Best Shoes For Playing Tennis Men
If you are a tennis player, then you should know that the best shoes for playing tennis men’s are very important. Without the right pair of shoes, you can find yourself limping off the court with an injury.
If you want to play tennis in comfort and style, then you need to make sure that you pick out a shoe that is right for your needs. Here are some things to consider when choosing a pair of tennis shoes:
Make sure they fit well. This is probably the most important thing to look at when buying tennis shoes. You want to make sure that they fit comfortably around your foot. If they are too tight or too loose, then this could cause problems for your feet during play.
Make sure they will last through many games of tennis without falling apart or wearing down too fast. Tennis players tend to go through a lot of shoes because they get beat up so easily during play. Make sure that you get a pair of shoes that will last through many games before needing replaced so there is no wasted money on them having to be replaced often!
Best Shoes For Playing Tennis Men
Just like choosing the best tennis racquet, when it comes to finding the right tennis shoes, quite a few factors come into play.
Most players tend to have their brand allegiances and colour choice. However, 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, the size/shape of your foot and finally your budget.
While many recreational players will play in running trainers, you’ll soon realise how quickly they get worn down if you start to play with any frequency.
Proper 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 of cushioning, decent levels of shock absorption, and reinforced soles/toe guards.
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 in the quest for the perfect shoe, so I’ve been able to test (and continue to do so) a lot of what is on offer.
So while I haven’t tried every shoe from every manufacturer (I’m slowly working on it), I’ve tried most of the best sellers and a mix of lightweight ‘speed’ orientated shoes and heavier, more durable ones.
As a result, this guide will help you find a tennis shoe that provides a good comfort level and agility and won’t fall to pieces after two weeks. So let’s begin!
My Best All-Rounder For 2022
In a rush and want to get the best shoe without reading full reviews? The Gel Resolution 8 is my recommendation for most players as it’s such an excellent all-around shoe.
Asics Gel Resolution 8
The Gel Resolution is one of the most popular tennis shoes ever made. Several pros wear them like Gael Monfils, Johanna Konta, Fabio Fognini and Novak Djokovic before switching to the Asics Court FF Novak.
This latest version is the 8th iteration and sees Asics bring a new PU upper with mesh with a wider toe box. They have also enhanced the outsole of this shoe with improved pivot points. Their Dynawrap and Dynawall help lock in the foot and provide the highest level of support and stability.
What sets this shoe apart and makes it my top pick is its all-around performance. Along with top-notch support, stability and durability, you’re also getting a shoe that’s comfortable, well-cushioned and fast-feeling. A six-month outsole durability guarantee also tops things off nicely.
Players looking for a high-end tennis shoe that gives them everything they need can purchase the Gel Resolution 8 with utmost confidence.
What Makes a Good Tennis Shoe?
A good tennis shoe is not a one-size-fits-all thing (pun intended), as most players value some aspects of a shoe more than others. Some want ultra-lightweight to aid with foot speed; others prefer support to stop themselves rolling an ankle.
In general, though, most players are looking for a blend of the following properties:
All tennis shoe manufacturers are producing shoes that offer those characteristics. They usually have various product lines that offer all those things in equal amounts as an ‘all-round’ shoe.
Along with specific models that focus more on one area, e.g. durability, at the expense of another, e.g. speed (or lightweight).
An excellent example is the Gel Resolution line designed to be a durable all-rounder compared to the Solution Speed FF, a lightweight shoe. While they are similar looking, they are quite different in performance.
Most club players don’t have the luxury of an endorsement deal, and from questions, I receive via email, durability tends to be the leading thing players are looking for. With many are often willing to forego a little bit of comfort in exchange for not having to get their wallet out at more regular intervals. My picks below are in the main biased towards durability.
Finally, before we get going, here are some general observations about the mainstream brands; it is reasonably well accepted that Nike shoes, for the most part, tend to be very comfortable and slick looking but suffer when it comes to durability.
