The Definitive Guide to Choose the Right Tennis Shoes


Wearing the right tennis shoes can be a game-changer for the game you are playing. Tennis shoes are designed to specifically help you with traction and speed when playing the game of tennis. Knowing your own feet and how you play the game will help you to start the choice of the right tennis shoe.

How to choose the right tennis shoe? Picking out the right tennis shoe comes down to several factors, such as: 

  • what type of tennis player you are
  • what type of court you will be playing on
  • what type of foot you have
  • your body type
  • the size of the shoe you need
  • your budget.

Picking out tennis shoes does not have to be extremely difficult. You can read the following article to get the right information on how to pick out the appropriate tennis shoe for you. Everyone is different, so that means that everyone’s tennis shoes will be different as well.

Choose The Right Tennis Shoes

Playing Style

When it comes to tennis shoes, you will need to figure out what type of player you are in the game of tennis. Tennis is a active sport in which two or more people are hitting a tennis ball across a small net. However, that ball can go anywhere on the court, which makes these players needing to be active enough to go get that tennis ball. 

There are two different types of players, but some people do end up being a combination of the two players. Pick the one that you think you are as close as you can because that will tell you what you need in a tennis shoe. 

  • Baseline Player: This is the “back of the line player.” The player usually stands towards the back of the line. There is a lot of lateral movement. 
  • Serve-and-Volley Player: This is the player that frequently charges the net. Often slides their back foot along with the court during the serve as well. There is less lateral movement as the baseline player. This player would need a  reinforced toe due to the slide. 

If you are a combination player, you should find a shoe that would help with both types of movements and the reinforced toe to help with the slide. Knowing what movements you are making more often will help you find a tennis shoe that can support that. 

Type of Courts 

There are a couple of different types of tennis courts. The reason this is important is that you want to find a shoe that would be beneficial for the type of court you are playing on. Tennis courts are usually standard 78 feet long, with 27-36 feet wide. The width depends on whether you are playing on a singles or doubles court.

Hard Court 

These courts are made of concrete or hard asphalt. The ground is hard and unforgiving. The courts are usually made of these materials in public places. The material that makes the court hard is usually 4-5 inches thick. 

If you play on a hard court, the soles of your shoes will wear out quickly. You will need to keep that in mind when picking out a tennis shoe that the soles of the shoes should be thicker. The tennis shoe should be designed to absorb a lot of shocks as well, so look for upper and outsole being made of tougher material.

The tennis shoes made for playing on a hard tennis court would need to be durable. They have more resiliency, outsoles, and supportive upper part to the shoe. These tennis shoes are usually made of leather or vinyl. The tennis shoes will also need to be evaluated for wear and tear frequently. 

Soft or Clay Court

Some tennis courts are soft or made of soft materials that you can play tennis on. You will usually see these types of tennis courts in other countries such as Europe. Some of the courts are made of red clay. The soft or clay tennis courts are more forgiving and softer to play on.

These courts are designed to be easier to play on, but you may need to figure out what type of tennis shoe would be best for this court. The tennis shoe that would be best for this court would be designed with non-damaging traction. You would not want thick soles (like you would in hard courts) you would want a smoother bottom to the shoe.

This tennis shoe would not need to be as tough, so the materials of the outsole and upper tennis shoes would not need to be made of leather or vinyl.

Multi-Courts 

If you play on several different types of courts, you will want to find a shoe that is designed to do “multi-court” tennis shoes. These tennis shoes do exist for such cases. These tennis shoes are usually made of a material that is a combination of a soft and hard court. So you may see some resiliency in the outsole and supportive upper tennis shoe but maybe less damaging traction for the soft courts. 

Foot Types

Humans are unique from one another, and that is also the case when it comes to people’s feet. There are three different foot types that your foot might fall under. Knowing what type of foot type you have is great knowledge to have when picking out the right tennis shoe. Foot types are usually found by how you move your feet. 

Overpronator

The first foot type is overpronator. This foot type means that you move or roll your foot inward during every stride. If you have that motion, your shoe will need to have a more stabilizing wall on the inward side of the tennis shoe.

