NEED A NEW PAIR OF TENNIS SHOES, BUT DON’T KNOW WHICH TO GET? CHECK OUT MY TOP SHOE PICKS, AND I WILL TELL YOU EXACTLY WHICH ONES YOU SHOULD BE CONSIDERING.
Just like choosing a tennis racquet, when it comes to finding the right tennis shoes there are quite a few factors that come into play. Of course most players have their brand allegiances and colour choice but you also need to think about your foot type (everyone walks and runs a little differently and different shoes can aid performance/prevent injury), the surface you play on most frequently, your playing style and finally the size/shape of your foot.
While many recreational players will just play in running trainers, if you start to play with any sort of frequency you'll soon realise how quickly they get worn down. Good tennis shoes are designed to stand up to significant wear and tear allowing for a lot of stopping & starting, pivots, slides and lateral movement. All the shoes I've picked out below provide extra lateral support, robust materials, plenty cushioning, decent levels of shock absorbing, and reinforced soles and toe caps.
As someone with quite wide feet and a tendency to stub my toe when playing I've tried quite a few different shoes over the years from Nike, Asics, Babolat and Prince so I have a good knowledge of the market. This post will help you find a tennis shoe that provides a good level of comfort, agility and won't be falling to pieces after 2 weeks.
The Best Tennis Shoes Currently on the Market
*All prices are approx and can fluctuate throughout the year, you can check the latest sale prices using the buttons.
Please note, this article will soon be updated for 2020 with new additions, notably the Asics Court FF 2 which I have reviewed in full here. Along the Gel Resolution 7, I rate the Court FF 2 as the best tennis shoe on the market right now.
|Shoe||Standout Feature||Approx Price|
|Asics Gel Resolution 7
My Top Pick for 2020
|Best all round shoe||~$150||CHECK PRICE|
|Asics Gel Solution Speed 3||Best price : performance ratio||~$120||CHECK PRICE|
|Asics Gel Court FF||Lightweight||~$100||CHECK PRICE|
|Adidas Barricade 2018||Durability||~$140||CHECK PRICE|
|Adidas Ubersonic 2||Comfort||~$125||CHECK PRICE|
|Nike Zoom Vapor X||Stability||~$150||CHECK PRICE|
|Nike Zoom Cage 3||Lightweight||~$130||CHECK PRICE|
|Babolat Propulse Fury||Ankle stabilty||~$120||CHECK PRICE|
|Yonex Power Cushion Eclipson||Traction||~$130||CHECK PRICE|
What Makes a Good Tennis Shoe?
This guide will consider all the aspects of shoes that I have found to be important and that can help you perform better. As mentioned previously these may not be important for everyone as we all want and need different things from our shoes based on our circumstances. However, I personally value durability, stability, and traction in a shoe and I think that's what most players are looking for.
Durability is obvious because I want to avoid having to buy shoes all the time as it can take a toll on my wallet. Stability and traction are fundamental in my book because it enables me to feel like I can change direction quickly and unexpectedly in a safe manner. If you're playing competitive matches then things happen very quickly and the last thing you want is equipment letting you down.
For example, when I was playing club tennis we used to get Adidas team gear and we were provided with the various versions of the Barricade. While this shoe is definitely not the most comfortable, I liked them because they were super durable and because they were very stable overall and held my feet nicely in place which made me feel confident making faster and more aggressive cuts when changing directions. Even if I wanted to take the shoes off as soon as I walked off the court, I was ok with the discomfort because they performed so well in every other area.
In all of my picks below, I will take a look at:
- Support, durability,
- Whether the shoes are a better fit for narrow or wide feet
This guide will allow you to see the some of the best shoes out there and show you the different range of options that can suit your game. It is important to note that all the shoes in the review have cheaper versions that do not necessarily perform the same way as the shoes I review here.
For example, Adidas have the Barricade, but they also have the Team version of the shoe which is a much lighter and cheaper. And I guess you could say “lesser” version of the shoe. I have not reviewed those as I felt that these “lesser” models don't necessarily inherit the characteristics of the flagship shoe. They can often be pretty close though, so do take them into consideration if you are on a budget or just prefer them to the models we go over in the review. Also, bear in mind all of these models have clay court versions that perform basically the same the only real change is the sole that has been adapted to the surface of choice with that classic zig zag design.
