10 Best Tennis Shoes (Buyer's Guide)

For disambiguation, this guide will be covering athletic tennis shoes that are used for playing on the court. If you are after a pair of casual sneakers, see our selection of tennis-inspired kicks.

If what you had in mind were running shoes, check out our collection of 2000+ running shoes.

Our approach to selecting the best

 

At RunRepeat, we do not let a tennis shoe release pass unnoticed. Each model undergoes scrutiny by our experts. As a result, you get a summary from two perspectives: what upgrades (if any) the shoe offers and what the actual wearers think about it.

  • We have gathered over 130 expert reviews to understand the anatomy of every shoe on our list.
  • More than 12,000 user opinions have been summarized to single out the few leaders in tennis footwear. 

Popular tennis shoes aren't the better rated ones

72 76 80 84 88 92 96 100
High Popularity Low
10 best shoes
43 most popular shoes

Choose tennis shoes like a pro (3 steps)

 

We recommend moving ‘from the bottom up’ when looking for the right pair of tennis trainers. Start by selecting the outsole type based on the court, then decide on the level cushioning and support, and, finally, make sure the upper fits well.

1. Consider your playing surface

 

Tennis shoes are categorized by the type of court they are intended for. The most common ones today are hard-court and clay-court tennis shoes. For those who are new to the game or need a shoe for recreational use, there are versatile all-court trainers as well.

The brands most often release the same model in both hard-court and clay variations.

 

Hard Court

Clay Court

All Court / Multi Court

made of concrete or asphalt, covered with an acrylic top

Characteristics: tough, faster game, higher traction, harder on the body and shoes

made of crushed brick, stone, or shale

Characteristics: soft, slower game, less traction (can get slippery), easier on the body and shoes

includes both hard and clay courts

hard-court-tennis-shoes.png

clay-court-tennis-shoes.png

all-court-tennis-shoes.png

Use: Professional

Use: Professional

Use: Recreational

Outsole: 

a multi-directional tread pattern allows for both grip and sliding; has the most durable outsole lugs

Outsole: 

a full herringbone lug pattern allows sliding and doesn’t collect dust from the court

Outsole: 

a hybrid outsole pattern adapts to different types of courts

Midsole:

has more cushioning to protect the foot on concrete

Midsole:

has less cushioning and a close-to-the-ground feel; more lightweight

Midsole:

the level of cushioning varies depending on the model

Upper:

solid materials help to stabilize the foot

Upper:

made with materials that prevent dust from entering the shoe; have a very tight fit to prevent foot or ankle rolling

Upper:

available in a wide range of materials

 

Good to know

  1. It is not recommended to use hard-court shoes on clay and vice versa. While it may not be a big problem for a game or two, for regular use, it is better to wear a court-specific or an all-court trainer.
  • Clay-court shoes on the hard court: high grip makes it difficult to slide on the court, which can be hard on the ankles and joints; the outsole wears out faster.
  • Hard-court shoes on clay: do not have the needed amount of grip; easily get clogged with clay dirt.
  1. What about grass-court shoes? A while back, players could also come across tennis shoes for grass courts with special pimpled outsoles. However, these are no longer common for two reasons: the rarity of grass courts and the fact that the knob lugs ruin the lawn too easily, which is expensive to upkeep. You may use hard-court, all-court, or clay-court tennis shoes on grass.
  2. All tennis shoe brands offer a 6-month durability warranty for some of their models. It is a one-time replacement guarantee which applies to tennis shoes that have sustained considerable outsole damage within 6 months from the day of purchase.

2. Match the shoe to your playing style

 

All tennis shoes can be roughly segmented into three categories based on the primary benefit they offer: speed, cushioning, and stability. Which one to choose depends on the type of player you are and your preferences in the shoe feel.

The table below describes the differences between the shoes in more detail.

 

Speed.png

  • Best for agile, aggressive players who slide often

Weight: the most lightweight category among the three

Upper: feature minimal designs; flex more efficiently with the foot

Midsole: have a low-to-the-court profile with moderate cushioning

Outsole: not as durable as stability tennis shoes

Cushioning.png

  • Best for players who move around the court a lot

Weight: average

Upper: come in a variety of styles

Midsole: have thicker and bouncier cushioning

Outsole: durable

Stability.png

  • Best for baseline players who prefer solid and supportive shoes

Weight: on the heavy side

Upper: crafted with supportive features (often TPU overlays)

Midsole: have an abundance of cushioning; embed supportive structures like shanks to keep the foot stable

Outsole: the most hard-wearing, often comes with a durability warranty

 

3. Look for the best fit

 

The shoe’s ability to hold your foot securely defines the level of grip, stability, and surefootedness on the court. When you try on a pair of tennis shoes, check for the following signs of the right fit:

Forefoot: a little extra space in front of your longest toe, around 1-1.5 cm (½ inch). It allows for some wiggle room throughout the movement and accommodates foot swelling during longer games.

The fit should not be constricting on the ball of the foot, either. If you need more space, consider Wide or Extra Wide tennis shoes.

Midfoot: the hold must be firm. Your foot should feel a brace-like containment as it is crucial for side-to-side stability on the court.

Heel: should be locked inside the heel counter and not slipping out.

Using other types of shoes for tennis

 

A pair of running shoes that you wear regularly may appear suitable for all sorts of athletic activities. However, it is not effective in accommodating the abrasive surface and rapid movements involved in tennis.

The only type of sports footwear that is closest to tennis shoes are basketball shoes. However, they are not ideal either for several reasons listed below.

 

Running shoes

NOT recommended because they:

  • lack outsole durability for the wear-and-tear on the court
  • tread patterns are not sufficient for gripping and sliding
  • do not offer the same level of lateral support
  • no protection from toe dragging

Basketball shoes

can be used because these shoes:

  • can be okay on hard courts
  • designed to support sudden stops, changes of direction, and lateral movements
  • low-top models will not hinder ankle movement

NOT recommended because they:

  • lack outsole durability and wear out faster from all the sliding and toe dragging
  • get slippery on clay courts, collect dirt easily
  • the higher ankle collars will constrain most tennis footwork techniques
  • may be too heavy and bulky for tennis

The best tennis shoes in every category

Which tennis shoes brand has better reviews?

Which brand is cheaper?

K-Swiss $107
Asics $120
Adidas $125
Babolat $127
Nike $127
Wilson $136
Head $144

Now, are you ready to buy tennis shoes?