Neutral

A neutral foot type is not uncommon, but not the most common that one could see in foot types. Neutral foot type is nice to have, and it means that you do not have an inward or outward stride. The neutral foot type can technically wear any type of tennis shoe. 

Underpronator

The underpronator foot type is the exact opposite of the overpronator. The underpronator tend to roll their foot outward during every stride. This can be dangerous to the tennis player if they have this type of foot type. They could have issues making the quick and lateral movements as tennis players due to this type of foot. 

Tennis players with underpronator will need a shoe that has more flexibility to it, especially when it comes to the outside walls. The shoe will need to also have some shock value to it, to take on some of the weight that happens when the foot rolls. 

How Do You Figure Out Your Foot Type?

So, how do you figure out which type of foot you have? Great question! There are several different ways that you can tell which type of foot you have. Going to a local foot doctor or foot specialist is the most effective way. However, you can also do this one at home. 

Look at your shoes that you wear either daily or during exercise. If the bottoms of your shoes are normally worn in the middle and nowhere else on the shoe: you have a neutral foot type. If the bottoms of your soles are worn more on the inside, you have an overpronator foot type. If the bottoms of your soles are worn out more on the outsides, you have an underpronator foot type. 

Other signs of having an overpronator foot type would be heel or arch pain, flat feet (no arch at all), knee, back, or hip pain or calluses on your toes. Other signs of having an underpronator foot type would be similar to overpronator with back, hip, or joint pain and pain in the arch of the foot. 

Body Type

When it comes to tennis shoe shopping, you wouldn’t think that your body type and weight would have anything to do with it. You would be wrong. Tennis shoes are shoes that support you while playing the game that you love, but they are not just supporting your movements. These tennis shoes have to support your entire body. 

When it comes to picking out shoes, your body type is important to know. If you are a heavier player, you will need a shoe that has more support. This could be within the shoe structure such as vinyl and leather shoes, as well as in the arch support with gel inserts. 

If you are a lighter player, you would not want a supportive shoe that weighs a lot. That would weigh your feet down and make you slower. You would want a shoe that is lightweight and able to be versatile with your body. 

Another thing to keep in mind is if your feet are wider, you should be looking at tennis shoes that have the width added to them. If you do not get the correct wideness to your tennis shoe, you could be looking at discomfort, lack of flexibility in play, and possible injury. 

Your Budget 

When buying anything, you should always have a budget in mind. Having a budget before buying something will help you maintain an affordable purchase that makes sense to how much you can afford. This will allow you to find the right tennis shoe in the price range that you can meet.

To set the budget, you should be thinking about the lowest amount of money you would want to pay for tennis shoes. You will then be identifying the maximum amount of money or upper limit to your budget for the tennis shoes.

Once you find where your budget lies, you will need to identify tennis shoes that are within your budget only. Do not look at tennis shoes that are outside of your budget. This will ensure that you are sticking to the budget that you set. 

Get the Right Size Shoe

Making sure that you have the right size for the tennis shoes is important to your future play. If you get the wrong size shoe, you could have issues with the shoe falling off, calluses, pain, or injury. Avoiding those things in tennis shoes would be good for your tennis game.

Measurement

The first step to getting the right size shoe would be to get the right measurement of your foot. You can go to a store to get a measurement, or you can try to measure your foot at home. This might be needed if you are going to be buying online.

To measure your own feet, you will need to trace your foot after a day of walking. Trace your foot on a piece of paper and then measure length and width. Use those measurements to compare against the tennis shoe that you want to buy. You can keep this measurement for future use, but it’s advised to keep remeasuring your foot as you age.

When you go to a store that measures your foot, they use what is known as the Brannock Device. The Brannock Device measures your foot length and width wise. This was invented in 1927 and is still being used today in shoe stores. 

Right Sizes Differ

There are two things you need to remember when you are trying to find the right size tennis shoe for you. The first is that you want to leave some room at the top of the shoe. You do not want the tennis shoe to be too tight on your feet when you are playing. 