With Adidas, you historically had the Barricade line, which is heavy, super stable, supportive, and very durable, but this also made the 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 they are my tennis shoes of choice.
You then have some lesser-known and, in some cases, cheaper brands that produce excellent quality products like Lotto, Mizuno, K-Swiss, Babolat and Yonex.
All the shoes I have tested are all court versions as I play more often on hardcourts. Most of these models have clay court versions that perform the same. The only real change is the sole that has been adapted to the red stuff with that classic herringbone design rather than the mixed pattern usually seen on hard court shoes.
Tip: You Can Save Money By Picking Up Last Years Flagship Shoes
Most of the big brands update their designs on a yearly or bi-yearly basis without really changing the shoe’s performance.
That means the ‘older’ model can often be picked up at knockdown prices; for example, the Mizuno Exceed I recommend below is now at iteration 4. But the Exceed 3 is still a fantastic shoe and can be picked up at 40% cheaper than the 4, which is a bit of a no brainer.
From time to time, though, there are changes in construction. For example, I think the Gel Resolution 8 is a significant improvement on the Gel Resolution 7. It’s more flexible, has a roomier toe box and performs better. Would I still buy the seven if the price was right? Yes, but I do prefer the eight overall.
I’ll highlight which area each shoe performs well in and anywhere it’s not up to scratch in all my selections below. I’ll also say whether I think it’s significantly better than the model it’s replacing.
A Closer Look at My Favourite Tennis Shoes
Let’s take a look at each shoe in a bit more detail. Some of the picks have also been reviewed in full on a dedicated post, so if they’re on your shortlist and you want more information, click through to read the full review.
Asics Court FF 2 – My Top Pick For 2022
I reviewed the Asics Court FF 2 at the back end of 2019, and they quickly became my favourite tennis shoe, replacing a pair of Gel Resolution 7’s I’d been wearing long term.
They’re the shoe of choice for Novak Djokovic and feature a mono sock design that keeps the foot secure and aids how connected you feel to the court.
Not everyone liked the mono sock, but it offered a snug feeling, was easy to get on and gave a nice connected feel to the court despite them sitting higher than some lighter shoes.
The Court FF 2 are my top pick as they’re a great all-around shoe. Very comfortable, excellent durability, and required zero break-in time.
Are they significantly better than the original Court FF? I’d say slightly, I prefer them overall, but some players will choose the softer upper on the Court FF 1 shoe, and they’re worth picking up in the sale.
- Very comfortable
- Offer great support and stability
- Above-average durability
- Some players might prefer a softer / less plastic upper
|Weight||387g (Size US 9 / UK 8 / EU 42)|
Asics Gel Resolution 8 – On a Par with the Court FF 2
Second on my list and new for 2022 is the latest iteration of the Asics Gel Resolution line: The Gel Resolution 8.
This is Asics’s heavier, more durable model, and it performs exceptionally well. I reviewed the shoes at the start of the year and found them to be the best Gel Resolution shoes to date.
The overall combination of stability, durability, and comfort are, in my opinion, the best in any shoe on the market.
This particular shoe has been developed alongside Gael Monfils, one of the most athletic guys on tour. It seems to address some of the problems some people had with the Gel Resolution 7 model regarding comfort and toe box narrowness.
I like this model because comfort is not compromised despite being very stable and supportive. This does not usually happen with shoes with this durability level, so it’s a top choice for anyone who plays the game.
Is it considerably better than the Gel Resolution 7? I’d say yes; it’s more flexible on the upper and toe area, and the toe box width is improved.
I think they’re comfier too, but the Gel Resolution 7 hasn’t become a lousy shoe overnight, so, at a discounted price, you might get a better price: performance ratio.
