Best Mens Tennis Shoes
Choosing the best mens tennis shoes is a challenging task that requires research, thought, and time. It is arguably one of the most important decisions a tennis player can make after their racket.
Your shoes are meant for enhancing your game, not hindering it.
Therefore, choosing a shoe that helps provide desirable attributes is what to look out for. Specific features will be desirable for different players, but stability and comfort are the two crucial characteristics for men that should never be compromised.
This article will review 5 of the top mens tennis shoes currently on the market, discussing their pros and cons to give a good perspective on how to evaluate a shoe.
There will also be a guide on choosing the perfect pair of mens tennis shoes, discussing the main components and attributes that should be paid attention to.
Asics Court FF 2
The Asics Court FF2 is a shoe worn by NovacDjokovic, which alludes to this shoe’s success and high quality.
The shoe’s midsole boasts the Flytefoam technology, an advanced formulation that responds to the energy of jumps, helping add some bounce and spring.
Gel technology can also be found in the front and back of the shoe, which has the purpose of cushioning landings, so reaching up for killer smashes becomes a great possibility.
The insole uses Solyte technology, which helps improve the bounce-back, as well as helping the shoe last well and remain nicely durable.
Because comfort is important, Asics have fitted this model with a Mono-Sock fit that makes it easy to slide the shoe on and wear during a game.
To help feet to say fresh and cool during a game, a removable Ortholite sock liner is also a feature of this model, which helps with bounce and moisture management.
The Trusstic System technology under the mid-foot also gives the shoe sufficient stability levels. A tennis shoe must be durable, so there’s a tennis AHAR outsole, a highly resistant rubber compound that helps to minimize any wear on the parts of the shoe that frequently come into contact with the ground.
Boasting a sleek, contemporary design, the Court FF 2 model is an attractive silhouette abundant with features to help play great tennis.
- Good support: As support is the number one factor to look for in a decent pair of mens tennis shoes, the good level of support offered by the Asics Court FF2 is a real advantage for tennis male players.
Playing with supportive shoes will ensure no damage, injury, or discomfort will be caused to the feet during gameplay, as each part of the foot is being well held by the walls of the shoe.
- Sufficient stability: similar to support, stability is crucial because it means the foot won’t twist or bend in any uncomfortable ways. A sit is locked in place by the frame and technologies of the shoe, like the trademarked Trusstic System technology.
Stability will ensure the player can achieve their maximum playing potential because there will be no instability to hinder their performance.
- High traction: having an excellent grip on the surface of the court is a real plus because it prevents any sliding or slipping around, which can prevent the player from playing their best tennis.
- Plenty of cushioning: feeling comfortable is the key to a successful game of tennis, so the cushioning offered by this style is a real advantage.
The sole is springy, bouncy, and the Gel technology helps absorb any shock and keep the foot nicely cushioned and shielded from any impact.
- Thin laces: the lacing system on this shoe can be considered slightly fragile, as the laces are relatively thin.
However, laces can be changed and substituted, so this isn’t necessarily a catastrophic issue.
- Slight break-in: these shoes require a slight break-in, which can be a bit of a disadvantage for some men, especially if they don’t have the time to spend breaking shoes in.
However, this issue will depend on the foot shape and will vary according to the individual.
Adidas AdizeroUbersonic 4
These lightweight Adidas AdizeroUbersonic 4 shoes are a phenomenal way to keep light and quick on the tennis court, keeping time on your side.
Breathable and seamless, 360 knit mesh upper keeps feet comfortably locked during the entire match.
The shoes are reinforced internally to keep good levels of stability when performing rapid changes of direction and more extreme lateral movements.
At the bottom of the shoe, low-profile Lightstrike cushioning ensures a rapid, prepared response in an instant. This new version will mimic the low-to-the-court feel of the Ubersonic 2.
The nimble nature of this frame is further augmented by the Primeknit, sock-like feel, that has become the namesake of the Ubersonic range.
Most manufacturers are beginning to follow this silhouette, and for players with a narrower foot shape, the Ubersonic series will continue to offer plenty of support and comfort.
- Attractive design: for men who want a pair of shoes that perform well and look great, this is an excellent option.
Coming in bright colors and a sleek design, these shoes are hailed as one of the best-looking pairs a tennis player could wear.
