7 Best Tennis Shoes in 2021
A Review Guide For Men & Women

#1 for Men & Women

Adizero Ubersonic 3

– Check Current Price

#2 for Men

ASICS Gel-Challenger 12

– Check Current Price

#2 for Women

ASICS Solution Speed FF

– Check Current Price

Article Shortcuts

Best Tennis Shoes for Women – The Results & Reviews

The importance of playing with the right shoe is clear. After journeying through the anatomy of a shoe, the criteria of what makes a tennis shoe perfect, and finally, reviewing optimal sole patterns for different court types, we’re ready for the main event; the reviews.

A synopsis will be provided for each shoe, covering the highlights of what made each selection stand out as well as our thoughts.

Beginning with our reviews for women, followed by our guides for the men.

1

Women’s adidas Adizero Ubersonic 3

Best Overall

The best tennis shoe for women is the Adizero Ubersonic 3. There was very little debate amongst the team and received our highest recommendation.

For any woman that plays tennis several times a week or competitively, and looking for the perfect shoe to step up their game, this shoe by adidas fits the bill.

It is hard to find better performance and durability at this price point.

Pros

  • What makes this shoe unique is the collar height. It features a bootie-style fit that’s perfectly snug for gameplay while wearing socks.
  • This lightweight shoe requires little to no break-in time, which is more typical of cheaper shoes.
  • The bulk of the body is made up of rubber and mesh material that allow for excellent ventilation.
  • Great for all-around hard courts and clay.
  • Thick rubber soles for long-lasting durability and comfort.
  • Promotes lean muscle building and recovery.
  • Provides well-balanced nutrition with its other vitamins and minerals.
  • Weight: 10.4 Ounces

Cons

  • Arch support is here, but it is not the best.
  • For any player that needs shoes for higher arches, an insole would need to be added here.

Notably Worn By

Kristina Mladenovic is currently ranked #1 for doubles by the WTA. She has won over 30 titles between the  WTA Tour and the ITF Women’s circuit. [1]

Mladenovic can be regularly seen playing tennis while wearing her adidas Ubersonic 3 shoes.

Final Thoughts

Of all our reviews, it will be hard to find a better high-performance shoe, even at greater price points.

For women with average to slender feet, this is always our top recommendation. When it comes to wider feet, there are better choices.

2

Women’s ASICS Solution Speed FF

Best Lightweight

Up next, is ASICS’ Solution Speed FF. This is another tennis shoe that was released for both men and women separately.

The ASICS Gel-Resolution shoes were the predecessor to the Solution Speed FF release. Originally, the Solution Speed FF shoe had more plastic-like material towards the front for toe protection.

This caused the toe box to be snug and remain snug, even after the typical wear-in period.

Coming in at #2 top pair for around the court, and the best white pair of tennis shoes amongst other colors. Let’s take a look at some of the features.

Pros

  • As mentioned, the front of the shoes has much improved from its predecessor. The Solution Speed FF is still constructed with some plastic, but there is a noticeably more flexible material used towards the front of the shoes.
  • ASICS branded FlyteFoam is what makes up the midsole and high abrasion rubber for the outsole. This translates to great bounce back as the player moves around the court and exceptional durability overall.
  • Excellent comfort is common praise for this shoe, featuring a Flexion Fit Upper. It’s just the right amount of snug, both with or without socks. Any adjustment can be made from the tension of the laces.
  • The sock liner can be removed to provide ample room for a medical orthotic.
  • Overall, this a quality yet lightweight shoe, offering superb durability support and stability.

Cons

  • Unfortunately, the shoe is a hair on the narrow side. If the player has wide feet, it is likely to be too snug.

Notably Worn By

Colleen “CoCo” Vandeweghe is a former Junior US Open champion when she was only 16. CoCo has since gone on to win two WTA titles since then.

Julia Görges has won 12 titles on the WTA tour at the time of this writing and claimed over $10,000,000 in tournament prize money.

