The Top Tennis Shoes for Professionals

Sports athlete picking up ball with tennis racket. Female player using a technique with her running shoes to pick up during game on blue hard court. Closeup of feet, neon yellow fashion footwear.

Key Points

  • Tennis is a versatile sport that requires a lot of different movements. Players need shoes that provide optimal support and comfort.

  • Aside from fit and comfort, consider playing style and surfaces when selecting tennis shoes.

  • Try different styles from different brands to find shoes that suit your specific needs.

Tennis is a sport that requires a tremendous amount of movement. From lunging forward, shuffling backward, sliding sideways, and jumping upwards, players need quick reflexes and optimal endurance to succeed. Choosing the right equipment to play in becomes a strategy in and of itself. Besides the racquet you choose to battle with, tennis shoes are the most essential item you'll use during play.

Esquire writer Gaby Keiderling says, "With all the quick side-to-side motions, you want a shoe that will give you the support to fly around the court. For hitting groundstrokes and volleys, the shoe should give you a solid foundation to plant your feet and follow through. And when it comes to serving, you want as much stability as you can get."

Those new to tennis should avoid reaching for running shoes. They're adequate enough to support a runner while continuously moving forward but don't necessarily have the chops to handle the versatility of court life. Tennis players require shoes that provide a full range of motion.

You've all seen Novak Djokovic dominate the competition with a flurry of moves his contemporaries are still working to figure out. Need proof? His performance at the 2023 US Open is one example of what masterful maneuvering looks like. Djokovic's shoes enable him to outlast and outpace everyone in his way.

Finding the right tennis shoes can be tricky. With so many styles to choose from, selecting a pair that suits your playing style and unique foot shape is no easy feat. Here's a look at some of the best tennis shoes to elevate your game.

Court Air Zoom Vapor 11

by Nike

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NikeCourt Air Zoom Vapor 11

Nike is a trusted name in all facets of sports. Whether running, basketball, football, soccer, or tennis, you'll likely find Swoosh shoes on every "Best of" list. The sportswear brand's NikeCourt Air Zoom Vapor 11 makes it easy to see why. Behind its striking facade lies a shoe that's every bit as functional as it is fashionable. Nike designs a shoe lower to the court, allowing for quick movements and explosive cuts.

The reinforced mesh uppers keep your feet cool but are supportive enough to keep the forefoot locked in place. A cushiony midsole offers ample support without adding excessive weight. The shoes really make their mark with the cutting-edge outsole. Nike's new Claybreaker technology provides enhanced traction, ideal for sliding on clay.

Men's Hypercourt Express 2

by K-Swiss

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K-Swiss Hypercourt Express 2

There are many things K-Swiss excels at, one of which is progressive tennis apparel. K-Swiss has been perfecting tennis shoes for over 50 years, constantly integrating new technologies to give players a leg up. The K-Swiss Hypercourt Express 2 is a testament to all that hard work. Although the Hypercourt series is the brand's best-selling tennis shoes to date, K-Swiss found ways to elevate its functionality even higher.

By adding Surgelite midsole technology and a Durawrap Flex structure, the shoe maintains its trademark breathability and protective fit but in an overall lighter package. The interior spotlights a molded OrthoLite x40 sock liner, ensuring the forefoot remains secure.

Fresh Foam X Lav V2

by New Balance

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New Balance Fresh Foam X Lav V2

New Balance's impressive run to the top continues. The brand isn't new to sportswear, but it continues to form partnerships with tastemakers in other creative disciplines to increase its exposure in new ways. Collaborations with Kawhi Leonard for his basketball shoe line and Aime Leon Dore for its street-ready NB550 silhouette put the world on notice. New Balance does the same for tennis with its Fresh Foam X Lav V2.

The shoe's lightweight and breathable FitWeave upper is offset by a FRESH FOAMx midsole that delivers a plushness underfoot where players need it most. Down below is a full-length Ndurance outsole, providing superior traction and durability. Other key features include a toe drag tip and an external heel counter, which keep the foot locked in when moving around.

