Tennis is a widely popular sport enjoyed by people of all ages. It’s a sport that involves focus, strategy and incredible stamina. It also involves a fair amount of running and hence, the shoes you pick will need to have enough cushioning for ground impact and stability/support for lateral displacement. Thankfully, tennis shoes have come a long way in terms of function and design. Tennis shoes now pack a serious amount of features inside them due to the increasing demands of the game. We went in search for the best tennis shoes of 2018 and put them to the test.
This list will give you an overview of the features that matter and why these shoes made the cut. Our guide will help you pick out a brand new pair of tennis shoes for staying competitive in your game. When purchasing tennis shoes, you should always consider your playing court and personal preferences. It is crucial to look out for fit, the durability of the outsole, and enough cushioning and stability for sufficient lateral support. You should also make sure that the toe-box has the right fit. These factors play a crucial role when playing Tennis. Tennis players need shoes that can adapt to a player’s quick bursts of power and sprints as well as the frequent lateral movement. The shoes on our list are packed with the best features that allow you to excel on the court.
10 BEST TENNIS SHOES
1Adidas Barricade Classic Bounce
The Adidas Barricade Classic Bounce shoes are no pushovers. After weeks of intense use in the court, their soles are still remarkably intact. No wonder then that Adidas is offering a 6-month outsole guarantee. The shoes do require some “getting used to”, but the Classic Bounce strikes a perfect balance between comfort and durability with more than adequate cushioning to keep you playing longer.
Adidas claims that the midsole is packed with what they call the “bounce technology”, and this can be felt on the court by making you more agile. Weighing in at around 14.2 ounces (402 grams) for a size 10.5, the Classic Bounce is heavier than competing tennis shoes. The fit is just about right though some may not be so impressed with the breathability factor. The Classic Bounce demand a reasonable price for the features they pack. Coupled with the 6-month guarantee, the Classic Bounce make for the all-around best tennis shoes on this list.
+ Comes with Adidas 6-month outsole guarantee
+ Not too narrow and has a snug and comfortable fit
+ Reasonably priced for the features it packs
+ Provides sufficient cushioning for the heel and entire foot in general
– Breathability is not the best
– Noticeably heavier than other tennis shoes
– Can be stiff at first till you get used to them
2Asics Men’s Gel-Dedicate 5 Tennis
The Gel-Dedicate 5 feature a rubber outsole which provides sustained durability. These shoes are equipped with a gel cushioning system designed to reduce the impact on your heels. They are engineered to withstand shock from rapid movements and feature greater durability than competing shoes. However, due to its heavy construction, breathability does become an issue resulting in “hot feet”.
The sizing can run a little tight, so it is recommended for you to go half a size up when purchasing these shoes. They also do require some time to properly break in. However, even with these factors mentioned, the Asics represent one of the best value for money shoes on the market. They are high-quality tennis shoes which are incredibly durable and suited for vigorous tennis matches.
+ Sturdy and durable construction
+ Good value for money
+ Flexible once broken in and provide decent levels of cushioning
– The fit is a bit tight and narrow. Recommended to go half a size up
– Shoes require breaking in before using them on the court
– Reduced breathability due to heavy construction
3Babolat Propulse Fury
The Babolat Propulse Fury is a shoe made for those looking to take their game to the next level. They come equipped with a Michelin rubber sole that provides excellent durability. The fit of these shoes is a standout feature and they have a roomy toe box which allows for a far more comfortable fit. The powerbelt construction gives you added heel and midfoot support. The high stability that these shoes offer is essential for the court whether you’re in an offensive or defensive position. The synthetic material is reasonably breathable as well as being very comfortable.
If you are looking for a durable shoe that places emphasis on comfort and breathability, then these Bobalot’s are the perfect option. They are designed to be used on all court surfaces and come with a 6-month outsole guarantee. Some players have mentioned the slightly heavy feel of the shoe; however, this is due to its durable construction. The Babolats are a personal favorite of professional player Benoit Paire, so you can’t go wrong with these bad boys.
