Types of Tennis Shoes and How to Choose The Right One

Just as every tennis player is different, the types of tennis shoes are varied.

While there are a number of things to think about, your tennis playing habits will dictate which tennis shoe is best for you.

Most brands separate their shoes into categories regarding court type and foot shape. For instance, if you are looking to play on all clay courts, you will need a shoe built for that environment.

Additionally, depending on your preference, there are a number of different materials to choose from.

These can include anything from canvas to EVA, to polyurethane, to vinyl, to leather. Your personal needs and style will dictate which appeals to you most.

Some types of tennis shoes are also built for a specific type of foot. If you have a high arch, you will be choosing totally different shoes than someone with a flat foot.

Types of Tennis Shoes

General Types of Tennis Shoes

If you are out shopping for the perfect tennis shoes for you and your children, here are different varieties found in tennis shoes that will help you decide on the best model to choose.

1. Lace-up Shoes

Laces form an important part of all tennis shoes. The laces help to tighten the shoe and make it fitter for the wearer.

You can tie laces in different ways and most people prefer such shoes as these are unisex styled and fit properly.

2. Synthetic Shoes

Traditionally sports shoes were made from cotton due to the exertion used while running.

Now technological advancements have enabled better soaking capability and elasticity in new synthetic fabrics for shoes.

The synthetic tennis shoes are available in bright and fun colors and are favored by women mostly.

3. Thick Soled Shoes

Since tennis involves various types of movements including jumping, running forward, and lateral movements, it is important for the sole to be designed to absorb the shock and avoid injuries.

The thick-soled shoes have harder soles built in them to provide a shock-absorbent effect. The shoes are heavier as a result.

4. Hard Court Shoes

Since tennis court surfaces are of different varieties like hard, grass, carpet, or clay courts there are special shoes for each.

The hardcourt variety is for hard surfaces. It is of tougher build and has additional comfort features. The grip is powerful and men wear these shoes mostly.

5. Outsole Shoes

These are shoes with wider soles. The shoes give better grip and have more cushioning. This reduces injury risk.

The shoes are light in weight with colorful varieties and are often preferred by women.

6. Pro Staff Wilson Shoes

These are official shoes used in many major tournaments as they fit any type of tennis court.

The shoes are usually white in color but now you can find colored varieties of these shoes. The design is of unisex type.

7. Air Vapor Shoes

Air vapor technology enables easy leaping, running, and other movements. The technology provided additional bounce. Further, the shoes are comfy and light in weight.

Women prefer these shoes. You can find more choices in women’s tennis shoes here.

8. Classic White Shoes

These are made with a thick sole. Even the lace is white in color.

These unisex shoes are uniform and simple in design but are not lightweight. Most often these are paired with the conventional white-colored tennis outfits.

9. Gel Tennis Shoes

Just like air vapor technology, these shoes use gel technology. The gels are shock absorbent and present in the shoes’ heel region.

Built to reduce injury risk, these shoes are generally liked by men, especially middle-aged ones.

10. Barricade Shoes

The shoes have knit fabric in them and the heels have memory foam for additional comfort. The shoes are expensive but preferred by athletes.

11. Hyper Court Shoes

Such shoes have high heels and are very shock absorbent. They are light in weight and breathable. Preferred by men and women alike, these shoes offer good support and stability.

As you can see, there are several types of tennis shoes with special and comfort-oriented features. The different colors, technological additions, and varying prices give you more choices to pick from.

Furthermore, we can divide types of tennis shoes based on court type and material as well.

Tennis Shoes for Different Types of Courts

One of the most important difference between types of tennis shoes is the type of court they are built for. Tennis shoes can be made for:

  1. Hard courts
  2. Clay courts
  3. Grass courts
  4. All courts
Tennis Shoes for Different Types of Courts

1. Hard Court

For hard courts, you will need a type of shoe that is non-marking to avoid scuffs. With changing directions, both your shoes and the court can be scratched.

Hard court tennis shoes also tend to have more cushioning and shock absorption. Since tennis can be hard on your feet, hard court shoes provide needed protection for your feet and joints.

2. Clay Court

Tennis shoes made for clay courts tend to be lighter material as they do not need to protect as much from the hard ground.

Since the ground itself has more give than a hard court, your feet need less cushioning.

Additionally, clay can be slippery, so clay court tennis shoes have treads that give much-needed grip. The grips, however, are far enough apart that they do not clog with clay.

3. Grass Court

Grass court tennis shoes also provide needed traction on the court. Their treads, though, tend to be a little shallower so as not to dent the grass.

Like clay court tennis shoes, shoes made for grass courts also are light weight. They are typically made from synthetic materials and mesh.

4. All Court

Most brands of tennis shoes also offer all court tennis shoes. These shoes tend to incorporate many of the aspects of the others.

If you are not planning on playing professionally or on a specific court, this type of tennis shoe is a good bet.

Types of Tennis Shoes Based on Materials

Tennis shoes come in a variety of materials as well. While some materials are better for certain court types, personal preference and foot shape are also important for the material.

Types of Tennis Shoes Based on Materials

1. Canvas

Canvas shoes tend to be lightweight and very breathable. These shoes do not always have the best integral support, however.

If you do not need the added support, then canvas tennis shoes are a great option for warm-weather games.

2. EVA

For people with high arches or other foot concerns, tennis shoes made of EVA are a good choice. They are lightweight, but also offer the most support and cushioning.

EVA tennis shoes do, though, deteriorate quickly as they are a light weight synthetic.

3. Leather

Leather tennis shoes tend to run the most expensive of any type of tennis shoes. This type of shoe is that they keep your feet dry and are supportive.

They do not, however, breathe well.

4. Vinyl

Vinyl tennis shoes are a more affordable alternative to leather shoes and offer the same benefits.

5. Polyurethane

These shoes are most likely the heaviest type of tennis shoes, but they are durable and stable.

Polyurethane tends to be used for the soles of shoes because of its durability, but it is much heavier than the other options.

Note: Some players falsely believe that running shoes can be used for tennis which is far from the truth. To debunk this myth, I have compared tennis and running shoes here.

Final Words       

While there are a number of types of tennis shoes, the most important factor is whether they fit your needs. Tennis shoes are as varied as the players.

Tennis players have different individual needs. There are different types of tennis shoes for each need. Find the type of shoe that fits yours specifically.

Depending on your type of court, there are different types of tennis shoes. For players who play on various courts, there are also all court tennis shoes to fit every need.

Additionally, Tennis shoes come in a variety of materials as well, allowing for personal preference and needs.

Ultimately, however, the type of tennis shoes you choose relies on your playing needs.

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