Tennis Shoes vs Squash Shoes (Everything You Need to Know!)

Squash is a very fast-moving game that needs you to make quick starts, stops, and turns in an instant and if you wear tennis shoes you will be at a disadvantage because they will slow down your speed and you’ll be very uncomfortable playing. Your shoes should have very good shock absorption for the long-running and be responsive for the tight drives.

Tennis shoes

 Tennis shoes are designed to give you good traction, comfort, and support while you’re on the court. There are different tennis shoes designed for different courts like the hard, clay, and grass courts. Tennis has very unique demands on your feet from the very frequent lateral movements, quick starts and stops, and short sprints. All these movements can leave ankle injuries or sprains if you don’t wear the right shoes. That’s why it’s important to buy the right tennis shoes for each specific court.

Factors to consider when choosing a tennis shoe

Before you decide on what shoes to wear, there are some differences between shoes and tennis shoes you should keep in mind.

Tennis shoes have a flat design that has unique tread patterns on the soles that differ depending on the type of court surface you’re playing on.

They are specifically designed to handle frequent starts and stops around the court and still keep you comfortable throughout the game.

Tennis shoes have a sturdier build than other athletic shoes with softer and thicker heels that help to reduce the impact thanks to the cushioning that makes the shoe lightweight. However, they can be a bit heavier if you’re going to be playing in the hardcourt.

For the most part, athletic shoes are designed for constant forward motion of walking or running, but tennis shoes are designed to deal with lateral movements on the courts.


Tennis shoes vs squash shoes

The way you walk and stand and the type of foot you have a very big impact on how your shoes fit, eel, and perform when you wear them. Every foot is different but the common foot types include pronated, ideal, supinated.

A pronated foot is mostly associated with an injury. If your feet are pronated, your shoes will wear out faster around the balls of your feet. The shoes you wear should provide superior lateral support to avoid injuries to your ankles and knees.

A supinated foot tends to wear out the shoes faster along the outside of your heels and the forefoot as your feet tend to roll outwards as you walk. In this case, you need shoes that are flexible to eliminate shock and an extra durable sole.

An ideal foot can choose any type of shoe as long as they’re comfortable and right for the court surface.

Squash shoes

Squash is a very intense game that requires aptness in response during play. There is a lot of swift movements and footwork needed which means the shoes you wear should have good support to keep up your pace.

Here are several things you need to consider when buying the right squash shoes


A good pair of squash shoes should provide good stability and weight distribution plus traction. They should also be non-skid and non-marking so that they don’t leave marks on the court floor.

Shock absorption

Squash is a fast-paced and intense game that requires shoes made with effective heel shock absorption materials to prevent feet and ankle injuries.


Comfort is very important and squash shoes shouldn’t be heavy. However, you should remember that light shoes wear out faster because of all the lateral movements you make on the court.


Cushioning is very important when it comes to movement and your shoe’s ability to absorb impact. Squash shoes can absorb vibrations and protect your joints while reducing foot fatigue. Well-cushioned shoes should keep your feet supported and stable to prevent injuries.

Ankle support

If you have larger ankles than most people, you should wear shoes that don’t have an extremely snug fit on your ankles as his will cause your ankles to swell. On the other hand, if your ankles are skinny, ensure the shoes aren’t too big around your ankles to avoid discomfort and an increased risk of falling when your feet start to slide up and down. So the shoes should be supportive enough around your ankles to avoid such problems.

Tennis shoes vs squash shoes


A strong and firm grip is important to help strengthen your moves on the court. Squash shoes with a high grip are a determining factor if your feet will stay on the ground or they will slide away on the court. This means a good grip will help you make firm and stable steps on the court which will improve your performance. Your shoes will also grip well if you’re wearing the right shoes and with the sudden movements you make you need shoes with a multidirectional grip to prevent slippage.

Differences between tennis shoes and squash shoes

Non-slip and non-marking outsoles

Tennis shoes are designed to be non-slip on the surfaces they’re meant to be used on like the hard, clay, or grass tennis courts, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they will be non-slip when you’re walking on slippery or wet floors. On the other hand, squash shoes are designed with a type of gum that provides maximum grip on slippery floors and is non-marking so they don’t leave marks on the floor. This helps to increase stability by evenly distributing your weight.

Shoe styles

When choosing a good tennis shoe, you need to base it on your playing style. If you’re a baseline player, you need shoes with more lateral support with a very durable sole, but if you’re a serve-and-volley player, your shoes should have a reinforced toecap and medial inside the arch to protect your feet when making back foot slides along with the court during a serve. Squash shoes are only designed for one style of play on the court.

Shoe etiquette

As a squash player you know you’re always supposed to wear clean shoes with non-staining soles. You cannot use your tennis shoes in a squash court since they aren’t clean and you can never wear squash shoes outdoors. Dirty shoes transfer dirt onto the court which makes the court slippery and a danger to you when playing.

Sole material

This is a very important difference that makes squash shoes very different from other athletic shoes in the market. The sole of squash shoes is made from a combination of gum rubber and synthetic rubber. Pure rubber can’t be used because it’s soft so it won’t provide the necessary support you need to play on the court.

By blending it with synthetics, they become soft and sticky on the floor which is good for an indoor court while still providing good shock absorption. Tennis shoes have different tread patterns depending on the type of court you’re playing on to provide good traction and makes it easier to maneuver your way around the court.

Different court types

In tennis, there are three different court types namely the hard, grass, and clay courts that you can play on and each comes with its type of tennis shoes. Because of the different court surfaces, the tennis shoes you wear might need more or less traction, lateral support, and stability than the other. In squash, you’re playing on a smooth indoor hardwood floor that requires a great deal of traction or grip on your shoes to prevent feet and ankle injuries.


Although tennis and squash are both racquet sports, they’re very different in many aspects and the tennis shoes vs squash shoe comparison are just one of the many differences between both games. However, they’re both intense games that demand a lot from your body which is beneficial to your health.


Is playing squash good for you?

When playing squash, you’ll reap, run, and dive for the ball which helps to increase your strength and fitness, have a healthy weight, strengthen your back, agility, and flexibility, and improve coordination between your hands and eyes.

What is different about tennis shoes?

Tennis shoes are more flat with design patterns on the soles depending on the type of court surface you’re playing on. While other shoes have a thicker softer heel, tennis shoes are made to be sturdier to provide better lateral support.

Do you need special shoes for squash?

Squash shoes have non-marking gum rubber soles and you should never wear them outdoors. This means you should wear different shoes to and from the court because if you wear the shoes outside they will get dirty and make it difficult to provide the grip you need on the court.

Can I use squash shoes for tennis?

Tennis and squash seem related but you can’t use tennis shoes to play squash or vice versa. Shoes with a black sole can’t be used on a squash court as they will leave black marks on the floor.

What do you wear to squash?

Every sport has its specific fitness clothing you’re supposed to wear when playing. For squash, you can put on a t-shirt, shorts, socks, and trainers, but avoid wearing black-soled shoes.