Tennis Shoe Buying Guide

Tennis Shoe Buying Guide

Tennis Shoe Buying Guide

The performance of a player on the court is significantly dependent on the shoe he or she uses. The design of tennis shoes is such that it abides by the game’s constant movements and rapid starts and stops. It needs to facilitate comfortable lateral movements which are not given with regular running shoes.

The amount of choice available in market can get overwhelming if the player is not properly aware of how to choose the right shoe. There are many factors to consider before going about with the purchase. So, here are the list of few of them to make the process easier.


Not sure about the kind of tennis shoe you need? Your footwork, the way you walk and stand, the type of foot you have, all have an enormous effect on the way that shoes fit, feel and perform for you. Though every foot is different, there are some general types of classification of feet.

  • Pronated : If you see a lot of wear on the inner side of the sole and around the ball of your foot, then you fall under Pronated foot category. Choose a shoe that has extra cushioning.
  • Supinated : If you see a lot of wear along the outer side of the heel, then you are likely to have a Supinated foot. The shoes of players having a Supinated foot tend to wear faster than those with other types of foot. In that case, shoes with an extra durable sole would be the correct choice.
  • Ideal : If your shoes seem to have an even wear all around then you fall under the rare category of Ideal types. Players with Ideal foot types can be flexible enough to opt for any kind of shoe as long as it is comfortable.

Playing Surface:

  • Clay courts : offer a natural 'slide' as the player moves. So on a clay court, you can have slightly lighter lateral support, but the fine granules of dirt can be problematic to feet, so be sure that you choose a shoe with solid upper of leather or synthetic material.
  • Grass courts : give players the most natural cushioning that allows you to forgo some cushioning in preference to more lateral support.
  • Concrete : being the most challenging for player's feet, is the most common playing surface. The hard surface is challenging while cushioning is comfortable. Lateral support is important as player's stops and starts are quite sharp on the firm concrete surface.

Body Type:

  • Heavily built : Tennis players who are taller and heavier would want to consider heavier, more stable shoes that provide the extra support you need.
  • Moderately built : Players who are moderately built should consider a lightweight shoe that is more manageable over long periods of physical exertion.

Style of Play:

The style of tennis you play can also depict what tennis shoe is best suited for your needs. If you are a baseline player, a player who plays the back line of the court for most of the game, you will require a shoe with extra lateral support. If your play features the serve and volley with frequent changes to the net you should consider a tennis shoe with a toecap that gives extra protection to the front of your foot. This style of play is particularly tough on the toe and sole of the shoe, so consider an extra durable sole. However, it is important to remember that increased durability often means increased weight in the shoe, so make sure you consider after carefully evaluating your requirements before choosing a tennis shoe.


The materials used to develop the upper part of the tennis shoe varies and each of the materials benefits to players in a different way.

  • Canvas : will remain the coolest and allows air to flow in and out of the shoe, but it offers very little support for lateral movements.
  • Leather : is the most expensive. Provides the best support and keeps your feet dry in damp conditions.
  • Vinyl : can provide support similar to that of leather. Helps in resisting moisture the best, but not easily breathable, hence may cause feet to overheat.

When Should You Replace Your Tennis Shoes?

The rule of thumb is that you should replace your tennis shoes after 500 miles of wear. But it is not practical to calculate whether you have managed to travel 500 miles or not. However, you can observe the signs of wear which can be seen when shoes are failing. There are chances of your slipping on the court and succumbing to an injury if you notice that the tread pattern on the sole has become less evident particularly if smooth spots are emerging.

While serving, many players drag the toe of their shoe forward and handle forehand groundstrokes which results in rapid wear of their tennis shoe. In that case, you will require replacing your shoes more frequently than once a year.