When one refers to “tennis shoes,” it typically means an athletic shoe of any kind. However, this does not mean that all athletic shoes are suitable for the game of tennis. When playing tennis, you should be sure to wear shoes designed specifically for the sport, and not walking shoes, running shoes, or generic sports sneakers. These kinds of shoes provide improper support for tennis, and could cause ankle or foot injuries if worn during play. Not only that, such shoes have the potential for damaging the surface of a tennis court.
Many factors should be considered when choosing a shoe for tennis. First, the type of surface you usually play on is important. Depending on whether you play on hard court, clay, grass or another surface has an impact on which kind of shoe is best. Next, your individual foot type and body type should be matched with a shoe designed to maximize comfort and effectiveness. Lastly, you must ensure that the shoe fits properly.
Those who regularly play tennis on soft court surfaces, such as clay, would be advised to select tennis shoes that above all else provide superior traction. It is also important that the shoe have a flat, smooth sole. The bumps typically located on the soles of running and cross-training shoes can harm the surfaces of clay courts. For this reason, most clay court facilities do not even allow players to wear such shoes.
Tennis players who spend the majority of the time on hard court surfaces should select tennis shoes that are durable and resistant to wear. Repeated play on hard courts, such as concrete, will gradually wear the tread off the soles. This will lead to a loss of traction and increased slipping over time. Additionally, the portion of the shoe that covers the big toes should have added protection on the outside. This is because while serving, tennis players drag their toes. This type of drag also occurs when executing forehand groundstrokes. Right-handed players need extra protection on the inside toe area of their right tennis shoe, while left-handed players need this protection on the inside toe area of their left shoe.
Characteristics of your feet and body are also important when considering which tennis shoes to purchase. For those with susceptibility to blisters, it is of the utmost importance to wear tennis shoes that fit perfectly and that offer additional padding. Body type is also important. Larger and heavier players will most likely prefer heavier shoes that provide extra support. Advances in tennis shoe technology have created special cushioning and moisture removal systems that do not add much additional weight, so players with special needs will not be sacrificing much in the way of quickness and agility to meet their individual needs.
After you decide which kind of tennis shoe that is right for you, it is important to choose one that fits properly. Since tennis is a sport with a lot of stopping motions, and starting, sprinting, and cutting as well, you should select a shoe that fits tightly across the width of the foot. A good rule of thumb is to guarantee that your tennis shoes offer a minimum of one half of an inch of space between your toes and the end of the tennis shoe, and that should help greatly to ensure the balance between comfort and proper support.