Wearing the right pair of tennis shoes for the court surface you are playing on it essential for performance, comfort and injury prevention.
This is especially important when playing on grass courts as the unique surface may well feel alien to a lot of players.
Grass courts tend to be quite slippery and the ball will bounce low and fast.
This makes playing on grass a difficult challenge if you are used to playing on hard and clay courts primarily.
Therefore, not only do you need to adjust your game style and mental approach to be successful on grass, but ensuring you have the right tennis shoes for the job will also help you get the most out of your game.
There’s nothing worse than turning up to play and having the wrong shoes for the job.
But, if you are looking to play on grass with all court or clay court shoes, you’ll likely feel like you’re skating on ice!
Grass courts, especially when they are lush and well maintained, can feel relatively soft underfoot, so wearing shoes that are specifically designed for the job is key.
So, let’s explore what separate grass court shoes from any other type of tennis shoe, what to look out for when choosing your next pair and which are some of the hottest models you should consider trying out!
What Makes Grass Court Tennis Shoes Unique?
The main feature that distinguishes a grass court tennis shoe from a shoe designed for any other surface is its sole.
The outer sole of grass court shoes almost always come with small pimples, which effectively act as tiny spikes that grip to the court surface as you play.
These are specifically engineered to give you the right amount of grip, such that you will not be slipping and sliding all over the place (even on the lushest of grass courts), but not so much that you risk the shoe getting stuck in the grass!
These pimples also give you a lot more purchase as you explode off the line up to a short ball for example, meaning you can move with confidence thanks to the additional traction the shoes provide.
However, whilst these unique pimples are great for keeping your feet on the ground when playing on grass, they are definitely not designed to be used on any other surface.
So make sure if you go ahead and purchase yourself a pair of grass court tennis shoes, you only wear them when playing on grass courts!
Using them on hard or clay courts will wear down the pimples a lot faster and you will likely sustain an injury, as the additional grip could cause a rolled ankle.
If you are looking for clay court shoes in particular, check out our guide to clay court shoes.
What to Look for in Grass Court Tennis Shoes
Picking any new tennis shoe is quite a personal experience.
No two shoes are the same, so it is important to try them out before you commit to them so you know they fit your feet comfortably.
Any tennis shoe should be supportive, the right fit and allow you to move without any discomfort.
However, when you are looking to play on grass, there are a few specific things to take into consideration that may not be so obvious compared to playing on other surfaces.
Of course, you should pick a shoe that is not going to be too big or too tight for your foot in general.
However, on a grass court you definitely don’t want to be playing in a shoe that is too big.
Doing this will allow your foot too much room to move around in the shoe, which, especially when you are trying to stay solid and upright on a slippery grass court, could cause discomfort.
Aim for a snug fitting shoe that will allow you wriggle room in the toes, such that you can slow down and stop without any pinching, but don’t wear a pair so big that you can feel your feet sliding up and down in the shoe.
The key with grass court shoes is stability and support, so wearing a shoe that fits correctly is essential when picking your perfect pair.
Again, as you are going to be relying on your shoe to keep you upright and almost act as an anchor to stop you from slipping over, wearing a stable shoe is of the utmost importance.
Grass court shoes tend to be relatively bulky compared to some more lightweight hard court shoes you may find.
This is because they need to support your feet and ankles as you put on the breaks and rapidly need to change direction.
Sliding in a controlled manner tends to be more difficult on a grass court than on a hard or a clay court, so being able to rely on your grass court shoes to remain stable even when you are pushing your limits will really increase your confidence on the court.
Wearing a shoe that has supportive cushioning around the ankles in particular is essential when you are looking for your next pair of grass court tennis shoes.
There is a lot of twisting and turning in tennis in general, but on a slippery grass court you will put a lot of force and stress through your lower legs in particular, as you attempt to get low and retrieve fast incoming balls.
So, making sure you can comfortably get yourself into position and track down fast, low balls, stop and then change direction is a key element of playing good grass court tennis.
Therefore, using a shoe that is both supportive and well cushioned is essential if you want to play at your best on grass.
Naturally, a more stable shoe with a lot of cushioning is going to be slightly heavier than a featherweight shoe designed for speed and agility.