Both CoCo and Julia have gone on the record in saying that the ASICS Solution Speed FF is their preferred on-court shoes.

 

Final Thoughts

An all-around fantastic lightweight yet high performance shoe.

It features a removable sockliner for those with medical devices or that prefer custom insoles.

 

3

Women’s New Balance FuelCell 996 V4

Best All-Around

The New Balance FuelCell 996v4 is great for hard courts and tennis players with feet on the wide side or who just like a little more room around the toes.

New Balance has been developing a nice lineup of shoes throughout the history of tennis. Today, there are over 15 pairs from NB alone, all specifically tailored for tennis.

Let’s get into why we’ve found this to be their best.

Pros

 

  • Lightweight and constructed in part with a breathable mesh fabric. Ventilation is great, preventing feet from overheating.

  • This pair not only has a durable sole, but it has received many compliments about the cushioning below the heel. Superb shock absorption for high impact movement.

  • A unique sole pattern that resembles a wavy criss-cross type pattern is ideal for hard and clay court surfaces.

  • Non-marking sole throughout the entire bottom makes it ideal for indoor courts.

  • Toe protector is a bit beefier than other shoes. For those playing tennis on the aggressive side, this shoe’s cushioning system lends greater protection.

  • Comes in both standard and wide fits, boasting a dynamic fit that’s great for a number of different foot shapes.

Cons

  • We cannot recommend these shoes for players with high arches, without the use of an insole insert. Arch support is good, but it is not that high.

  • For those who’ve never had issues with arch support with footwear in general, this is likely not an issue.

Notably Worn By

Heather Watson reached #3 in the world on the ITF Junior Circuit. Watson went on to become #1 mixed-doubles champion in Wimbledon, winning a total of 4 titles in her tennis career.

Nicole Gibbs has taken home 12 titles on the ITF circuit, taking home almost $2 million home in prize money.

Both Nicole & Heather have personally used New Balance’s FuelCell 996 while competing in tennis matches.

 

Final Thoughts

An excellent all-rounder, high-performance choice.

Ideal for all foot sizes, narrow to wide.

 

4

Women’s ASICS Gel-Challenger 12

The Gel-Challenger 12 is another release by ASICS, which has been custom-tailored for tennis.

It is worth noting that there as also Pickleball circles which have also touted this as the best choice.

This shoe recommended for all tennis courts, with the exception of grass, as it offers great traction yielding reducing the possibility for slippage.

The overall attributes of this pair make it one of the best tennis shoes for nurses as well.

Pros

 

  • Extremely lightweight and flexible. This is not as rigid as some of the other choices for tennis footwear.

  • Solyte midsole material which is actually lighter than the standard EVA foam-like material.

  • Gel cushioning system to attenuate shock, in both the toe and heel areas.

  • Little to no break-in period, that potentially offers game improvement right out of the box.

  • Ortholite sockliner does a great job of wicking moisture. It is also removable for medical orthotics or personal preference.

Cons

  • No wide foot sizes. If a person hasn’t required wide foot sizes in the past, it likely won’t be an issue.

  • At this price point, there are slightly better shoes noted above. But if there’s a particular style or color the top choices didn’t offer, this is still a great choice.

Final Thoughts

Great for any athlete who plays pickleball and/or tennis.

As with most ASICS shoes, not geared towards folks with larger feet.

 

5

Women’s K-Swiss Hypercourt Supreme 2

A fantastic choice for tennis or pickleball.

The first K-Swiss shoe in our lineup, the Hypercourt Supreme 2, was designed specifically for the aggressive tennis player in mind.

The Hypercourt is K-Swiss’ best-selling shoe model ever and the Supreme 2 version is the latest iteration.

For those who found the ASICS too tight, the K-Swiss shoes, in general, offers a bit more room for both toes and feet.

This shoe is also well-known through the pickleball communities.

Pros

 

  • Flexible and lightweight, with virtually no break-in period. Not the lightest shoe ever, but on the lighter side.

