9 Best Men’s Tennis Shoes for Top Comfort & Support in 2021

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best tennis shoes for men

Tennis is demanding enough, even with the right footwear. That’s one reason why you should never take to the court without shoes designed for the task. No matter how great your game is, your choice of shoes can make or break a set.

Quality tennis shoes abound, but we’ll narrow the list with this review of the best tennis shoes for men. We have put a lot of research into helping you pick out the right lightweight shoe according to your requirements.

In a hurry? Here are our top picks:
Adidas Adizero Ubersonic 3 Tennis Shoe

The best overall tennis shoes: plenty of flexibility mixed with great support and durability. They also look great, which is a bonus.

Adidas Men's Solematch Bounce Tennis Shoe

Another great pair from Adidas: their Solematch Bounce Tennis Shoes are abrasion resistant and offer great stability. They’re also very comfortable and agile.

We’ll also offer some tips on how to wear tennis shoes the right way, the types of tennis shoes, and address some common questions concerning them.

Let’s start with some tennis shoe buying tips.

Quick Summary

bb2-table__imageAdidas Adizero Ubersonic 3 Tennis Shoe
  • Durable outsole
  • Flexible mesh upper
  • Excellent toe protection
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bb2-table__imageAdidas Men's Solematch Bounce Tennis Shoe
  • Added stability due to the TPU chassis
  • Abrasion resistant
  • Very comfortable and soft
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bb2-table__imageASICS Men's Gel-Resolution 7 Tennis Shoe
  • Form-fitting comfort
  • 6-month outsole warranty
  • High-abrasion rubber toe protector
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bb2-table__imageNew Balance Men's mc806 Tennis Shoe
  • Excellent stability and support
  • Durable rubber outsole
  • Reinforced toe cap
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bb2-table__imageASICS Men's Gel-Dedicate 5 Tennis Shoe
  • Affordability
  • Lightweight feel
  • Flexibility
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bb2-table__imagePrince Men's T22 Tennis Shoe
  • Good for men with wide feet
  • Excellent stability
  • Roomy, protective toe box
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bb2-table__imageAsics Men's Gel-solution Speed 3 Tennis Shoe
  • Designed for speed-paced game
  • Form-fitting upper
  • Gel cushioning
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bb2-table__imageNIKE Men's Court Lite Tennis Shoes
  • Durability comfort and stability
  • GDR outsole
  • Abrasion-resistant toe
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bb2-table__imageNike Men's Air Monarch IV Cross Trainer
  • Very durable upper leather
  • Very comfortable
  • Air-sole provides plenty of traction
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Before you buy: 10 Things to consider when purchasing tennis shoes

Don’t just have a game plan for your opponent. You should also have one when you shop for tennis shoes to ensure that you choose those that suit you in every way. Consider the following factors:

1. The court

It’s essential to look for a shoe that can handle the type of surface on which commonly play. That said, it’s all about the outsoles.

  • Hardcourt

The most common tennis court surface is hardcourt, such as one made from concrete. It’s demanding on tennis shoes, especially on their outsoles, and you want an outsole that can handle those demands.

Most hardcourt tennis shoes feature a modified herringbone pattern on their soles that provides the right balance between grip and give. Also, hardcourt shoes need ample cushioning in the midsole that helps to absorb the shock from the harder surface.

You also need plenty of toe support and protection as you stop and start of hard surfaces.

  • Clay court

Clay court tennis shoes typically feature a full-herringbone, zig-zag tread pattern that keeps clay out of the outsole to provide better grip when you’re sprinting, stopping, and changing direction.

The pattern also makes it easier to slide from side-to-side so that you can glide into a shot and then quickly recover.

Clay court shoes also tend to have a tighter knit upper that keeps the clay from entering the shoe while aiding stability.

  • Grass court

There aren’t a ton of grass-court tennis shoes available but choose those that have nubs and pimples on the outsole that are similar to cleats and provide superior grip for the surface. They won’t damage the court, but they’ll offer plenty of traction.

