Many people think that the shoes they use for running are sufficient for tennis. But this is not so.
In fact, there are many reasons as to why a player should wear only shoes made for tennis while playing and practicing the game.
Running shoes are made to support your body in its forward motion and while you walk. The heels are soft and thick to give a cushioning effect. This helps reduce the impact on your legs as you run.
However, the design does not support any of the rapid movements you perform in tennis like the forward and beck or lateral movements.
With tennis shoe stability needed for such frequent movements is present and works effectively.
The shoes are heavy, stiff, and sturdy when compared to other model sports shoes. And the soles are durable and flat so you do not stumble or slide when you make rapid movements.
Although both sports use feet and are dependent on them heavily, you can excel in your game only when you wear the right pair of tennis shoes.
Here are some considerations that will give you a more candid picture of the difference between tennis shoes vs running shoes or any other sports shoes.
Table of Contents
Tennis Shoes vs Running Shoes: Comparison
1. Cushioned Factor
Shoes for running are specifically created to support, cushion, and stabilize the feet.
Since running involves moving in a forwarding direction only, the shoes are built to accommodate the stresses induced during this forward movement.
The heel and toe areas have cushioned comfort. This reduces the impact occurring when your foot strikes the ground.
There is very little lateral stability designed in running shoes. This is because there is not much movement sideways in running.
2. Ground Contact
While cushioning is crucial in running shoes, tennis shoes do not need much of a cushioning effect. Instead, they focus on stability and lateral support.
This is because the rapid movements performed in tennis are more of lateral cuts than the heel-toe movement in running.
Tennis shoe designs emphasize low ground contact and lateral stability rather than cushioning.
Stability is more if the ground contact is better especially during lateral movements.
3. Weight Issues
Too heavy shoes can slow down a runner. This is why shoes tend to be on the lighter side. This is true for tennis shoes too.
But the lightweight factor should not take precedence over support and durability. As far as running shoes are considered, they weigh less and are flexible and cushioned well.
More often than not the running shoes stress comfort instead of supportive, stiff, and durable features which are important in tennis shoes.
This is why running shoes are worn casually by people but you cannot say the same about people using tennis shoes in a casual way.
4. Difference in Sole
The sole design is different for running and tennis shoes.
Running shoes are not built durably and you see people discard their running shoes when the spring or cushioning is lost but they do so rarely due to holes inside the shoe.
In the case of tennis shoes, the outsole is worn out or the sole is grinded down until it attains a smooth surface offering minimal traction.
The durability of tennis shoes is higher than running shoes due to the complex and rough movements that induce strain on the sole and cause it to lose its durability.
What To Consider Before Buying Tennis Shoes
Tennis requires a player to have good coordination and agility.
Since the sport needs constant lateral and forward and back movements and sudden change in direction while playing, it is necessary for enthusiastic players to choose the right tennis shoes.
Otherwise, the shoes will easily wear off and also affect performance. By choosing the ideal tennis shoes, you can perform well and also cause a less injurious impact on your body.
Here are some of the most important considerations to help you make a more informed decision.
If you are a baseline player go for the shoes with good lateral support and a sturdy sole. For serve & volley players, toecap shoes are ideal.
2. Court Surface
Choose the shoes that work well for the court surface that you frequently play in.
By using the appropriate shoes, you can make the shoes last longer, provide better traction, and avoid damage to the surface of the court.
Often multi-court shoes provide the best choice as they can be used on all surfaces.
Click here to read the important differences between clay court vs hard court tennis shoes.
3. Foot Type
While considering foot type buy stabilizing shoes, if you have pronated feet, and flexible shoes if you have supinated feet.
As for neutral feet, any type of tennis shoe would be a good fit.
While choosing the material, look for shoes that have PU cushions.
EVA cushions offer flexibility and are light in weight, but they are not durable and stable like PU material. But PU is heavier.
5. Create A Shopping List
To make the task of choosing the ideal shoes easier, make a complete list of the various criteria to look for including court surface, playing style, and foot form.
Make sure you know which category you belong to in each of the criteria. This will make shopping easier.
6. Size Up
Since feet swell during exercise, you should consider this factor while choosing the size. If the socks you wear are thicker than the usual variety, factor them in.
If you don’t have some good-quality tennis socks, take a look at our recommended options for the best tennis socks for men and women.
7. Sole Research
Decide on the type of sole you need for better stability based on your playing style, the surface of the court, and your foot type.
A bit of research on the various sole varieties and their benefits will help here.
The cost is another major factor influencing your selection if you are on a budget.
Find out the best tennis shoes suitable and affordable for you. Make sure the shoes you choose to safeguard your feet and last longer.
You have to remember that the more the cost, the better will be the quality and durability of the product.
However, paying expensive amounts for brands just because they are endorsed by celebrities will not provide you much of a value.
We have selected our favorite picks for the best tennis shoes under $50 here.
Read reviews online and shop around visiting various stores as well as online tennis review websites so you can find out where the best deal offer is.
Once you have made the final decision regarding the type of shoes you want including the style, brand, and budget you can go ahead and buy the shoes.
Tennis shoes unlike leather shoes do not require breaking in. They are mostly ready to use. Make sure the fit is good and does not chafe.
While you are purchasing online, ensure you read the return policy of the site in case the shoes are not suitable.
And finally, it’s always good to know how to wash tennis shoes in the right way. It’ll help you maintain the shoes for months and years to come.
That sums up the important differences between tennis shoes vs running shoes & how to choose the right shoes for your needs.
Sports shoes are basically meant to support you while you indulge in your favorite activity.
However, not all sports shoes are designed the same. You need to wear shoes that are made for the specific sport you play. The same applies to tennis too.
You cannot wear athletic shoes like running shoes for tennis as there are several drawbacks such as lighter weight and different design.
Running shoes do not support any of the lateral movements you perform in tennis.
Thus it would be clear to you now that running shoes cannot substitute for a good pair of reliable tennis shoes.
My name is Reagen and I started AllTennisGear (earlier AllTennisShoes) as a way to share my humble experience and help new Tennis players. Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day here and know that your feedback is always welcome.