  • Durawrap flex is the latest K-Swiss innovation. It is a material that provides stability and flexibility, a somewhat unique combination as far as fabrics go. The Durawrap flex material is used throughout the body of the shoes.

  • The sockliner is made of molded OrthoLite, which does a great job of keeping sweat away from the feet.

  • Comfort stands out with these high-quality soles. Superb lateral support and wonderful shock absorption found on this sneaker.

  • The bootie construction of the ankle collar offers a secure fit.

Cons

  • Potentially too wide for those with smaller feet.

  • For tennis sport players that love everything else about the shoe, an insole could be used.

Final Thoughts

Best for those who have enjoy a slightly wider shoe and/or a roomier toe area.

Not recommended for narrow feet.

 

6

Women’s ASICS Gel-Resolution 7

ASICS has made our lineup of tennis shoes once again. Like the others, the Gel-Resolution 7 is geared more toward average to narrow foot sizes.

Almost all tennis shoes come with a warranty against manufacturers defects, but one thing that stands out with this shoe, in particular, is the outsole guarantee.

A hedge against excessive wear, the rubber outsole is guaranteed. For the more active players, finding tennis shoes that last as long as you want them to can be a challenge.

While all of our top picks are extremely durable, the Gel-Resolution 7 comes with some added peace of mind.

Pros

 

  • Six-month outsole durability guarantee with improved abrasion resistance.

  • Better compression in the midsole as a result of using a lower-density top layer.

  • ASICS uses their proprietary Flexion fit, which is their fancy way of saying close-fitting uppers, or where the foot is inserted into the shoe.

  • A sturdy lightweight as far as tennis shoes are concerned, but not overly so. Great overall support and stability.

  • Optimal lateral support and cushioning.

  • Versatile as all-around sports shoes, the sole pattern works well for running and other forms of activewear.

     

Cons

  • The Gel-Resolution 7 tennis shoes are not for larger feet or toes.

  • Some break-in will be required before tennis players reach maximum comfort.

Notably Worn By

Monica Niculescu from Romania holds 12 career titles and has collected over $6 million dollars from tennis prize money. Known for her unconventional grips and two-handed forehand and backhand.

Johanna Konta, a professional tennis player from Britain, has achieved 14 world titles and was ranked #4 in 2017 for singles.

Both Monica and Johanna play with their ASICS Gel-Resolution 7 tennis shoes.

Final Thoughts

Overall a very durable shoe, complete with an outsole warranty.

Ideal for average to slender feet.

 

7

Women’s adidas Courtjam Bounce

adidas makes their second appearance here with their Courtjam Bounce release. While adidas is the largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe and second in the world behind Nike, their tennis footwear product line has been increasing in popularity.

Lightweight yet durable, the Courtjam Bounce tennis shoes are ideal for both hard and clay surface courts.

Pros

 

  • Lightweight mesh upper construction of the shoe lends to its low overall weight and good breathability.

  • Flexible BOUNCE technology, made of EVA, cushions the sole for good comfort/support and durability.

  • ADITUFF toe protector design used, which is great for stumbled on the court.

  • Good overall comfort level with a closed lacing system.

  • Additional rigidity around the heel adding ankle support while in motion.

  • Really great budget gear, that comes in a variety of colors.

Cons

  • The Courtjam Bounce shoes do look good and bear the adidas name, but there are better quality shoes.
  • While they are fashionable as far as tennis shoes are concerned, if quality and comfort are most important, I would focus on choices higher in the list.

Notably Worn By

Monica Niculescu from Romania holds 12 career titles and has collected over $6 million dollars from tennis prize money. Known for her unconventional grips and two-handed forehand and backhand.

Johanna Konta, a professional tennis player from Britain, has achieved 14 world titles and was ranked #4 in 2017 for singles.

Both Monica and Johanna play with their ASICS Gel-Resolution 7 tennis shoes.

