Best Tennis Shoes for Every Surface

Looking for the best tennis shoes for your tennis play? Tennis players like to speak about their rackets, grip, strings, and weight. How it helps their play and how it makes them a better player. They do not speak so much about rest of their equipment or wear. However, it influences their play in a big way too. You should not underestimate the impact of tennis shoes in overall performance on a court.

True is, a quality of shoes makes a big difference. Different surfaces require different tennis shoes. Just with right tennis shoes, you will play your best tennis ever.

An important factor in your decision is the surface you play most. Clay, Hard and Grass have different attributes and therefore shoes have to be different. Playing mostly on clay will impose different parameters you have to consider comparing to playing on the hard surface. So before choosing right shoes, you have to draw a playing plan. Depending on the surface on your „home“ tennis court you should you use specific shoes for a specific surface.

Best tennis players have more pairs of shoes for every surface. Even recreational players should have at least one pair for every surface they play on. It will prolong the life of your shoes and gives you more comfort in playing.

Best tennis shoes for the Grass Court

The grass is the least used surface on ATP tour. There are not so many grass courts out there, so not many recreational players are used to play on this surface.

The ball is staying low and moves fast on grass. Professional players on grass are using a serve-and-volley style more often than on other courts. The Speed of the ball can be used to their advantage with this style. Players need to move fast to the net and shoes have to be able to provide comfort in such moves.

The grip of shoes has to be good because grass can be slippery. Outsole has to be flatter, as grass courts can be easily damaged. Upper of the boot has to be flexible to not obstruct your run forward to the net and the ball.

Tennis shoes for grass do not need to have heavy and durable outsoles. The grass is softer and does not wear the outsoles so much.

ADIDAS

ASICS

ASICS

Barricade Grass Tennis Men's Shoes

Gel-Resolution 6 Grass Women's Tennis Shoes

Gel-Resolution 6 Grass Men's Tennis Shoes

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Best tennis shoes for the Clay Court

Clay and Hard are the most used surfaces in professional and also recreational tennis. There is plenty of possibilities when buying tennis shoes for clay. To choose the best tennis shoes for clay you have to think about movements you make when playing on clay.

You will move from side to side on the clay court and also use slide much often than on other surfaces. Therefore your clay tennis shoes should have durable sides to withstand slides for a ball.

Shoe grip and design of outsole are very important on clay. It should offer great traction but on the other side should not leave marks on a court. Grooves should release clay and do not keep it. Otherwise, you will risk slipping on every run and you will direct a lot of effort to not falling instead playing a ball. Eventually, you would have to beat it the clay out of shoes with rackets between the exchanges.

Ankle sprains are usual clay related injury. Just best tennis shoes with parameters discussed above can save you from needless foot injuries. Lateral support and tight upper of the shoe will keep your feet in comfort during your movement along the baseline and slides to sides when reaching for a ball.

ADIDAS

ASICS

ASICS

Performance Men's Barricade Club Tennis Shoes

Women's GEL-Solution Speed 3 Tennis Shoe

Men's Gel-solution Speed 3 Tennis Shoe

Torsion System
ADIPREN for extra cushioning under heel

Rearfoot and Forefoot GEL Cushioning System
PGuard Toe Protector
Flexion Fit Upper

Rearfoot and Forefoot GEL Cushioning System
PGuard Toe Protector
Flexion Fit Upper

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Best tennis shoes for the Hard Court

Hard courts can be blue or green, but the color is the less important factor when choosing the right shoes. Hard courts can be slow, fast or faster. Frankly, you hardly find two same hard courts in the world. It can have some taraflex or concrete with just rubber carpet on it. However, for simplicity we will apply the term „hard court“ for average hard court you will find in your local tennis club.

Hard courts wear away your outsoles the most. You will need durable and strong outsole on your shoe. The grip is not so important, as hard courts are not slippery. You will not make many slides on hard, so the sides of your shoes do not be such strong as on clay shoes.

Tennis play on hard court strains your knuckles and heels more than on other court surfaces. Therefore best tennis shoes for hard courts will take special care of your feet. They will have special cushioning for the heel, which will reduce the shock and chance of injury.

NEW BALANCE

ADIDAS

ADIDAS

Men's MC806 Stability Tennis Shoe

Performance Women's Barricade V Classic W Tennis Shoe

Women's Barricade Court Tennis Shoese

ABZORB cushioning
C-CAP midsole

Adiprene plus foam
Torsion System
AdiTuff System

Adiprene
3D Torsion System
Adiwear Outsole

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All Court Tennis Shoes

However, it happens often that recreational players use one pair of shoes for every surface. Then you should be aware of limits of the shoes on every surface. It is an only way how to avoid any unwanted slips.