- Very comfortable
- Offer great support and stability
- 6-month outsole warranty
- Not the most breathable shoe
|Weight||405g (Size US 9 / UK 8 / EU 42)|
Adidas adizero Ubersonic 4 – Best Lightweight Shoe
Brought back due to customer demand after Adidas launched the third iteration of their Ubersonic line, the Ubersonic 4’s are my favourite lightweight shoe and ideal for players who like a fast, light-footed feeling around the court.
I put these shoes third on my list as overall, I value the Gel Resolution 8’s durability more. However, many players think durable-oriented shoes leave them feeling sluggish around the court, especially on surfaces like clay that aren’t so harsh on the soles.
This isn’t the case with the Ubersonic 4’s, as speed and efficiency are excellent. Some players’ only drawback will be the sock fit and no tongue, making them harder to get for some foot types.
- Very lightweight
- Excellent comfort
- Good stability even though lightweight in construction
- Sock construction makes them harder to get on
- Some players complain of the laces being too thin (but easy enough to change)
|Weight||352g (Size US 9 / UK 8 / EU 42)|
Mizuno Wave Exceed Tour 4 – Lightweight with Decent Durability
Mizuno is a brand I associate more with Golf, but they’ve been making more of an appearance on the ATP Tour of late, sponsoring several players with clothing and footwear.
They are very popular with many doubles players, and Roberto Bautista Agut is probably their most significant singles player. He wears the Mizuno Wave Exceed Tour 3 AC, a quality shoe.
My recommendation here is the Exceed Tour 4 as it’s more readily available; however, if you can still find the Exceed 3 models in stock, get those instead as they will be much cheaper.
From speaking to a friend who has worn Mizuno tennis shoes for the last three years, the Exceed 3 and 4 offers a lot of support and a good amount of traction in a lightweight package. Durability is also above average in their testing. The best description I can give is they’re a slightly less beefy version of the Gel Resolution 7 or 8.
Finally, Mizuno’s consensus is that they run slightly oversized, so many players tend to go half a size down.
- Very lightweight
- Excellent comfort
- Good stability even though lightweight in construction
- Some players complain of heel slippage forcing them to lace ultra-tight
- They are quite stiff so do require a break-in
|Weight||326g (Size US 9 / UK 8 / EU 42)|
Babolat Jet Mach III – Great Comfort Straight Out of the Box
Despite being more famed for their tennis racquets and natural gut strings widely used on the ATP and WTA Tours, Babolat also has a range of good quality tennis shoes.
One of my favourites is the Babolat Jet Mach III, as they’re light but still offer excellent levels of support thanks to the aramid and polyamide in the upper.
They’re also one of the most comfortable shoes on the market when fresh out of the box and don’t have a break-in period.
Are they far better than the Jet Mach II? They offer a similar performance to the previous model but are slightly more comfortable and somewhat more durable, thanks to the improved Michelin DIN20 outsole.
Compared to the Jet Mach II, Babolat has made some decent improvements to its durability. The Jet Mach II were on a par with other speed/performance-orientated shoes; now, I’d rate them above average.
On the flip side, they are slightly less speedy than the Jet Mach II, so for players who like that fleet of foot feeling from the light shoes, the Jet Mach II is a better choice.
Finally, be aware that Babolat shoes can run small, and most customers and retailers recommend going half a size up to compensate.
- Great for hard courts
- Ample support
- Improved cushioning over the Jet Mach II
- Run a bit small, so not suitable for wide feet. Go a half or a full size up.
- No durability guarantee like other brands
|Weight||343g (Size US 10.5 / UK 9.5 / EU 44)|
Yonex Power Cushion Eclipsion 3
The Power Cushion Eclipsion 3 are the shoes of choice for Stan Wawrinka and Casper Ruud, and they’re Yonex’s flagship shoe for support, stability, and durability.
One of my hitting partners is a long time wearer of Yonex shoes and thinks the Eclipsion live up to the support and stability claims but aren’t the most durable.
The shoe itself has a Power Graphite Drive plate that gives a lot of support and stability, but that also gives the shoes a reasonably rigid, narrow fit, which means they need quite a lot of break-in time.
Traction is also impressive on the Eclipsion, thanks to the multi-directional herringbone pattern. Still, durability isn’t the best and is subpar compared to some of the other shoes in this guide, so while I rate the shoe, they need replacing more often than Asics ones.
- Great traction
- Stiff upper offers good stability
- One of the best looking shoes out there
- Requires quite a lot of break-in
- Not the most durable
|Weight||422g (Size US 10.5 / UK 9.5 / EU 44)|
Asics Solution Speed FF 2
New to the list as of March 2021 is the Asics Solution Speed FF 2, the revamped version of the previous Solution Speed FF shoe.
The first FF line didn’t receive excellent feedback when it hit the market. However, the second generation has righted those wrongs, and Asics have produced a top-quality lightweight tennis shoe.
Fans of the pre FF Solution Speed line will definitely like this model, and it’s one of the best ‘speed’ orientated shoes on the market.
It’s, of course, both light and comfy as you’d expect, but in my testing, the most significant plus point was the traction. The sole design just seems to grip when you need it to.
The only negative is the durability, but that’s the sacrifice you have to make when you are after the lighter tennis shoes.
- Great traction
- Slick design
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Not the most durable
|Weight||379g (Size US 11 / UK 10.5 / EU 44)|
Diadora Speed B.Icon
As a long time fan of the Diadora Blueshield 5, when the Italian brand launched the Speed B.Icon as their most performance orientated tennis shoe to date I was keen to try it out.
As you can see, it’s made my best-of list and after testing and I believe this shoe is rather close to toppling Asics as my preferred tennis footwear.
The Speed B.Icon is a performance and streamlined tennis shoe built more for speed and it has a pretty interesting design.
The most eye-catching thing about the design is the external TPU stabiliser where the lace loops through. I thought that was purely an aesthetics thing at first but it is there to help provide lateral control and stability, without needing to put stiffer plastic inside the shoe which can make them stiff and uncomfortable.
I also like how the lace eyelets let the laces come over the shoe to lock in your heel and ankle so they offer plenty of stability and support.
The soles are also an interesting design, while it’s quite a broad grip area, there’s a breakpoint under the big toe that allow you to bend in the shoe when pivoting quickly.
This tapered channel seems to do a good job of bending more on the outside when you push from the outer part of your foot but staying firmer when pivoting under your big toe joint.
In terms of a break-in period, there’s a small one around the forefoot area, but the foam is super soft from the outset so it will likely depend on your foot shape. I was also impressed at the arch support on offer in a ‘speed’ shoe of this nature.
The best way for me to sum up the Speed B.Icon is that it’s a ‘minimalist’ type speed shoe but feels like a much more supportive shoe.
Overall I am a big fan of the lateral stability they have and my ability to push off when defending while still feeling speedy makes them a really great package.
I think for hardcore sliders and toe draggers, then there is quite a bit of exposed foam on the shoes that might see you burn through it quite quickly. I’m not a slider so it’s not an issue for me but it’s something to be aware of.
The overall design and colours aren’t the most attractive either, but that’s always been the case with Diadora shoes in my opinion. Function trumps aesthetics on tennis gear though.
- A great all-rounder that mixes speed, support and stability without making any compromises
- Good arch support for a shoe in this class
- Continuous tread on the sole
- Some exposed midsole foam
- Not the best looking shoe
|Weight||408g (Size US 10.5 / UK 9.5 / EU 44)|
KSwiss Ultrashot 3
Like the Asics Gel Resolution 8 shoes and Babolat Propulse Fury, KSwiss also offers a 6-month outsole warranty on their Ultrashot line.
The Ultrashot shoes are built in a very durable fashion thanks to the DragGuard and the Aosta 7.0 high-density rubber outsole, providing a durable shoe.