Final Thoughts

For those tennis players that do not play every day, and are looking for something that both looks great and works well for running or other activities, this is a great choice.

A great value choice.

That wraps it up for our top picks for women, now onto the men.

 

Best Tennis Shoes for Men – Final Results & Reviews

Men, it’s now your turn. The Tennis Shoez team has used the same process to find, research and physically review the top contendors.

The ranking below is the culmination of all of our entire team’s findings, along with the feedback received from our tennis professional industry contacts.

What’s best for one, might not necessarily be optimal for another. Be sure to review the details of each shoe, the details in which are most applicable and balancing that with price and overall appearance.

Without further ado, the best tennis shoes for men revealed.

1

Men’s adidas Adizero Ubersonic 3

Best Overall

adidas’ Adizero Ubersonic 3 is without question, our absolute favorite, and number one recommendation on our list of best tennis shoes.

Most of the pairs that made our lineup are at this same price point, but the Ubersonic is a premium shoe and it stands out in a number of ways.

This pick also tops our list of best black tennis shoes, the number 2 most popular color choice. Of course it is available in other colors as well.

Let’s dive in.

Pros

  • Flawless speed lacing that actually works.
  • Moisture-wicking sockliner with the perfect amount of tightness around the foot.
  • Reviewers both of average and wider-than-average sized toes both report comfort and a great overall fit.
  • Superb rubber sole known for its durability, with a pattern optimal for hard and clay courts.
  • Arch and ankle support, cushioning and stability are all top-notch, providing the player with the confidence in being protected while wearing these shoes.
  • An optimal balance between impact absorption and still being lightweight.
  • Ventilation is better than any other shoes we’ve tested. At the same time, the Ubersonic also did a decent job of keeping the cold weather away from the foot. Impressive for a tennis shoe.

Cons

  • A bit stiff right out of the box and will require a brief break-in period.
  • Folks with wide feet may find these shoes too snug.

Notably Worn By

Alexander “Sascha” Zverev is the second-youngest player to be ranked in the top 10 by the Association of Tennis Professionals, coming in at #5. Sascha holds over 16 titles and has claimed over $21 million in prize money.

Gilles Simon comes in right behind Sascha at #6 ranking by the ATP. Simon has achieved 14 titles and taken home over $15 million in winnings.

 

Final Thoughts

Best of the best. Fantastic performance. It will be difficult to find a better pair of men’s tennis shoes on the market, especially at this price point.

Many reported using these as general lightweight athletic shoes for purposes such as running or working out. A real testament to the overall comfort and overall utility this shoe offers, for any level player.

2

Men’s ASICS Gel-Challenger 12

Runner Up

Next up is the Gel-Challenger shoes by ASICS, one of the more popular shoe brands in the tennis world.

Surprisingly to us, that there were no men’s players we could find that used these.

After conducting our own internal tests and considering the reviews of others, the Gel-Challenger is definitely a contender.

Pros

  • Flawless speed lacing that actually works.
  • Moisture-wicking sockliner with the perfect amount of tightness around the foot.
  • Reviewers both of average and wider-than-average sized toes both report comfort and a great overall fit.
  • Superb rubber sole known for its durability, with a pattern optimal for hard and clay courts.
  • Arch and ankle support, cushioning and stability are all top-notch, providing the player with the confidence in being protected while wearing these shoes.
  • An optimal balance between impact absorption and still being lightweight.
  • Ventilation is better than any other shoes we’ve tested. At the same time, the Ubersonic also did a decent job of keeping the cold weather away from the foot. Impressive for a tennis shoe.

Cons

  • Most of the shoes released by ASICS are not friendly for wide feet.

Final Thoughts

Overall the ASICS Gel-Challenger offers tennis players a very durable shoe, with excellent comfort and support.

3

Men’s K-Swiss Bigshot Light

Best All-Around

Known more for sneakers than tennis shoes, K-Swiss offers a truly fantastic choice, the Bigshot Light.