Men's Barricade Tennis Shoe

by Adidas 

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02/18/2024 04:28 am GMT

adidas Barricade

Is it any surprise to see adidas grace this list? Of course not. adidas is one of the best at designing shoes with a specific function in mind. Whether running, soccer, basketball, or tennis, the brand applies specific technologies to its shoes by taking the time to understand the intricacies of each game. The adidas Barricade is its answer for tennis.

The shoe's soft yet sturdy synthetic upper features an intuitive lacing system that creates a responsive fit depending on your foot shape. A bounce-enabled midsole with Geofit Sensepods extends comfort and stability, while its Adiwear outsole ensures players have adequate traction to move around freely.

Men’s Court FlyteFoam 3 Novak


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02/18/2024 04:39 am GMT

Asics Court FF Novak

Asics is enjoying a similar rise to prominence as New Balance. Despite being around since 1950, Asics has been thrust into the mainstream spotlight with a string of stylish releases streetwear fans are going wild for. Don't let that fool you into thinking its sports shoes aren't up to snuff, though. Case and point being the Novak Djokovic-approved Asics Court FF Novak.

The shoe's mesh upper provides an excellent MONO-SOCK liner base, improving stability and security. However, as eye-catching as the exterior is, the shoe spotlights a host of technological upgrades that fortify Djokovic's all-around game. For example, its TWISTRUSS system, AHARPLUS™ rubber outsole, and PGUARD structure help with durability, quickness, impact absorption, and comfort.

SFX 3 All Court Mens Tennis Shoe

by Babolat

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02/18/2024 05:02 am GMT

Babolat SFX 3

The Babolat name may not come with all the glitz and glamor of other athletic wear titans, but its expertise in all things tennis is enough to warrant a spot on this list. The Babolat SFX 3 is a prime example of how to apply a strategic focus toward a specific goal.

The single-layer mesh upper, while lightweight and breathable, features a Matryx overlay insert on the forefoot to provide extra support for lateral movements. Below is an OrthoLite insole that hugs the foot's shape, while the Thermo Plastic Rubber tube compression system beneath the heel offers exceptional shock absorption. Babolat worked with tire experts at Michelin to craft an outsole that's as resistant as it is cozy.

Men’s Enforce Tour AC Tennis Shoe

by Mizuno

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Mizuno Wave Enforce Tour

Despite finding a place among art lovers (as in its collaboration with Hajime Sorayama) and hardcore sneakerheads (its partnership with Highsnobiety), Mizuno is a specialized niche brand that offers forward-thinking sports apparel. Its Wave Enforce Tour shoes are one of many silhouettes in its vast tennis archive.

Those who like to trade power shots along the baseline would do well to look at this shoe. The ultra-lightweight CPU-mesh upper compliments a midsole most ideal for heavy hitters. Mizuno's signature Energy Core and Wave technology systems combine to deliver exceptional energy return with plush cushioning. Further down is an outrigger outsole that properly emphasizes rotational movement.

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Many feel Roger Federer is the greatest player to ever grace a professional tennis court. A shoe that features the legend's personal stamp of approval is a no-brainer. Although many look at On as experts in the running field, and rightfully so, the brand continues to make great strides in tennis.

The baseline inspiration for the shoe stems from Federer's physical anatomy; how's that for innovation? THE ROGER Pro got its start with a 3D scan of his foot and, from there, evolved using sensory feedback. Engineered mesh along the top serves up breathability and support while the midfoot cage locks the foot securely in place. The sole uses high-performance foam for added stability with ample energy return from the carbon fiber Speedboard system.

Choosing What Works Best for You

There are many variables to consider when picking the right tennis shoes. Aside from foot shape, playing style, and ground surface, what feels comfortable for one player may not carry the same value for another. Each brand emphasizes areas they think are helpful, but more often than not, they have a specific type of player in mind when designing a shoe.

What all the brands on this list have in common, though, is a commitment to developing shoes that help players maximize their performance on the court. It's best to keep in mind what you value most in tennis shoes and try on several styles to find one that suits your needs.

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