Tennis doesn’t require too much equipment that you can start playing it. However, there are many things how you can improve your game, and depending on your skills and dedication, some of them will become essential, and some don’t. Well, where do tennis shoes land on?
Tennis players should use shoes specifically made for tennis because they offer lateral support, great grip, shock absorption for the hard courts, and protection that other shoes don’t provide in such an optimal way for tennis.
That being said, this doesn’t mean that you can’t play tennis with other shoes. However, if you want to minimize the risk of blisters, ankle twists, muscle strains and have a great grip for explosive speed and better overall performance, then you definitely need tennis shoes.
In my opinion, you should get tennis shoes as soon as you are sure that you want to proceed to do tennis in the future. However, if you haven’t ever played tennis, then I would wait and see that you like it first. Anyways, let’s review what’ so good about tennis shoes.
- Why are tennis shoes worth it?
- Are expensive tennis shoes worth it?
- Are running shoes ok for tennis?
- How to choose tennis shoes?
- My Favorite Tennis Equipment
Why are tennis shoes worth it?
I’ll explain how tennis shoes can provide the things mentioned above that other shoes that aren’t made for these things can’t. Let’s take a look at why tennis shoes are worth it.
1. Support and protection
Tennis is a sport with a lot of sudden movements, side to side, front and back movement, and awkward stretches. This kind of activity requires harder-built shoes because they will support the ankles and whole foot. In other words, lateral support that all proper tennis shoes have.
Lateral support makes tennis shoes to be stiffer but doesn’t let it fool you; it will still allow you to feel comfortable without restricting your movement.
Most tennis shoes also have a soft cushion on the toe side of the shoe. This is because if it were to be hard, your toes would surely ake and even become injured because, in tennis, there are a lot of sudden movements where the pressure focuses on the toes.
2. Shock absorption
Another huge perk that tennis shoes have specifically made for tennis is the unique shock absorption. This is a must for long tennis sessions, especially if you play on hard courts. Tennis involves a lot of jumping, sprinting, and thumping that will burden the feet’s heel and sole.
This is why tennis shoes have a comfortable inner cushioning that will dampen the energy from your movement. Resulting in far lesser pain and strains on your feet.
3. Improved grip
As we know, there are grass, artificial grass, clay, and hard courts in tennis. There are different soles for grass, clay, and hard courts that require a different pattern on the sole. However, modern technology has designed omni court soles that are great for all of them!
Whether you want a shoe for a specific type of court type or one that has an omni court sole, you can bet that these shoes have a far better grip on the court than any other type of sports shoe would. This alone is enough to invest in tennis shoes because the grip is one of the essential things to play tennis well.
If you have a great grip, you can move like lightning, and your actions to your opponent’s strikes won’t get behind your reaction. In other words, speed will be with you!
Also, when you have a great grip, you can be more confident on your steps and minimize the risk of falling that could lead to injuries if you’re unlucky.
4 .Better performance in all ways
Finally, tennis shoes are designed just for tennis so everything else will be better than with any other kind of shoe. For example, they will be more comfortable because of the increased cushioning that is required for tennis.
Also, many tennis shoes have a mesh fabric as cover so that they will breathe well and let air inside your shoes. This way, you don’t sweat like you’re losing, and your feet can be in a healthy environment, not suffocating in high temperatures and a ton of sweat.
There are a ton of different models to choose from. If you require more support and comfort but don’t care so much about the weight, you are covered. But if you are more towards speed and grip, you will find shoes of that nature as well.
The point is, tennis shoes are designed specifically for tennis, so that alone should confirm that tennis shoes are the best choice for playing tennis.
Are expensive tennis shoes worth it?
Naturally, if you pay more, you will get more durable and comfortable materials, better design, and more thought-out overall performance for your shoes. This doesn’t mean blindly throw money at the most expensive pair of tennis shoes but acknowledging that usually more money means more quality.
That being said, if you are serious about tennis and are ready to take things to the next level, then, by all means, invest in a great pair of tennis shoes, and the investment usually pays off if you do proper research first. Below are my two recommended tennis shoes, one from the affordable category and one from a more expensive and quality one.
Are running shoes ok for tennis?
Generally, running shoes are okay for tennis, but they lack many of the tennis shoe-specific features such as lateral support, proper sole for grip, targeted cushioning, and the overall design for tennis. Nonetheless, you are well capable of playing tennis in running shoes.
How to choose tennis shoes?
