The Best Men's Tennis Shoes: A Shot Above the Rest

man wearing tennis shoes

Mom may have sent me to summer tennis camp (think forced sprints in southern heat), but my love for tennis came later in life—on the unforgiving, crusty courts of deep Brooklyn. Yeah, I was an avid runner, but it turns out tennis offers a different kind of intense workout. And you can bet I tried using my running shoes, at first. As you can imagine, they wore out quickly and only luck prevented a sprained ankle. So, I realized that similar to needing the right racquet, you also need a pair of the best men’s tennis shoes for proper—and safe—play.

Real tennis shoes hug your feet, grip the asphalt and support those side steps and back steps and steps you didn't even intend. They're often still a bit chunky, but modern tennis shoes are now more comfortable (some even have memory foam), durable and look good too (sometimes). As I learned the hard way, the shoes themselves won't give you explosive speed (like these workouts will), but they're essential to protecting your feet as you pounce, or fumble, from serves to volleys and back again.

To help you with your search, we researched the best men’s tennis shoes. Keep reading to find the proper pair for both on and off the court.

Why Trust Us?'s editorial team relies on the knowledge and experience of fitness and wellness experts including competitive athletes, coaches, physical therapists, nutritionists, and certified trainers. This helps us ensure the products we feature are of the highest standard. Collectively, the team has spent countless hours researching equipment, gear, and recovery tools in order to create the most accurate, authentic content for our readers. Customer satisfaction is also a key part of our review process, which is why we only feature products that are highly rated.

The Best Men's Tennis Shoes - Our Top Picks

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Best Overall Men's Tennis Shoes - Asics Gel-Resolution 8

Asics Gel-Resolution 8


  • Weight: 14.6 oz.
  • Color options: 10


The Asics Gel Resolution has been a staple with club players and pros alike. It must be its balance of agility and stability combined with its generous fit that seems to accommodate most feet from narrow to wide; the memory foam heel doesn't hurt. The PU outer won't fray and keeps dirt (and clay) at bay.

It's close enough to the court to give you the response you want for intuitive footwork while adding cushioning in the right places, not only for softer pop-offs and landings but also for durability, a factor Asics stands behind with their six-month outsole guarantee. And while these aren’t the lightest tennis shoes on the market, this pair is a powerhouse.

What We Like

  • Balances agility with durability
  • 6-month outsole durability guarantee
  • Fantastic lock-down

What We Don't Like

  • On the pricier side
  • More bulk than you'd need for grass and clay

BUY: Asics Gel-Resolution 8

Best Budget Men's Tennis Shoes - Reebok Club C 85 Vintage Shoes

Reebok Club C 85 Vintage Shoes


  • Weight: About 12 oz.
  • Color options: 6


The Reebok Club C, is an actual tennis shoe. You're kidding, right? Well, you said you were on a budget. But let me tell you; back in the 80s and 90s no one would have blinked to see you on the court sporting these. And they do live up to their original credo as on-court shoes: They have a relatively thick and stiff outsole for support and durability, enough padding to cushion your foot and lock you in, and enough height to support your ankles. Plus, the leather upper may not be that breathable but it'll keep dirt and clay away and last just long enough to afford your next pair.

What We Like

  • Thick, stiff outsole
  • Long, padded tongue
  • Durable leather upper
  • Timeless style

What We Don't Like

  • Lacks ample ankle or arch support
  • Not very breathable

BUY: Reebok Club C 85 Vintage Shoes

Most Comfortable Men's Tennis Shoes - adidas Barricade

Adidas Barricade Tennis Shoes


  • Weight: 14.6 oz.
  • Color options: 4


When it comes to tennis shoes, Asics are known to comfortably fit a wide variety of feet. In that regard, the Barricades don't disappoint. Slip into the sock-like tongue and their forward slanted heel hugs you, leaving you locked in without feeling clunky. The midsole shank adds stability and spring without adding weight. And the tightly knit textile upper molds to your foot and breathes better than the PU plastic that's in style with many tennis shoes these days.