2. Foot type

Understanding your foot type is vital in choosing a tennis shoe that suits your needs. There are three types of feet to consider:

  • Pronated

A pronator is someone whose feet turn inward when walking or running. His shoes will typically show excess wear on the inside of the shoe (near the balls of the feet).

If you have pronated feet, choose shoes with exceptional lateral support to protect your ankles and knees.

  • Supinated

You’re a supinator if your shoe shows more significant wear and tear on the outside of the heel and its forefoot. Supinators tend to wear out shoes faster than other players, so choosing a shoe with an extra durable sole is always a smart choice.

Also, shop for shoes with superior flexibility and shock absorption, and a bit more space in the heel.

  • Ideal

People with “ideal” feet enjoy the flexibility of choosing any kind of optimal shoe if it’s comfortable, regardless of their playing style. Their biggest priority may be selecting a shoe that best fits the surface they play on most commonly to ensure peace of mind.

3. Comfort

A tennis shoe that isn’t comfortable won’t help your performance, and it’s not one you’re liable to keep using for very long. Today’s shoe manufacturers include a variety of design elements to enhance comfort, and there is a lightweight performance shoe for everyone to boost your game.

  • Mesh panels – Mesh panels enhance the shoe’s ventilation while helping to keep feet cool and dry during the rigors of a match.
  • Foam cushioning – In general, the more cushioning found inside the shoe, the better the overall feel. The cushioning should conform to your feet and provide plenty of give as you move around the court. Most tennis shoes come with EVA or PU cushioning. EVA cushions are lighter and more flexible, while PU cushions tend to have better durability and stability – but are a bit heavier.
  • Lightweight materials – Tennis shoes, by necessity, should be lighter than other types of shoes. A shoe that’s too heavy can slow you down and, potentially, cost you valuable points against a tough opponent.

4. Fit

A shoe’s fit is always among the most critical factors and relates directly to overall comfort. If a shoe doesn’t fit or feel right, the chances are you won’t wear it for long.

Fit also addresses the type of feet you have (pronated, supinated, and ideal), which we just discussed.

To get the best fit, you need to know the precise measurement of each foot, which is why a shoe store professional can be such a big help.

Something to keep in mind is that your feet swell during a day, and especially when engaged in a rigorous activity such as tennis. That’s why it’s wise to try on shoes later in the day after your feet have swelled. You will find the perfect shoe for your size if you try it on later in the day. 

Also, keep in mind that you may wear thicker socks while playing sports; bring those socks with you when you try on tennis shoes.

Trying to get the right fit from shoes you buy online can be a bit tricky, so pay attention to sizing charts and the reviews of others before choosing the best size for you.

5. Style of play

Your shoes should fit your style of play: if you’re a player who prefers to bang away from the baseline, look for a shoe with built-in lateral support to help you move from side to side along the backline. A performance-based shoe will have the right support to support your game.

If you prefer to serve and volley, you’ll need a shoe that has plenty of reinforcement in the toe to handle any potential sliding of the back foot as you serve.

6. Weight

If you weigh a bit more than most tennis players, make sure that your shoes offer plenty of cushioning and support. A premium performance shoe will take this into consideration and will come with extra support for the added weight.

7. Upper

The upper refers to the part of the shoe that wraps over your foot. The most common materials used for the construction of uppers are canvas, leather, and vinyl.

Canvas provides superior breathability, while leather uppers offer the best support for back-and-forth and lateral movements for a competitive player.

Vinyl uppers provide plenty of support and moisture-resistance but aren’t as breathable as canvas uppers.

8. Vamp

The vamp is the top and middle section of the shoe, most typically the area where the laces reside. Perforated vamps help enhance breathability while flexible vamps allow you to make quick movements with minimal resistance.

