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Best Shoes for Tennis (2020 Buyer’s Guide)

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Looking for the best shoes for tennis? You’re in the right place. Since “tennis shoes” are synonymous with “sneakers” or “athletic shoes” of all kinds, it can be difficult to find the best shoes for actually playing tennis.

In this article, we’ve independently rated the best shoes for playing tennis, based on our own research and reviews from actual tennis players.

Best Overall

Nike Court Lite

(9.2)

A great all-around tennis shoe at a reasonable price.

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Best Value

Adidas Gamecourt

(8.4)

A comfortable, entry-level shoe at a great price.

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Premium Option

Asics Court FF 2

(9.6)

A stable, durable shoe for competitive tennis players.

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Tennis Shoe Reviews

How to Choose a Tennis Shoe

There are several factors specific to choosing a shoe for playing tennis, as opposed to a running shoe or cross-trainer. Consider the following when picking the right tennis shoe.

Designed for Tennis – Because all athletic shoes are called “tennis” shoes, some will (knowingly or unknowingly) purchase a pair of tennis shoes thinking they are designed for tennis, when in fact they are not. Choosing a shoe designed for playing tennis offers important benefits. Your shoes will be more durable and provide better support, resulting in a longer-lasting shoe that will help prevent injuries.

Court surface – In general, most tennis courts are what’s known as Hard Court (or Har-Tru). If you are playing on a clay court, you might consider looking for shoes meant specifically for play clay courts. These shoes will generally have better traction on clay courts, and won’t hold up as well on hard courts. They are also generally marked as ‘Clay Court’ in the name of the shoe. 

Comfort – Tennis can be very hard on your feet. You want a shoe that is well-cushioned to minimize impact. Keep in mind, some tennis shoes have a break-in period before they will feel super comfortable.

Durability – If you’re playing a lot, you’ll want a shoe that’s highly durable. Tennis can be be very hard on shoes, and many tennis players can burn through a pair of shoes in a matter of weeks or months. Choosing a shoe that’s durable can save you money in the long-run. If you play tennis more casually or infrequently, durability may not be as big a factor.

Stability/Support – A good tennis shoe should hold your foot tightly in place and support quick movements in all directions. It’s important for your shoe to fit well, to prevent toe jamming, toe jamming, ankle rolling, or other potential injuries related to tennis play. If you have high arches, you will want to look for shoes with excellent arch support. You could also opt to use your own orthotics or insoles instead, which is quite common.

Traction – Good traction is especially important for intermediate and advanced players. Players who need to be able to cut and move quickly will want shoes with excellent traction so they aren’t sliding around the court. 

Ventilation – Some shoes will sacrifice some ventilation and breathability for added stability and durability.

Weight – Shoes that are more durable also tend to be heavier. There is usually a bit of a trade-off between choosing an ultra-light shoe for speed, and a heavier shoe with excellent durability.

Width of your foot – Many tennis shoes run narrow. If you have narrow feet, this can be a great feature since the shoes will fit tight and provide great support. But many tennis players with wider feet need to opt for shoes that provide wider size options. New Balance has traditionally been the go-to option for tennis players with wider-than-usual feet.

Level of play – If you are playing competitively and/or practicing multiple times a week, you will want shoes that are more durable, so you aren’t constantly having to replace them. Casual, recreational players and beginners can opt for a lighter, less durable, often less expensive tennis shoe.

Price – Tennis shoes come in a wide range of prices, from very inexpensive to hundreds of dollars. With all these other factors in mind, you just need to find a shoe that fits your price range.

Best Shoes for Tennis (2020)

And now, here are our top tennis shoe picks for 2020. We’ve rated and reviewed each of the following shoes based on the factors listed above.

Nike Court Lite

  • (10.0) Comfort
  • (8.0) Durability
  • (9.0) Support
  • (10.0) Traction
  • (9.0) Ventilation
  • (9.2) Overall
$$
Weight Lightweight
Sizing Runs 1/2 Size Small
Width Runs narrow
Arch support Moderate
Pros
  • Great blend of durability and comfort
  • Easy to clean
  • Great grip on the court
Cons
  • May require some breaking in

The Nike Court Lite is a great all-around tennis shoe for beginner to intermediate and advanced tennis players. It’s a classic shoe, with both black and white colorways. And it provides a great balance of comfort, durability, and control at a reasonable price.

Our recommendation: The Nike Court Lite

The Nike Court Lite is great for tennis players of all levels. It’s an all-around great shoe, at a great price.

Nike Air Zoom Vapor X

  • (10.0) Comfort
  • (7.0) Durability
  • (9.0) Support
  • (8.0) Traction
  • (9.0) Ventilation
  • (8.6) Overall
$$$
Weight Lightweight
Sizing True to Size
Width Runs narrow
Arch support Moderate
Pros
  • Well-cushioned and comfortable
  • Very lightweight and responsive
  • Several colorways
Cons
  • May be ruined by washing
  • Hard plastic section in middle of outsole may cause scraping sound
  • Not the most durable

The Nike Air Zoom Vapor X is a lightweight and responsive shoe, that is also surprisingly stable, cushioned, and comfortable. It’s less durable, but its durability is improved compared to previous Air Zoom vapor models.