Made popular by the Bryan brothers, a set identical twins who became the most successful professional doubles tennis players of all time [2]. More about them coming up.

What makes the Bigshot Light unique is the amount of leather used, which is uncommon for a tennis shoe. K-Swiss still managed to keep it lightweight, breathable and flexible, so dive into some of this shoe’s features.

Pros

  • Having more leather than any other tennis shoe offers a high amount of support and stability.
  • K-Swiss still managed to keep this an overall lightweight shoe. Although not the lightest of the lineup, it won’t weigh you down.
  • Durability, as you can guess, is fantastic due to the leather being a very strong, long-lasting material.
  • Great internal cushioning and arch support. The insole is removable, making them some of the best tennis shoes for flat feet. The solid tongue helps complete that desired snug fit.
  • Plenty of ventilation to keep the foot cool, without having to use baby powder to stay dry.

Cons

  • People with wider feet will likely find this too snug.

  • The design is nice but simple. There are limited color choices.

Notably Worn By

Bob & Mike Bryan are known as the Bryan brothers in the tennis world. These brothers were among the best tennis players in the world and became the most successful doubles players of all time.

Together, then won 39 Masters Doubles titles, 3 Olympic medals including 1 gold, and 4 World Tour Finals.

Final Thoughts

One of the best men’s shoes for durability, and stability/support. Offering better than normal toe protection and abrasion resistance.

This may be considered more a pair of tennis sneakers than of shoes, but is still a fantastic piece of footwear.

Great option for all-around athletic performance in running, pickleball and of course, tennis.

4

Men’s ASICS Men’s Court FF

Best for Speed

Another leading shoe for tennis made by ASICS, is the Solution Speed FF.

These shoes are made for normal to narrow sized feet.

A lightweight option, where many have reported increased speed and responsiveness in getting to the ball.

Pros

  • ASICS gel technology throughout the foot and Flyte foam midsole technology make for great shock absorption, cushioning and overall comfort.
  • The outsole is made with high abrasion rubber, which is key for exceptional durability.
  • OrthoLite removable sockliner that wicks sweat away from the foot during the game.
  • All court tennis shoes. Great for most any tennis court surface.
  • Very lightweight construction combined with a perfect fit, for average to smaller feet.
  • Noticeable speed improvements and improved responsiveness around the court.
  • Exceptional ventilation with a mesh upper, ideal for anyone prone to sweating.

Cons

  • Unfortunately, this shoe too is not wide-foot friendly, however the next 2 in our reviews are.
  • Small break-in period.
  • If too tight, try straight lacing instead of the standard criss-cross pattern.

Notably Worn By

David Goffin is a professional tennis player from Belgium, ranking at number 7 in the world, by the Association of Tennis Professionals. Quoted directly from Goffin below are his thoughts on the shoe.

“Regardless of what level of tennis you play, you are always looking for every advantage to beat your opponent. Having shoes that enable faster movement and quick turns while making it feel great on your feet makes the new Solution Speed FF an absolute winner on the court.”

 

Final Thoughts

A speed shoe, adding performance to moving around the court with added stability/durability.

 

5

Men’s ASICS Gel-Resolution 8

Best for Wide Feet

Our first pair of tennis shoes for men, accommodating all foot shapes and sizes. Wide feet rejoice!

When it comes to durability, the ASICS Gel-Resolution 8 come with a unique 6-month outsole warranty.

Perfect for hard courts, clay, and pickleball. Here are some features that make the Resolution 8 stand out.

Pros

  • 6-month warranty on ASICS’ improved outsole technology.
  • PGuard toe protector, beefs up the front of the shoe protecting against stumbles, improving durability.
  • Dynawrap material is integrated with the lacing area for added comfort/support.
  • Gel cushioning in both heel and midfoot, featuring great comfort.
  • The midfoot shank provides a secure fit reducing heel slippage, increasing overall performance.

