6 Best Tennis Shoes in 2023

Brenton Barker
Brenton Barker on
6 Best Tennis Shoes in 2023
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Disclaimer: 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.

When you are just starting out, all tennis shoes appear the same. However, the way they feel and perform on the court can vary greatly. We have tested over 40 pairs of tennis shoes to help you find the one that works best for you.

Some tennis shoes are made for nimble players, others have more cushioning or stability for the most active playing styles. When in doubt, just go with the top picks we selected in various categories.

To learn more about choosing tennis shoes based on the type of court and your playing style, read over our guide.

Best tennis shoes overall

ASICS Court FF 2

What makes it the best?

The king of all tennis shoes is the ASICS Court FF 2 and its game-optimizing features serve as a testament to its superiority. This shoe has no issue facing frequent wear because of its reliable construction. And on the game proper, it proves to be energy-saving every landing and supportive on every position shift.

In our lab, we measured its midsole’s softness. With a 32.6 HA value displayed on our durometer, this shoe is definitely on the firm side, granting us supreme responsiveness and extra stability on the court. Although we subjected Court FF 2 to a lot of games, the outsole remained intact. As it turned out, our durometer detected the outsole hardness at 86.3 HC, which is the reason behind its wear resistance.

Court FF 2 emphasized a low-profile experience rather than a cushiony one. This is shown by our caliper which recorded heel and forefoot stack heights of 28.8 mm and 20.6 mm. While the amount of cushioning is average, we didn’t feel the need for more since the incorporated gel inserts took care of the impact protection. Also, it resulted in a solid ground feel.

According to ASICS, the shoe’s drop is equivalent to 10.5 mm but in our lab, we found it’s only 8.2 mm. If you prefer a more cushioned ride, we suggest looking for other options.


  • Top-tier durability
  • Highly breathable
  • Springy cushioning
  • Excellent lateral stability
  • Very secure foothold
  • Fairly flexible
  • Great grip but slides well too
  • Sock-like in-shoe feel


  • A bit heavier than average
  • Tricky to put on
Full review of ASICS Court FF 2

Best lightweight tennis shoes

What makes it the best?

NikeCourt Air Zoom Vapor Pro is the best lightweight tennis shoe because it’s the most burden-relieving and strain-easing shoe we’ve ever used playing. Its crowning glory is its incredible lightness doesn’t leave any repercussions on the shoe’s stability and performance on the court.

We felt the agility rushing through our feet and legs, on account of the weightlessness of this shoe. We noted a weight of 12.10 oz (343g) in our lab, but on foot, it gave the impression that we were shoeless. Despite its lightweight sensation, Vapor Pro didn’t compromise our steadiness in this shoe. We confirmed this using our caliper, which registered a midsole width of 113.5 mm in the forefoot and 84.8 mm in the heel. This ensured our secure footing during side-to-side shifts.

Keeping our feet and ankles contained is the snug fit of Vapor Pro. We checked this in our lab using our caliper and we measured the broadest part of the toebox to be 98.2 mm, which is indeed foot-hugging.

While the fit is supportive, we discovered that the upper isn’t integrated with any safeguarding elements. Looking into its upper through our microscope, we verified that there are no protective overlays. If this is a deal-breaker for you, we suggest seeking more protective upper tennis shoes.


  • Extremely light
  • Breathable upper
  • Responsive cushioning
  • Stable platform
  • Glove-like fit
  • Comfortable in-shoe feel
  • Grippy outsole


  • Constricting plastic wall
  • Lacks durability
  • Break-in needed
Full review of NikeCourt Air Zoom Vapor Pro

Tennis shoes with the best stability

Adidas Barricade

What makes it the best?

As far as lateral support and balance are concerned, the tennis shoe that we deemed unexcelled is the Adidas Barricade. Our sudden shift of movements is something this shoe can handle with no fuss. And the fact that our feet are void of fatigue after games is simply evidence of its delivered stability.

Because of the shank in the Adidas Barricade, not only did its cushioning feel structured but our footwork was as energetic as ever. It prevented the uncontrolled bending of the shoe, maintaining its shape and, thus our steadiness. 

The perfect feature of this shoe that pairs well with its exceptional stability is its remarkable lockdown that cemented our feet in place despite our aggressive movements on the court. Surprisingly, this all came from a lightweight package that is Adidas Barricade. 

The drawback lies in the shoe’s price point which is at $140. Unless you don’t mind splurging 15.8% more compared to the average cost of tennis shoes, we recommend going through more affordable selections.


  • Great lockdown
  • Good stability and support
  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Breathable
  • Responsive feel
  • Good fit


  • Longer break-in period
  • Aggressive back will dig into heel
  • Expensive
Full review of Adidas Barricade

Tennis shoes with the best cushioning

What makes it the best?

Winning the major league in terms of cushioning of best tennis shoes is the ASICS Gel Challenger 13. The comfort we felt while playing in this pair is just divine. Beyond the phenomenal in-shoe experience, the cushioning granted us a level of support that crossed foot distress and discomfort out of the equation.