What We Like

  • Sock-like tongue and lacing
  • Midfoot shank adds spring and stability
  • Slanted heel gives good lockdown

What We Don't Like

  • Won't suit the light-footed players out there
  • The color options are loud

BUY: adidas Barricade

Best Men's Tennis Shoes for Wide Feet - K-Swiss Men's Hypercourt Express 2 Tennis Shoe

K-Swiss Men's Hypercourt Express 2 Tennis Shoe


  • Weight: 13 oz.
  • Color options: 8


Designed to be an all-court shoe, K-Swiss' best-seller, the Hypercourt Express 2 is a relatively light, breathable, and roomy shoe that also comes in 2E width. What's not to love? The Durawrap Flex gives the shoe support without the typical break-in period and I think the molded rubber outsole is among the most durable on the market. At its mid-tier pricing, there's just no risk in giving these a try on the court.

What We Like

  • Comes in 2E
  • Relatively light
  • Durable outsole
  • Great price

What We Don't Like

  • Some users report issues with sizing and side support

BUY: K-Swiss Men's Hypercourt Express 2 Tennis Shoe

Best Men's Tennis Shoes for High Arches - New Balance Fresh Foam Lav 2

New Balance Fresh Foam Lav 2


  • Weight: 14.4 oz.
  • Color options: 3


The Lav 2 is New Balance's take on the tennis shoe with a modern feel thanks to its bootie design and knitted upper. The Fresh Foam really does feel fresh with every serve and pounce and makes the shoe feel lighter than it is. But the one-piece outsole is a throwback to older times; it's stiff enough to hold up to lateral shifts. This shoe is durable enough to stand up to court wear while remaining low to the ground. The insole has arch support built in, but you can also easily replace it with orthotic ones.

What We Like

  • Sock-like comfort
  • Close to court feeling
  • Cushioning that stays cushy

What We Don't Like

  • Not as durable as the best
  • Runs a bit narrow

BUY: New Balance Fresh Foam Lav 2

Best Lightweight Men's Tennis Shoes - adidas Adizero Ubersonic 4 Tennis Shoes

Adidas Adizero Ubersonic 4 Tennis Shoes


  • Weight: 13.5 oz.
  • Color options: 8


If you get to a level I've never achieved (like you land most of your shots), then speed on the court makes a big difference. For some, that means shaving off some weight in their shoes to be fleet-footed from serve to volley to the mad scramble back for the lob. I think that the Ubersonic does so without sacrificing too much stability. The stretchy upper and sock-like cinch give these a reassuring lockdown. For all of this, they're pretty affordable.

What We Like

  • Lightweight design
  • Affordable
  • Responsive

What We Don't Like

  • Not the most durable
  • Sacrifices a bit of stability

BUY: adidas Adizero Ubersonic 4 Tennis Shoes

Best Men's Tennis Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis - Babolat Men's SFX 3

Babolat Men's SFX 3


  • Weight: 13.9 oz.
  • Color options: 5


Plantar fasciitis is the painful condition where tissue connecting the heel to the toes gets inflamed making even simple footwork unbearable. The Babolat SFX 3 gives you what you need to prevent it or recover with its well-cushioned heel, thick outsole, and extra padding. Designed with rubber and tube compression under the heel, you'll get ample shock absorption. It's among the best-fitting tennis shoes that should suit narrow, wide, and high-arched players alike. Its wider nature also makes it easier to fit any inserts.

What We Like

  • Well-cushioned heel
  • Not too heavy
  • Roomier shoe

What We Don't Like

  • Could be more supportive, laterally
  • Not quite as stiff as we'd like

BUY: Babolat Men's SFX 3

Most Stabilizing Men's Tennis Shoes - Nike Men's NikeCourt Air Zoom Vapor Cage 4 Rafa Tennis Shoes

Nike Men's NikeCourt Air Zoom Vapor Cage 4 Rafa Tennis Shoes


  • Weight: 15.6 oz.
  • Color options: 5


The Vapor Cage 4 is the heaviest shoe on our list but if rugged support is what you're after, then you may just take after Spain's clay master. In Nike's own words, the updated design "puts flexible, durable materials exactly where they're needed most." Their reinforced mesh outer has a flexible but thin overlay that keeps clay away without being stiff. The outsole wraps over the midsole on the inner foot for durability. And the Zoom Air unit provides responsive cushioning. You'll feel like you can switch directions, plant your feet and change your mind without risking injury. And you know Rafa would know a thing or two about those.

