How To Choose The Right Tennis Shoes – What You Need to Know

choosing tennis shoes

Introduction

Tennis shoes are one of the most important parts of a tennis player’s gear. You want to make sure that your feet feel comfortable with no rubbing during play, and you also want to keep them safe from injury. There are many types of tennis shoes out there, so it can be hard for someone who has never played before to pick the right one.

There are many factors that go into making a good tennis shoe, including comfort, durability, traction and weight. The type of shoe you need depends on your skill level as well as what surface you play on most often. 

You have to think about your foot type, what surface you will be playing on, and how much support you need in your shoe for various movements such as lateral movement or jumping. Luckily, we’re here to help! 

This article provides information on some common types of tennis shoes so that you can pick out the perfect pair for your specific needs, here’s our guide on how to choose tennis shoes, and choose them wisely.

How do I know what tennis shoes to buy?

You might be saying to yourself: “I’ve been playing tennis for a few years now and have finally reached the point where I’m pretty good. But, it’s difficult to find the right shoes at the sporting goods store. What are some things I should consider when picking out my next pair?”

Well, there are a lot of different types of tennis shoes on the market, but which one should you buy?

But before deciding what brand or style to go with, there are some things you need to consider.  

In this article I will tell you about the different types of shoes and how they work not only for your feet, but also for playing tennis. Read on.

Making a tennis shoe more comfortable

Tennis is a sport that requires a lot of endurance and might wear you off with the unlimited time limit of a match in it. Well, you can do small tweaks in your tennis shoes in order to increase the comfort of your feet inside your tennis shoes.

Here are some quick and easy changes you can make that will help your feet feel better at the end of a match:

  1. Buy a good comfortable insole for your tennis shoes that is made from foam or any other quality material.
  2. Make sure you choose the right size that fits you best.
  3. Make sure the outsole is in complete form, if it isn’t, consider changing it immediately.
  4. Wear high quality tennis socks that are soft and comfortable and don’t wear your feet off.
  5. Put the shoes outside in fresh air when you finish using them, it’ll help them become more breathable and all the dirt will come off them.
  6. You could also try using inserts like heel cups, gel pads, or orthotics if that doesn’t work for you.

Difference between tennis shoes and other types of shoes

Tennis shoes are special shoes dedicated for playing the sport of tennis only. They are not intended for the occasional runner, nor any squash player or badminton player. You can’t use badminton shoes for tennis, like you can’t use squash shoes for badminton, or football cleats for playing on a tennis court.

There is a variety of shoes in the market for different sports, and you can’t underestimate the effect that would take place on your game if you choose to use an irrelevant shoe for tennis, it will most probably ruin your experience.

A shoe for running is mainly reinforced on the top, because it is designed for forward movement only. Tennis is different, you move 360 degrees all around the court, right, left, forward, backwards. You need a shoe that supports that. The same principle applies with any other type of shoe.

You should always choose the correct type of shoes for whatever sport you’re playing, and not just any old thing that looks like it will do the trick. Shoes are specifically designed to support different movements, so make sure you get what you need.

Level of play

Tennis shoes are one of the most important pieces to your tennis game. If you want to play better, and improve at a faster rate, then you need to buy the right pair of shoes for your level. 

As you’re choosing new tennis shoes, you should consider what level of tennis you’re playing. Every player has different needs from his shoes, and as you progress and learn to play tennis better, you would need better tennis shoes that will allow you to exploit more out of your game, and would be more tailored for your game and level of play.

So what level of tennis player are you? My guess would be that if you’re just starting out, If it’s not too high yet, there’s no harm in getting an inexpensive pair for now while saving up for something better later on, then any shoe will do. Or maybe your budget isn’t as big so go ahead and get yourself those cheaper but still good quality shoes. 

But the more experienced and advanced players need shoes with a high-level of play to help them excel in their game.

