If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best tennis shoes for sliding are, then we recommend the Adidas Men’s Adizero Ubersonic 3 Clay Tennis Shoes as the best one.
Allowing players to be faster on the court, sliding is a relatively old tennis technique. And if you are looking for the best tennis shoes for sliding to become better yourself, we think we have something for you to have a look at.
However, before introducing you to our picks, we’d like you to better understand what sliding is in tennis. Things aren’t as simple as they may seem.
In this article, we’re going to review the following tennis shoes:
What’s the deal with sliding in tennis?
Any player knows that stability is of utmost importance in tennis. No wonder that we are desperately searching for shoes that would provide us with excellent traction on the court and prevent any sliding.
Given the role that traction has in tennis, an inexperienced player would probably be surprised to hear that some players have incorporated sliding into their playstyle. What about all those high-end tennis shoes that put extra focus on traction with the court?
Well, sliding is indeed a technique that skilled tennis players have been using to improve their game. However, one’s ability to slide greatly depends on the surface and footwear.
With surface, things are pretty easy. Not so much with footwear, unfortunately. Let us explain what we mean.
Sliding on clay courts
Sliding on clay tennis courts is actually a pretty common thing. The clay surface has a certain amount of giving to it, which allows for sliding with relative ease. In theory, pretty much any tennis shoe is going to allow you to slide on a clay court.
Ideally, a shoe for sliding should have just enough traction to allow for easy sliding while still maintaining control. Aside from that, a tennis shoe for sliding should have a durable and dense rubber outsole that would serve for a long time.
With clay courts, things are pretty easy. As we mentioned, with skill, basically any shoe can slide.
But how about hard courts?
Sliding on hard & grass courts
With hard & grass courts, things are much more difficult, especially with hard courts. And while clay courts have long been the best place to employ sliding techniques at, top players have relatively recently started to use sliding on grass and hard courts.
Hard courts are especially interesting to scientists since they are very unfriendly to sliding. And nonetheless, several top players have shown that sliding on such surfaces is indeed possible.
Only a handful of professional tennis players seem to have mastered sliding on court surfaces other than clay. Refining sliding off clay appears to be extremely difficult, with its benefits being noticeably increased speed and quicker direction changing.
What this essentially means is that sliding on hard courts is yet available only to pros, especially given that researchers consider sliding on a hard court dangerous for the ankles. Hard court sliding definitely isn’t a recreational player’s thing at the moment.
There’s more though. The thing is that there are pretty much no shoes on the market that are designed specifically for sliding on hard surfaces. It appears that the Wilson Glide tennis shoes introduced 5-6 years ago are the only shoes out there that are built for sliding on hard courts. However, their availability seems to be limited, so we were unable to overview them.
However, pro players appear to have found their way around regular shoes long before the Glides entered the market. You could even say that sufficiently durable shoes could be successfully used on hard courts. And that’s indeed the case, but not many people have managed to do so harmlessly.
And interestingly, this shows that sliding may be more about skill than footwear.
So all in all, sliding on a hard court definitely isn’t a recreational player’s thing. That’s why we’ve instead chosen to showcase clay tennis shoes to appeal for a wider audience. The two models below, in our opinion, will deliver a good balance of performance for sliding on clay.
Read our full article on Choose the Right Tennis Shoes.
Best tennis shoes for sliding reviews
1. Adidas Men’s Barricade 2018 Clay Tennis Shoes
The Men’s Barricade 2018 clay tennis shoes have been designed with a focus on foot support and stability. While these shoes won’t allow you to show your fastest game, they are going to be more suitable if you need extra foot support.
The most interesting parts in the Barricade tennis shoes are the midfoot and the heel.
In the midfoot, you have a rigid insert that extends up towards mid-height of the shoe, as well as spans towards the lower portion of the heel. The purpose of this insert is to provide additional support for the foot from the middle to back, which is going to come in handy if you feel weak in that area.
Adidas has also placed the so-called Adiprene under the heel for additional cushioning in that area. Plus, the Adidas Men’s Barricade shoes are thickly padded inside, so these shoes overall should feel comfy. As a downside, these shoes won’t allow you to be the fastest on the court, but it’s fine if you need the support.
- Very nice design.
- Extra support in the midfoot.
- Thickly cushioned heel.
- Bulky and a bit heavy.
- The heel may make you feel disconnected from the ground.
2. Adidas Men’s Adizero Ubersonic 3 Clay Tennis Shoes
The Adidas Adizero Ubersonic 3 clay tennis shoes are pretty much the inverse of the Barricade shoes. These shoes have been designed with lightness and speed in mind, so they have a completely different playstyle.
Just a glance at the Ubersonic 3 shoes is enough to understand that these shoes are going to feel much faster than the Barricades. The upper in these shoes doesn’t have any midfoot inserts, which means that they are going to be more flexible and supple in faster games.
The sole in the Ubersonic 3 shoes has a good amount of thickness to it, so it is going to provide a decent level of cushioning and support. These tennis shoes won’t be as supportive as the Barricades, but they will fill more planted on the ground.
The fit in Ubersonic 3 shoes seems to be nice and snug, partly thanks to the sock-like construction at the top. Add to this the not too grippy outsole, and you are getting nice shoes for sliding on clay.
- Suitable for speedy tennis players.
- Lightweight design.
- Snugly hugs the foot.
- Not too much foot support.
- Little padding.
All in all, we think that the Ubersonic 3 shoes are going to slide better on clay. They are lighter, faster, more controllable, and with some practice, sliding should be no problem for a wide range of players.
The Adidas Barricade shoes are also going to be nice, but they are more for the player who needs support and not so much speed. Plus, they may have the edge in terms of outsole durability. But the Ubersonic 3 shoes should perform better and allow you to be quicker on the court.