What We Like

  • Sturdy design
  • Zoom Air cushioning
  • Thick heel padding

What We Don't Like

  • Heavy
  • Pricey

BUY: Nike Men's NikeCourt Air Zoom Vapor Cage 4 Rafa

What to Consider When Buying Men's Tennis Shoes


Because most tennis is played on hard courts these days, we've focused our picks more on hard-court or multi-surface tennis shoes. Designed to live up to the demands of hard cement, side-to-side pivots and unforgiving stops, they generally have thicker, rubber outsoles, more rigidity, and better heel support in order to protect the ankles.

As grass and clay tend to be softer and more forgiving, shoes catering to these surfaces tend to be softer and more forgiving, too. If you're so lucky to frequent those courts, you may decide to buy a dedicated pair since they tend to be lighter and will help you skid around with ease.

The upside is that hard-court shoes work well on all surfaces and are not the only way around, so if you were to buy one pair, these would be the ones to get.


If, like me, you got tennis fever after a long absence and started playing casually in running shoes then you know how much durability matters; within the month, Brooklyn's hard, cracked courts chewed them up. That's why proper tennis shoes tend to be chunkier. It's pretty simple; there's just more rubber to chew through. And more rubber at key wear spots. Their uppers, too, tend to be more robust. Unlike those "flyknit" running shoes, most tennis shoes won't fray easily up top.


I don't think everyone knows just how demanding tennis can be on your legs and ankles; it's probably on par with basketball with lateral loads, stops, and starts. That's why tennis shoes are much like basketball shoes, only without the high top. They may look chunky but that's often what it takes to hug your heels as you let off the serve, race to the net, and split stop for the finishing volley. Unlike running shoes, they have thicker outsoles with more lateral support inside and out. Some even rock a midsole plate. For all this, expect them to be a bit heavier than your latest running shoe.


The best test of a tennis shoe's fit turns out to be comfort: Put them through their paces on the court and, given time to get accustomed, your feet should feel at home. No, they won't be comfy like your favorite pair of slippers, but your toes should have just enough room to wiggle without swimming, your heels snug without painful soreness. And the lacing should lock you in so the shoe feels like an extension of your foot without constricting blood flow. If you're wide-footed, be sure to seek out brands or sizes that cater to that.

FAQs About Tennis Shoes

What is a hard-court tennis shoe?

As hard courts are the most common surface, hard court tennis shoes are the most common sneaker, designed to live up to the demands of rubber to road, side-to-side pivots and unforgiving stops. They generally have thicker, rubber outsoles, more rigidity, and better heel support in order to protect the ankles. You'll also notice the sole extends well above the toes to prevent wear and tear from dragging your feet.

We won't detail the qualities of shoes meant for grass and clay but if you buy just one pair, a hard court shoe can do fine on all surfaces whereas that's not true the other way around.

What type of shoes do tennis players wear?

Tennis players wear specifically designed tennis shoes. And while many sneakers are casually called "tennis shoes", modern tennis shoes are designed with details that complement the sport's back-and-forth movements while providing durability and support in the right areas.

Is it OK to play tennis in running shoes?

While they make work once in a while, it's not recommended to play tennis running shoes. As a tennis player and runner myself, I can tell you that road running shoes tend to be more flexible and lightweight, qualities that lend themselves well to predictable footfalls but not to tennis, where you need more lateral support and durability. You'll risk injury playing tennis in your running shoes, and they'll be certain to wear out faster.

About the Author

Marco Frey

Marco is a writer and avid runner. He’s passionate about health, wellness, and the benefits of regular exercise.

See More from Marco

Marco is a writer and avid runner. He’s passionate about health, wellness, and the benefits of regular exercise.

See More from Marco

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