9. Heel counter

A heel counter is a plastic or composite insert that fits into the shoe’s heel cup to reinforce it and enhance support.

Even if you’re not an advanced player, look for shoes with a well-fitting heel collar and sturdy construction, because they’ll provide enough support to prevent over-pronation or over-supination. This makes them ideal for players who know their way around a court.

10. Toe cap and toe guard

You may drag your toes often while you play, which is why you need to pay attention to a shoe’s toe can and toe guard. A reinforced toe cap and a toe guard made of carbon rubber provide extra toe drag protection.

Let’s move on to our reviews of the best tennis shoes.

The 9 best tennis shoes for men

1. Adidas Adizero Ubersonic 3 Tennis Shoe

Adidas Adizero Ubersonic 3 Tennis Shoe

Best features:

  • Flexible mesh upper
  • Sprintframe construction
  • EVA midsole

The best tennis shoe for:

Men looking for a highly supportive tennis shoe


Adidas has no shortage of quality men’s tennis shoes in its arsenal, which makes it a challenge to choose the cream of the crop. But we like the Adizero Ubersonic 3 for a lot of reasons.

First, the Ubersonic 3 features Adidas’s Sprintframe construction, which enhances speed and stability on the court. It allows you to move around the court quickly, whether you’re rushing the net or rallying from the backline. The design and construction of the shoe also offers premium comfort for an all-around player of the game.

A rubber sole, meanwhile, offers a superior grip and makes it easy to stop and turn on a dime without losing your footing.

Your feet can get hot in a hurry during a match, but Adidas addresses that with a breathable mesh upper that’s also very flexible. The Ubersonic 3 is well-ventilated, but not so much that your feet feel cold during cooler playing conditions.

Toes can take a lot of abuse during tennis due to sudden stops and changes in direction, but Adidas addresses that with its abrasion-resistant Adituff toe protection, providing excellent comfort throughout your foot.

While the Adizero Ubersonic 3 is lightweight, it doesn’t lack anything regarding support. You’ll have all the stability you’ll need during a match.


  • The Ubersonic 3 comes with a durable Adiwear outsole that offers plenty of grip on all surfaces.
  • Lightweight, breathable mesh upper provides ideal ventilation and plenty of comfort.
  • Adituff technology provides extra support in the toe area.


  • A bit stiff during the breaking-in period

Bottom line

The Adidas Adizero Ubersonic is among the most supportive tennis shoes available, as well as among the best tennis shoes for speed.

2. Adidas Men’s Solematch Bounce Tennis Shoe

Adidas Men's Solematch Bounce Tennis Shoe

Best features:

  • TPU chassis
  • Abrasion-resistant
  • Lightweight

The best tennis shoes for:

Exceptional comfort for wide-footed players


Coming after Adizero Ubersonics is tough, but the Solematch Bounce shoes more than meet the challenge, with their exceptional comfort, traction and weight. They are especially great for wide foot action if you have a relatively heftier foot.

The first thing to note is their abrasion-resistant textile upper, which is beautifully soft and gives you maximum comfort at all times. Added to that, the bounce technology in the midsole gives you an extra boost, which is ideal if you’re charging about the court for several hours. And the underfoot cushioning is exceptional, too.

While some find there is a little rubbing on their toes, most seem to concur that the fits are exceptionally comfortable, particularly those with wide feet who can often find it tough to get tennis shoes which give them the freedom and flexibility they need.

In terms of weight, they have a perfect balance. They’re light enough to let you sprint and feel your fastest, but not so light that you aren’t out of control or unstable. The blend of comfort and balance makes it an excellent

So they’re very comfortable, but that doesn’t always cut it, as the modern tennis player needs the right balance of comfort and utility. The good news is the Solematches offer plenty of stability on the court and are reasonably durable.

They feature, for example TPU chassis for added stability and offer plenty of ankle support. Though it’s worth noting that some find the fit a little too wide, which limits the support you get and can make running around feel less comfortable and safe.