BABOLAT

BABOLAT

WILSON

SFX 2 All Court Women's Tennis Shoe

SFX2 All Court Black/Blue Men's Shoes

Kaos Womens Tennis Shoe

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Best tennis shoes for women

Currently, there is no difference between technologies used in tennis shoes for women and men. The same high-tech ideas and materials are used for everyone. So the difference usually lies in details.

Women usually look not just on the technical features of the shoe but also at the design. Women Tennis shoes have to click with the rest of tennis equipment they use.

Best tennis shoes for men

Men usually like to have all possible technologies included in their tennis shoes. Leg stability and feeling would have an always bigger impact than fashion look. However, even they look sometimes on colors of the shoes 🙂

Our summary

You should have at least two pairs of shoes for tennis season even if you play the same surface every time. Use different kind of shoes with different key features for different court surfaces. Keep in mind your leg safety and do not use clay shoes for play on hard courts and vice versa.

Tennis shoes of professional players

Watching your favorite tennis player on TV is always inspiratory for any recreational player. You can learn a lot from their plays, strokes, and movement on the court. But as much as you can learn, so you can inspire yourself by watching the equipment your favorite player uses.

NIKE

ASICS

ADIDAS

Men's Zoom Vapor 9.5 Tour Tennis Shoes

Gel Resolution 7 Novak Djokovic Mens Tennis Shoe

ASMC Barricade Women’s Tennis Shoes

Collaboration between Roger Federer and well-known Nike designer Tinker Hatfield

Novak Djokovic flagship tennis shoes

Stella McCartney design series, weared also by Garbine Muguruza

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Let’s have a short look what shoes tennis pros wear on courts during the season. Once dominant brands Nike and Adidas are under strong pressure from newcomers like Under Armour or New Balance.

Between ATP top players, Adidas shoes are worn by Kei Nishikori, Dominic Thiem and Tomas Berdych. Nike has under contract two living and playing legends Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal and Asics just lately signed Novak Djokovic.

New Balance shoes are worn by Milos Raonic and Under Armour, shoes are worn by Andy Murray.

Between WTA top players, Nike is definitely the top brand with Williams sisters wearing their top products. Simone Halep signed contract with Nike recently. Also, Czech and Slovak top players, Petra Kvitova and Dominika Cibulkova walk on the court in Nike shoes. Adidas shoes are proudly worn by Angelique Kerber and Gabine Muguruza.

That is for the inspiration. Shoes good for the best tennis players cannot be bad for you as well.

NIKE

ADIDAS

NEW BALANCE

UNDER ARMOUR

YONEX

Roger Federer
Rafael Nadal
Serena Williams
Venus Williams
Petra Kvitova
Maria Sharapova
Simone Halep

Dominic Thiem
Kei Nishikori
Angelique Kerber
Garbine Muguruza
Caroline Wozniacki

Milos Raonic

Andy Murray

Stan Wawrinka

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5 Comments

  1. Hi! I am having trouble finding shoes that don’t squeeze the sides of my feet. I was looking for wide women’s shoes and tried New Balance width D but they were too narrow. I am looking for shoes that really run wide. Any ideas or suggestions are welcome. Thank you!

    • Hi, I can imagine how annoying it is. Sorry, but it is hard to give you any advice. I would go to store with the widest selection of different tennis shoes and spend a lot of time with testing everything they have. If you find one which fits, that is your choice forever. It is hard to buy over the net, with any off chart size.

  2. great article very informative and well written.
    Picking shoes is a personal choice and I guess we all have different feet.
    Surface plays a part in which sole you select but fundamentally this is the only thing that changes. Pick the shoes you feel most comfortable with and remember – buy cheap you will buy twice

  3. Just to update things on what the pros wear, Novak Djokovic contract with Adidas ended last year and he’s now got a contract with Asics, he’s been using them since the Eastbourne tournament.

    Andy Murray’s Under Armour shoes are exclusive to him, as UA have yet to develop Tennis shoes for general sale. But as they’ve announced they’re pulling out of Tennis products altogether, that won’t happen now.

    • Hi Darren, many thanks, I missed the news about Novak and Asics collaboration (now fixed on the page). I remember he switched from Uniqlo to Lacoste too. Also, Simone Halep signed the new contract with Nike after Australian Open.

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