This is something you will have to accept when trying out grass court shoes, however, make sure they are still breathable and sleek enough not to slow you down.
You’re looking for a supportive shoe that will help you change direction quickly and easily, but not one that will make you feel like you are running through treacle!
The Best Grass Court Tennis Shoes
So, here are our picks for the best grass court shoes on the market today.
We have not ranked these in any particular order, as we recognise that choosing the right tennis shoes for you is a very personal experience.
Especially if you may not play on a grass court very often, you really want to make sure you have tried out the shoes you are thinking of buying on a grass court if you can.
This will give you a realistic representation of what they will be like to play with and whether they fit your feet in particular.
With that being said, here are our choices for the best grass court tennis shoes you can buy!
ASICS Gel-Resolution 7
The Asics Gel-Resolution grass court tennis shoes are some of the most supportive on the market today.
They have a relatively sleek design and low cut arches around the ankles that helps with maneuverability.
However, they sport fantastic cushioning around the ankle area and offer a snug fit. They really hug your feet nicely, whilst providing a flexible feel.
They are a great choice for a player looking for a reliable, solid and supportive tennis shoe to take on a grass court in style!
One of the most popular grass court tennis shoes for high level players, the Adidas Approach is a solid choice if you are looking to get the best out of your game on the grass.
They are designed to hold your feet firm and keep you locked in to the court.
You can rely on the Adidas Approaches to remain stable even when you are tearing up the court, as their wide outer soles offer a supportive platform for you to push off as you change direction.
These are a great choice for the seasoned grass court player that is looking for a predictable and dependable shoe that they can rely on.
Yonex SHT Eclipsion 2
The Yonex SHT Eclipsion 2 is a stable and supportive choice for the player looking for a chunkier grass court tennis shoe.
It has a medium height arch around the ankle that houses a lot of padding, making this one of the best cushioned shoes on the market today.
It is very comfortable and won’t allow your foot to slip and slide as you move around the court, whilst its breathable upper will keep your feet fresh throughout your time on court.
The supportive layering on the outer sole goes high up the shoe, particularly around the ankle area, making these some of the most stable shoes out there.
The built-in power cushion also helps you spring off the base of the shoe as you push off and change direction.
Yonex are renowned for making very comfortable tennis shoes and the SHT Exlopsion 2 is no exception.
Head Sprint Pro 3.0
One of the more lightweight options out there, the Head Sprint Pro 3.0 tennis shoe is a maneuverable option for the player looking to glide across the grass court.
The unique mesh material allows for a lot of breathability and flexibility in the shoe, making it a versatile choice.
Head hasn’t compromised on stability or comfort with the Sprint Pro 3.0s however.
It features heel counter technology that holds your foot in place as you change direction and run around the court.
The triangular lacing pattern naturally adds more stability to the shoe and stops your foot from sliding around inside the shoe.
This is a great choice for a player that doesn’t want a solid shoe to hold them back, as its lightweight construction will keep you moving fast!
Nike Court Lite
Nike is by far the most popular shoe brand of choice for the recreational tennis player.
They have endorsements with some of the most recognisable players on the professional tour, offer shoes at a range of price points and generally have very high quality products.
Therefore, it is no surprise that the Nike Court Lite makes it on to our list of the best grass court tennis shoes.
It is a real all rounder that offers support, cushioning and flexibility for a reasonable price.
Their mesh upper makes them breathable and relatively light weight for a grass court shoe.
If you are a player that wants to try their hand at a bit of grass court tennis, but doesn’t want to break the bank, the Nike Court Lites are a great option for you!
Overall, there are a range of factors to consider when you are looking for the best grass court tennis shoe out there.
You need to think about stability, comfort, weight, fit and cushioning, as the specific demands of a grass court mean you will be bending down to hit more low balls than any other surface.
Also, the slippery nature of the grass court means opting for a shoe with good traction is essential if you want to stay standing upright at the end of your match!
So, be sure to try out any shoes on a grass court if you can to get a realistic representation of how they will perform when you’re out there, and good luck with your search for your perfect grass court tennis shoe!