And the level of traction and grip you get is fantastic, particular for hardcourt play where you do need a little extra help to let you tilt and bend the way you sometimes have to.


  • Textile upper is super soft and comfortable
  • TPU chassis gives added stability
  • Abrasion resistance for durability


  • Some find the fit a little too wide to give the support they need

Bottom line

Another fantastic tennis shoe from Adidas, with everything you need to play your absolute best.

3. ASICS Men’s Gel-Resolution 7 Tennis Shoe

ASICS Men's Gel-Resolution 7 Tennis Shoe

Best features:

  • Form-fitting comfort
  • Enhanced toe durability
  • Good value

The best tennis shoes for:

Anyone looking for the best tennis shoes for the money


Another shoe favored by tennis professionals is the Asics Gel-Resolution 7. That’s not a surprise considering everything it has to offer.

Asics applies a lot of unique technology in the manufacturing of this shoe, including Trusstic System Technology that reduces the weight of sole without sacrificing the shoe’s structural integrity.

The outsole is reinforced with a durable rubber compound that’s 50% more durable than Asics’s standard high abrasion rubber, while Flexion Fit technology provides form-fitting comfort without sacrificing support.

There’s plenty of cushioning throughout the shoe, as well, while you’ll enjoy plenty of support and stability from a synthetic outsole. An external heel counter combines with Flexion Fit technology to help secure the foot without restricting movement.

There’s more good news: while the Adidas Gel-Resolution 7 isn’t the cheapest tennis shoe on the market, it is relatively affordable compared to many others. It represents money well-spent.


  • Excellent combination of flexibility, cushioning, and support.
  • Two layers of memory foam line the collar and mold to the foot.
  • Asics offers a 6-month outsole warranty that protects against excessive wear and tear.


  • Not as breathable as some other tennis shoes

Bottom line

The Asics Gel-Resolution 7 offers everything you need to help ensure that you stay at the top of your game. It’s comfortable, flexible, and a favorite on the pro tour, making it a fantastic option for stability.

4. New Balance Men’s mc806 Tennis Shoe

New Balance Men's mc806 Tennis Shoe

Best features:

  • Reinforced toe box
  • Nice cushioning
  • Excellent traction

The best tennis shoes for:

Players looking for superior stability and support


While perhaps not as sexy as some other tennis shoe brands – and we don’t mean that disparagingly – New Balance has a shoe that rates among the best tennis shoes for comfort and support.

The NB mc806 shoe offers everything a tennis player needs during matches of any level, including the highest level, thanks to a lot of very cool features.

It all starts with New Balance’s Abzorb cushioning – which you’ll find on most of its athletic shoes – that, combined with a C-Cap midsole helps keep your feet comfortable even during the longest matches.

Toe protection, as we’ve seen, is another high priority for tennis players, and New Balance answers the bell with a reinforced, perforated toe box on the mc806 that protects your toes whether you’re sliding into a shot or making sudden stops and turns.

The shoe’s leather and synthetic upper has a lightweight feel and features the classic New Balance look that many wearers love. It’s also durable, as is the rubber outsole that delivers all the traction you require.


  • The New Balance mc806 protects the feet in a variety of ways, including with a reinforced toe box.
  • Lightweight leather and synthetic construction that’s very durable.
  • Maximum traction that gets the job done on a variety of surfaces.


  • Takes a bit to break-in.

Bottom line

New Balance’s mc806 is a tennis shoe that fits the needs of practically every player. It provides all the stability and support you need.

5. ASICS Men’s Gel-Dedicate 5 Tennis Shoe

ASICS Men's Gel-Dedicate 5 Tennis Shoe

Best features:

  • Excellent forefoot cushioning
  • Stable on all surfaces
  • Flexible design

The best tennis shoe for:

Recreational and less-serious players


Not every tennis player competes for cash on the professional tour or has the talent required. Most don’t.

