If you’re an athlete, you may be confused by the difference between tennis and running shoes. While some people just refer to them as “sneakers”, having the right shoe for each sport is critical. On the surface, these shoes may look the same – but are they? Let’s dive straight into the discussion.
What is the difference between tennis and running shoes? Running shoes are designed to help your body cope with rigorous running while tennis shoes are designed to use in a tennis court. Running shoes have great cushioning to reduce the impact when the feet strike the ground. This ensures the sole can absorb the pressure from the impact of running. Without a thick shoe padding, a runner will feel more shock on the feet. Keep in mind these shoes allow for lateral stability but allow for little side to side motions.
Tennis shoes are slim to make the player agile and have sturdier soles. The shoes focus on lateral stability but have less cushioning than running shoes.
They vary in terms of design depending on the tennis court the game is played. Furthermore, tennis shoes are flexible to allow the player to execute body movements.
And to ensure the player performs a variety of motions, the shoes have harder heels.
While this may seem like a lot of information to take in, the most important decision is to choose the right shoe for a specific sport.
It’s no longer about running or playing tennis but the way you use the feet for each sport. Keep reading as we break down the design and safety issues to help you make a wise decision.
Design And Safety For Tennis And Running Shoes
While most shoes can be used for the occasional run, picking the right gear for a specific sport is the best investment you can ever make.
Since running involves a lot of repetitive foot movement, the shoe you use should have grip and traction. Also, it should allow the feet to breathe if you’re running for a long distance.
The better the upper materials, the more comfortable the shoe will feel on your feet. Avoid shoes with layers of fabrics glued together.
The upper part of a running shoe should not have any chafing anywhere. On the other hand, better sole or cushioning will make the shoe last longer.
It gets better if you can buy a shoe with a countered sock liner to keep the feet in place. Most running shoes are designed for track and nature trails, so the padding differs.
The responsiveness of a running shoe is something to keep in mind. In most running shoes, the midsole material is designed to reduce the impact when your foot hits the surface.
While the body mechanics provide cushioning to all parts above the ankle, the midsole material protects the foot.
So, every time you buy a running shoe you should try to strike a balance between firm push-off and cushioning comfort.
Running shoes come with stabilizing features like dual-density foams and guide rails to keep the shoe in motion. They help runners maintain their specific path. Therefore, you should look for a shoe that provides stability. Also, it should move your feet comfortable through the stride.
Tennis shoes come in many forms. To know the right shoe, you should think about the style of play, foot type, and tennis court surface.
And because tennis is jarring to the body, a lot of pressure is put on the knees and ankles. That being said, you should choose the right shoe for the game.
Tennis shoes can have pronated, supinated, or neutral soles. A pronated sole wears on the inside while a supinated sole wears on the outside.
Most tennis games are played in abrasive courts, so you should look for shoes with a rubber sole to ensure you wrap the sensitive areas of your foot.
In hard courts (concrete), the shoes are designed with durability in mind. It’s no surprise the soles may wear quickly on hard courts. Of course, the outer materials should be tougher- vinyl or leather.
Tennis shoes are lighter than running shoes and are designed to give the most protection of the toes.
Apart from that, you should go for a shoe that offers the best heel protection. This explains why tennis shoes give the appropriate amount of movement you require.
Can I Use Running Shoes For Tennis?
While you’ll often see tennis players with running shoes on the court, this is not always recommended.
Some say they feel more comfortable but it’s important to wear court tennis shoes. And the reason is simple – most tennis shoes are designed to give the cushioning and support you need in a tennis court.
The game features a lot of lateral movement and that is not something you can get in running shoes. Another important thing to keep in mind is the traction.
Tennis shoes also vary depending on the tennis court they are designed for. Unless you’re not looking for them for a specific purpose, your decision should not be based on fancy designs or colors.
If you want to use the shoe in a hard court, you should buy one that gives you some cushioning. And if you want to play in a grass court, you should look for shoes that will help you grip well.
While running shoes are not suitable for tennis, you can wear them when casual hitting the ball. However, if you’re playing a lot, you should buy tennis-specific shoes.
Are Cushioned Shoes Good For Running?
Shoes are arguably the most critical equipment for runners. While there are many theories to the cushioning of shoes, this is something runners can’t ignore.
Highly cushioned shoes are linked to a low level of impact reducing the risk of fractures and injuries.
Practically speaking, the cushioning is usually the midsole of the shoe. It’s sandwiched between the lower and upper outer sole.
In most cases, this material is made of polyurethane or ethylene vinyl acetate. In recent years, they have been replaced with proprietary materials that are scientifically tested.
Therefore, you should pay attention to the size of cushioning and the material used.
Both running and playing tennis requires rigorous use of feet and leg joints. With this in mind, you should have the right shoe for each sport.
If you buy running shoes to play tennis, they will not work well. Running shoes provide good shock absorption to allow the runner to maintain stability.
On the other hand, tennis shoes have better lateral gripping and good side padding that allows the ankles to move freely.
Be sure to choose the best footwear for each sport.