Difference between Clay and Hard Courts Tennis Shoes

There are big differences between movements and requirements for shoes on clay and hard courts. We will show and explain the differences between my clay tennis shoes and tennis shoes for hard surfaces.

Clay vs Hard Tennis Shoes

Clay vs Hard Tennis Shoes

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What is the difference between Clay and Hard Courts Tennis Shoes?

The difference between these two types of shoes lies in the movements you make on both types of surfaces. Clay is softer and you probably run more there and use many slides. Hard is tougher and your feet, knees and joints suffer more hits. Though, you are not sliding there (if you are not a top hundred professional player).

The outsoles have to differ. Clay tennis shoes have a more structured outsole than hard ones. Hard tennis shoes focus more on heel cushioning and the overall strength of the shoe.

Outsoles: Clay [left] - Hard [right]

Outsoles: Clay [left] – Hard [right]

Clay Tennis Shoes requirements

What the clay tennis shoes should have:

  • durable sides to keep the shoe intact after numerous slides
  • outsole: traction preventing slips,
  • outsole: enabling slides
  • outsole: grooves should release the clay
Clay Tennis Shoe Outsole

Clay Tennis Shoe Outsole

Clay tennis shoes for men and women at excellent prices are here

Hard Courts Tennis Shoes requirements

What the hard tennis shoes should have:

  • outsole: solid and durable
  • cushioning to absorb shocks and tensions from surface
Hard tennis shoes outsole

Hard Tennis Shoe Outsole

Hard tennis shoes for men and women at excellent prices are here

Difference in Outsoles of Hard and Clay Tennis Shoes

Hard tennis shoes on top, clay tennis shoes below

Hard tennis shoes on top, clay tennis shoes below

The difference between the outsoles is clearly visible in the image above.

The outsole for clay courts has the same grip all over the place. It provides good traction and the ability to slide. The grip also releases the remains of clay easily.

The outsole for hard courts has more different types of grips. They are not as deep. The outsole is more focused on providing cushioning. If you use these shoes on clay, you will lack stability and the probability of slips and falls rises.

What about all-court tennis shoes?

In the end, I would like to say that I do not have anything against all-court tennis shoes. Sometimes, it can be really reasonable choice for many players. Though, I like to say that they are not as good as clay tennis shoes at clay and not as good on hard courts as hard court tennis shoes.

Check the best Asics tennis shoes for clay and hard courts here.

Asics Gel-Challenger 13 Clay Tennis Shoes – Check the price here


New Balance FuelCell 996 V4 Hard Court Tennis Shoes – Check the price here

Posted in Reviews, Reviews, Tennis Shoes and tagged , , , .

Tennis Pro Guru

Simon is the leading editor of TennisProGuru.com from 2015. He is an avid tennis player from age of 5, however, he never reached the pro level. Still, he likes playing tennis on different courts, with different rackets, and against different opponents. In his free time, you can find him watching all possible tennis matches he can find on the web or tv. Challenger or Grand Slam? It does not matter, just tennis matters.

He currently plays with:
Racket: Wilson Shift 99 V1
Strings: Babolat RPM Blast
Grip: Head Xtreme Soft
Shoes: Asics Gel Dedicate 7 (for hard outdoor and indoor courts) & Asics Gel-Game 5 Clay (for clay courts),
Balls: Dunlop Fort All Courts and Head Championship
Bag: Axiom Backpack

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