- Good breathability: the 360 knit mesh upper is a highly breathable material that is a real advantage, as it allows for sufficient ventilation to prevent the feet from overheating and swelling.
- Unsuitable for men with a very high arch or forefoot pain: for players with a very high arch or who suffer from pain in their forefoot, this shoe may not be the ideal choice, as the narrow build and low-to-the-court feel could cause problems.
K-Swiss Hypercourt Express 2
The Hypercourt Express 2 is a light, comfortable and breathable shoe that offers a generous fit.
This makes it the ideal choice for various playing styles and levels.
No wonder this is K-Swiss best-selling shoe! The Durawrap Flex technology gives the shoe ample support that doesn’t require a break-in period, and the Surgelite midsole technology gives all-day comfort.
The silhouette also features a deep grooved herringbone outsole for ideal traction on clay court surfaces.
In terms of durability, the Hypercourt Express 2 boasts an Aosta 7.0 rubber outsole, which is particularly impressive considering the lighter design of these shoes.
The KSwissHypercourt Express 2 is a welcome update to its predecessor, offering improved stability while keeping the fantastic comfort of the original.
- Good traction: the level of traction on these shoes is solid, providing all the grab needed to make quick starts and stops.
The sole on these shoes also allows you to pivot and take small adjustment steps without the shoes getting hung up on the court surface. So for me, the amount of give from the outsoles was spot on.
- Lightweight: the material used for the upper on the Hypercourt Express 2 makes for a very lightweight shoe.
This is particularly ideal when needing to make rapid movements across the court. These shoes will prevent players from feeling like their shoes weigh them down, thus hindering their performance.
- Better stability and support: in comparison to previous versions of this model, the new and improved updated version gives much better stability and support
- Wider fit: This tennis shoe series has always been remarked as being more on the wider side.
Although this can work for some players, especially men with wider feet, this can mean that there is too much space in the shoe that leads the feet to feel less supported.
The extent of this downside will depend on the player’s foot type and size, so it is worth familiarizing yourself with your feet sitting on the narrower or wider side to decipher whether this would be a real issue or not.
- Lacks breathability: although this shoe is lovely and lightweight, it has been chastised for lacking durability, which keeps the feet cool and absorbs moisture that can cause swelling and discomfort.
The added Durawap flex added around the upper toe box hinders the ventilation in comparison to previous models, which can cause the feet to overhead more easily.
Nike Air Zoom Vapor X
Replacing the 9.5 tour, the Air Zoom Vapor X is part of a collection that has proved very popular among both men and women, which clearly demonstrates its superior quality.
Worn and endorsed by Roger Federer, it is clear this is an outstanding tennis shoe suitable for all levels of tennis playing, justifying the astronomical popularity of this silhouette.
The outsole is made with Nike’s extra durable rubber, which is often used in many of their designs, as this material withstands the abrasion of surfaces, including hard courts.
The thickness of the sole increases in places where there is high wear, and to keep the weight of the shoe low, the sole becomes less thick in areas of low wear.
The tread wrap on the edge of the sole provides that additional bit of grip during sudden changes in direction.
The midsole consists of Nike’s Air Zoom technology, combined with their unique Phylon EVA foam, to give responsive comfort. The shoe’s heel is home to the Air Zoom unit, a thin, lightweight device that gives comfort and a welcome low-to-the-ground feel, like previous variations.
The rest of the midsole is made from Phylon, which is a lightweight and responsive material that adds comfort throughout the entirety of the shoe.
A rigid shank is found in the shoe’s midfoot, which offers support and stability, particularly with lateral movements. Above the midsole, the Nike Air Zoom Vapor’s upper starts with a tough and rigid counter on the outside (lateral) and inside (medial) edges, giving a wonderfully lightweight stability.
- Lightweight: without any extra added bulk to the cushioning, this shoe is very lightweight, which allows for quicker movements across the courts.
The Dynamic Fit system, reimagined outsole, and low-to-the-ground Zoom Air unit, offer a brilliant, lightweight responsiveness and performance synonymous with the Vapor design.
- Comfortable: designed to move and flex with the foot, this shoe offers great breathability and cushioning, that makes for an all-round comfortable shoe.