When reading this guide, you will probably notice that most of the companies have a heavier, more supportive, and durable shoe, along with a lighter, usually more comfortable, and faster feeling shoe that also tends to be less durable. I have taken the two or three of the high-performance models that each brand offers so that there's a decent mix to choose from.
Before we get going just some general observations about the mainstream brands; it is well known that Nike shoes, for the most part, tend to be very comfortable and slick looking but greatly suffer when it comes to durability. With Adidas, you have the Barricade which is heavy, super stable, supportive, and very durable but this also makes this model relatively uncomfortable. On the other end, you have the Ubersonic which is super light and comfortable but not as stable or durable. Asics do a phenomenal job of being very good in almost all aspects performance wise and are comfortable, which is why these are now my shoes of choice. I also included one shoe from Babolat and Yonex because they are also popular amongst players and have good things to offer that you should definitely look into.
It is important to note that in general with a shoe that is more stable, has better support, and is durable, it probably will not be as comfortable as lighter shoes. Lighter shoes may feel great on your feet but they may not last as long. Once again, your decision will be based on the things you need from a shoe which is different for all of us. I value the more stable and durable models more but that may be because usually when I play I am not very aware of how my feet feel; my focus is more on playing the game as well as I possibly can. Because of this, the discomfort I used to experience with some of the older versions of the Barricade was almost irrelevant until after I got off the court. It was only when I finished playing that I would start to care about the feeling of the shoe.
I hope these last few paragraphs have given you some insight into how I chose to go about making these reviews and on why I chose the models that are in the guide. Hopefully, the suggested models are ones that suit you and your game the best and that you find my recommendations valuable. Without any further delay let’s get into the various types of models that you might want to wear in your next big match.
Here's what I consider to be the best tennis shoes you can buy in 2018…
Asics Gel Resolution 7 – My Top Pick for 2018
I believe this to be the best shoe in this review and it is currently my shoe of choice. This is Asics's heavier more durable model and it performs extremely well.
The overall combination of stability, durability, and comfort are in my opinion the best in any shoe on the market. The Asics Gel Resolution 7 are one of the more durable shoes that are available and probably one of the reasons you see plenty of players wearing them across all levels of the game.
The only negative of this shoe is some people find that the front part of the shoe where the toes are can be a bit narrow and they seem to run a bit bigger than other shoes. When I got my first pair of these I also noticed that they were bigger than most other shoes. But what I really like about this model is that comfort is not compromised despite it being very stable and supportive. This does not usually happen with shoes like this so all things considered, it's a top choice for anyone who plays the game.
- Offers great support and stability
- Above average durability
- Toe box narrow for some feet
- Break in time required
Asics Gel Solution Speed 3
The Asics Gel Solution 3 is the lighter version of Asics high-performance shoes. This shoe is very well suited to players that have feet on the wider side.
Despite being a lightweight shoe, this is a very stable shoe that allows you to be well balanced and change direction with a sense of safety and comfort. While this version is perhaps not the most durable for the more serious player, it is still a high-quality shoe in terms of comfort and stability. A few players at my club use this and the overwhelming majority of them are very positive on how these shoes perform. The other plus is that they are cheaper than some of the other models which makes it a very solid option for almost any player.
- Light and fast
- Stable all around and good ankle support
- Reasonable price
- Not the most durable
Asics Gel Court FF
This is a new model that Asics came out in 2018 and the feedback I've seen so far has been very good. The Gel Court FF has a narrow opening which can make it a bit challenging to put them on but once your feet are in there they provide incredible comfort and support.
They are basically a combination of the Gel Solution and the Gel Resolution as they combine the lightweight of the Solution and the great support of the Resolution. The shoes are extremely comfortable almost like a running shoe which can make them great to wear on or off the court. As a result of that, however, where this shoe does not perform quite as well is durability, and they do wear out a bit quicker depending on how you play. Combine that with them being expensive then it can be a deal breaker if you are on a budget.
Like most Asics shoes, these do run a bit bigger than their quoted size. Finally, this is the shoe that David Goffin currently wears, so if you like how the diminutive Belgian flies around the court this might just be the perfect shoe for you.
