Tennis shoes are as important as a racquet. How to choose shoes for playing tennis?
First of all, beginners should acknowledge that tennis isn’t only based on correct arms’ movement while hitting but also on good footwork. This is often neglected – even by tennis coaches – what causes that people who have just started playing tennis are often unaware of that. To see how much depends on footwork and court coverage, you can just watch some matches between the best professional players on ATP tour.
Tennis shoes: what to choose and how do they differ from “regular” trainers?
Let’s go back to our main topic that is tennis shoes. Beginners tend to make a fundamental mistake – they wear sport shoes which aren’t suitable for playing tennis. A common misconception states that any type of sport shoes is proper for a game. The main feature of tennis shoes is however a good foot stabilization. It is very important because during a game players make a lot of steps, sometimes some slides too, which makes feet injury-prone. Tennis shoes decrease the danger of sustaining injuries.
Before you start looking for tennis shoes, you should answer a few questions:
- how often do I play (it’s best to determine a weekly average),
- what type of surface do I play on,
- what is my level of playing.
All of these factors have a deciding influence on choosing tennis shoes. So called recreational tennis players, who enter the court once in a while and don’t play competitively, can choose basic models (giving average foot stabilization). Prices of such shoes produced by well-known companies such as: Nike, Adidas, Babolat, Asics, Joma or Head start at about 50 euros. Tennis shoes for less advanced players who practice regularly (once or twice a week) cost about 10-20 euros more. Yet they give better foot stabilization and are usually more durable. Models of this type can be also chosen by recreational players mentioned before.
Players on a higher level and those who practice few times a week should choose higher models, whose prices start at about 80 euros. In this case you should pay particular attention to stabilization and amortization, as well as a sole width, which should ensure the best traction when moving on a court.
Shoes for playing tennis: surface matters
When choosing tennis shoes for adults, as well as for children, it is very important to take into consideration the surface on which they will be used. In case of clay courts you should opt for shoes dedicated particularly for this surface. A special sole structure called a “herringbone” guarantees better adhesion and flexibility. If you play on other surfaces or change them quite often, especially when your level of playing is not advanced, you should choose “all court” shoes.
When it comes to size, one of the rules of choosing trainers recommends to buy shoes bigger by half a size than those worn every day. During physical effort our feet often swell, so the size fitting in a shop may turn out to be too tight at the court.