While sometimes people will refer to any athletic shoe as a “tennis shoes”, it may create a confusion that all shoes are suitable for tennis. This is not the case. Tennis shoes are made specifically for the sport of tennis. The amount of lateral movement, quick steps, and agility needed to be a good tennis player is heavily reliant on the pair of shoes you are wearing. Finding the best women’s tennis shoes is vital to success in the sport today and playing to your full potential.
When purchasing tennis shoes there are things you have to consider that can help with the way you’ll be able to perform in the sport.
Like with most shoes, comfort is the most important part. There would be nothing worse than to play a long match against a tough opponent and lose because your feet are not comfortable. To make sure you are buying comfortable shoes, it is best to try the shoes on in person. Different brands can fit differently, so sometimes your average brand may not fit you. Other than size, there are multiple areas that you would want to make sure have the proper cushioning to provide you with the best comfort.
Heel Counter and Collar
This part of the shoe is designed to help keep your foot in place and in the shoe. Located along the circumference of the hole that you stick your foot into; it can provide great comfort. When considering this section of your shoe, you also want to make sure the cushioning is soft enough that it does not rub and cause irritations on your heel or even plantar fasciitis.
Different brands have specialized trademarked cushioning in each of their shoes. This special cushioning is normally engineered from a foam substance that helps protect your feet from shock and impact. On average, most popular companies use a material called EVA, which is a lightweight material that can provide maximum comfort, yet it still manages to be durable.
All shoes are made out of different types of material which can benefit players in different ways. While a lot of shoes are a combination of multiple materials to have the best of both worlds, shoes are made out of specifically just one material that gives the player many different advantages.
Canvas material in a shoe is very breathable and allows your foot to stay dry from wetness or sweating. A disadvantage to buying a shoe made with canvas is that it does not provide a lot of support, especially for lateral movements.
This is the most durable and the most expensive material. Leather tennis shoes look professional, provide a lot of support, and will keep your feet dry in damp conditions.
Vinyl tennis shoes can provide the support that the other materials provide and they keep your feet dry from outside moisture, but they keep the heat in. Your feet can overheat and get incredibly sweaty because this type of material is not very breathable.
Unique Foot Shape
Some people might know what type of foot they have because they already have to buy special shoes for themselves. Specifically, if you have a flat foot, you would need shoes that help you with an overpronation walking pattern. When you have pronation or overpronation, your shoe is more likely to wear out on the inside of the front of the shoe. Other foot styles would be having a high arch, which is considered a supinated foot. When you have this type of foot it typically means that you have a high arch and that your shoes will wear out the most at the heel and the toe. Lastly, would be having a neutral foot. This means that you evenly distribute your weight during each step you take. Your shoes are more likely to wear out evenly on all sides of your shoes.
Foot Style Test
Some people are unaware of the type of foot that they have. Some telltale’s signs that you are wearing the wrong type of shoes for your feet would be having constant discomfort at the end of the day, or from shoes wearing out unevenly. To see what type of foot you have you can do something called a wet test. All you do is get the bottom of your foot wet and step onto a surface that allows you to see your wet footprint. If you see a gap between your foot and the heel it means that you have a high arch, if there is no gap at all you are flat-footed, and if it is even looking, then you most likely have neutral feet.
Tennis Court Type
Depending on what types of court surface you will be playing on can also determine what type of tennis shoes you need to purchase. Because some people play tennis outside on a rougher terrain they need a special type of sole to help reduce any tripping or shock from uneven surfaces. The women’s tennis association regulates play on all court types. There are also indoor tennis courts that are smoother, which may need you to have a pair of tennis shoes that allow you to glide easier on their slick surfaces. And then, some tennis players even play on grass!
Dusty clay courts can cause slipping because the courts don’t offer a lot of traction. With this being said it is important to have a pair of tennis shoes that have a great grip on the sole. A good sole for clay courts would be one that doesn’t allow the clay to get stuck in the groves of the bottoms sole. Another important thing to know when it comes to clay courts is that they are a slower paced game, so your tennis shoes need to have durable sides and lateral support to offer care for your feet while sliding side to side to get to the ball.
Hard courts make for a faster-paced game because the ball has more energy after bouncing off of the surface of this type of court. A hard court is vigorous and rough on your shoes, meaning that you need to have a durable and sturdy pair of tennis shoes that will not wear out quickly. To make sure that your shoes are durable they will have a tough outsole and upper that will give you stability and be able to handle the hard court surface. This type of surface also makes it important that you have a well-padded and cushioned shoe because hard courts can cause a lot of pain on your feet and legs.