So if you’re a beginner tennis player, then your needs for new shoes are going to be different than the seasoned pro. So make sure you do some research on which level of play is best suited for your game and body type before making any decisions about what shoes to buy next

Playing Styles

Your playing style may vary mainly between two styles:

  1. A baseline player– If you’re a baseline player who relies heavily on groundstrokes from the back court then chances are that your game will benefit most from stability and durability in your shoes.
  2. Serve and volley– Conversely, if you rely mainly on serving and volleying because this strategy allows for more time at net than does playing as a baseliner then light weight and reinforcements in the toe box are going to be one of the first features you look for in your footwear.

Playing style is a very personal choice, and it has a great influence on every aspect of your tennis experience. But it should be taken into account when deciding on which type of tennis shoe to purchase.

When you are playing mainly from the baseline, it means you have a great dependency on moving a lot from side to side and a lot of footwork has to be done. 

For example, if you are a baseline player then it is likely that your footwork will be slower than a fast-moving server so you’ll probably need an extra bit of cushioning to help absorb some shock from those hard hits off the ground. 

You can’t handle a 2 hour match, not to mention a four hour match, if you are a baseliner and you don’t have the adequate shoes that will give you the correct cushioning and reinforcements on the frame of the shoe. You just can’t, you will end this match broken, in pain, your foot will cry from scuffs and even blood.

In the case of a serve and volley style of play, you can choose an average tennis shoe with much reinforcement on the toe box, since this is a very common movement you are going to make. The shoe has to also allow you to propel yourself and sprint in a very easy manner, maybe with a bit higher heel drop than usual, to give you an edge and advantage when you’re rushing to the net.

With this knowledge about different types of players’ needs for tennis shoes and how they play the game leading them into one or two categories, hopefully now choosing what exactly to buy as far as style goes becomes much easier.

Court Surface Type

You need to acknowledge that the type of surface you are playing on has a great impact on your experience of play. You will not be able to play in the same manner on grass as you would on a hard court, it just wouldn’t work. When choosing a tennis shoe you should consider which type of surface you play on mostly, and if you play on a number of surfaces, the recommended multi-surface tennis shoe is an ‘All court’ tennis shoe, or at most a clay tennis shoe, that suits most surfaces.

Tennis has 3 main types of courts:

  1. Hard courts
  2. Clay courts
  3. Grass courts

Clay courts

Have you ever wondered why your tennis shoes have zig-zag patterns on the bottom? It turns out that this pattern is best for clay courts, as it prevents dirt from getting wedged into the grooves. If some dirt does get in there and sticks, just tap your shoe a couple of times to loosen it up again. We see players do this all the time! 

And don’t forget about socks—make sure they are taller than ankle height when worn with these shoes so that nothing gets caught underneath them while running or playing. This will help keep everything clean and prevent blisters too!

The lateral movement capabilities of this style, combined with the tight instep, make them perfect for sliding around a clay court without getting dirty or damaging your shoe.

Clay tennis shoes are designed for movement on clay, but they can also be used to play other types of surfaces. For those who want a more stable shoe that is good for all courts, we recommend choosing a pair with a zig-zag patterned sole so you can move in any direction without hesitation or slipping. 

Grass courts

With the summer coming up, many players will be playing tennis on grass courts.

Grass courts are a much less aggressive surface for your feet than hard and even clay courts.

 If you frequently play on grass courts, make sure to do your research and find the right tennis shoes for those surfaces. It is important to consider that this surface can be slippery and you should look for shoes with a sole that has small dots on it so they provide better stability. The small dots will provide more stability than if you were playing on a clay court or hard surface. 

Hard courts

A hard court is the most common type of tennis court at an amateur level. As a result, these shoes wear out faster because they are constantly being used on this surface.

If you want to play tennis on a hard surface, the type of shoe that will work best for you is one with herringbone pattern soles or mixed type outsoles.

The hard court shoes that interest you are those with a so-called modified stiff outsole, which provides the necessary grip. They also have good cushioning to provide comfort and impact absorption while running on the asphalt surface of most courts. 

