Many times when I talk to someone that does another sport such as basketball, volleyball, or in this case, running, asks that whether the shoes they have can be used in tennis? It really depends on the sport, and in this article, I will explain the case with running shoes.
Running shoes are great for light occasional tennis where you aren’t dashing and stopping with all your energy. However, I highly advise getting tennis shoes for frequent players in intermediate and higher levels because running shoes will wear out fast, and they lack the needed lateral support.
That sounds vague. Well, it can be if you don’t know your personal situation well enough, so I’ll walk you through the information in a more in-depth way so you can tell whether you should wear running shoes for tennis or not.
But all in all, you can always wear running shoes for tennis, but the thing is, should you?
Can you wear running shoes for tennis?
There are a couple of things to consider about your shoes, your habits, and yourself to determine whether you should wear running shoes for tennis.
First, how often and where do you play tennis? If you want to play tennis 5 times a week, then go and get tennis shoes immediately for the sake of your pleasure and performance. However, if you want to play tennis from time to time, maybe once or twice a week, you can make it work with running shoes.
Another big thing to consider is what court type are you playing the most? The three main types of tennis courts are hard court, clay court, and grass court.
Generally, hard courts have the harshest surface and wear the shoe out really fast if it isn’t designed for that surface type. That’s why I’d consider using especially low durability running shoes on hard courts.
Clay courts, however, could be a great court type for running shoes because if you do some trail running, etc., the clay court is somewhat similar to it, so that would be the best option.
Grass courts, on the other hand, are a risky place to play tennis if you don’t have specific shoes for them. Grass court tennis shoes often have pimples on the bottom of the outer soles because it gives traction. If your running shoes don’t have them, as I suspect, then they wouldn’t be secure and safe to use on the grass.
Clay court is the best option to play on with running shoes.
Second, what are your shoes like? Do you have a pair of $30 running shoes that you got one month ago that already shows signs of wearing, or do you have an $80 pair that has proven to be durable in your use?
This is an indication of how your shoes would fare on the harsher surfaces of tennis courts. Also, if you didn’t know, a hard court is the most common court type found everywhere, so if you care about your shoes and want them to last, I would find a clay court or make sure that your shoes’ outsoles are durable.
Finally, what do you want? Where it all comes down to is your preference and what you would like to do. Regardless of my tips and recommendations, you can always play tennis with running shoes; however, they can break fast, increase the chance of injury, and decrease your performance on the court compared to tennis shoes.
What is the difference between running and tennis shoes?
There are three main differences between running and tennis shoes. The most important one is lateral support.
I said earlier that if you take tennis seriously on the court and dash and stop from side to side with all your energy, you should get tennis shoes because running shoes don’t have lateral support.
Lateral support is extra support and material located in the sides of the shoe that you won’t sprain your ankle so easily. And as tennis has a ton of side-to-side movement with sudden stops and explosive starts, lateral support is essential!
Running has a rhythmic front-to-back movement, so lateral support would be pointless, and it would just add extra weight and potential rubbing on your ankles, so they are better without them.
Another big difference is the outer sole. Tennis shoes are more durable in the outsole because most tennis courts have an extremely harsh surface, and if the sole weren’t durable, it would lose its grip and wear off fast.
However, this doesn’t mean that running shoes can’t be as durable. There are running shoes such as Adidas Solarglide that are really durable and would probably handle hardcourts, so don’t make quick conclusions without knowing the shoe.
Increased support, cushioning, and a more dense and heavy outsole naturally make tennis shoes heavier than running shoes. There are differences between shoes, but in general, tennis shoes do weigh more because in running you want to maximize the speed above all others, whereas in tennis the shoes must have good support and cushion.
Below you can find the average weight for both tennis and running shoes.
- Average tennis shoe weight: 11.7oz-16.2oz (332g-459g)
- Average running shoe weight: 9.5oz (270g)
Are tennis shoes worth it?
Tennis shoes are definitely worth it if you like tennis and are determined to continue playing it. Tennis shoes offer features that running shoes don’t provide, and these features are critical if you want to perform at your best on the court, want to be comfortable, and reduce the risk of injury.
If you want to know the whole list of great features, why tennis shoes are worth it, and how to choose the ultimate pair for your specific needs, then check out my article about it here.
Can you use tennis shoes for running?
Generally, tennis shoes can be used for running, and you will benefit from the lateral support that will decrease injury risk. However, tennis shoes are heavier and flat from the bottom, whereas running shoes are elevated from the heel, promoting forward motion, so the running experience isn’t as pleasant.
My Favorite Tennis Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you great value that you can implement into your own life! Below you’ll find my top tennis equipment recommendations would like.
- Racket: My preferred tennis racket is the Wilson Ultra 100 V3. This racket is made from graphite and carbon fiber, making it durable, firm, and easy to swing. The racket weighs 300g, making it lightweight yet not too lightweight to generate power. The racket’s main benefit is power. I like to add multifilament strings to the racket, such as Wilson NXT Soft 16 (recommended tension 52lb/23.5kg), because they are comfortable and soft on the arm with a great feel to the game.
- Tennis balls: Best tennis balls are always pressurized, and I like them having extra-duty felt, which is fit for hard court play. I like Penn Championship Tennis Balls, and so does the ITF because these balls are approved for competitive play. So yes, these are the real deal.
- Tennis shoes: I can’t stress enough the importance of comfortable and supporting shoes. ASICS Gel-Resolution 8 tennis shoes are unique because the balance between durability and support mixed with comfort is something out of the ordinary.
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.