Cons

  • Shoes run a bit small on intentionally, as Resolution 7 (Previous model) complaints came in that the shoe needed to be more form-fitting.
  • Resolution 8 DOES come in wide sizes.
  • For those that enjoy a bit of extra room, may consider the next size up.

Notably Worn By

Gael Monfils, hailing from France, reached the #6 ranking for singles in the world in 2016.

 

 

Final Thoughts

The Gel Resolution 8 is a versatile tennis shoe for almost any playing style.

These shoes stand out for both durability and comfort.

 

6

Men’s adidas Solecourt Boost

The Solecourt Boost by adidas hasn’t been around as long as the Ubersonic.

The staff at TennisShoez all loves this shoe, but it lost a few points because it’s only been around since the summer of 2019.

If the Solecourt Boost can stand the test of time and the reviews keep pouring in, we might give it a boost in our rankings.

Pros

  • Average to smaller profile feet, fit very well.
  • The outsole is made of thermoplastic polyurethane or TPU, which is a lightweight and very durable construction material.
  • Rubber sole with pattern ideal for all court types, except grass.
  • Form-fitting collar for improved stability and control.
  • Toe bumper offers protection against bumps and improves durability.

Cons

  • Newest tennis shoes on the block.
  • So far our experience and the reviews of others have been overwhelmingly positive, but it hasn’t been around as much as the others.

Notably Worn By

Fernando Verdasco achieved a #7 singles ranking in the world.

Dominic Thiem secured the #3 spot in the ATP ranking in the world in March of 2020.

Both Fernando and Dominic compete with the Solecourt Boost tennis shoes.

 

Final Thoughts

Fantastic shoes, very similar to the Ubersonic 3.

Will likely move it up our rankings once it’s been on the market a while longer.

 

 

7

Men’s NikeCourt Air Zoom Vapor X

The Air Zoom Vapor X by Nike are truly excellent tennis shoes.

So why isn’t it higher in the reviews?

For 2 main reasons;

  • Availability is sporadic
  • More expensive than better alternatives

It is still a great shoe for the tennis court. Let’s jump into why.

Pros

  • Dynamic fit that is form-fitting offering stability for quick movements.
  • Foam midsole has Nike’s Zoom Air in the heel for adaptive cushioning.
  • Soles designed by data. Nike performed rigorous testing for optimal traction, removing rubber where it wasn’t needed to keep the shoes lightweight.
  • Constructed with a breathable mesh for adequate ventilation.
  • Removable insole for additional room or custom inserts.

Cons

  • Availability is inconsistent.
  • Higher price tag than arguably better tennis shoes.

Notably Worn By

Roger Federer is the #4 ranking best professional player in the world today by the ATP [3].

Denis Shapovalov is another tennis professional, who has made the Nike Air Zoom Vapor X his court footwear pick.

Final Thoughts

A well made, extremely comfortable tennis shoe, made by the largest athletic ware company in the world.

You will pay a bit extra for it and availablility can be limited.

 

For any player who takes their game seriously, picking the perfect pair of tennis shoes can be the difference between a good match and a great one. The best tennis shoe will provide a great balance between comfort and stability.

Men and women have many different needs, but when it comes to tennis and the makings of the best shoes to wear; there is little difference. What to look out for remains the same.

We’re going to give you a first-hand look behind the curtain and explain exactly what we’re looking for when we consider a tennis shoe. Many hours have been poured into research, testing different shoes, and engaging our industry contacts to compile our list of the very best tennis shoes.

Our Best Tennis Shoe Ranking Criteria

investigation process

It is important for anyone serious about their tennis game to take the time and find the best footwear, that suits one’s need. There are many aspects of what makes an overall great tennis shoe, but there are 3 that really stand out.

Stability

The main purpose of a proper tennis shoe is to protect the player from injury. The player wants to be focused on the game and the shoe needs to serve as an extension of themselves.

It is crucial that the arch is cradled and supported, as well as the overall foot remaining protected.

Comfort

The shoe must feel good on the foot while being worn. With a proper fit (which we’ll cover shortly), there should be no point of tension or discomfort when the foot is placed within the shoe.

