Finding the best tennis shoes or pickleball shoes is never easy. That’s why I’ve made a comprehensive list of all the best shoes for tennis available today. Whether you’re a casual shopper looking for a comfortable pair of shoes to lounge in, or a competitive tennis player that needs unbreakable durability, we’ve got you covered. Check out all of the different brands and models listed below for the highest quality player tested tennis shoes out there.
This is a quick list of some of the best current tennis shoes, but feel free to read the guide below on how to select your own pair of shoes.
Featured Tennis Shoes: The Adidas Barricade Team Tennis Shoe
In addition to the list below, I’ll feature one of my current favorites at the top. The Adidas Barricade Team Tennis Shoes are a compromise between the need for a professional level shoe and something that better suits a recreational player.
This tennis shoe is full featured and will offer you all the support and durability of the other barricades, yet it is priced at less than half of the higher end Barricades. The other benefit is that it is much lighter and on the right feet, can actually perform considerably better.
Do yourself a favor and check out the Adidas Barricade Team Tennis Shoes for either men or women.
List of the Best Tennis Shoes: Competitive Tennis Players
1. Adidas Barricade 7 – Review of the Adidas Barricade 7
2. Nike Air Court Ballistec 3.3 – Review of the Nike Air Max Court Ballistec 3.3
3. Adidas Barricade 6 – Review of the Adidas Barricade 6
4. Babolat Propulse 3 – Review of the Babolat Propulse 3
5. Nike Lunar Vapor 8 Tour -Review of the Nike Lunar Vapor 8
You’ll notice that Nike and Adidas make a few repeat appearances on this list. I’d definitely recommend looking at Nike for the following
- High performance shoes
- Bargains on some older models (like the 3.3 and Lunar Vapor
Now, if you still need some help picking the best tennis shoes, here is a quick guide to help you decide exactly what’s right for you. When you’re ready, make sure to take advantage of deals like this one:
Parts of the Best Tennis Shoes: What Makes a Shoe a Tennis Shoe?
The term tennis shoe has a wide variety of meanings and very few of them tend to be talking about actual tennis shoes. Tennis shoes for playing tennis most be constructed with these special attributes in mind to enable them and their players to suffer the gritty hard courts that make up the most common surface. Let’s break down a a great pair of shoes I personally use, the Nike Air Max Court Ballistec 3.3.
Upper of the Tennis Shoes
This part of the shoe refers to the area of the outside of the shoe attached just above the midsole and over the out sole. The upper is the part of the shoe that will generally have mesh or some kind slit pattern for proper ventilation to keep your feet cool.
The upper plays a big role in ventilation and also stability to hold your foot in place. A good solid upper will help secure your foot. The model in the example has an extra durable upper material, though I’ve never experienced a problem with durability in that area
Insole of the Tennis Shoes
The insole covers the inside of the shoe where your foot goes. Usually the insole is a type of soft or foamy material that will make the shoe comfortable for you. Some insoles don’t provide enough padding or support, but this can be relieved by putting in an insert that will either lend support to your foots arch or just provide extra padding overall.
The best way to test the insole out is to try the shoe on. You can be the judge of how comfortable and well it fits your foot. This isn’t a huge deal breaker if the insole needs to be changed. Buying new insoles that fit your feet better is generally inexpensive, but you should be aware that this option is available to you.
Heel of the Tennis Shoes
Extra padding or support is always provided under the heel of the foot. This is a spot that takes a lot of impact and it is important for a shoe to have proper heel support. Sometimes shoes will provide an extra heel piece or something like a cradle for an even more supportive design.
Most tennis shoes you try will have a good heel support system, but it doesn’t hurt to take a second look and see if there is more support provided there
Lacing of the Tennis Shoes
Lacing systems on a tennis shoe should provide a snug and secure fit, but you don’t want it to be too tight that it becomes uncomfortable. A lot of this comfort issue can depend on how narrow or wide the shoe is, but the laces can really magnify it if there is a problem.
Try adjusting the lacing and see if you can achieve a nice snug fit that still feels good. Great tennis shoes will often have holes for laces to thread through the support in the upper. This will provide a great snug fit and won’t be uncomfortable unless the shoe is too narrow or the upper material around the ankle is too hard.
Outsole of the Tennis Shoes
This is actually one of the most important parts of the tennis shoe. When you go out on the court this is the part of the shoe that does the dirty work. Shoes not designed for hard court tennis will get ripped apart and eaten up by the surface. The outsole also provides traction that will help you safely make quick transition movements that tennis is all about. Good traction comes from a quality outsole design.
First, durability is a huge deal with the outsole. Unfortunately there isn’t a great test for durability, you really need to do your homework and see what kind of experiences other players are having. Look for shoes that offer outsole durability guarantees replacing your shoes if the outsole wears out in a six month period.
Traction is also another thing that should be referenced and researched well. Shoes with bad traction can cause you to slip and slide awkwardly. This is very dangerous in a competitive tennis match. Even the best tennis shoes can have this problem when they’ve been worn down to a certain point. Take care with finding a shoe with good traction. Adidas makes some very durable tennis shoes focused on a quality outsole that lasts a long time.
Midsole of the Tennis Shoes
As the name implies, this is the middle layer of the shoe located between the upper and the bottom of the shoe. This part of a shoe can vary widely between different manufacturers and brands. Technologies applied to the midsole are often gel or air to create a sort of shock absorption when your foot hits the court.
Comfort of a shoe is largely dependent on good midsole technology. As you play through a match on the court a great tennis midsole will produce a soft ride for your foot and really take away a lot of stress and pressure. Test out the midsole by both reviewing and see how a shoe feels when you plant your foot down hard
Aside from the outsole, the toe is the next place for a shoe to wear out quickly. Some tennis players are worse than others when it comes to toe dragging, but in general you do want some kind of strengthening material around the toe. This is to prevent the shoe from wearing out quickly in the front.
Heavy duty material around the toe is easy to identify at a glance. Don’t buy a pair of tennis shoes that doesn’t provide at least some kind of heavy duty material around the toe.