If durability is your goal, look for soles that can withstand wear and tear. The toe cap provides reinforcement while the outer part will be made with materials that provide support and durability.

You should also look at how much cushioning the sole has so that when you’re running from side-to-side or chasing down balls, they don’t hurt as much.

Foot Type

As you know, the way your foot hits the ground can make a big difference in how your body is able to take on impact. Understanding which type of stride you have and what that means for your running performance will go a long way toward making sure you are getting the most out of every run with less risk of injury. 

What kind of foot type do you have? Do any other players in your life fall into different categories than yourself? There are three main types:

  1. Pronator
  2. Supinator
  3. Neutral

Quickly examine your foot type: You can first look at the wear and tear on the outer soles of your old athletic shoes. If they are more worn in the center, your stride is universal, on the inner part it is pronator, on the outer part it is supinator.

Knowing which type of stride you have and its implications for injuries is also important to know if you want to run injury-free!  What I am trying to get across here is that pronation or supination will lead to different problems in different parts of your body–so identifying where these issues arise early on could save time and pain down the line.

  1. Look for special orthotic insoles to help with your pronation problems.
  2. Choose tennis shoes that help support your type of stride.
choosing tennis shoes for grass

Other features of tennis shoes:

Stability

If you are an avid tennis player, or simply a person who likes to walk and run for fitness purposes, then the stability of your feet is important. 

The right pair of shoes can help prevent injury by ensuring that the foot doesn’t tilt inward too much or outward too much.

It’s also important that the Achilles tendon is well protected as well.

To check if the heel is well supported, try to put your thumb in the back of your shoe- this should be difficult with a well fitting shoe.

A shoe with good heel support also prevents stress on the Achilles tendon which is very important in preventing ankle injuries. To find out if this type of shoe will work well for you, check these points. 

You’ll want at least 5 eyelets on each side, Double lacing may be necessary depending on how strong your arch is as it helps reinforce the fit around both sides so there’s no slippage when moving forward quickly down court during a match.

Lightweight

Lightweight tennis shoes provide the most benefits for players who are looking to move around the court faster. In order to find lightweight tennis shoes, you will want to look at size and weight of your footwear. 

Tennis shoes can vary in both size and weight so make sure that you’re aware of what shoe fits best for you! 

If a player is playing competitively, lighter shoes may be recommended due their ability to help with speed on the court.

How to Measure Your Foot

These are the steps you can take to measure your feet and ensure that you get shoes in the right size. The most important thing to remember is not to go by a shoe’s stated size, but rather its actual measurements.

Choosing the right size when buying shoes online can be difficult, but with these easy instructions you’ll get it done in no time!  

By taking a few minutes to measure your feet and choosing the size of your shoe according to the dimensions of your largest foot, you may help avoid future problems like back pain or bunions.

Here are the steps to follow: 

  1. First, place a piece of cardboard on the floor and stand with your feet on it while maintaining contact with the ground.
  2. Next, take a marker and scribble tiny marks on the back of one foot carefully so they don’t go onto the cardboard.
  3. Trace the outline of both your feet on the cardboard to measure their size.
  4. Find the dimensions of your foot by measuring it from side to side and from heel to toe. Choose a shoe size that matches the bigger foot when they are both different in length or width.
  5. To find your shoe size, measure from the back of your heel to the tip of your longest toe (usually the big toe).

Budget

Tennis shoes can be a costly investment, but they are also an investment for your health. As you progress in tennis and learn more about the sport, it may make sense to invest in higher-quality footwear that will last longer. 

There’s a lot of options out there for tennis shoes, but how do you know what to spend on? Tennis shoe budgets can vary and not be appropriate at all price levels. 

You should set up your budget with the best number that works for you and then go hunt after a pair of tennis shoes that would work well within this amount. 

If you are just starting out, it may be okay to buy some cheaper ones- they won’t always have less quality than more expensive pairs.

Just take some time researching what type of shoe would best suit your needs and budget before making any purchases so that you end up with something great instead of regretful!

