Selecting a Tennis Shoe Based on Playing Surface
Based off of our unique builds, foot types, and general preferences, we all have certain features that we look for in a shoe. Larger and taller players may need additional support, while smaller players might gravitate toward something lighter weight. Similarly, some people prefer a wide shoe, and others prefer a narrow shoe. Once all of these factors have been taken into account, tennis players in particular must then consider their playing surface.
Hard Surface Courts
“Soft” or “padded” concrete is the most frequently played on surface in tennis; unfortunately, it can also be the most challenging on a player’s foot. There are a variety of reasons for this, and hard-court shoes take each of them into account. For example, because of the lack of give on this type of surface, shoes must have excellent cushioning. They must also provide suitable support because of the particularly sharp changes in direction needed. Finally, the tread patterns and outsole materials used must be specifically selected for optimal performance on hard surfaces.
Clay courts are another beast entirely, which is why companies provide shoes that are specially designed to meet these unique challenges. Clay courts allow a sort of slide when players change directions. As a result, clay court tennis shoes can be a little bit more lax with their lateral support. That being said, the fine grains of dirt associated with clay surfaces can get into your shoes and bother your feet, which is why many clay court shoes have a more solid upper (typically composed of leather or a synthetic material). As can be seen with the Diadora S Blueshield models, a separate tread pattern can be beneficial.
For More on Tennis Shoes
To learn more about tennis shoes, we encourage you to check out some of our other informational blogs: