Play tennis and you will know that it is so much more than hitting the ball. Singles is such a physical game of speed and movement whilst doubles is an all court game based on craft.
The feet really take quite some abuse on court; play in regular trainers and you will realise that they wear down really quickly.
Tennis shoes offer the best protection possible against injuries and are built to last and will provide the stability, comfort and durability for the game. If you are serious about your game, tennis shoes should be high on all players’ list of priorities.
Many top players stick with their shoe brand throughout their career, even though they may change clothing manufacturer several times.
Choice of shoe is a personal decision and will depend on your style of play, the surface you play on and your type of feet.
We play-tested the latest tennis shoes and we considered cushioning, stability, durability, breathability and weight of each model. Each of the shoes we tried are available in women’s equivalent and accompanying colours.
Here is our list of our top tennis shoes of 2018.
Diadora Speed Blushfield Fly AG: £110.00, Diadora
These shoes proved to be the surprise package of the test. The Blushfield have a little ankle bootie that supports the heel and protects the ankle, but it also makes them really comfortable when laced up.
The cushioning on these shoes is perfect with a soft plush insole. An inbuilt padded tongue means superb comfort all round. The sole is designed for clay or hard court surfaces and provided good grip especially when changing direction.
These shoes are firmly in the lightweight category but are extremely comfortable.
New Balance 996 V3 Tournament: £105.00, New Balance
New Balance have a thing for producing great looking footwear: it’s in their DNA. The 996 V3 have been given a little makeover for 2018 and look better than ever.
The knit upper-wraps around the foot and creates a flexible comfortable feeling and the padded heel area gives good ankle support. The low profile sole provide great traction especially when changing direction.
I loved sliding into forehands in these shoes with the flat sole. As a toe dragger I liked the enhanced durability in the toe area which is a plus point. A great offering from New Balance.
Yonex Power Cushion Eclipsion 2: £108.00, Yonex
The Eclipsion 2 is a sturdy, well-built shoe which supports the feet in all the right areas. On court the shock absorption provided by the Power Cushion + insole is noticeable.
Yonex even claims a 25 per cent improvement on the original model. The elasticated tongue straps and the lace pattern keep the foot securely in the shoe and provide great stability.
When making quick changes of direction these shoes provide great traction and the increased protection in the toe box is good for durability. We love the black and white colour scheme. Watch out for Casper Ruud wearing these shoes on tour! Yonex have covered all the bases with this shoe.
Adidas Barricade Boost 2018: £129.95, Adidas
Adidas Barricade are synonymous with stability and have been the benchmark of durability on the tennis tour for decades. It is not surprising really that these shoes proved to be the most durable shoes in our test.
Even after several weeks of play on several different surfaces there was very little wear on the sole or the vulnerable areas. The 2018 version are also lighter and more comfortable than their predecessors.
Give the Barricade Boost a good breaking in period as they can be quite stiff but the good news is the more you wear them the better they will perform.
The 2018 Barricade is such a well built and supportive shoe, it will provide the perfect platform for aggressive baseliners. Quite simply one of the best shoes you can buy.
Babolat Jet Wimbledon All Court Shoes: £105.00, Babolat
Babolat are the official supplier of the 2018 Wimbledon clothing and footwear. The top of the range Jet shoe has been given a little Wimbledon makeover with the club logo subtlety adorning the heel.
It is a classic look but one that is bound to be an instant hit with tennis fans. So rare is it to have a shoe playable straight out of the box, but the Babolat Jet Wimbledon are so comfortable and padded they required no break in time at all.
Lightweight and extremely plush cushioning. If comfort on court is your number one priority these shoes are seriously good.
Asics Gel Solution Speed 3: £120, Asics
Coming in at 331g these are a super lightweight shoe and designed for aggressive players who chase every single ball. Asics use their famous gel cushioned technology in their tennis shoes and the result is a seriously soft feel underfoot.
They fit like a glove and my feet feel snug and make movement comfortable. The only slight downside to this secure feeling the Gel Solution Speed provide is that my feet got a little sweaty.
This shoe supports in all the right areas. As the name suggests the Gel Solution Speed 3 is designed for fast movers who are looking for good support and comfort.
Wilson Kaos 2.0 SFT: £99.00, Wilson
Wilson are a brand synonymous with tennis rackets, but these shoes are a superbly rounded offering. The Wilson Kaos 2.0 is the best looking shoe on our test.
The shoes are made from a lightweight mesh upper which is wrapped in a durable spider webbing. The result is a shoe which provides great comfort and support.
The ankle bootie is soft and supportive and gives a real protected feeling for the feet. The Kaos are so comfy and versatile that they could easily be worn as casual shoes.
As court shoes they shine. The Kaos 2.0 have a futuristic feel and tick all the boxes.
Nike Air Zoom Cage: £114.95, Nike
The King of Clay Rafael Nadal’s shoe of choice has his name emblazoned on the heel. The sock wrap interior which is a feature of many other top shoes is a nice feature which really holds the foot in place whilst in play.
This is not however the easiest shoe to get into especially straight out of the box. Our tip would be to open the laces before you try them and give them a little stretch.
These shoes provide good stability especially when making rapid changes in direction. Nike have reduced the weight from the previous model of this shoe and the zoom heel unit make them comfortable.
With the bold colour schemes these shoes will make you Wimbledon ready.
Fila Tennis Cage Delerium Tennis Shoes: £105.00, Fila
The Cage Delerium are a substantial shoe which focus on support and durability. The padded heel and laces keep my feet feeling very secure.
The sole is robust and the tread offers good traction. Durability is enhanced with the additional protection around the big toe area.
There is an optional arch insert for those who require arch support. The Delerium are designed to last and showed minimal wear after substantial use.
Head Revolt Team 2.5 Men Tennis Shoes: £85, Head
These are lightweight and well ventilated option from Head. Like the Asics they almost feel too light to be tennis shoes, but they perform great on court.
These shoes are aimed at all levels of player. If you are buying tennis shoes for the first time these are a good shout. They are supportive and comfortable, requiring a minimal breaking in period and give good durability for such a light shoe.
Wet conditions will not be a problem with the grippy herringbone sole. Great looking shoe, too.
The Verdict: Tennis shoes
Which ones suit you best will depend on a number of things. Regardless of your game or the surface you play on, make the investment. Try on a few before you buy. In terms of support and stability, the Adidas Barricade continue to offer the highest performance levels, it is closely followed by the New Balance v996. If you prefer a comfortable ride on court then the Babolat Jet and Diadora Blueshield provide lovely plush cushioning. Overall the best all-rounder is the Wilson Kaos 2.0. The soft feel, good cushioning and stability really make them such a good shoe. It’s a nimble lightweight shoe that is hard not to love.