If you fall into the “recreational” category, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wear a shoe that Federer or Djokovic prefers.

But you don’t necessarily have to, which is why a shoe such as the Asics Gel-Dedicate 5 is a great option; it still meets the demands of competitive play, yet maybe isn’t one you’d wear in the U.S. Open.

Not that the Gel-Dedicate 5 doesn’t have the quality you’d expect from Asics, because it does. There’s forefoot Gel cushioning for one, which absorbs shock at impact and when you push off.

It features Asics’s Trusstic System Technology that reduces the shoe’s weight without compromising its structural integrity. It has a generous toe box that reduces pinching significantly, while the solid rubber outsole delivers excellent traction on all court surfaces.

Plus, the Gel-Dedicate 5 offers excellent lateral support that strikes a nice balance between flexibility – it’s not overly flexible like a running shoe – and stability.


  • Affordable price tag is another reason it’s a good fit for recreational players.
  • The Trusstic System helps to create a lighter outsole.
  • It offers all the support and mid-level and below player needs.


  • Durability is a concern

Bottom line

The Asics Gel-Dedicate 5 is a versatile shoe you can use on all court surfaces. Whether you’re a weekend player or club player, it’s worth your time to check out this shoe.

6. Prince Men’s T22 Tennis Shoe

Prince Men's T22 Tennis Shoe

Best features:

  • Roomy toe box
  • Excellent arch support
  • Durable outsole

The best tennis shoes for:

Men with wide feet or issues such as plantar fasciitis.


The Prince T22 has been around a while but remains a favorite of many tennis players. That includes men with wide feet, or who suffer from plantar fasciitis – a painful condition that has sent many an athlete to the sideline.

And, as you’d expect, they have a wide base that makes them perhaps the best tennis shoe for stability.

There’s plenty of else to love about these shoes, including an upgraded design that adds improved ventilation and superior arch support thanks to higher-than-normal arches.

The T22 features Prince’s TPU forefoot straps that help provide a glove-like like and additional support to a shoe that’s already very supportive. There’s also Prince’s RASH toecap that provides plenty of protection.

The midsole features a polyurethane sock liner for long-lasting cushioning and a ShockEraser midsole designed to absorb the shock of heavy impact. There’s also a PU forefoot insert to disperse shock further.

We also like that the toe box is wide and roomy and that the shoe’s overall durability ranks very high.


  • The base is ideal for men with wide feet.
  • The toe box is roomy and very protective.
  • The T22 is a very durable shoe that’s built to last.


  • They’re a bit on the heavy side

Bottom line

Prince knows tennis, and their experience and knowledge show in their T22 shoe. It’s a quality, all-around shoe that’s an excellent fit for men with wide feet.

7.Asics Men’s Gel-solution Speed 3 Tennis Shoe

Asics Men's Gel-solution Speed 3 Tennis Shoe

Best features:

  • Low profile, lightweight design
  • Gel cushioning
  • Excellent toe protection

The best tennis shoe for:

Men who prefer a speed-based game


The name says it all regarding the Asics Gel-Solution Speed 3 Tennis Shoe. That is, it’s a great shoe for men who prefer speed over anything else and move about the court with cat-like movements.

The Gel-Solution 3 makes that possible thanks to a lightweight design that gives your game a boost of turbo-charge. But it’s also durable enough – particularly in the outsole – to make it among the best tennis shoes for a concrete court.

Then again, we’d expect nothing less from Asics, whose line of tennis shoes could fill a best-of review all its own.

The Gel-Solution 3 stands out in a crowded field for many reasons, including its lightweight synthetic design and a Solyte midweight that offers excellent cushioning and a quicker response on the court.

The upper also features Asics’s Flexion Fit that delivers form-fitting comfort and exceptional support.

You’ll also appreciate the proprietary Asics Gel cushioning in the rearfoot and forefoot that reduces shock during impact and push-off. Additionally, it helps the foot transition through the gait cycle more efficiently.