+ Comfortable fit
+ Fairly breathable
+ Good cushioning and support
– Some heel slippage
– Can feel slightly heavy
4Wilson Kaos All Courts
So far on our list, we have mentioned tennis shoes that focus on durability and stability. This can be perfect for intense players but, there are others who would prefer a more lightweight and breathable shoe. The Wilson Kaos All Courts are a lightweight and flexible option that can give you the edge on the court. It is designed for players looking for speed and agility. The textile lining is incredibly breathable.
The fit, in general, is good; however, some have noted that it is slightly narrower compared to other tennis shoes. The toe box area is somewhat smaller than average so it may be worth going half a size up if you have wide feet. The shoes provide adequate cushioning with a low to the ground feel. The Duralast outsole is also reasonably durable and offers excellent traction. The All Courts are fantastic option to consider for anyone who is looking for a fluid, lightweight, and high-performance tennis shoe. It is also one of the best tennis shoes for women.
+ Good breathability
+ Lightweight with an emphasis on speed
+ Good cushioning and comfort
– Toe-box slightly narrow
– Lacks support
5Nike Zoom Vapor 9.5 Tour Tennis
As we approach the halfway point on our list, up next is the Nike Zoom Vapor 9.5 Tour Tennis. This is a shoe that is popular with many players due to the customizable fit which offers incredible support. Nike’s revolutionary adaptive fit technology results in one of the most comfortable tennis shoes on the market. They have a perfect level of cushioning that is recognizable upon first wearing these shoes.
The shoes also offer excellent breathability due to the construction of the lightweight upper mesh. The support and stability of these shoes allow you to quickly dart around the court. There are not many other shoes that provide the same level of support as the Nike Zoom Vapor. The durability of these shoes does leave a lot to be desired and it can be susceptible to being worn out in a short amount of time. The shoes are comparatively light which allows for fast movements on the court.
+ Excellent fit and comfort
+ Highly breathable upper
+ Superior support
– Durability issues
– Slightly narrow, so those with wider feet should go half a size up
6Adidas Barricade Boost
This new version of the Barricade Boost has significant improvements over the previous incarnations of this highly popular shoe. It is far more breathable than its predecessors’ thanks to a new upper knit. It features a memory foam ankle collar which allows for excellent stability. The fit is one of the best aspects of the shoe and we liked how snug it felt while allowing for no heel slippage. The boost technology incorporated within the soles of these shoes is exceptionally durable albeit packing a healthy amount of cushioning. The midsoles make you feel like you’re playing on a tennis court made out of marshmallows.
They are built to last repeated high-intensity movements. The shoes do weigh slightly more than most tennis shoes; however, this does not impede their agility. In terms of speed, they are relatively decent. The Barricades are a perfect option for those seeking a high-performance durable shoe that is also breathable. They are the best tennis shoes for those that love the comfort and stability of the Adidas Boost technology.
+ High durability and support
+ Breathable upper
+ High stability
– Some break-in required
– Midsole may feel slightly narrow for those with wide feet
7New Balance MC806 Tennis
The NB MC806 is a classic shoe for those who prefer a tennis shoe that remains true to its roots. It has a hardened rubber sole that is fairly durable and offers exceptional wear protection. The shoe prioritizes stability and is, therefore, tailor-made for demanding Tennis players. The standard New Balance cushioning helps by providing good support for extended gameplay.
This is a high-performance shoe that is suitable for any serious player. The breathability is also good on this shoe thanks to perforations on the toe box and side panel. The toe-box is reasonably flexible; however, it is slightly narrow which can pose an issue for those with wider feet. The MC806 also offers less cushioning than comparable tennis shoes which makes it more suitable for an indoor court rather than a clay court.
+ Highly durable for even the most demanding play
+ Good mix of stability and support
+ Upper is airy and breathable
– Slightly narrow toe-box
– Poor insole
– Less cushioning than competing tennis shoes
8Prince T22 Men’s
The Prince T Series is renowned for creating high-performance tennis shoes that are reliable and stable. The T22 has all these characteristics along with a mesh upper for increased breathability. The shoe also comes with a 6-month outsole durability guarantee for added peace of mind. This shoe is suitable for intense activity due to its superior support and stability. In our testing, the outsoles endured everything we threw at it and we found that the shoe requires no break-in period which means you can start playing in them right away.