If there any type of rubbing or overall tightness, it will result in blistering after an amount of activity.

Flexibility

If a shoe is too heavy or stiff, it will impair the player’s ability to be responsive during the game. Proper footwear should never be a hinder when it’s time to be explosive on the court.

Other Ranking Factors

man reviews sneaker

The entire staff here at TennisShoez is passionate when it comes to tennis. Before creating this site, we created an internal survey and asked each employee a variety of questions about what makes the best.

In addition, we tapped on the shoulders of a few of our industry contacts and got some very valuable feedback from a handful of professional tennis players.

After loads of research, coffee, and tennis-filled conversation, the other ranking criteria we use are below.

  • Aesthetics – Cuz nobody wants to look like Elmer Fudd out there.
  • Durability – Anticipated life of both shoe material and sole.
  • Ventilation – Tennis shoes are athletic footwear, and need to allow for proper air movement.

While we do consider all of these factors inside each of our tennis shoe recommendations, more emphasis is placed on stability, comfort, and flexibility. Aesthetics is more a matter of personal opinion. Durability can vary depending on how often the game is played, along with play style and ventilation depends on how prone a person is to sweating.

We’ll do our best to highlight each of these aspects in our reviews. If anything is ever unclear, or you have questions about an aspect of a particular shoe, please feel free to reach out.

Anatomy of a Tennis Shoe

Shoe Anatomy

Before we nerd out and get into the details of each of the best shoes for tennis, let’s review their basic anatomy. Some of these terms will be coming up shortly and it will help to know what they are. One could also use this newfound lingo to impress their sneakerhead friends. We don’t judge.

Collar

The shoe collar is where the stitching creates a rim around then opening where the foot is placed.

Midsole

The midsole is the portion of the sole directly under the heel. Most tennis shoe midsoles are manufactured using closed-cell foam, known as ethyl vinyl acetate or EVA.

It is the midsole that is most crucial for heel support, along with overall comfort and stability.

Outsole

clay court sole

The outsole is the portion of the sole directly under the toes, in the front of the shoe. It is this area of the shoe that first meets the ground whenever the player is mobile.

Most tennis shoe outsoles are made out of rubber for the best traction and durability.

Heel

The heel is located in the very back of the shoe. It is the fabric that stretches between the midsole and the collar.

Lace Guide & Tongue

The lace guide is the series of eyelets in which the shoelaces are run through. Beneath the shoelaces and lace guide is the tongue.

Outside of purchasing insoles, this is the only adjustment you can make on a tennis shoe, for fit and comfort.

Toe Box

The toe box is the fabric directly above where the toes sit inside of the shoe. When it comes to both ventilation and flexibility, this is where you want to focus.

For best results, this material will be both breathable and pliable, as this is where most of the flexing occurs while playing tennis.

Toe Guard

The toe guard might be a bit obvious, but it’s the portion of the tennis shoe surrounding the front of “guarding” your toes. It is sometimes referred to as a toe cap or bumper.

Having a little cushion here is important to protect the toes, should a player stumble, etc.

Finding A Perfectly Fitting Tennis Shoe

foot sizes

It doesn’t help if the best shoes on the market don’t fit right. A tennis player is constantly on the move. Finding a proper fitting tennis shoe is paramount to the safety and comfort of the athlete.

I know it sounds a bit basic, but it is extremely important to make sure the shoe fits properly, to get the most benefit. Before diving into our reviews, let’s review securing the best fit.

Size

Before you call me ‘captain obvious’, hear me out. Believe it or not, the size of the foot can change over time.

The time of the day when measuring feet can also have an impact. Feet are at their smallest size in the morning and do swell somewhat after being active.

For best results, we recommend measuring your feet right after a game of tennis or at the end of the day, before relaxing. The foot will be at its largest size, ensuring the tennis shoe of choice will be a great fit throughout the whole day, during any activity.