Meanwhile, the always-important toe protection comes from a PGuard Toe Protector that’s more than durable enough to stand up to the rigors of a hardcourt game.


  • Lightweight, responsive design is excellent for players who prefer a fast-paced game.
  • The midsole consists of a lighter compound while also including Asics’s standard EVA cushioning.
  • Durable rubber outsole that’s rugged enough for intense hardcourt games.


  • They run a little small.

Bottom line

If you base your game on speed and the ability to move around the court quickly, then the Asics Gel-Solution Speed 3 Tennis Shoe is for you.

8. NIKE Men’s Court Lite Tennis Shoes

NIKE Men's Court Lite Tennis Shoes

Best features:

  • Nice traction
  • Enhanced ease-of-movement
  • Breathable

The best tennis shoes for:

Anyone looking for a basic tennis shoe design.


There aren’t a lot of frills in the Nike Court Lite tennis shoe design, but that’s not a bad thing necessarily. As long as the shoe measures up regarding performance, then it doesn’t need a lot of bells and whistles.

The Court Lite does, indeed, deliver superior performance while helping players reach their potential every match. True, your game needs to be on point, too, but it’s harder to get there without the right footwear.

What do we like about the Nike Court Lite? For one, it has a full-length Phylon midsole that provides lightweight cushioning.

Phylon refers to a compression molding technique in which hot-pressed, expanded EVA is put in a mold and heated once again. The result is a more compressed, but also more flexible material.

Nike’s also placed additional material on the Court Lite’s toe area for increased abrasion-resistance, while a GDR outsole offers plenty of traction and durability.

The shoe’s upper is very lightweight and includes a mesh tongue that enhances breathability. And the Phylon midsole softens the impact as you move about the court.


  • These shoes are lightweight but still able to hold up on hardcourt surfaces.
  • The outsole provides lasting traction.
  • The combination of materials used in the upper’s construction offers durability and comfort.


  • Fit may run a little narrow.

Bottom line

Nike’s Court Lite tennis shoes may not dazzle you visually like some other shoes, but they deliver where it counts most – on the court.

9. Nike Men’s Air Monarch IV Cross Trainer

Nike Men's Air Monarch IV Cross Trainer

Best features:

  • Foam Phylon midsole
  • Air-sole cushions great support
  • Highly responsive

The best tennis shoes for:

Dominating the opponent


Nike is about as big as it gets – they really invented expensive, high-quality trainers. And the latest incarnation of their Air Monarch Cross Trainers are a great example of how they continue to produce great stuff.

Let’s start with the outsoles: they are non-marking solid rubber with plenty of traction for harder courts. And while they’re not the most durable outsoles you’ll find, they perform alongside the absolute best for a good while.

The midsoles are made with foam phylon, which is made from EVA foam pellets and is exceptionally lightweight, which is added to by Nike’s Air Sole technology which gives you an extra level of cushioning. While they are a touch heavier than others on the list, the combination of comfort and weight gives them a very authoritative stride – great for a strong baseline player who likes to feel dominant.

The leather upper can be a little stiff, but it’s very durable. And with a relatively thick midsole, these shoes do end up feeling a little hot. But the level of support you get with the upper’s overlays does add an extra level of snugness. So overall, these are exceptionally comfortable tennis shoes for a man who wants to feel in total control while he plays.


  • Hugely comfortable, overall
  • Highly durable upper
  • Loads of traction on the court


  • They can be really quite squeaky on the court

Bottom line

As you’d expect from Nike, these are fantastically comfortable, largely incredibly functional shoes. They have some weaknesses, but they make up for them with a few real strengths.

4 Tips for wearing tennis shoes the right way

First things first. Let’s clear up a common misconception in which people assume tennis shoes are the same as sneakers.

Sneakers, as they’re often referred to in the U.S., are shoes with a relatively simple design with a rubber sole. They typically have a canvas or leather upper.