Probably the most unpopular type of tennis court surface is grass. But it is still played and is the best game for a serve-and-volley type game. Since grass is a different type of surface than the last two, it is important that you have shoes that are created for grass tennis matches. Tennis shoes required for grass courts will have a good grip. Grass can be slippery for many reasons, so it is imperative that your shoes can grip the surface well and prevent any slipping and falling. Your shoes should also have a flexible upper part so it is easier for you to run quickly to the ball and they won’t constrict your agility. Lastly, when it comes to grass tennis courts, some courts regulate your tennis shoes and require you to have a flatter outsole. For example, players at Wimbledon have to have a completely flat tennis shoe so it doesn’t damage the court.
Individual Playing Style
Tennis is a little different than other sports because you do not have a position, especially in singles. You are the only person on your side of the court. So instead of considering the type of position that you are playing, you need to consider what your playing style is like.
Baseline Player (Defensive)
Someone who is considered a “baseline player” is a tennis player that normally stays along the back line of the tennis court on their side. When you are this type of player you need shoes that have a lot of lateral support because you are constantly moving back and forth. Because you are wearing out that part of the court, you are also likely to wear out the sole of your shoe, so you need to make sure that you have a durable shoe that will not wear out easily.
Serve-and-Volley Player (Aggressive)
A serve-and-volley player is someone who likes to be up and in the action. This type of player normally serves and then charges the net quickly. Because you play close to the net during this style, it is common to have to shuffle back when hits are sent behind you. With that being said, these types of players need shoes that have a durable toecap and arch support to help them with their transitioning along the court surface.
Top Ten Female Tennis Shoes Reviews
Engineered with a mix of synthetic and mesh, the upper portion of this shoe stays fit snugly, which will avoid any injuries or issues regarding fit. The material used in these shoes are also incredibly breathable which helps keep your foot dry. The “Gel” in the title of this shoe is relating to the gel cushioning system they have built into their shoe. This system helps absorb any shock or impact from a rough terrain. The outsole is created from a durable rubber material helping the shoes stay intact, so they do not wear out easily. The Asics Gel Solution Slam is also a lightweight shoe, which has the advantage of keeping you on your toes and helps to keep you agile while gliding side to side on the court. To keep you from sliding or slipping on the surface that you are playing on, Asics has a unique traction pattern that is perfect for hard-surfaced tennis courts. Here‘s a guide made by Asics about which tennis shoes are best in which environment.
- Shock Absorption
- Keeps feet dry
- Narrow toe cap
The Wilson Rush Pro shoe has an appropriate name (the PRO part) because they look very professional (like you really do know what you’re doing on the court!). They come in a variety of colors to suit anyone’s style, or to match the team colors. Made out of a mix of leather and mesh materials, they are stable and breathable. Along with stability and breathability, these shoes offer a lot of room in the toe cap for people with a little wider foot. They fit snugly in the heel and has an arch support, which is great for players that have a supinated foot. A supinated foot refers to the rolling outward of your foot so the part of your shoe’s sole that wears out the quickest is the outside of the sole, or the part nearest your baby toe – in other words, you probably look bow-legged like you’ve been riding a horse your whole life (the opposite is a pronated foot which refers to the turning IN of your foot so your knees rub against each other).
- Good for wide feet
- A little pricey
Asics is a very popular brand when it comes to sports that require a lot of quick steps and agility, like tennis. The Asics Gel Resolution 6 Women’s Tennis Shoe provides everything you need to be a top tennis player. With the gel cushioning that Asics uses to provide comfort does not disappoint in these shoes. This type of cushioning makes the shoe feel like it conforms to your foot. If you have a wider foot than average, these shoes may need a little bit of a break in period, but no more than a couple of days. Although the Gel Resolution 6 shoes are very comfortable, they are not made of a breathable material. They don’t overheat your feet and they do keep out moisture, but they could have a better ventilation material built into them. Lastly, the support that these shoes offer make it easy to move quickly without the fear of rolling your ankle.
- Support of ankles and arch
- Comfortable gel cushioning
- Not very breathable
The K-Swiss Hypercourt Express Tennis Shoes are best for players that have high arches. They are created with a K-Swiss trademarked EVA midsole that provides comfort for every inch of the bottom of your foot. Because these shoes are created with more arch support it means that it will cause less discomfort with people that have higher arches. The uppers of this shoe come a little higher than typical tennis shoes, their eyelets for lacing tie snugly around the top of your foot so your shoe will stay on snugly and offers extra support for your ankle. Another great aspect of these shoes is that the soles have a specially designed shock spring that helps your feet impact with the floor, meaning it is easier for you to bounce back after every step you make.
They feature K-Swiss Dragguard Rubber and Aosta Rubber outsole for durability and a molded Ortholite x40 Socklliner. They’re made of a synthetic composite which, according to many owners, is SUPER LIGHT. Some describe it as feeling like a “cloud” compared to other leather options from various manufacturers. The Hypercourt Express is a full-on tennis shoe but it was inspired by long-distance runners, which means the weight (or lack thereof) will be something to behold!