The shoe excels at lateral movements which makes it a perfect fit for hardcore players. The Prince T22 does run a bit narrow and hence it’s recommended to go a half size up for those with wider feet. Prince Tennis shoes have a high reputation and benchmark and are a favorite among many professional players given their high performance and reliability. These are the best tennis shoes for those looking for something that’s a good balance between performance and comfort.
+ No break-in period required
+ Highly durable and stable
+ Good breathability
– Slightly narrow
9Asics Gel Revolution 7
The Asics Gel Revolution series has been around for a while with six previous incarnations. There is a reason why these shoes keep getting updated and it is because of how popular the line is with serious players. The key to the Gel Revolution’s success is their high standard of performance. They provide a superior performance advantage compared to most other tennis shoes. The midfoot support system ensures excellent lateral support which allows you to dart quickly across the court.
The shoe is incredibly durable but unlike other shoes, this durability doesn’t come at the cost of comfort. The shoe is very comfortable due to its plush cushioning. One of the key strengths of the shoe is the fantastic core strength and stability they provide. The shoe features a wider fit which allows for more room, without causing any heel slippage. If you’re a serious player looking for a no-BS shoe then the Asics Gel Revolution should be in your consideration. It is definitely one of the best Men’s Tennis shoes.
+ Highly durable construction
+ Built for elite performance
+ Very breathable and flexible upper
– Midfoot shank a bit rigid
– Lacking arch support
10Yonex Power Cushion Eclipsion 2
We are all aware of Yonex’s heritage when it comes to racquet sports. The Japanese manufacturer’s latest in the Power Cushion series is a shoe focused on footwork, shown by its design and performance. The power cushion technology provides fantastic stability and shock absorption. The outsole offers great durability and traction on the court. The mesh construction is very breathable and has good ventilation without causing hot-feet. The shoe gives you an extra boost with every movement you take making it one of the best performing tennis shoes available right now.
It is no surprise that Stan Wawrinka favors this shoe. The fit is good although the toe box is slightly narrow. The shoe does have a break in period, however, this is short which means you can quickly get playing. These shoes feel more stable than most other competing models, which makes them one of the best shoes for tennis for those who favor stability and control on the court.
+ Excellent cushioning
+ Superior support and stability
+ Mesh upper is well ventilated
– Slightly narrow toe-box
– Stiff upper material
Anatomy of a Tennis Shoe
Tennis is a sport that requires shoes with high traction, a large range of lateral movements and the flexibility to grip onto multiple surfaces. The breathability and cushioning are also key factors for a tennis shoe. We testing places a high emphasis on a variety of factors such as features, performance, customer reviews, opinions of professional athletes and our own rigorous testing. The outsole plays an important part in a Tennis shoe and therefore most tennis shoes will come equipped with hard rubber outsoles to ensure high stability. The material of the outsole is an important consideration as high abrasion rubber will tend to last longer. Despite this, tennis shoes are known to degrade faster than other types of sports shoes.
The rate at which your soles degrade depends largely upon the player and the court surface. This is why some manufacturers offer an outsole guarantee. The sole material will depend on which court you play on. A clay court requires high traction and therefore you should look for a zig-zag tread pattern. Grass courts require cleats that will allow for fast movements without slippage. A concrete court requires shoes that have added cushioning and shock absorption to allow your body to adequately handle the shocks exerted by the hard floor. The midsoles of the shoe help with shock absorption which is crucial when landing during a game. You should ideally look for EVA foam midsoles as they allow for greater speed and mobility.
Careful consideration should also be given to the construction of the material and understand whether breathability is an important factor to you. If you’re a casual player only looking to play a game or two with your father-in-law on a weekend, it may not be a primary concern to you, but if you’re a hardcore player putting in serious time into your game, then breathability should be an important consideration in your checklist.
Tennis shoes undergo strict testing to ensure they meet the standards needed for superior athletic performance. Mechanical tests are performed to test cushioning to ensure the feet have a smooth landing. Impact tests mimic the conditions that tennis players would go through and this ensures that the shoes are specifically made to help you achieve peak performance. We have shown you the 10 best tennis shoes available on the market right now. A fair majority of them are utilized by professional players themselves. You should now have a much better idea of the different characteristics tennis shoes have and why these are important. This guide (we hope) will help you make a far more informed purchasing decision.