- Super light and comfortable
- Offers incredible support despite it being a light shoe.
- Work well with narrower feet.
- Low durability
- Tough to find right size
Adidas Barricade 2018
The Adidas Barricade and its previous versions have been around for over a decade for a reason, they perform extremely well.
Durability, support, and stability are the trademarks of this model. I have worn many of the different versions of the Barricade starting in my days in the juniors and that was the team shoe of my club team.
These are hands down the most durable shoes you will find and offer unparalleled stability and support. Even if these shoes offer these great qualities, they come at the expense of comfort, weight, and break in time which may make you want to take these shoes off as soon as you are finished playing.
Adidas has made an effort to improve these shoes making each new version a bit more comfortable and lighter which is good news if you like this shoe. People with any kind of feet can wear these without worrying about how they will suit their feet. Remember even if they do feel very uncomfortable the first time you play do not worry as it should get better the more you wear them.
- Suited for both wide and narrow feet
- Very durable
- Super stable, great support and traction
- Relatively uncomfortable
- Requires more break-in time than most shoes
- On the heavier end
Adidas Adizero Ubersonic 2
Alexander Zverev’s shoe of choice and this shoe is the opposite of the Barricade. This is a light and fast shoe, and while the shoe is a bit narrow, it offers some solid stability combined with a considerably more comfortable fit than the Barricade.
This shoe is more focused on speed and a lightweight fit. The shoe fits like a glove around your feet and it helps you stay low to the ground but it does not sacrifice that much stability despite it being a light/fast shoe. Given that the sole is not quite as thick this may not be the most durable shoe out there, but relative to other light fast shoes the durability is good.
- Very light and fast
- Offers good stability for a light shoe
- Has good traction and keeps you low to the ground
- Very comfortable
- Not the most durable overall
- Can be too narrow for some
Nike Zoom Vapor X
If you’re a Federer fan like me you have probably gotten a pair of these at some point in your life, but in case you haven’t, this shoe is a must try.
This shoe has awesome performance in every area I used to wear this shoe religiously when it was called the 9.5 Tour. Nike have since updated it slightly and calle it the X but it's essentially the same shoe. It's extremely comfy and keeps your feet well locked in place. Given it is also lightweight and has a relatively thin sole this shoe helps you stay low to the ground and move around the court with little effort.
I found they feel almost as comfortable as running shoes and they offer great cushioning. The negative, of course, is that the durability is quite low and because it is Federer’s shoe of choice they tend to be on the expensive end of the spectrum, especially if you get the Flyknit version. I still like them to this day but I have to say I think Asics edge it for performance.
- Super comfortable and offers great cushioning
- Keeps you low to the ground and fast because it is so light
- Has very good support and fit keeps your feet locked in place
- Low durability
Nike Zoom Cage 3
One of Nike’s newer models, the Cage 3 offers a great combination of it being light, fast, comfortable, as well as having great durability. The shoe has a fairly narrow opening so can be hard to put on once on there's plenty of space everywhere except on the toe box area where it becomes a bit narrow.
Unlike the Nike Vapors, this shoe will need to be worn a bit before it feels fully comfortable but once broken into, it performs very well. The construction does a good job of locking your feet, but they do have slightly less cushioning under your feet than other Nike shoes like the Vapors.
I've spoken to players who use this shoe who say that the toe area lack some traction (a big disadvantage, at least for me), and they sometimes slip or slide more than they would want but other than that it seems to be a solid choice for a serious player. One of the negative aspects of this shoe just like the Vapors is that because it is worn by such a high-profile player like Rafa it can be on the more expensive end.
- Good durability
- Stable overall
- Keeps you low to the ground and lock your feet in place well
- Low traction so they may slide
- Hard to put on and require some break in time
- Toe box seems a bit narrow
Babolat Propulse Fury
Ankle support is the feature that is the cornerstone of the Babolat Propulse. Right out of the box this shoe is a bit hard and requires some time for it to fully adapt to your feet but once you have used it a bit they feel great.
This shoe is very durable with its rubber outsole which works well for players that slide on the inside of their feet. Babolat shoes have very good sole durability and this one is no different so if you are going through shoes like they're going out of fashion this one is worth a shout.
