No matter whether you are tennis fanatic who has been playing the game since a young age or you are looking to get involved at your local courts, the importance of a good pair of tennis shoes cannot be played down.
As well as helping to make sure that you look the part, the correct pair of tennis shoes will also ensure that you are as efficient on the court as possible, whilst also preventing any unnecessary injuries.
Unfortunately, regular running shoes or general trainers are unlikely to cut it on the court, with the physical nature of tennis meaning that you will quickly see them wear down, while not doing your body any favours at the same time.
I have put together some of the best options on the market today, with factors such as court surface, your style of play and comfort having been taken into consideration. Let’s kick things off by taking a look at some of my favourite tennis shoes out there at the moment.
As the name suggests, this is the third offering from Nike in their Air Zoom Cage range, with these shoes having been made famous by the “King of Clay” himself, Rafael Nadal. Despite this, the Air Zoom Cage 3 comes in two different versions, clay and hard court.
A number of features are a mainstay across the two, with the sock wrap interior being something in which I believe is one of the most effective. This function helps to ensure that your feet are held in place while moving around the court, perfect for those of you who are looking to take advantage of your acceleration.
Nike have also made this version of the shoe lighter, with the Cage 3 weighing just 13 oz. I did find some issues in terms of sizing surrounding the Cage 3 when I took to the court due to having wide feet, with this option from Nike perhaps suiting those with narrow feet better.
I would recommend that those looking to try this shoe out consider going for a larger size than usual. Elsewhere, I found the Nike Air Zoom Cage 3 to be both durable and supportive, with Nike having made improvements in this area from the previous versions in this range.
A Zoom heel unit has also been added to maximise comfort, while they are also the most breathable option that Nike offers players at present. With Nike introducing new colourways of the Air Zoom Cage 3 all the time, prices for the shoes range.
For those looking for something of a bargain, I would suggest going for an older colourway, however there is still the option to keep up to date with Nadal & Co.
Wilson is a name that is synonymous with the tennis industry, with many of the top players over the years having utilised their range of racquets. However, the American company now produce all kinds of products, including tennis shoes!
As well as having a unique feel to it thanks to its futuristic design, the Wilson Kaos 2.0 is undoubtedly one of the best tennis shoes around today. I found these shoes to be both lightweight and supportive, which is now always the easiest combination to pull off.
Weighing around 12 oz, a mesh upper helps to ensure that the Kaos 2.0 remains breathable at all times, while a spider-like webbing means that your feet will remain locked during play. The Wilson Kaos 2.0 is a good all-round option for players, as I believe that it is suitable for those who play on all types of surface, including indoor and clay.
The Kaos 2.0 is also priced well, meaning that it caters for beginners and recreational players.
Adidas have long been known for the support in which their tennis shoes offer and I believe that the Barricade Boost 2018 is perhaps the best model yet from the global sports manufacturer. One of the first things that struck me about the Barricade Boost is the look, with the design feeling like a proper tennis shoe from the get-go.
Despite also being lighter than its predecessors the Barricade Boost 2018 offers the same level of stability and comfort. When testing them on both hard and clay courts, I found little drop-off in performance, while the Adiwear 6 outsole also ensures that they are suitable for any court surface.
This option from Adidas is the heaviest of the products mentioned so far, however I found that its responsive midsole means that this is not an issue. The Barricade Boost 2018 is well-suited to baseline players in particular, with its sock-like design helping to keep your feet in position while you move from side to side.
This is undoubtedly one of the best tennis shoes available today in my opinion, with very few negatives having been found whilst testing them on hard, clay and indoor surfaces. You will perhaps have to invest a little more in order to get your hands on a pair of these, however for those who take to the court on a regular basis, this will be money well spent.
Despite not quite holding the same reputation within the tennis industry as some of the brands in which I have already mentioned, Asics are certainly making waves within the game. Their shoes have always been known as some of the comfiest around by runners, however I believe that their latest offering for tennis players is one of the best too!
Asics’ signature gel cushioning technology can be found in the midsole, which I found to provide fantastic spring with each step when moving across the baseline. Again, this option from Asics is perhaps not suited to beginners due to its price point, however you are unlikely to find a tennis shoe offering more comfort in my opinion.
The Asics Gel Resolution 7 is the heaviest in our list, coming in at around 14 oz.
Whilst I hope that I have provided you with some useful information surrounding the best tennis shoes available, there are still some important factors to take into consideration before making your purchase.
I have found that tennis shoes can often feel a little too tight initially, even when I have found exactly the right size. As a result, you may well wish to give yourself more room by stretching your shoes before taking to the court for the first time. This can be done by simply loosening the laces as much as possible, before stretching out each shoe from both sides.
You should have some idea as to the shape of your feet having purchased shoes in the past, so I would recommend that you go for a shoe that suits this, rather than something you think looks the best. Many brands now cater for all customers in this area, with this being part of the reason as to why they make more than one model of tennis shoe.
The majority of tennis shoes will offer a significant amount of support in the heel due to the sheer nature of the game, however some will also be better than others in aiding certain types of injury.
So, I would suggest considering such features when making your decision. Finally, some of you may be looking to play on a range of different surfaces but are unwilling to splash out on a pair of shoes for each. In this case, it may well be best to go for an all-rounder, which will aid your game no matter what type of court you are playing on.