“The best tennis shoe” is something that will be different for everyone. The shoes that give you good arch support might feel heavy on my feet. Moreover, unlike other athletic shoes, tennis shoes differ from one another in so many factors. First, you got to check your foot type. Once you learn that, pick a pair of shoes that works in the court you play. Also, you have to get shoes that suit your playing style.
However, I think there are some common factors like ground rules that go with any tennis shoe to call it the best tennis shoe for you.
Before I dive into the specifications of tennis shoes, I want to talk about the basic things.
For any shoe to become the best tennis shoes, the first and the basic criteria are upper material quality.
In general, tennis shoes are made of synthetic material and leather. Most tennis players go for synthetic upper, as these are more durable and breathable. In addition, there is a range of materials combination in tennis shoes, such as perforated fabrics.
But, I think the best tennis shoes always come with a mesh upper.
Now, let’s get into specifications.
The first mistake of picking the best tennis shoes for yourself is assuming that every player’s feet are the same. No, they aren’t.
There are three foot types depending on the arch: low-arched, high-arched, and neutral foot types.
The best tennis shoes will always come with good arch support.
I suggest you check your old, worn-out shoes to find your foot type. You can also try taking an impression of your feet on the floor or a piece of cloth. Low-arched feet tend to leave a significant portion of their area on the impression, while high-arched leave a very curvy impression without covering most of your feet.
Go hunting for the tennis shoes only when you know your foot type.
The ground rule that defines the best tennis shoes for low-arched, pronated feet is excellent arch support. As players with flat feet are more likely to get injured on the court, I recommend they pick the shoes with the best cushioning, arch support, and durable inner soles.
For players with high-arched/supinated feet, the best tennis shoes are the ones with ultra-durable outer soles.
But, if you have neutral feet like me, comfort is the only factor. Any tennis shoes can become the best tennis shoe for you, depending on the comfort level of your feet.
The next factor in deciding the best tennis shoes is the court type.
The rules for choosing the best shoes for different court types are the easiest.
Hardcourts are made of concrete and provide a very rough experience during the match. The most suitable shoes for hard courts are the durable ones with rigid upper and robust soles. I personally prefer shoes with leather upper and anti-skid features.
Shoes for clay courts are the best when they are lightweight but made with compact, tight fitted upper. I recommend players to use shoes with synthetic material type. Also, don’t forget to check the lateral support your shoes provide before using them during the match.
If you are a fan of grass courts like me, always go for shoes that provide excellent traction. Trust me. They are the best for grass courts.
Another point: the best grass-court shoes always feature gel or EVA padding.
The third factor that decides the best tennis shoes is playing style.
For baseline players like me, who play on the court’s backline, should go for durable shoes that provide lateral support. And the best tennis shoes for serve-and-volley players are the ones with solid and durable toe-caps.
A pair of tennis shoes become the best depending on their material quality, court type, foot type, and playing style. Judging a pair of shoes based on these criteria can give you the answer.