Another thing is that your feet might be two different sizes. Don’t panic; this is common. Your feet might only be a few centimeters off. You want to buy the tennis shoe that fits the bigger foot to be comfortable.

Other Things to Keep in Mind

There are other things that you would need to keep in mind when you are shopping for tennis shoes. The things that we discussed were good for picking out the right tennis shoe based on your type of play, body weight, foot type, etc. However, that’s not always the only thing you should be looking at when buying new tennis shoes.

When to Buy

Some times are ideal for shopping and getting a good deal on your tennis shoes. Being aware of these will help you to get the right tennis shoe for the right price.

Look for coupons and sales to get a better deal on your tennis shoes. Usually, during the holiday seasons, you can find good deals on tennis shoes. Offseason times for tennis would be a good time to look for tennis shoes on sale as well.

When buying or shopping for tennis shoes, you should go later in the day. This will help with trying on the shoes because your feet are naturally bigger. During the day and later in the day, your feet start to swell due to activity. So, if you go in the afternoon, you will have better luck at finding the right fit. 

Brand Shopping

When it comes to shopping, some individuals will go for the brand of tennis shoes that they know and love. Certain brands of tennis shoes come with a reputation that buyers will think of before actually looking at the price or trying them on.

Beware of buying the tennis shoe just because of the brand reputation. That could get you into a tennis shoe that might not be right for you. You do not want to make that impulse buys based on the brand without doing all of the tips in this article.

Knowing good tennis shoe brands is information to have, but still, remember to do what you should to pick the right tennis shoe for you. The tennis shoes that you pick should be unique to you. 

How to Try on Shoes

Going to a store to get tennis shoes is recommended before buying. If you are planning to go buy online, you should try to find a store to try on the shoes first. There are a couple of reasons for this: brands have slight size differences, the swell of your feet, foot type, and width issues.

To be successful in trying on tennis shoes, you should wear your socks. Wear the socks that you are going to be playing tennis in. This will allow you to see how the socks and tennis shoes will “mesh.” It will allow you to see if the socks will stay where they should as well. 

Another tip on trying on shoes is to go to a store that has the right measuring ability. Measuring your foot compared to the shoe you want to try on will help find the right fit for the tennis shoe. Go to a tennis shoe store or a store that specializes in measuring your feet.

After you try on the shoe, you should do some activities in the shoes that would mirror what you would do on the court. Try lateral moves as well as light toe dragging. This will give you an idea if the tennis shoe would feel good playing in. 

Shoes to Compare

There are some tennis shoes that are known for their reputation and could be within your budget. Here are some specific tennis shoes that might be beneficial for you. The most common brand that we see on these lists are Adidas, which could tell you a little about how they take into account foot types and tennis players, specifically in mind. 

If you are looking for tennis shoes for sliding, you can look at this list.

If you are looking for tennis shoes for knee pain, you can look at this list.

If you are looking for tennis shoes for women, you can look at this list.

 

Sources:

Dick’s Pro Tips (n.d.). How to Buy Tennis Shoes. Retrieved from: https://protips.dickssportinggoods.com/sports-and-activities/racquet-sports/buying-tennis-shoes

Frank, C. (n.d.). 10 Tips for Choosing Athletic Shoes. WebMD. Retrieved from: https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/how-choose-athletic-shoes#1

Healthy Feet Store (n.d.). Online Shoe Store Shoe Fitting Guide with Sizing Charts. Retrieved from: https://www.healthyfeetstore.com/shoe-fitting-guide.html

Tennis Express (n.d.). Choosing the Right Tennis Shoes. Retrieved from: https://www.tennisexpress.com/info/buying-the-right-tennis-shoes.cfm

Williams, L (n.d.). 10 Tips to Choose the Right Sneakers or Athletic Shoes. Money Crashers. Retrieved from: https://www.moneycrashers.com/tips-choose-right-sneakers-athletic-shoes/

David Lee

Hey there, my name is David Lee and I am the person behind this website. I started playing tennis over 20 years ago and on this site I will show you how to enjoy tennis.

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