The more the player wears them, the more comfortable they will become, as they will start to fit around the player’s foot.
Additionally, the Nike Air Zoom Vapor X comes with a removable insole for extra comfort between the foot and the midsole, which can easily be replaced if extra cushioning is required.
- Good stability levels: with the shank in the midfoot, stability is a great attribute offered by this design. The counter on both the lateral and medial edges also facilitates a stable shoe, so these two fundamental design attributes paired together makes for great, unparalleled stability.
Lacks durability: durability has been slightly forfeited with this design, in favor of a lightweight frame and enhanced flexibility.
However, there have been a few reports of this beinga prominent issue compared to some other brands and styles, so this disadvantage shouldn’t be taken as the be all and end all. There are other shoesoutthere that are considerably less durable than this one.
Asics Gel Resolution 8
The latest revolution of the Gel Resolution line was launched in 2019, with the Asics Gel Resolution 8 silhouette.
Packed full of advanced technology, paired with the ASICS Institute of Sports Science (ISS) human-centric science approach, the Gel Resolution 8 shoe has been designed for the modern baseline player. It offers players the edge needed to win long, powerful rallies right from the very back of the court.
The Gel Resolution 8 tennis shoe encourages a responsive stride with a close-to-the-court feel.
The upper is made with their Flexion Fit technology that provides form-fitting support.
Integrated with the Dynawall technology, which gives extra stability to the midfoot during lateral movements, this shoe is controlled.
A torque control feature has been added to the heel counter, which helps keep that feeling of being ‘locked in’ during rapid transitions.
Containing Gel technology cushioning in the heel and midfoot, this shoe reduces the shock impact from sudden stop-and-go movements around court.
In addition, the model also features an AHAR compound in the outsole that works together with the PGUARD toe protector to intensify traction on court and diminish the level of wear.
Asics have proudly confirmed that, according to testing at the Institute of Sport Science, the Gel Resolution 8 shoe delivers 7.2% more dynamic braking force than its previous model, the Gel Resolution 7, which enables a quicker recovery and sure-footed returns from the baseline.
- All-round performance: this shoe has been hailed as all-rounded, giving so much dynamism to the court.
They have seemed to live up to expectations. This demonstrates this shoe indeed does hit the spot for so many people.
- High levels of support and stability: the Dynawraptechnology on the lacing system allows for a snug, tight fit, which adds high levels of support around the whole of the foot.
The Dynawall technology solidifies the side of the shoe, which ensures the foot stays in place and does not bulge over the edge or move out of place, which was an issue brought up by customers of the previous model.
The inclusion of a torque control counter in the heel aims to give increased levels of stability, while the new full-length outsole design seeks to increase grip and help with braking, kicking off, and side-to-side movement.
- Well-cushioned: the Gel technology, paired with the Flytefoam, offers unparalleled levels of comfort to each part of the foot; no aspect has gone amiss.
Less comfortable than previous models: to pioneer, their way towards a more stable, quick shoe, Asics have forfeited slightly on comfort.
That’s not to say this shoe is necessarily uncomfortable because there is ample cushioning, but it isn’t as comfortable as the Gel Revolution 7, which can put some men off this new variation.
How to choose the best tennis shoes
Choosing a decent pair of tennis shoes that will enhance the player’s game may seem like a scary task, but in reality, it is simple.
When it boils down to the basics, the crucial point is that the feet are well-supported and feet comfortable in the shoe.
Attributes like flexibility and ventilation can be considered a luxury, but the basics are comfort and stability.
In this section, 11 different attributes of a tennis shoe and the player will be explored in detail, ranging from the comfort levels to the ankles as a critical area needing stability.
A game of tennis often involves abrupt, sharp movements by the player.
No matter the direction of the movement, be it lateral, forwards or backward, it’s vital that the shoes provide adequate stability to the foot. The stability of a shoe is rooted in various areas. For example, the sole’s width will give a good platform for balance, giving the shoe a nice, stable feel.
Moreover, the sole must be sufficiently rigid to withstand the rapid stop-and-start movements around the court.
Many styles will have a rigid plastic insert known as a shank towards the middle of the sole to increase stability and prevent twisting around.
