size up from your normal shoe size.
The Flexion Fit feature gives the shoes a flexible and stable fit for your foot while the Personal Heel Fit collar locks your heel to prevent slips and injuries. The shoes have gel cushions in the front and back to absorb shock and aid with movement.
These shoes have your traction covered with the High Abrasion Rubber outsole, herringbone tread pattern, and PGuard Toe Protector to reduce shoe wear and tear if you tend to drag your toes when playing.
You can grab the Asics Speed 3 shoes for between $53 and $170 for Women’s and $$90 to $243 for Men’s according to Amazon. There are plenty of nice-looking color and design options to choose from.
The Asics Gel-Resolution 7 Tennis Shoes take into account the different foot pressure points specific to men and optimizes the shoes’ front and back shock-absorbing cushioning to reflect that.
The AHAR material outsole ups the Gel-Resolution 7’s stunning durability and traction while the PGuard toe protector takes care of your toes. The upper part of the shoes’ Flexion Fit feature offers excellent support for your feet along with the Solyte midsole and the heel’s 2-layer memory foam collar for a personalized fit.
These tennis shoes will run you between $100 and $293 on Amazon.
The Asics Gel-Resolution 6 Wide Women’s shoes target support and cushioning for women’s specific pressure points and gameplay styles in the same way the Asics Men’s Gel-Resolution 7 does for men. Women rally around the court more and need to get around quickly.
The shoe has durable FluidRide construction and the AHAR material high-abrasion non-marking outsole for traction. The Flexion Fit upper with external heel counter and the PGuard Toe Protector keep your feet well-supported. The shoes also have extra arch support.
For comfort and shock absorption, the shoe has a gel cushioning system in the front and back as well as a padded tongue and collar.
Amazon prices them between $40 and $140 and they’re good-looking shoes.
The Babolat Propulse Fury shoes have top-notch comfort, cushion, and support. They’ll run you between $109 and $130 on Amazon and there’s an all-court or a clay court version.
These shoes ramp up the stability with their low-to-ground feel and a TPU cage that wraps around your foot ideal for aggressive play with lots of direction changes. The Michelin rubber outsole is durable, but the traction could be better.
The Ortholite insoles give you cushioning and shock absorption underfoot and good arch support – they’re great for people with medium and low arches. The shoes have a high collar for increased lateral movement support.
The shoes are flexible and the upper breaks in quickly. They have a wide toe area to accommodate those with wider feet.
The focus of the Adidas Adizero Ubersonic Tennis Shoes is on speed without sacrificing stability. The Sprintframe construction is lightweight, flexible, and will still keep your feet stable and protected. The EVA midsole provides the cushioning and comfort.
The Adiwear 6 outsole provides durability and decent traction for all surfaces while the Adituff 6 Toe Protection keeps your tootsies from getting squished during your quick and sudden movements in gameplay. The mesh upper lets your feet breathe.
Expect to pay between $100 and $131 on Amazon for these shoes.
So how do you figure out which of these are the best tennis shoes for you?
First be aware of the shape and size of your foot. There’s a quick way to test what parts of your foot need support – wet your foot and step on concrete or a piece of paper.
Your footprint will tell you if you’re an overpronator (wide footprint, not a lot of narrowing to the middle of the sole), neutral (hourglass-shaped, wider near the toes and heel, narrower near the middle of the sole), or an underpronator (a kind of uneven shadow with a thin and narrow middle, wide toe, and fairly narrow heel). Search for suitable shoes accordingly.
Your shoes should feel both comfortable and supportive. For a proper fit there should be at least 3/8 to 1/2 and inch between your big toe and the end of the shoe, the heel should be tight, and your foot shouldn’t slide around when you’re walking.
There are three different court styles in tennis – hard/concrete, clay/dirt, and grass (grass courts aren’t as common as the other two though, especially for beginners).
What type of court will you be playing on? Some shoes are built specifically for a certain type of court and won’t perform very well on the others. If you’re not sure or switch types of courts often, you might be better with an all-court type of tennis shoe unless you want to invest in multiple pairs.
The most common court you’ll be on is probably a hard or concrete tennis court. Hard court tennis shoes should have lots of cushioning to absorb shock protect your ankles, legs, and feet. You’ll also want to pay attention to the shoe’s durability and make sure it has a sturdy toe area. Some hard shoes are focused on speed, and others are focused on durability and comfort. Hard court shoes can be worn on clay or grass surfaces as well, they’re just not optimized for the surface.
If you’re going to be playing on a dirt or clay court, you’ll need to find a pair of shoes with lots of traction because the surface you’ll be standing on with be soft and easily shifted. If the soles of your shoes are too slick you could slip and hurt yourself. Lateral shoe support and a zig-zag tread on the sole are also great for clay courts – the pattern keeps debris from building up in your shoes, so you can move around more easily. For a grass court grip is most important – you’ll want a cleat-like shoe to dig in for fast movements without slipping Grass shoes can’t be used on the other types of courts.
Are you a baseline player (mid or defensive) or a serve and volley (offensive) player? Different positions call for different movements, which are best supported by different kinds of shoes. Baseliners need to head to the back of the court frequently and would benefit from shoes with heavy-duty lateral support and an emphasis on stability. Serve and volley players are often sliding back and charging forward and would benefit from a particularly strong toecap.
Consider aesthetics. If you’re going to be in these shoes for practices and games, you should at least like the way they look. If you don’t care what the shoes look like, then you don’t have to worry about that – put all your focus on the material, durability, and fit of the shoe instead.
And of course, if you’re on a budget, that will play a role in the shoes you ultimately want to buy too.