There are many steps that go into choosing your ideal pair of tennis shoes, just specific for your foot’s features. Keep close attention, and I’ll explain to you how you will be 100% satisfied with your future choice.
1. Determine your playstyle
The first step in choosing the right pair o tennis shoes is to think about your playstyle. Are you an agile sprinter or a hard hitter from far away? Whatever the case may be, you need to think about these things:
When you have these 5 things in mind, you can see the specific features of a shoe and determine whether that is more for your playstyle. Here’s a couple of examples:
Fast & mobile playstyle: The shoe with a lightweight and great toe cushioning is great for this playstyle. Good breathability is a huge bonus for this as well.
Hard hitter near the baseline: More sturdy and heavy shoes with great lateral support and protection are a great choice for this one.
These are some examples, and you can find great variations with all of these features and playstyles.
2. Think about your mostly used court surface
The next thing is to think about where you are playing the most. What court type?
This is highly important to determine because this way, you are able to find the right sole for your shoe. That’s right; there are different sole types for different kinds of courts: Clay, Hard, Grass, and Artificial Grass.
1. Clay court sole
When you play a match or two on a clay court, you will notice that red dust over your shoes. This is why clay court soles have a full herringbone pattern to help keep the dust out of your soles and to provide a good grip. The full herringbone pattern is also great for explosive speed In clay courts.
Clay court tennis shoes often wrap tight around your feet so that they prevent the clay from entering your socks and shoe.
2. Hard court sole
Hard court soles are probably the most used ones, and they are included with a ton of features because that hard court surface can be straining on your feet.
When you’re looking for hard court soles, make sure that they have a shock-absorbing feature because when you play on a hard court, that will thud on your feet, which will result in pain over time.
Most of the time, hard court soles have modified herringbone patterns for great grip and flexibility. They need to be durable as well because the hard court is the harshest on the material.
3. Grass court sole
Unlike hard courts, grass and artificial grass courts are softer for your feet; thus, you need a proper sole for that.
For grass courts, it’s important that the outer sole has pimples because it will enable that well-needed grip that a grass court tennis really needs. However, you should be remembered that grass-court soles with pimples on them can’t be used in other courts because the soles will get ruined in a really short time.
3. Consider your foot type
This is something most people often skip but let me remind you that you shouldn’t! This step is a crucial part of how comfortable you will feel on your shoe.
There are 3 types of feet: Flat (Low), Pronated (Normal), and Supinaction (High Arch). By determining your foot type, you will know how much cushioning and lateral support your will need to get that optimal shoe arch height specifically for your feet.
You can easily determine your foot’s type buý doing the wet test. Start by wetting your foot in water and step on a piece of paper. Then you can see your foot’s print and determine whether you have a flat, normal, or high arch foot.
- Flat foot: Prints nearly the whole foot on the paper.
- Normal foot: Prints medium amount of foot on paper.
- High foot: Prints the least amount of foot on paper.
Check out this video on how to properly do the wet test and determine your feet’ type.
- If you have flat feet, you need a stabilized tennis shoe because you will see most wear near the front inside of the shoe..
- For normal feet type, you can try nearly every shoe and see how it fits. Firm midsoles and semi-curved lasts is a bonus.
- For high arch foot, get flexible shoes because you will notice most wear on the toes and heel.
4. Determine your budget
After the 3 most essential things, it’s time to set up your budget. Depending on your money situation, you may need to check out some affordable models, and that’s a tougher job to find that perfect pair than with unlimited money.
Don’t worry tho; you can find great pairs with €50 or even less, so you don’t need to invest +$150 by any means.
5. Make a list of everything
Now that you have everything figured out write them down!
- Your playstyle and desired features
- Your sole type and favored court type
- Your foot’s characteristics
- Your Budget
After this step, you are ready to select your dream pair of tennis shoes!
6. Select the right shoe
When it comes to choosing the right shoe, I always prefer to get one from a reputable brand that I can trust. These can be brands such as Wilson, Yonex, Prince, Tecnifibre, Babolat, Gamma Sports, or anything you feel comfortable with.
Then you can buy straight from the brand’s online stores or Amazon if they have that specific model. The point is, browse different brands and shoes, and I’m certain that you will find the right fit for your needs!
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.
It’s safe to say that tennis shoes certainly are worth it most of the time, and selecting the right features for your shoes is really important as well. I hope that this article helped you to determine whether you need tennis shoes right away or perhaps in the future.