Tennis Shoe Size and Fit

A good fit is important for comfort, to prevent chafing, and for good foot movement. For the best possible tennis shoe size and fit, we recommend trying them on in person or at least ordering a few sizes that you can return if they don’t work out. 

You’ll find that some brands run smaller than others so it’s always worth checking sizing charts before committing to purchase online. In addition, read a lot of reviews to be sure on the type of fits and sizes each brand has.

So what does an ideal shoe size look like? Here are some things you should be looking out for when trying on tennis shoes. First, make sure the length is correct. Second, look at your old shoes. Third, You can look at reviews on that brand online, to help you better grasp the size and fit.

It’s important to find the right tennis shoe size and fit for your feet. If you’re not completely comfortable in a pair of shoes, don’t buy them because they’ll never “give” as much as your foot needs it to. 

Brands

Brands vary in sizes

Just because you wear a size 9 in one brand doesn’t mean it will be the same for all brands. The best way to find out is by trying on both shoes and finding which gives your feet the most comfort. Buying a shoe that’s too small can cause pain, blisters, or other injuries like Plantar Fasciitis. 

It may also lead to playing with an unstable foot position while moving around during play due to discomfort from tightness of shoelaces or lack of support at the heel area.

Brands vary in technologies

Different brands have patents on different technologies they use in their tennis shoes, if you’ve heard from a friend about a good brand, it probably uses the same technology across all of its shoe lines. You should research that.

Endorsements

Big brands like Head and Wilson are paying top tennis players in order to endorse their tennis shoes, to players like Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer. Don’t be fooled to think that if Roger wears a shoe it will look the same on you or it will feel great. You should put comfort at the top of your priorities.

Where you’re buying tennis shoes

There are many places to buy your own pair of tennis shoes, but which is the best option for you? That’s a question only you can answer.  You can buy tennis shoes in different places, be it online or offline. 

We suggest looking at the advantages and disadvantages of each different type before making any decisions. For example, online stores may offer more variety in styles than an offline store, but they won’t have as much customer service support available if something goes wrong with your order or product. You might want to weigh these considerations against what’s most important to you.

Online ecommerce shops

There are quite a few well known online ecommerce tennis stores that have expertise in tennis. There is a huge variety in these websites, frequent discounts, and very detailed reviews and great customer support. It can be a consideration.

Pros

  1. There are a variety of ecommerce shops for tennis online.
  2. Cheaper prices.
  3. Frequent sales and discounts available.
  4. You can find great reviews on their websites.
  5. Quick delivery.

Cons

  1. You can’t actually see the shoes.

Local Tennis Club Shop

You can head to your local tennis club or local tennis shop and speak with the salesman there and he’ll help you out when choosing your tennis shoes. You would get personal guidance, and you’d be able to try the shoes on point.

Pros

  1. Immediate delivery.
  2. You get personal advice from the seller, which is most probably an expert at this.
  3. You can try the shoes on point, and compare different models.
  4. In case that something is wrong, you have someone to go to.

Cons

  1. The variety is limited.
  2. Price might be a bit higher.

Big retail shops

A lot of big retail shops have different shoes for different kinds of sports, including tennis. They might not be experts at tennis alone, but they’re more available than usual, and if it suits you, you can buy there.

Pros

  1. Big sales and discounts.
  2. A great variety of tennis shoes.
  3. You can try them on immediately.
  4. There are a lot of retail shops around most of us available.

Cons

  1. No personal expert support.

Used tennis shoes marketplace

You can search for used tennis shoes on facebook, or in any other marketplace that offers 2nd hand products. They might be fresh out of the box, and the seller has no use for them, or they might have been used a few times, either way, this is an option that people might consider.

Pros

  1. Cheaper prices than usual due to the 2nd hand condition.
  2. A great variety.

Cons

  1. It has been used by another person, not everyone likes that fact.
  2. You don’t know what has been going with that shoe.

