When choosing a tennis shoe, the court surface you most often play on is a key determiner of the qualities needed in your shoe. A hard court tennis shoe is specifically designed not only for that playing surface, but for the style of game play the court requires. A hard court shoe typically features:
- Additional reinforcement on the outsole to provide durability against the court surface
- Additional cushioning in the midsole to protect from the harder impacts of a hard court
- Extra reinforcement on the toe cap for serve-and-volley play
While these features are common, each brand does them a little bit differently. Today we’re taking a look at three of the latest hard court tennis shoes for women. We’ll compare features, prices, and benefits of the biggest brands in the marketplace, and see which pair might be best for you.
While every player has unique needs for their feet and playing style, there are certain features and benefits that may prove to be better for your needs than others. Let’s compare.
1. ASICS Women’s Gel-Solution Slam 3 Tennis Shoe
ASICS is an acronym for a Latin phrase meaning “a sound mind in a sound body.” Founded in Japan by Kihachiro Onitsuka, ASICS believes in supporting total health and fitness to create a happy and healthy lifestyle. ASICS athletic shoes and apparel are performance driven and dedicated to bringing harmony to the body and soul.
- They have a rubber sole
- Made from textiles and synthetic materials
- Shaft measures approximately 2.33” from the arch
- Outsole made from ASICS high abrasion rubber, placed in critical areas to increase durability
- Forefoot features a gel cushioning system for reduced impact
- SpEVA Midsole for durability and improved bounce back
- Synthetic leather upper
- Trusstic system technology reduces weight without impairing structure
- Easy to clean
- Enhanced cushioning
- Provides torsional stability
- Provides sure-footed traction
- Flexible and breathable
Not as much lateral stability support as other shoes
These shoes are ideal for regular casual players who want a comfortable, lightweight shoe that is easy to break in, at a reasonable price point. Due to the reduced lateral support, these shoes truly are hard court shoes, and not designed for the lateral baseline play typical on a clay court.
2. NIKE Women’s Court Lite Tennis Shoe
Nike is the brand that revolutionized athletic shoes in the 1960s, and is today the largest supplier of athletic shoes in the world. Nike tennis shoes are worn by masters like Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova, for good reason.
- They are made from synthetic materials
- Imported to the US
- It has a rubber sole
- Mesh tongue for breathability
- GDR outsole increases durability
- Full-length Phylon midsole adds cushioning
- Additional material on the toe area for abrasion resistance
- The GDR outsole provides lasting traction on hard court surfaces
- The Phylon midsole adds comfort and stability
- The leather and mesh upper provide breathable comfort and style
- Cushioned collar improves comfort
- Reinforced toe resists abrasions
- This style runs narrow, making it difficult to fit wider feet
- Some people find them too tight in the toe box area
These lightweight shoes are comfortable and durable, and players love them. Some people with wider overall feet, or wider feet in the toe area, find them uncomfortable and difficult to fit.
3. Prince Women’s T22 Tennis Shoe
Prince specializes in athletic shoes and equipment for racket sports, and this focus has made them one of the leading manufacturers of tennis shoes in the world. With a focus on innovative technology and deep understanding of the game, Prince shoes are made for the courts.
- They are made of synthetic and mesh
- They have a rubber sole
- The PRC 1000 outsole adds durability
- Wishbone shank in the midsole adds foot stability
- TPU forefoot straps improve stability
- RASH toe cap protects from abrasion
- Shock Eraser midsole absorbs impact
- Improved ventilation
- Support for the foot and ankle
Many people report a longer, more difficult “break-in” period
The Prince T22 is an evolution of their classic T10 style, with improved ventilation and breathability. Lovers of the Prince T10 will enjoy the T22. These shoes tend to run a bit wide in size, and some players love the ankle support, while others say they get ankle blisters.
All three of these brands of women’s hard court tennis shoes have important features for your game play:
- Uppers with breathable mesh
- Soles with reinforced rubber for durability on a hard court
- Midsoles designed to protect the foot and cushion impact
The Nike and Prince shoes also offer reinforced toe caps to protect from abrasion
Of the three, the ASICS and Nike are the lightest in weight, with the ASICS being lightest. The Prince shoes offer the best ankle support for those who need it, with more room in the toe box for people with wider feet. The ASICS are the best out-of-the-box fit for most wearers, and are truest to size.
All three shoes offer the essentials for hard court play, and are well-reviewed by tennis players. There is no wrong choice here: these are all excellent hard court tennis shoes for women.
Sizing and comfort are the big differentiators among the three, along with price. For those players who have previously worn the Prince or Nike brand shoes, and are comfortable with the fit and sizing, they may prefer to stick with their known brands. New players looking for a great overall hard court tennis shoe that is comfortable and true to size may want to start with the ASICS. The ASICS are also the most reasonably priced of the three, making them a fantastic entry point for women new to tennis or playing on a hard court.