Tennis shoes are a different animal, however, and designed for wear during a tennis match. They offer lateral support for swift movement in every direction, provide extra support and cushioning to the foot, and designed to prevent ankle injuries.

They also feature more significant toe support.

The point is, while you can wear sneakers with a variety of clothes and for a variety of occasions, tennis shoes have a much more defined task. Sneakers are appropriate for daily casual wear and come in a wide range of designs.

No rule says you can’t wear tennis shoes with your favorite jeans or shorts, or for walking around your favorite city or nature trail, but that’s not their purpose. All that said, here are a few things to consider when wearing tennis shoes.

1. Don’t wear tennis shoes for tennis and vice-versa

True, you’ll do plenty of running in tennis shoes, but they’re not well-suited for running long distances.

Running shoes feature thick, padded heels and well-cushioned midsoles designed to lessen the impact that comes from repetitive foot-striking during running or walking.

Tennis shoes, meanwhile, feature the extra stability and lateral support needed for making quick starts and stops and multi-directional turns.

2. Don’t wear tennis shoes to play basketball (and vice-versa)

While both tennis and basketball involve sudden stops and starts and frequent lateral movements, there are enough differences that you shouldn’t wear either one for another sport.

Tennis shoes generally feature a low-top design with less overall padding than basketball shoes and are of a lighter weight. The high-top design of most basketball shoes constrains specific movements and footwork techniques exclusive to tennis and other racquet sports.

Also, the outsole grip and traction of tennis shoes is surface-specific, i.e., some best suit hard surfaces, other favor grass, and clay courts. The grip and traction of basketball shoes suit hardwood courts.

3. Can you use court-specific tennis shoes on other surfaces?

In general, it’s always wise to choose a real tennis shoe rather than a multipurpose one that best fits the court on which you most commonly play. A clay-court shoe, for example, may not be the perfect shoe for concrete surfaces, as it will not have enough cushioning and traction (hardcourt shoes have heavy-duty, durable outsoles).

If you play and practice on different types of court surfaces and only plan to buy one pair of tennis shoes, then choose a shoe with a modified herringbone outsole pattern.

4. Know when to replace your tennis shoes

You’ll know when it’s time to replace your existing tennis shoes when the tread pattern loses grip or if you feel unusual fatigue and soreness in your feet, ankles, and back after playing.

In general, it takes about 60 hours of play before the midsole begins to wear out. If you play frequently and on hard surfaces, you may need to replace them after six months.

The most common types of tennis shoes

We discussed different shoes for different court types in our buying tips above. It’s worth repeating because those represent the main shoe types. Let’s dig a little deeper.

1. Hardcourt shoes

A hard surface suits many different playing styles and helps even the playing field, so to speak, between fast and powerful players. The ball bounces with greater speed than on other surfaces.

And hardcourts demand a lot from your shoes.

  • Hardcourt shoes need a sturdy outsole that can handle the demands of a hard surface without wearing out too quickly.
  • They need ample cushioning and shock-absorption because the unforgiving nature of hard surfaces places extra strain on the feet and legs.
  • Hard surfaces, particularly those made of concrete, wear out shoes faster – thus the need for a shoe with a durable outsole and all-around sturdy construction. The uppers and outsoles of hardcourt shoes often consist of more robust materials, such as leather and vinyl.
  • Hardcourt shoes should provide plenty of stability and support for lateral movement.

2. Grass court shoes

Who wouldn’t love to play on the beautiful green grass of Wimbledon? Not many do, but grass courts exist in other places, although not as abundantly as hard and clay courts.

