I’ve always been very picky about which particular tennis shoes I wear. The fact is, the wrong pair of shoes can destroy your feet and have you in all kinds of pain. The last thing you want when you’re running around court trying to do your best Nadal impression is to lack confidence in your footwear. Therefore, we’ve put together our top four picks for a new pair of shoes to kickstart your New Year.
We’ve put together our list based on comfort, grip, support, and aesthetics to make sure you find the right option for your tennis shoe. Of course, we all want to look good on court as well as feel safe with our footwear, but I’ve had a lot of injury problems with my feet, so it is important to me to find a comfortable and supportive pair of shoes.
New Balance MC 996v3 D Grey/Green Men’s Shoe – 8/10
The shoe of Milos Raonic. Not only does this tennis shoe look stunning, but it’s also pretty sturdy. It must be to carry around a 6ft 5 inch, 216lbs behemoth with such speed. At 15.2 ounces, these are by no means the lightest shoes on the market, so if you like to wear feathers then these aren’t for you.
If you’re looking for something solid with excellent support though, then these babies are excellent. I find this to be the ideal shoe shape for me, with plenty of ankle support and a really comfortable feel. The extra support does come with a slight price in the weight, but that is something I’m willing to live with if it means my feet can play in comfort.
In my opinion, these shoes look brilliant. They’re not too garish, but still stand out on court with their grey and green design. The top of the shoe is made from a soft knit, which cushions your ankles and helps absorbs some of that energy you put through your feet.
ProBank Technology in the middle of the shoe adds further cushioning and helps stabilize the foot during sideways movements and the NDurance rubber outsole will give you long-lasting grip.
Everything combined, I think these New Balance men’s tennis shoes are my favorite shoes on the market at the moment. They look amazing and prioritize comfort and support. The one criticism I could see people having with them is that they are slightly clunky and heavyweight. If you’re someone who likes a bit of a sprint shoe, then you might want to look at some of the other options on the list, but if not, definitely take a look at these ones. 8 out of 10!
Nike Air Zoom Cage 3 – 8/10
For years and years, I swore by these Nike shoes. From the age of 14 to about 24, I never wore any other tennis shoe than a pair of Nikes. I’d had so many problems with my feet and ankles, and it was only ever in my Nikes that I felt comfortable.
Was it a bit of a mental thing? Probably. But there’s no denying that Nike makes a great tennis shoe. As a side note, I would also only ever wear white shoes, because black shoes were bad luck, until I had such a bad year that I switched to black shoes and swore never to go back to white. Perhaps I’m a bit weird!
Since I have stopped playing quite so competitively, I have let other shoe brands back into my life, but the Nike Air Zoom Cage range still remain my most trusted shoe. The Cage 3 offers a brilliant blend of comfort, support, and grip that is hard to find in any other shoe. My favorite part about them is you know what you’re going to get every time. The technology gets slightly better with time, but the defining characteristics of the shoe stay the same.
At the upper end of the shoe, you have a so-called full bootie construction, which keeps your foot securely in position and adds extra ankle support. This is enhanced to by an ergonomic heel cup to keep your heel securely in place, and XDR rubber on the sole, which offers a great balance of grip and longevity.
The Nike Air Zoom Cage 3 weighs in at 13g, so it is much lighter than the New Balance shoe and this makes a noticeable difference. Unless you’re someone who likes a crazy light shoe, then the Cage will be more than light enough.
I may dabble in other brand’s shoes these days, but I will always come back to this shoe. I find it to be the most reliable shoe out there, and if in doubt, I would always choose Nike. I gave the Nike Air Zoom Cage 3s another 8 out of 10, a brilliant shoe.
Adidas AdiZero Club 2 – 7.5/10
I’m not really a big fan of Adidas shoes. I wear a pair of Adidas SoleCourts at the moment, but that’s just because I didn’t have to pay for them, and, to be honest, I don’t get along with them that well. I know Lawrence had a bit of an impassioned rant about the Barricades recently, so it might seem like we’re a bit biased against Adidas. That’s not the case though, I just find their shoes tend not to suit me so well.
Anyway, with the Adizero Club 2, I’ve picked something slightly different for the list. This offering is super light at 12.6 ounces, so ideal for anyone who loves to spend all day running around the back of the court. They also feature a low-profile design and have excellent Climacool technology, which is great for stopping your feet overheating.
I can just imagine these shoes on a clay court grinder somewhere in a hot climate. They’re perfect for a hot day and will certainly not slow you down with their weight. For my preference, I would prefer a little bit more ankle support, but these shoes are certainly not lightweight in that area.
The upper part of this shoe is made with air mesh for added breathability and the ADITUFF gives extra durability. ADIPRENE in the middle of the shoe absorbs extra shocks and the ADIWARE outsole is proven to give great durability and grip on any surface.
If you love a lightweight shoe, then I would certainly recommend taking a look at the Adizero Club 2. It leans slightly towards the speed side, but it still offers good comfort and support. There are more recognized shoes in the Adidas line up, but for me, this is one of the best. Lightweight and built for speed, I gave the Adidas AdiZero Club 2 a 7.5 out of 10.
Asics Gel Court Speed – 7.5 out of 10
Asics have long been known in tennis circles for making great shoes. It does make me wonder why you don’t see them out on court more often. Personally, I would suggest that it’s because they make them look so ugly. However, if you can sift through the pages of heinous color schemes to find a design you like, then you will find yourself with a very good shoe.
This is another shoe with a slightly lower profile, which is not normally what I look for, but Asics’ Gel Technology Cushioning Systems are great at absorbing shocks and giving you a comfortable ride. Asics have a great name in running, and they have used their technology to good use in tennis.
These shoes weigh just 12.3 ounces, so they are the lightest on the list, and certainly a shoe for anyone who loves to run a lot! I’m not that good at maths, but this pair of Asics is roughly 20% lighter than the New Balance shoes at the top of the list. That is a considerable amount of weight, and for someone who values speed, will make a massive difference.
This shoe is not just a one trick pony though. You get amazing speed, but you also get great comfort. Asics put a lot of technology into their shoes, and it shows. I would put this shoe near the top of the list for comfort, but I do think it loses a bit of support in its pursuit of being super light.
Speed and comfort wise, this shoe is top rate, so it’s just a question of what kind of balance you want. For me, the support is more important than the speed, and that’s what makes me lean towards the slightly heavier shoes. This shouldn’t come into it, but I also don’t find the Asics particularly aesthetically pleasing, so if it was a tie between the Asics and another shoe, the other shoe will probably come out on top.
Looks aside, the Asics Gel Court Speed is an excellent shoe. It offers brilliant comfort and speed and I have given it a 7.5 out of 10.
Choosing your shoes is one of the most important decisions for a tennis player. They are up there with rackets as the most important accessory, so it is important that you get this decision right. There’s a reason Martina Hingis sued Sergio Tacchini over the performance of their shoes rather than their dresses. Simply, the wrong footwear can cause you lots of pain and cause you to miss time on court with injuries. Few other tennis accessories can have this effect.
Thanks for checking out our top men’s tennis shoes for 2019 and make sure you’ve got the right pair of shoes on court!
Review by: Will