- Arch and ankle support
- Shock spring
- Narrow- not ideal for wide feet
Designed by English fashion designer (and daughter of Beatles legend Paul McCartney) Stella McCartney, these mid-cut shoes lack nothing in the way of performance. The boost cushioning is meant for maximum energy return. They feature a seamless knit upper along with a super light TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) foil to decrease wear and abrasion in those areas that receive a higher pressure and wear.
They are 100% textile and synthetic (which is a good thing compared to leather) and they also contain an EVA midsole with expanded TPU pieces or capsules embedded in the heel area. The heel counter (which is the sturdy chunk you feel if you try to pinch your heel from behind while wearing a shoe) is made more deliberately to be even more ergonomic than other performance tennis shoes.
- Supportive and durable
- Shock absorbing
- Toe can wear out quickly
K-Swiss Bigshot Sneaker is perfect for wanting to be quick and agile. They provide excelled comfort coverage to the entire foot. With a tight lacing system on the upper these shoes stay in place no matter how much you move around. The arch support in these shoes are not ideal for anyone with a high arch. The support provided in this area is only low and can leave some people with higher arches wanting more support. But the support from the sole of the shoe was much better. With a gripping traction surface to keep you from sliding and keeping your ankles feel like they were secure and free from rolling. Plus, these shoes are made with a great ventilation system, so they keep your feet from getting too hot and sweaty. Making for a more comfortable wear.
- Ankle support
- Breathable ventilation
- Not ideal for high arched feet
Nike really hit the nail on the head with these tennis shoes. Lightweight and perfect for making sudden changes in movement, these shoes help you stay quick on your feet. Made with a mesh upper these shoes are breathable and do not let your feet get sweaty or too hot. But the mesh does allow the shoe to fit snugly around your foot to keep you secure and stable in the shoe. The Nike Zoom cushioning that is engineered into the mid-soles adds a greater level of comfort for your feet. Also, these Nike Zoom Vapor Tour Tennis Shoes have an XDR Rubber outsole that is durable and marked with a herringbone tread pattern to keep you from slipping while playing on a variety of surfaces.
- Durable and Secure
Not typically a household name, Prince Shoe Company, makes an incredibly great pair of tennis shoes for women. The Prince T22 has great traction on the sole of the shoe that has a mixture of different patterns, including the herringbone pattern tread, to help keep you stable during a variety of movements required during the match. These shoes fit perfectly to any type of foot. There is a wider toe cap, so your toes and shoes won’t rub together and cause any irritations. And the shock-absorbing technology incorporated into these shoes provide great support and comfort for your arch and heel of your foot.
- Arch and heel support
- Wider toe cap
Another great tennis shoe made by Asics is the Gel-Game Point Tennis Shoe. Relatively inexpensive, these shoes are perfect for anyone. Although they are a little basic looking when it comes to style, they exceed in comfort and durability. With a rearfoot Gel cushioning systems, these shoes absorb shock from any impact that may happen while running back and forth on the court. Also, this system helps transition from different directions easily. The synthetic and leather materials used in this shoe provide support and breathability. The shoe fits snugly around your foot without any slippage problems.
- Gel Cushioning comfort
- Absorbs Shock
- Not very stylish
This manmade New Balance shoe is great for anyone with wide feet, since New Balance shoes are built specifically for wider feet. With a multiple lace-up system, you can tighten these shoes to fit snug on your feet without having to worry about them slipping off or causing any injuries. New Balance has a trademarked ABZORB foam that is inside of this shoe providing comfort and shock absorption, and the tongue and collar of this shoe are padded to provide comfort on your foot all over. This shoe is made from a breathable mesh lining that allows for your foot to stay dry while wearing. Of course, they are fully synthetic and that’s a good thing as synthetic performance shoes are replacing leather in all sports as they are typically lighter, more breathable and (believe it or not…) more durable and long-lasting.
- ABZORB cushioning
- Breathable synthetic material
- Lots of color options
- Best for wide feet
Overall, any one of these shoes can be the best tennis shoe for your foot. Of course, finding a shoe that is best for you all depends on how it feels for you when you try the shoes on. That is why buying tennis shoes is best to do in person, to make sure you are getting the correct size and that you are happy with the comfort level of the shoe.
When it comes to this list of tennis shoes as a whole, the best pair of shoes to purchase would be the Asics Gel-Resolution 6 Women’s Tennis Shoe. This shoe provides so much support in many different areas on your foot. Plus the Gel cushioning system allows your foot to feel like it is on a cloud the entire time you are wearing them. With the shock absorption and stability, these shoes can help you move quickly while preventing any unforeseen injuries.
If you are looking for the best bang for your buck, you should go with the Asics Women’s Gel-Game Point Tennis Shoe. Although from first look these shoes appear to be basic, they provide maximum support to your feet for a long hard match. The Gel cushioning that is also in these shoes provide a high comfort level that will have your feet thanking you at the end of a hard-fought match.