We almost didn’t want to take off this shoe because of the impressive midsole that afforded us zero-pain experience on the court. Every part of our feet is taken care of by the Gel Challenger 13 as even the tongue and heel are padded liberally. And no, this didn’t take a toll on the weight of the shoe. It still felt light and a breeze to maneuver on the game.

Even when we played with great intensity, we never worried about the Gel Challenger 13 letting us down as we witnessed how tough it was. However, the shoe did come at an extravagant price of $140. This is 15.8% pricier than most tennis shoes. If you’re limited on the budget, we suggest exploring other more economical shoes.


  • Great cushioning
  • Amazing comfort
  • Good breathability
  • lightweight
  • Durable
  • Excellent traction
  • Good fit


  • A bit expensive
Full review of ASICS Gel Challenger 13

Tennis shoes with the best durability

What makes it the best?

Establishing superiority in durability among all the other tennis shoes we’ve tested, ASICS Gel Resolution 9 has utterly fascinated us. We discovered that this tennis shoe is the perfect pair for engaging fiercely on the court because apart from its first-rate quality, it is energy-efficient, protective, and extremely grippy!

On the court, even if we skid and halt abruptly, the outsole kept its integrity. The upper also held up greatly even after being exposed to the demands of tennis multiple times. Speaking of quick movements, we also felt safe playing in Gel Resolution 9 without uncontrollably sliding because of its notable traction. 

Moreover, we love that our feet are guarded from any impact caused by our forceful motions. This is all thanks to the effective shock absorption of the shoe. Unfortunately, when it comes to weight, Gel Resolution 9 bears slight heaviness. If you prioritize a weightless feel in your tennis shoes, we suggest investing in other lightweight pairs.


  • Secure the foot down
  • Unbeatable durability
  • Incredible comfort
  • Provides arch support
  • Superb energy return
  • Grips super duper hard
  • Perfect for aggressive movers
  • Shock absorbent
  • Extra supportive for medial and lateral movements


  • Narrow fit
  • Steep price point
  • Slightly heavy
Full review of ASICS Gel Resolution 9

Best budget tennis shoes

What makes it the best?

We determined the finest cost-effective tennis shoe among all the shoes we have tried and it is the K-Swiss Hypercourt Express 2. It might be 13.1% more competitively priced than the average tennis shoe but it offers boundless worth on the court, from immense support for vigorous footwork to tremendous comfort!

We are utterly dazzled by the upper of this tennis shoe that amazingly combines three essential things for dynamic maneuvers: flexibility, support, and protection. While we are safely contained in this shoe during lateral movements, it still allows us to move naturally. This is all on account of the DuraWrap on its upper, which also acted as an added security layer for our feet.

We appreciated the construction of Hypercourt Express 2 for being light, which also encouraged us to be nimble. However, we found that this shoe is wide-fitting, which is something that we believe might not be advantageous for players with slim feet. If you have narrow feet and would prefer a skintight hug from a shoe, we recommend checking out other wide options.


  • Amazing comfort
  • Plush cushioning
  • Lightweight
  • Flexes well
  • Secure fit
  • Great traction as in the Hypercourt Supreme
  • Stable ride
  • Appealing style


  • Not durable
  • Too wide
Full review of K-Swiss Hypercourt Express 2

Comparison of the 6 best tennis shoes

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Hard court, clay court, and all court tennis shoes

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




Use: Professional

Use: Professional

Use: Recreational


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


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


a hybrid outsole pattern adapts to different types of courts


has more cushioning to protect the foot on concrete


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


the level of cushioning varies depending on the model


solid materials help to stabilize the foot


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


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.

3 types of tennis shoes based on playing styles

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.

Types of tennis shoes based on playing style


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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

Finding the best fit in tennis shoes

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.

Reasons not to use other shoes for tennis

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

How we test tennis shoes

At RunRepeat, we do not let a tennis shoe release pass unnoticed. We are proud experts in scrutinizing each model deliberately. To deliver you a downright honest view and observation:

  • We buy all the tennis shoes that we are going to test using our own funds. We do not accept sponsorships or any form of assistance from anyone, especially the brands.
  • We wear each tennis shoes in games of tennis and pickleball. While on our feet, we try to gauge and assess how the shoes perform on clay courts and hard courts, as well as how they generally respond to sudden stops and quick movements.
  • We take the shoe to our lab and we further perform tests that indicate other parameters such as fit, stability, and flexibility.
Brenton Barker
Brenton Barker
Brenton is an Australian with 20 years of experience coaching WTA and ATP professional tennis players, whom have won a total of 10 international professional Tournaments. Brenton holds a Degree in Sports Coaching and was the former Head Tennis Coach at the Japanese Government Sports Science Institute. Brenton was also a former Manager & Head Coach of Australia’s Governing Sporting Body, Tennis Australia, and has been a Dunlop International Advisory Board Member since 2010. Additionally, Brenton was the Head of Player development for World No 7 and two-time Grand Slam Champion Johan Kriek.