Wearing shoes specifically designed for playing tennis can give you greater protection, more support, and higher mobility levels than casual running shoes. But choosing a pair that lives up to your expectations is not an easy task, especially when you are confronted with various choices available.

If you are struggling with different types of tennis shoes and do not know how to decide, why not have a look at the guidelines below for more advice?



Types Of Tennis Shoes You Should Know About

Based on materials



Elastomeric polymer is pretty much like rubber but softer and more flexible when pressed against the skin. EVA shoes are lightweight and breathable, making them an ideal choice to play under scorching weather.

Furthermore, its elasticity leaves plenty of room for support, with pads and cushioning that wraps nicely around your foot. 


Canvas is easily the thinnest material, which contributes to it being well ventilated. If you sweat excessively during exercising, wearing a pair of canvas shoes will minimize the dampness and help you maintain your stability on the ground.

That being said, this type of shoe is not as supportive of your feet as other thick materials. For people having foot concerns or high arches, the canvas is not the best option.


Leather shoes are undoubtedly the most expensive tennis shoes. They are sturdy and can protect your feet, but the dense texture prevents the air from being circulated.

However, its lack of breathability is compensated by the fact that leather shoe lasts for a longer time, making your initial investment worth it. 


If you do not mind having to yield some extra weights and prioritize durability, you would love to have polyurethane shoes. 

Admittedly, this fabric is much thicker and heavier than most, but it is what makes polyurethane less prone to daily wear and tear. You can use this product excessively and still, there will not be a single scratch!


Consider vinyl as a “fake” type of leather, as it provides similar benefits but at a much more affordable price. Vinyl is robust and built to last while being considerably cheaper than real leather.

However, vinyl shoes can feel a bit icky if worn for a long time when the temperature is high.

Based on types of court

Hard court shoes

Hard courts are arguably the most common ground to play tennis, thanks to their low maintenance and affordability. A shoe that plays against the acrylic layer tends to have a durable, non-marking outsole with extra cushioning. 

This helps players to move around swiftly and comfortably without scratching the court’s surface. While hard courts do absorb shock, you still need to ensure your shoes are adequately padded, especially around the ankles and the toes.

Clay court shoes

As the name already indicates, clay courts are best known for their slickness and looseness. Playing on a clay court requires a shoe made from light, easy-to-glide materials that allow players to take advantage of the standing environment.

Indented soles are preferred since they provide a better grip and lower the chance of falling. But be careful not to go for anything heavily-treaded. The clay can easily get accumulated under the shoe, thus making the players lose momentum.

Grass court shoes

The product used in grass courts is usually lightweight, enabling wearers to change their positions within seconds while keeping the grass intact. 

To gain as much traction as possible, a grass court shoe has a flat sole with small bumps scattered across its length and width. This way, you can minimize the impact of the slippery top but still be able to maintain confident footing.

All court shoes

This manufacture is mostly 70% hard court shoes and 30% clay and grass court shoes. They feature a herringbone style tread that works wonders with hard courts but are only moderately effective on the two other types. However, if you are a regular tennis player, chances are a pair of this type of shoe will suffice.

Based on the design


Outsole shoes

This product pride itself on having extra-large soles, offering more exposure to the ground. This feature enables wearers to jump around comfortably without slipping, significantly enhancing their footing. 

For tennis newbies, this type of shoe is preferable as they are effective in preventing injuries.

Thick soled shoes

This manufacture has a thicker bottom than the standard tennis shoes, acting as a shock-absorbent component that keeps the player’s posture. The sole is usually made from hard materials like polyurethane, so it is relatively bulky.   

Gel tennis shoes

Instead of using stiff fabrics to make the sole, a gel tennis shoe takes advantage of gel technology and targeted cushioning features to make the footwear comfortable yet ultralightweight.

If you are willing to spend some extra bucks on this type of shoe, they can deliver smooth performance without causing any discomfort.


Browsing through different types of shoes for tennis is no longer a daunting task once you have finished reading this guideline. Make sure to evaluate the pros and cons of each category, then figure out which type serves your playing purposes the best.

In case you find this article helpful, feel free to forward it to your fellow tennis players!

Further Reading