Stability is also found in the upper, principally around the ankle area, and the security of the foot wrapped in the shoe. Ideally, the foot should feel ‘locked in place’, so it can’t move or slide around in the shoe.
Consequently, the lacing system will have a part to play in how stable the shoe really is.
Weight goes hand in hand with speed in tennis player’s minds.
Most men will feel that a lightweight shoe will enable them to be quicker on their feet, while heavier styles can weigh them down, feeling slower and with more drag.
Often, shoe manufacturers strike an appealing balance by forfeiting between weight, stability, and durability.
By taking material away from the shoe, of course, it will make the weight lighter. However, this typically creates a trade-off whereby the durability or stability of the shoe is compromised.
It’s essential to remember that changing the size of a tennis shoe will consequently change its weight.
The Adidas AdizeroUbersonic 4 reviewed in the previous section is a superb example of a lightweight shoe that is very popular among male players.
Stiffness is commonly associated with tennis shoes simply because of their structure. They are tasked with facilitating and supporting a diverse set of motions, including lateral movements, which are essential in a game of tennis.
With that being said, certain tennis shoes do take comfort a bit more seriously than others do.
Usually, shoes that feature a generous midsole are the ones to watch out for if comfort is required. However, the insole can also provide additional support.
There are various types of insoles out there, and they can be replaced with thicker variations to crank up the comfort levels a notch.
Hard courts tend to be the surface of choice for most players, so shoes must be adequately durable to endure the impact.
The bottom of the shoe is where the outsole is located. It is is considered the most important aspect that contributes to the durability of the shoe, as the outsole is constantly coming into contact with the court.
However, other parts of the shoeshouldn’t be ignored. The tennis shoe’s toe often comes into contact with the ground, and the forward upper often scrapes the court during a slide or lunge.
Each player has their own unique style of play, which can significantly impact where the wear on the shoe will be.
For example, some players tend to drag their foot during a serve, requiring a more durable toe cap.
Taking the time to assess where the wear is happening on a shoe can be a good indicator to the player of the type of shoe they will need to look for in the future.
Supporting the foot arch is vital to alleviate any pain that can occur there.
Different brands and silhouettes will give varying levels of support, so it’s helpful to analyze how they differ across the board.
Moderate to low-end arch support is the most common for many tennis, to be attractive to a larger scope of players.
However, if a player requires extra arch support, they can replace the insole with a custom insert that provides additional care.
Proper ventilation will be needed in hotter climates to keep the feet dry and prevent blisters, whereas it is not as much of a priority in cooler temperatures.
Also, it’s important to note how the color of the shoe can play a part in how hot the feet will get.
Light shades will repel the sun’s heat, whereas darker colors will absorb it, ending with the feet getting much warmer.
The Nike Air Zoom Vapor X reviewed above is a prime example of a shoe that sees ventilation as a priority by keeping weight to a minimum.
The type of socks worn will also affect the moisture levels, so it is useful to make sure ventilated socks are worn if necessary.
The traction of a shoe is directly linked to the outsole.
Most players desire grip on hard courts, however, a bit of give when stopping is also desirable.
The material, texture, and pattern of the outsole all play a part in the traction given when you move around the court.
The surface of the court will have an impact on traction too.
For instance, clay court tennis shoes have a herringbone tread or pattern on the bottom of the shoe, which helps clay to release naturally during movement on the court, while also providing consistency or predictability during sliding movements.
Shoe sizing is so important and can seem like the most obvious part to get right, but often men tend to under or overestimate the size they need.
Ideally, there should be roughly a half-inch or 13 millimeters between the tip of the big toe and the front of the shoe.
A good, quick way to test this is to use the width of a to check this gap. Sufficient room at the front of the shoe helps avoid jamming toes and prevents blisters while also allowing breathability and ventilation.
However, tennis shoes that are too big can cause the foot to move around in the shoe too much, which can cause blisters and problems with the calf muscles and the Achilles tendon.
Some people may even have one foot bigger than the other, and in this instance, the larger foot should be used as the basis for measuring that space at the front of the toes to make sure there is enough room.
Also, it’s essential to remember that some brands do not fit true to size, so it might be the case that sizing up or down will have to happen, especially if buying across various brands who all use different measurements.
For most men, standard or regular width shoes work well, but it’s important to wear the correct width to keep the feet in good shape for those who fall outside of this range.