Width

Tennis shoes typically come in a standard width, but just like any other sneaker, wide fits are available. Most folks know what’s best on their feet.

If the player typically wears wide shoes, then a wide tennis shoe is suggested. Otherwise, we recommend sticking with what the person is used to.

Shape

Separate from the topic of width, but still related, is the overall shape of the shoe. Pay special attention to the toe box area.

If historically one has had trouble with standard-sized shoes with toes feeling crammed, a standard tennis shoe with a bit wider of a toe box can help.

Soles

While one could argue that the sole isn’t directly part of how a shoe fits, but it is one of the most important factors when it comes to excellent comfort and support.

Most tennis shoes on the market are going to have an EVA midsole. EVA is a foam material with shock-absorbing properties. Its purpose is to distribute the player’s weight evenly and provide stability, while on the move.

All of the best choices are going to have a rubber outsole. It provides excellent traction as the player moves around the court.

Cleaning Ability

A top-notch pair of tennis shoes is an investment that is meant to last.

The ability to properly clean and dry tennis shoes is important and largely depends on the materials chosen during the shoe manufacturing process.

Not many players are able to give the game their all, without getting a little dirt on their footwear.

Tennis Shoes for Different Court Surfaces

clay court

The court surface being played on will have some bearing on selecting the right shoe for tennis. To get the most stability/durability out of the sole, pairing the right shoe for the court can be helpful.

Almost all tennis shoes will be made with a rubber sole. The real variable then that matters most, boils down to the sole’s pattern.

While we don’t really consider any of these deal-breakers, for those searching for the absolute best, we’ll highlight what to look for.

Hard Court

A tennis hard-court is most commonly made with a stiff and rigid material such as asphalt or concrete, which is then covered by a layer of acrylic. Just like the name suggests, the surface is hard and dense, which makes for easy traction.

When it comes to the best sole for a hard-court, a herringbone or criss-cross pattern is ideal. It will provide omnidirectional traction, so no matter which way the player moves or pivots, the shoe is sure to grab.

Clay Court

A clay court is typically comprised of crushed brick and stone. A court such as this is cheaper to install, but more expensive to properly upkeep. The surface on a clay court is hard.

Not to sound overly redundant, but the pattern on the shoes for hard courts above, are ideal for clay courts as well. It will provide the same omnidirectional traction, but also easily release any clay that gets trapped in the thread of the soles during play.

Grass Court

grass tennis court

Playing on a grass court is where the sole of the shoes really will make a distinct difference. Grass courts are made from very compact soil to provide a dense surface, and the grass is clipped very short. Similar in some aspects to a golf putting green.

The ideal sole here is going to have a ton of what are called pimples. These pimples provide more bite when it comes to traction on the court. The concept is very similar to cleats, just less exaggerated.

One last option is an all-around sole, which is simply a combination of both the herringbone pattern with the pimple pattern. For any player that does not play exclusively on grass courts, this would be the best choice.

 

The Review Wrap-up

We truly hope you’ve enjoyed reading our reviews about what we found to be among the best tennis shoes.

A lot of fun was had in testing, researching, and conversing with other tennis enthusiasts as we vetted tens of candidates for our list.

While we realize we might not have hit all the shoes on the market, perhaps there’s a shoe that’s destined for the tennis court we just don’t know about yet. Feel free to give us a shout.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What About Other Professional Tennis Players, What Do They Wear?

So you’re wondering which tennis shoes Serena Williams wears on the court?

Here’s a few quick links to the more commonly requested footwear guides, worn by pros:

We’ve done our best to sprinkle that information throughout the article, but for more exhaustive information, check out the ‘Pro Players’ in the navigation pane.

Q: Can You Recycle Tennis Shoes?

We believe in caring for and giving back to our environment.

Check out our complete guide discussing tennis shoe recycling, here.

References

  1. https://www.wtatennis.com/players/315616/kristina-mladenovic/bio
  2. http://bryanbros.com
  3. https://rogerfederer.com