Can I Wear Running Shoes For Tennis?

If you are just starting out with the game of tennis, you probably want to know if your running shoes will work for your tennis playing. Checking with those who play this game on a regular basis, shows you should invest in the proper footwear for tennis, just as you have bought the right racquet to play.

The wrong pair of shoes, such as running shoes, could impact how you play and the health of your feet. These are some of the reasons to support why you should not wear running shoes while playing tennis.

Why You Should Wear Tennis Shoes

Tennis shoes are engineered with specific properties that will ensure you can play more efficiently, and your feet are safer.

You will want to make your choice from an athletic footwear selection, as the ones you’ll find in department or regular shoe selection areas are not going to have the right properties.

You will also not want to wear your running shoes for tennis. The support provided in these two different types of shoes is different for what you need during the two different activities.

Tennis requires a much different shoe to prevent injury to your feet.

Understanding the Tennis Shoe and What It Offers

You know now that your running shoes are not going to provide you the support you need to play tennis, but let’s explain why this is true.

There are important differences between the tennis shoe and a running shoe in terms of the support provided to your feet.

Tennis shoes are designed for the moves required in a game of tennis. There is not only running during the game; you have to be able to stop and start quickly as well as make sudden lateral moves.

You need a shoe with sufficient traction to make these moves safely and rapidly.

The traction needed on a tennis court surface is different than that you’ll encounter while out running.

On a tennis court, you will have to make short stops and starts, quick steps, lunging moves, and the tennis shoe is designed to handle these movements.

The running shoe is made to handle different pavement types such as concrete, dirt, or asphalt, while the tennis shoe is made for surfaces such as clay, grass, or har-Tru courts.

The tennis shoes are made to interact with the surface of a court, while the running shoes are made to interact with pavement and other road surfaces.

Why You Need a Tennis Shoe to Play Tennis

A shoe designed for the game of tennis is engineered for performing the specific moves required while playing.

There is not adequate support, arch system, insulation, or padding in a regular pair of shoes. This support is what will keep the shoes comfortable while you play.

In some tennis shoe styles, there is also a ‘breathing’ feature that will prevent your feet from sweating and becoming overheated while you play.

While it is true the tennis shoe is comfortable, and you will enjoy your game more while playing in specific tennis shoes, you will not want to wear these shoes to perform your daily jogs or run a marathon.

The surface of tennis courts is not like the ground you run or walk on during most everyday situations. In fact, you should choose the tennis shoe according to the surface you will play on most often.

There are different soles for the different types of courts, such as hard, clay, or grass.

A pair of tennis shoes will be stiffer, yet more supportive than a running shoe. These shoes are equipped to stand up to active movements, so they are generally a more durable pair of footwear than the running shoe styles.

There needs to more support as the typical step while playing tennis is the opposite of what you will take when heading out on a run.

Nearly every step you take while running is heel to toe in a forward motion. The movements in tennis are much different and more drastic.

Lateral support is essential with a pair of tennis shoes, which is not something a runner will need.

Because of this need, tennis shoes keep your feet closer to the ground. To keep your foot down closer to the ground means there is less cushion near the sole of your foot.

By keeping your feet closer to the ground, you will be more stable in your play.

Running shoes need a cushion, which is another significant difference between these two styles of footwear.

Other Questions Regarding Tennis Shoes

You now know how important tennis shoes are during your game. Some people also wonder if you can wear tennis shoes off the court?

This question is often asked as the tennis shoe style resembles those people wear for walking. Because of the unique engineering put into tennis shoes, it is not a good idea to wear them off the court.

The most significant part of the tennis shoe is its sole.

If you are wearing these shoes for everyday wear, you will wear the sole out much quicker.

A good pair of tennis shoes will have a higher price tag than what you will more than likely spend on walking or running shoes. It would be more economical and beneficial to save your tennis shoes for the game and wear a different shoe style for everyday use.


If you are still unsure whether or not you can wear alternative footwear during your game of tennis, you should know the United States Tennis Association suggests you wear tennis shoes while playing the game of tennis.

They also say tennis shoes should last you for about sixty hours of play. This time frame means the shoes should last an average tennis player for about one year.

The wear and tear are going to occur with the sole of the shoe or the treads. When you notice the shoe is getting slippery when you play, this means it’s time to replace them.

If you play tennis seriously or play the game for enjoyment and exercise, it is worth it to invest in a good pair of tennis shoes.

These shoes are going to help you perform better and reduce your risk of a foot injury.