The shoe width sizing system varies internationally, but most men’s shoes come in a standard D width, with 2E and 4E being the wide options.
When it comes to men’s tennis shoes, the majority are usually standard width, with some wide and extra-wide variations available.
Some men may find that the bones at the outer edge of the ankles (known as the bula and tibia) rub against the shoe’s upper edge, which can cause significant discomfort.
However, this isn’t the case for most players. When trying on a show for the first time, it’s important to keep an eye out for any rubbing around the ankle region, as this will only get worse when playing tennis and can cause some severe discomfort, pain, and even injury.
A correctly sized shoe should stop the heel of most players from coming out of the shoe. However, some silhouettes place extra importance on the heel design to keep the foot locked in place.
Needless to say, getting the right size is critical too.
Tennis Shoe Anatomy
The outermost layer of rubber at the base of a tennis shoe delivers continuing durability and traction.
Certain players prefer their shoes’ grip to be totally rock solid, while others prefer a bit of give when stopping or sliding.
Sitting between the outsole and the insole, the thickest part of the sole of a shoe is the midsole. This can be the main source of comfort.
Thinner midsoles will keep a player close to the court for a more responsive feel, while thicker midsoles aim to reduce impact shock.
The insole is the top layer of a shoe’s sole located above the midsole to give ample cushioning and protect the foot from the stitching attaching a shoe’s upper to the sole.
Most shoes have a removable insole. Insoles are manufactured with varying thicknesses, and some do a better job of diminishing sweat than others.
The shank is a rigid piece of material put towards the middle of a shoe’s midsole, to offer stability and prevent twisting.
Some shanks can be visible at the bottom of the shoe, while others are concealed in the midsole.
A tennis shoe’s upper is the material covering or wraps around the foot and attaches to the sole to construct the shoe.
Much of a shoe’s ventilation comes from the upper’s material and construction, with favorable fabrics being knitted.
The tongue is the piece of material that sits directly beneath the laces for added comfort and protection against the coarse laces.
Shoes have a bootie or sock design that comes without a distinct tongue to it. However, the purpose of that region of the shoe stays the same.
The collar is located at the back of the shoe and acts as a layer of cushion that wraps around the ankle to help keep the foot locked in place, protect the heel from the heel counter while adding extra levels of comfort.
The heel counter sits at the back of the shoe, with the stiffer material strengthening the heel and adding stability.
Usually, the shoe’s heel counter is invisible because manufacturers cleverly weave them into the shoe’s upper.
The toe guard is the section of the shoe’s outsole that extends towards the front of the shoe to provide a shield and extra durability for this high-impact zone.
Shoes that are built to be lightweight may provide limited toe guards.
The toe cap sits above the toe guard and extends to the sides at the front of a tennis shoe. This provides a layer of added protection and stability for the front of the silhouette.
Materials and levels of durability will vary across brands and styles.
The toe box is the part of a shoe that sits outside the toe box and surrounds the player’s toes. Naturally, men with feet on the wider side will tend to prefer a wider toe box.
As most shoes are standard size, some will have either tighter or more roomy toe boxes. If the front of the foot and toes have felt slightly cramped in the past, it would be best to seek out options that offer extra room towards the front of the shoe.
It’s a common feature for Adidas tennis shoes to have some additional room in the toe box.
Choosing according to the type of player
A baseline player mainly plays their game along the backline of the tennis court.
Lateral support is a necessary feature of a shoe for a baseline player, to allow for these side-to-side movements that characterize this type of play.
A highly durable sole is also vital due to this constant lateral movement.
A serve-and-volley player often charges towards the net during a match.
Their back foot will often be slid across the court during this type of serve. Therefore, a shoe that possesses a durable toecap, also called a reinforced toe, and medial inside the arch is also crucial.
It is abundantly clear that selecting the best pair of mens tennis shoes has an essential part to play in the success of a tennis match.
The 5 styles reviewed above indicate the type of best mens tennis shoe to look out for, highlighting the importance of evaluating the pros and cons of a silhouette to betteryour understanding.
The several components of a shoe, including the actual anatomy of a shoe, are also critical to comprehend and recognize. Having this wealth of information will enable you to make a more informed decision.