Tennis Shoe Tips

A quick look at what to watch for when buying your next pair of court shoes.

Buying a new pair of shoes for tennis is a very important step to make sure you will stay at peak physical condition and also avoid injury. Tennis shoes are different from your street "tennis" shoe. Street "tennis" shoes are structured and built for forward movement like walking or running. A tennis shoe made by Prince, Wilson, K-Swiss, Adidas, or Nike is more supportive during side-to-side movement, which is very common on the tennis court.

Also, if you are a hard court player, the abrasive surface will wreck a good pair of street "tennis" shoes in no time. Tennis shoes use a very durable rubber and are also built up along the toe and the outside of the shoe because those are very common spots for a player to drag their foot.

In my experience, Wilson and Nike shoes seem to fit players with a narrow foot better. The Nike style of shoe is lighter but because of this, it doesn't seem to take punishment as well as the competing brands. Prince and K-Swiss normally have a wider toe box. One extremely strong point with both of these brands is that they have kept shoes in their line for multiple years. As a consumer this can be very important, because once you find something that fits your foot, it can be hard to make a change.

Right now, one of newest and biggest shoes on the market is Prince's T22. This a hybrid shoe combining features from their T20 and extremely popular for two years, T10. With a mesh sidewall, meant for ventilation, and solid bracing across the top of the foot it has quickly become popular among all levels of players. Currently it comes in white and silver-lady's, a white and navy-men's, and black and yellow in both sexes. The black and yellow is very popular with teens.

One thing to keep in mind when shoe shopping, is that you get what you pay for. If you only play an hour or two every few weeks, you can get away with a less expensive pair. But if you plan on doing weekly league play or taking part in a permanent court group, spring for the longer lasting cushion and sole.

Lastly, don't be afraid to ask about the stores return policy. Many of them will allow players to wear them around the home first to see how they feel. It isn't tennis activity but it's better than nothing.