Proper Tennis Shoes Matter on the Court
Written By Thiroshan Chetty, Director of Tennis
Tennis players need a shoe that supports the foot during quick side-to-side movements or shifts in weight. A shoe that provides stability on the inside and outside of the foot is an important choice.
Flexibility in the sole beneath the ball of the foot allows repeated, quick forward movements for a fast reaction at the net. You need slightly less shock absorption in the shoe if you’re playing tennis or other racket sports.
Proper shoe selection is a key step in the process of making sure your tennis shoes fits comfortably. On soft courts, wear a softer soled shoe that allows better traction. On hard courts, you want a sole with greater tread.
The best designed shoes in the world will not do their job if they do not fit properly. You can avoid foot problems by finding a shoe store that employs a Pedorthist, or professional shoe fitter, who is trained to modify footwear based on shapes and styles of shoes.
You can become an informed consumer by following these guidelines:
- Don’t go just by size. Have your feet measured.
- Visit the shoe store at the end of a workout when your feet are largest.
- Wear the socks you normally wear when working out.
- Fit the shoe to the largest foot.
- Make sure the shoe provides at least one thumb’s breadth of space from the longest toe to the end of the toe box.
- If you have bunions or hammertoes, find a shoe with a wide toe box. You should be able to fully extend your toes when you’re standing, and shoes should be comfortable from the moment you put them on. They will not stretch out.
- Women who have big or wide feet should consider buying men’s or boys’ shoes, which are cut wider for the same length.