Serve and volley players usually fare well on grass courts because the ball doesn’t move as fast, which allows them to get to the net more quickly. Grass court shoes typically feature:

  • Nubs or pimples on their soles, which provide better traction on grass, which can get slippery. The cleat-like nubs and pimples aren’t suitable for use on other court surfaces.
  • The outsole tends to be flatter than on other tennis shoes so that they don’t damage the grass. Wimbledon requires players to wear completely flat shoes.
  • A flexible upper that doesn’t restrict movement as you run to the ball.
  • The soles don’t need to be as durable because grass doesn’t damage shoes like hardcourt surfaces.

3. Clay court shoes

The clay-court game is a little slower and often favors players who have a lot of power and unleash rockets from the baseline. That means clay court shoes don’t need the stability and lateral support of hardcourt shoes.

  • Clay court shoes need excellent grip because the clay surface doesn’t offer much traction.
  • A well-designed clay court shoe outsole releases clay from its grooves.
  • It needs extra-durable sides to prevent shoe damage as you slide from side to side frequently.
  • It should have a snug upper that keeps your foot secure as you move around the court in many ways.

Frequently asked questions

How to wash tennis shoes

You can wash leather and fabric tennis shoes in the washing machine, which is the easiest method.

In general, you’ll need a mesh laundry bag and a heavy-duty detergent. Remove the laces and insoles and rinse the outside of the shoes with cold water to remove loose dirt and soil, before placing them in the laundry bag.

How to stretch tennis shoes

You can have your tennis shoes stretched by a professional, which is pricey, or you use a tried-and-true method in which you place a freezer bag filled with water inside the shoe and then putting it in the freezer for at least eight hours.

How to lace tennis shoes

The most common method to lace tennis shoes is the crisscross method but always begin at the eyelets closest to your toes. In general, the wider your feet, the more room you’ll need, and you should use the eyelets closest to the tongue to provide more space.

There are shoes available with a laceless design, as well, but longtime tennis player feedback would advise against these unless they fit perfectly on your feet.

How to dry tennis shoes

You can put many tennis shoes in the dryer, but make sure you set the dryer on a medium heat setting. Dry them for approximately 20 to 30 minutes. Or you can air dry them while hanging them on a flat rack. This is the safer way to dry them if you’re not sure about the settings on your dryer.

How should tennis shoes fit?

A tennis shoe fit should provide complete support and comfort during a match, and the fit is an essential part of that.

In general, you should leave at least 3/8 to a half-inch between your big toe and the end of the sneaker. Make sure the heel is secure and that it doesn’t allow for the shoe to slip while running and walking.

How much do tennis shoes weigh?

The standard weight of tennis shoes is typically one to two pounds. It depends on the brand and style of shoe, however. The comfortable cushioning present in most tennis shoes does not weigh a lot, but the upper and the sole can add up weight.

How do you stop tennis shoes from squeaking?

Baby powder placed under the insole of your tennis shoe can help eliminate squeaking. Also, make sure the heels and soles aren’t loose. If they’re leather, oil them regularly while keeping them as clean as possible.

Who invented tennis shoes?

The first types of rubber-sole, canvas-upper shoes were manufactured in the early 18th century and designed for use on slippery boat decks by British Navy personnel. Traditional “sneakers” came into existence in 1892 and were called plimsolls.


Competitive and even weekend tennis players need the right shoes to help them reach their potential.

Today’s tennis shoes come in a variety of styles with a variety of features and you should have little trouble finding a pair that provides the utmost comfort and suits your game and feet. If you’re an avid player, this information will help you take your game to the next level.

We hope that this review has helped you pick out the perfect tennis shoe for you, whether you were looking for an affordable, durable, comfortable, or premium option. We’d love to hear from you, as always. What tennis shoes do you wear? Why do you like them? Have you worn any of the shoes in our reviews? We hope to hear from you.


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About The Author

Domen Hrovatin
Domen Hrovatin

Domen—a self-confessed facial hair addict—is a grooming professional, style enthusiast, and someone with deep personal experience and knowledge about male pattern baldness. His work was mentioned in countless notable men's grooming and style publications, including Beardbrand and AskMen.

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