Analyzing Tennis Footwear: Tips for Buying the Best Tennis Shoes

When shopping for a pair of high performance tennis shoes, it’s best to do a thorough analysis of the entire shoe. Tennis players need a shoe that can withstand the destructive surface of the court, but they also need something that is light and comfortable to wear. Tennis shoes that strike this perfect balance between lasting durability and light-weight comfort are the best choice.

Spotting a Durable Pair of Tennis Shoes

Durability is dependent on the strength and amount of material that is used to reinforce the outside of the shoe. Specific target areas like the bottom outsole and the toe tend to wear out quicker than any other part of the shoe. Look for all of the following when breaking down a shoe’s durability: 

    • Thick and Reinforced Out Sole – This one factor can make or break any shoe. If the out sole material is too flimsy then it might not last beyond a couple of weeks. Even the best out sole will wear down with enough use, but choosing a durable one can save money in the long run.
    • Reinforced Toe Area – The material around the toe should be stronger than any other part of the shoe. Generally good tennis shoes will have a “cap” or guard that is made out of rugged synthetic material. Avoid shoes that provide no extra supporting material for the toe.
  • Weight Test – It doesn’t take an expert to assess how durable a shoe is. Checking how heavy the shoe feels is the easiest, though not entirely accurate, way to assess the level of durability. Tennis shoes shouldn’t be overly heavy, but anything that feels exceptionally light is unlikely to survive long on a tennis court.

Testing Tennis Shoes for Proper Comfort and Support

The level of comfort and support that a shoe provides comes from design of the mid sole, upper, and heel. Support is necessary to enable safe movement on the tennis court. Quick lateral changes of direction are fundamental movements in tennis and require a stable base of support. 

    • Cushioned Inner Sole – This is easily tested by trying a pair of shoes on. A good tennis shoe will fit comfortably and mold to the foot. Sometimes it is necessary to replace the insole for certain foot types, but it is much simpler to just pay attention when buying a pair.
    • Upper and Lacing System – The shoes should provide lacing that brings the top of the shoe down securely on the foot. Lacing systems on good tennis shoes will all the way along the top and nearly the length of the tongue. Avoid shoes that do not lace up fully.
    • Supportive Heel – A good tennis shoe heel will be supported by either a gel or air system. The heel should allow some give when pressing on it. This will create a shock absorption effect and reduce the high impact on the feet and legs during match play.
  • Weight Test – Check the weight again, but this time making sure that the shoes aren’t too heavy. Tennis is all about moving quickly and heavy shoes are not going to help. If the shoes feel bulky or heavy, look for a different pair.

The best tennis shoes are costly, but finding the right pair is always a smart investment. The durability of shoes engineered specifically for tennis will save money in the long run. Most importantly, these kinds of shoes offer the right support structure to keep players safe on the court.

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