- Great support overall
- Durable and resistant
- Requires some break in time
- Heel slippage
Yonex Power Cushion Eclipsion 2
Since I use a Yonex Racquet I figured it made sense to try out their shoes and I quite like the Eclipson. I found the shoe performed well overall but the sole was not super durable and I wore it out quickly, but strangely even with the worn out sole the shoe did not lose traction at all and was very durable in this state which was surprising to me.
I would say this shoe may be better for people with slightly narrower feet but even though I have wider feet they weren't uncomfortable. Cushioning is also very good in this shoe, almost as good as an Asics. Another plus of this Yonex shoe is that it is very reasonably priced despite being endorsed by Stan Wawrinka.
- Great traction
- Good overall fit and stability
- Good price
- Low durability
- May not be suited to people with wider feet
So there are my picks for 2018, I hope you found it useful regardless of what level of the game you play. I looked at some general tendencies that brands have in terms of them having two different kinds of models, the heavier, more stable, supportive, and more durable one, as well as the flip side of that with a shoe that is lighter faster, more comfortable, but less durable version. Something else I hope you picked up is how all of the different brands have common features regardless of what shoe they have.
If comfort is what you want out of your shoes I would suggest you get any of the Nike shoes especially the Vapors or the Asics are also a great option. Particularly the Gel Solutions or the Gel Court FF.
When it comes to durability, stability, and support, the Adidas Barricades are probably the best option as long as you are willing to put up with some discomfort. They are hands down the most durable shoe you will find. Also, the Babolat Propulse Fury and the Asics Gel Resolution can be options if you want durable shoes that are more comfortable than the Barricades.
For narrow feet, Nike Zoom Ultra React, the Asics Gel Court FF of the Barricades are the narrow shoe shoes on this list. If you have narrow feet and want your feet to be held in place well these models are a safe bet. People that have wider feet would feel most comfortable in the Nike Zoom Vapors, Nike Lunar Ballistec, or the Asics Gel Solution 3.
There were some areas I would have liked to cover in more depth as far as which shoes are better suited to people who may have some issues or injuries with their feet or other areas that would be more specific to each individual. However, given that these are issues that change with each individual, I decided not to get too specific with these characteristics and just try to give a general idea of what each shoe is like and how they perform in comparison to other models. I have been lucky enough to never have had any serious health issues with my feet, so this was an area that I lack the expertise to be completely honest.
As a final recommendation, I would say if in doubt, get the Asics Gel Resolution. They are the best model on this list and come top in almost every category I consider important. I have been using them for a year now and there are tons of players on the lower levels of the tour that are not sponsored that choose to wear these despite having a lot of other options.
The most important message I want the readers of this guide to understand is there is no such thing as a perfect shoe, at some point we all have to make compromises in one area or another, but we can sometimes get really close to finding the best fit for us out of the many options that are available. Go to a store, try some on and then comparison shop online if you want to get the best deal.
What are the best tennis shoes for wide feet but also have great support?
Generally, KSwiss or Yonex Shoes are well suited for wider feet. I have pretty wide feet and I've had no issue with Asics or Nike Vapors either. Other players I know say Nike Cage are also good for wider feet. I would also throw the Adidas Barricade in there, given that the newer models have become more comfortable and wider.
What are other shoe brands good options that you haven't mentioned?
I am yet to try but I have heard great things about Lotto shoes, particularly their Stratosphere model. Also, KSwiss and New Balance have some interesting models that are getting good reviews.
I am looking for a shoe that is low to the ground but also has good cushioning, which models have these characteristics?
I'd pick Asics shoes, in general, they will give you plenty of cushioning whilst low to the ground. The Gel Court FF and Gel Solution 3. If for some reason you want other shoes, using an insert is also a great idea to add cushioning to a shoe.
Speed or Stability?
Most of the time there will be a compromise as light/fast shoes usually will not be as stable as a heavy shoe, but I find that the Asics Gel Resolution has best of both worlds and therefore is the best shoe to use. But if I had to choose one, it would be stability, because I think it is important to feel safe changing direction.
Which tennis shoes are best for weekend club player that are also cheap?
Barricade Team or look for shoes on sale, others in the tennis community recommend K-Swiss or Wilson shoes.
Got any Questions?
Feel free to contact me with any queries you have about this guide. I usually reply within 48 hours.