Which Shoes Should You Wear When Playing Tennis?

Try as you might you can’t play a proper game of tennis in flip flops.

Why is it important to wear tennis shoes when playing tennis? It’s because tennis shoes are specifically made to support the foot movements required by the sport.

Anyone who has played tennis knows it involves a lot of quick starts and stops, with short sprints to and from the net in order to connect with the tennis ball. Meanwhile, there’s plenty of side-to-side (lateral) movements on the court. Tennis is actually quite an intense game when it comes to footwork, and therefore tennis shoes are essential for it.

Tennis Shoes Vs. Other Workout Sneakers

Did you know that tennis shoes are a bit different than regular sneakers? For instance, they are usually flatter and have specifically-designed patterns on the sole. Tennis shoes are also designed with heels that are both thicker and softer to lessen impact and better accommodate foot movements during games.  Oftentimes sturdier than general market sneakers, tennis shoes are what tennis players need in order to play on various courts.

When looking for tennis shoes, take into account whether you’re more of a baseline player or a serve-and-volley one. For those who tend to play along the baseline, at the back line of the court, look for shoes providing solid lateral support. Shoes should have especially durable soles, too. Serve-and-volley players– the ones who frequently run up to the net– should seek out shoes with what’s called a durable toecap or reinforced toe. This is because they tend to slide their foot, toe first, along the court surface during their serves.

Tennis players who play on hard courts need more durable shoes with supportive upper portions typically made from leather or vinyl, while those who play on softer courts should focus on shoes with more traction on the sole.

Though some people might assume they can just “get away with” wearing casual sneakers on a tennis court, the reality is that sneakers tend not to offer lateral support, shock-absorbing material, or non-scuffing soles. Tennis shoes, however, do. While sneakers are comfy and flexible in their own way, they’re not designed for tennis.

Suffice it to say, tennis shoes are ideal for tennis players. They’re sold at tennis shops, of course, but also online via places like ebay.com, zappos.com, and amazon.com. You can also find tennis shoes at sporting goods stores like Dick’s. Brand names which tennis players seem to like include Nike, Adidas, New Balance, and Under Armour.