That makes the shoes quite heavy, but once on, they feel a bit lighter than their weight on the scales would suggest. So for players looking for a stable and locked-in feeling, the Ultrashots 3’s are great shoes.
One downside would be the shoes’ breathability, but that’s common across most tennis shoes focused on durability. Although the sock liner does an excellent job with moisture, it will need to dry off after a few hours of playing on a hot day.
Are these a significant improvement over the original Ultrashot and Ultrashot 2’s? KSwiss has undoubtedly fixed the issue many players discovered with the small tongue lacking padding on the originals, and I found them more stable than the Ultra Shot 2.
- Great durability
- Good laces
- Not that breathable
- Quite weighty
|Weight||433g (Size US 10.5 / UK 10 / EU 44)|
New Balance Lav Fresh Foam 2
The Lav is New Balance’s premium tennis shoe and is pretty slick looking with a complete bootie design and a knit/stitched upper, which helps with breathability and flexibility.
The key feature of the Lav is comfort, thanks to the fresh foam midsole, which provides a lot of cushioning. Couple that with the bootie construction, and you still get low to a ground feel.
Interestingly, the shoes are pretty heavy when you drop them on the scales, but they don’ feel too cumbersome once on. That’s likely due to the foam, which gives you a feeling of light footedness.
The Lav’s sole is a one-piece design that would make you think they’re not flexible like some of the Asics shoes in the midfoot, but they aren’t stiff and offer similar flex levels.
Despite the weight, the area the shoes disappoint is durability, but like some of the others in this list, New Balance does offer a 6-month outsole warranty that provides some peace of mind.
- The lightweight feel and comfortable
- Low to the ground feeling
- No break-in required
- Can run narrow for some
- Subpar durability
|Weight||420g (Size US 9 / UK 8 / EU 42)|
Other Worthy Contenders
The following tennis shoes are ones I have not yet tested but have seen score well in playtests and receive positive feedback on the various forums like Reddit, Talktennis, Facebook etc.
- adidas SoleCourt Primeblue
- New Balance 996v4
- Wilson Rush Pro 2.5
- Lotto Mirage 100 SPD
- KSwiss Hypercourt Supereme
Why No Nike Shoes on the List?
In previous years, my top 10 tennis shoe list has always featured at least one pair of Nike tennis shoes, most recently the Nike Air Zoom Vapor X, which I liked.
I was a long time wearer of the Nike Vapor 9.5. Primarily for the slick-looking design as I think they’re one of the best looking shoes on the market.
However, neither of those shoes are available anymore, and they have been replaced by the Air Zoom Vapor Pro, which came out at the start of 2021.
I got a pair to review, but I am not a massive fan of the new Vapor Pro a few weeks in. The price: performance isn’t great, and I decided to remove it from the list and replace it with the Asics Solution Speed FF 2, which is a better buy.
I get the feeling Nike has lost its way with tennis shoes over recent years, and it doesn’t seem to be a massive area of focus. They definitely make stylish tennis footwear, but durability seems to decrease year on year, yet the price only goes upwards, so I can’t recommend them.
If you can stomach the durability, then the Vapor Pro are lightweight and give an excellent low to the ground feel, but you’ll need to replace them often.
What About The Best Tennis Shoes For Women?
This article primarily focuses on men’s tennis shoes as those are the models I have tested. However, most of my picks have a women’s version, which is identical in performance, so the selections also apply to the ladies.
However, I haven’t included a couple of shoes that perform well for the girls here, so a complete guide is coming soon.
So here are my top tennis shoe picks for 2022; I hope you found it helpful regardless of what level of the game you play.
I tried to highlight some of the general quirks or tendencies that brands have in terms of having two different kinds of models, the heavier, more stable, supportive, and more durable one and the lighter, faster, more comfortable ones but less durable version.
I hope you picked up how all of the different brands have common features regardless of what marketing spin they put on it.