Tennis is an amazing game. It is however quite intense and needs the perfect shoes to play with. There are a number of factors that influence what kind of tennis shoe you should buy. Since every player is different, different tennis shoes are used by different players. The surface on which you’re playing the game also carries weight.
Tennis courts can either be made of clay surfaces or grass. The shoes you choose should heavily be influenced by this factor. If you have a unique foot shape, you should also consider it. Choosing the best shoes for the game is will help you take your performance to the next level.
The nature of tennis is also quite demanding. It is filled with quick stops, jumps, running side to side and slides. This is both demanding to the body and the shoe you wear. It is important to have a nice pair of tennis shoes that can handle the demands of the game. Things like cushioning and stability should be kept in mind when choosing a tennis shoe.
The design of tennis shoes
Many people play tennis with their running shoes believing that running shoes can also be used for tennis which could not be further away from the truth. Tennis shoes are designed with extra lateral support to endure the rigor of the game.
The lateral support is for the quick lunging, side to side movement and jumps involved in a tennis game. Running shoes on the other hand are designed for only the forward motion involved in running and walking for fitness.
They have thick soft heels to provide that forward bounce and increase cushioning and lessen the impact when the foot hits the ground. Being made like this, running shoes are not the perfect shoes for rapid lateral movements that tennis requires.
Tennis shoes provide stability for side movements. They are also built from heavier and stiffer materials than running shoes and other athletic shoes. Running shoes have a flat and durable sole that is slip resistant. The toe area is reinforced with tough rubber for stop and go action. Their flat design also helps prevent stumbling and sliding.
The type of tennis shoe you need depends on the type of court you will be playing on. The following are types of tennis shoes based on the type of court.
What are the types of tennis shoes available?
Hard Court Shoes
The most common type of tennis shoes are the ones made for hard courts. The bottom of these shoes is covered in lots of patterns. Hard coat shoes give you traction due to their herringbone texture.
They are also made to be durable because hard courts can damage the shoes quite fast. The midsole of these tennis shoes, unlike other shoes, are made from cushioning material because hard courts are tough on our bones and joints. Because of this, the midsole and even the outsole are designed to absorb the impact while landing. There should be no athletic shoe with black out soles that should be used on a hard court.
These shoes are also known as hat-tru shoes. The patterns in the soles of this shoe run across the outsole. This is to help increase grip onto the clay on the court without retaining most of that clay in the sole. This run-across design pattern helps the sole release most of the clay that has been gripped into it. However, as you play, more and more clay will be accumulated on the treads.
The outsole of clay court shoes therefore has a full herringbone pattern. For the increased sliding on clay courts, there is more lateral support on the upper part of the shoe for the player. The upper part is also made to be tight. Unlike other types of tennis shoes, these ones do not have a mesh body to prevent clay particles from getting inside the shoe.
Grass Court Shoes
For people who play tennis outside in nature, they do need a different type of tennis shoe. Grass court shoes are the most unique and specialized in all types of tennis shoes. Unlike the rest, grass court tennis shoes have little rubbery cleats or little nubs to help grip the slippery surface grass creates. Because of the cleats, these shoes cannot be used on hard courts and clay courts.
Of these three types of shoes, hard court shoes are the most versatile and can be used on any of the courts. It will however not perform well in clay courts and will do even worse in grass courts. But it is the best performing of all three tennis shoes.
How often should you replace tennis shoes?
There is no definite time on when to replace your tennis shoes because it depends on how frequently you wear it. What you should actually check is how much the soles are worn out. If the outsole has started to wear out, then you should start thinking of getting a new shoe.
If you start getting to the midsole, then you should definitely get the shoe replaced. Once the sole gets to this level, traction is heavily compromised. You are not going to get as much grip as you did before and you’ll be prone to slipping. This means it is time to get a new pair of tennis shoes.
The general rule of thumb when it comes to tennis shoes is, if you play in your tennis shoes for two or three times a week, you will need a new shoe every six months. The best way however is to check the bottom of the sole to judge how it is yourself.
A good tennis shoe goes a long way in taking you to the next level. Depending on the type of court, you can buy the ideal shoe for your type of game. Ensure the shoes have lateral support, great cushioning and deep treads and you’re set to go.