Our recommendation: The Nike Air Zoom Vapor X

The Nike Air Zoom Vapor X is a good option for players who want a tennis shoe built for speed.

Adidas Gamecourt

  • (10.0) Comfort
  • (6.0) Durability
  • (8.0) Support
  • (9.0) Traction
  • (9.0) Ventilation
  • (8.4) Overall
$$
Weight Lightweight
Sizing Runs 1/2 Size Large
Width True to width
Arch support Moderate
Pros
  • Comfortable and well-cushioned
  • Good sole for for clay courts (herringbone pattern)
  • Less expensive
Cons
  • Less durable
  • Mixed reviews on ankle support
  • May be difficult to put on

The Adidas Gamecourt is a comfortable shoe at a great price. It can be considered an entry-level tennis shoe. Some reviewers complained about a lack of ankle support, and that the shoe is difficult to put on. But in general, most found this shoe to be a great option for casual to moderate tennis play.

Our recommendation: The Adidas Gamecourt

The Adidas Gamecourt is a great shoe for casual or recreational players who want an inexpensive tennis shoe that’s lightweight, comfortable, and stylish.

Adidas Adizero Ubersonic 3

  • (10.0) Comfort
  • (7.0) Durability
  • (9.0) Support
  • (9.0) Traction
  • (10.0) Ventilation
  • (9.0) Overall
$$$
Weight Lightweight
Sizing True to Size
Width Runs narrow
Arch support Low
Pros
  • Lightweight and speed-oriented
  • Comfortable and well-cushioned
  • Excellent blend of comfort and support
Cons
  • Less durable

The Adidas Adizero Ubersonic 3 is a lightweight shoe that offers an excellent blend of comfort and support. This is a speed-oriented shoe that is still very well cushioned and supportive.

Our recommendation: The Adidas Adizero Ubersonic 3

The Adidas Adizero Ubersonic 3 is a great shoe for competitive tennis players who want a lightweight, speed-oriented shoe.

Asics Court FF 2

  • (10.0) Comfort
  • (10.0) Durability
  • (10.0) Support
  • (10.0) Traction
  • (8.0) Ventilation
  • (9.6) Overall
$$$$
Weight Lightweight
Sizing True to Size
Width Runs narrow
Arch support Moderate
Pros
  • Incredible support and fit
  • Well cushioned
  • Durable, should last a long time
Cons
  • Less ventilation and breathability

The Asics Court FF 2 is an elite tennis shoe, designed by tennis professional Novak Djokovic. The Gel Technology Cushioning System absorbs shock during impact, and allows movement in multiple planes. These are an extremely comfortable and stable pair of shoes.

Our recommendation: The Asics Court FF 2

We recommend the Asics Court FF 2 for tennis players who want the best quality tennis shoe that money can buy.

Asics Gel-Resolution 7

  • (10.0) Comfort
  • (10.0) Durability
  • (9.0) Support
  • (10.0) Traction
  • (7.0) Ventilation
  • (9.2) Overall
$$$
Weight Medium
Sizing True to Size
Width Runs narrow
Arch support Moderate
Pros
  • Very durable, should last a long time
  • Great balance of stability and comfort
Cons
  • A slightly heavier shoe
  • Less ventilation and breathability
  • May require a break-in period

The Asics Gel-Resolution 7 is one of the best performance tennis shoes on the market. It’s a very comfortable shoe, while also offering incredible stability, support, and traction. This is a premium shoe that we feel is well worth the price.

Our recommendation: The Asics Gel-Resolution 7

The Asics Gel-Resolution 7 is a great shoe for a competitive tennis player looking for a durable shoe with great traction, support, and comfort.

Asics Gel-Challenger 12

  • (10.0) Comfort
  • (9.0) Durability
  • (9.0) Support
  • (10.0) Traction
  • (8.0) Ventilation
  • (9.2) Overall
$$
Weight Lightweight
Sizing True to Size
Width Runs narrow
Arch support Moderate
Pros
  • Stable and supportive
  • Excellent traction and control, with substantial tread
  • Great cushioning
Cons
  • May require a break-in period

The Asics Gel-Challenger 12 is an all-around excellent performance tennis shoe, at a slightly lower price point. Some find the Gel-Challenger 12 to be just as good as the more expensive Gel-Resolution 7.

Our recommendation: The Asics Gel-Challenger 12

The Asics Gel-Challenger 12 is a great option for players looking for a premium performance tennis shoe, at a lower price point.

Summary – Picking the Best Tennis Shoe

We hope this article has helped you pick the perfect tennis shoe! Here’s our top picks again.

Try the Nike Court Lite if you’re looking for a classic, all-around tennis shoe at a reasonable price.

Try the Adidas Gamecourt if you’re looking for a comfortable, inexpensive shoe for casual tennis play.

Try the Asics Court FF 2 if you’re looking for the best performance tennis shoe money can buy. Or try the Asics Gel-Resolution 7 or Gel-Challenger 12 for high performance shoes at a lower price.

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