How to Try on Tennis Shoes

Tip: Unlike sneakers and other everyday sneakers, it is advisable to provide an extra half size for your tennis shoes. During the effort, your feet will indeed swell. This precaution will therefore prevent you from feeling too tight in your tennis shoes while you play. It is also a great way to preserve your body, as playing tennis with shoes that are too small can lead to pain and even injury.

  1. It’s important to try on shoes when your feet are at their largest. This is best done late in the day, as our feet swell slightly more towards evening.
  2. The next time you go shoe shopping, make sure to wear socks that match with what you plan on wearing most often so it can be a better indication of how the shoe will fit all day long.
  3. If your feet are touching the end of the shoes while standing up, they’re too small or too big. 
  4. When seated with heels in place, toes shouldn’t touch either edge of the shoe; if they do then it’s a sign that there isn’t enough space at the toe-box area. 
  5. Finally try walking around with them – if your toes don’t rub against any edges when you walk then congratulations! You’ve found yourself a perfect pair of tennis shoes.
  6. Try on both shoes, because the shape of your feet may vary slightly.
  7. Try out different brands and choose the one that gives you the most comfort (not the most fashionable).
  8. If you are not completely comfortable in the shoes, do not buy them! To think that they are going to “give themselves” time is a mistake.

Difference between tennis shoes and other trainers?

When picking out tennis shoes, you want something lightweight but strong enough to move quickly and not lose your balance. An old pair of running shoes might work okay for casual wear, but playing on the court calls for a sturdy shoe that will give you an optimal platform while moving around.

Running shoes are made for forwarding motion usually, but tennis shoes support the player during lateral movements. Some types of running shoes do not hold up well to intense movement backward and sideways because they are too lightweight. 

It’s best to wear a strong pair that can still be moved easily when playing on grass or clay courts where there may be sudden changes in direction involved with hitting shots at different angles throughout the game.

Rather than using a running shoe to play tennis, players would be better off wearing an tennis shoe that is lighter and meant for tennis. 

They serve as optimal platforms for lateral movements in tennis, and they should be lightweight but strong enough to hold balance while moving quickly. Before playing the game of tennis, it’s important to think carefully about whether or not you want to wear an old pair running shoes because this may affect your performance negatively.

Why are tennis shoes so important?

You may be wondering why we’re spending so much time on the topic of tennis shoes. Well, it turns out that there is a lot more to them than meets the eye and they can tell you a lot about your foot health if you know what to look for.

Tennis shoes are so important because they protect the feet, provide stability and balance to our bodies, and allow us to walk on surfaces that would otherwise harm our soles. Tennis shoes in particular fulfill these needs by providing cushioning for impact protection, grip for traction on slippery surfaces like hard courts or slippery clay, lateral support of the foot during movement (and more), while still allowing maximum mobility. 

How tight should tennis shoes be?

Tennis shoes need to be tight enough so that they are comfortable and secure, but not too tight. If you prefer a snug fit or have wide feet, buy your tennis shoe one size larger than usual. Alternatively, if you want some room for breathing space in the toe of your shoe then opt for a looser fitting pair.

Ultimately, the best way to know if your shoe is fitting correctly is by trying them on. The different sizes and shapes of feet require a variety of styles that may be more or less snug depending on what you’re looking for.

How do I measure my foot?

When shopping for tennis shoes, it’s important to measure your feet in order to determine which size and width you need.  The process of measuring your foot is easy. 

Place the paper on the floor and wear socks similar to what you plan to wear at tennis. Trace vertically along your heel, then horizontally across in our widest part. This will give you a size that can be found detailedly within the shoe descriptions so as to determine if they are suitable for fit with your feet or not.

Final Thoughts

Tennis shoes have many features, so it’s important to find the right shoe for your foot type and level of play.

Tennis shoes are not like other types of footwear. There is a lot more to consider when choosing the best tennis shoe for you, from your playing style and court surface type all the way down to foot type and budget. We’ve covered everything that goes into buying new tennis shoes here in this blog post. 

If you have any questions about what we talked about or how it applies specifically to your needs, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

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