The modern tennis player moves around the court and cover everything with relative ease. Movement is the key to success in today’s game, since opponents have better shot making ability than ever.
In order to move around the court and stay comfortable doing so, all court tennis shoes are very popular. To fall in that category, they need to be extremely durable, stable, lightweight to a certain extent, and breathable. Think of all court tennis shoes as the best all-around options for the high-level player.
Perhaps most importantly, they need to be versatile enough to perform on hard courts and clay courts. That means having an outsole pattern that can handle the slippery clay when players are moving around and trying to stop suddenly.
Which companies put out the best all court tennis shoes right now? These five models are the hottest in the game, and it is no surprise that pros wear these very same shoes on tour.
1. Nike Air Zoom Vapor X
This is the only shoe from Nike that has an outsole capable of handling any type of court surface. It also just happens to be one of the best overall performance models for players who want to speed around the court and get to everything. The latest version in the Vapor line has just about everything a person could ask for. The Dynamic Fit System locks a player in, and they can play for hours without any need for an adjustment.
The Dynamic Fit System is excellent for the upper, but what really provides great comfort and responsiveness is the actual Zoom Air unit in the midsole. This allows a player to not worry about aggressive movements, jumping around and more. The cushioning is just about perfect for tennis, and remain firm throughout the entire shoe’s lifespan.
Using these on a clay court, they will last a little longer than on a hard court. That is the case for many shoes, but especially one with limited durability as this one. Nike did put thicker tread in high wear areas with this version, which helps players avoid having to replace their shoes too often. If a person needs one pair of shoes to invest in, this is one to go with from Nike.
- Dynamic fit system allows for a perfect fit
- Excellent Zoom Air cushioning
- Outsole is modified with thicker tread in high wear areas
- Outsole is not that durable
- Gets dirty easily on clay courts
2. Adidas Adizero Ubersonic 3
Adidas does an excellent job of producing shoes that are versatile enough to be on hard courts or clay courts. Out of all the current options, the Adidas Ubersonic 3 is the most versatile all court solution. Not only is it a lightweight performance shoe that provides a very low to the ground and responsive feel, but the price is affordable compared to some of the other options out there as well.
In order for a low to the ground tennis shoe to work, it needs to provide an excellent overall fit. That means quality construction in the upper, and Adidas does that perfectly with primeknit. It is a lightweight, breathable material that provides proper support and stability. They make sure to add a rigid material around the toe for additional durability.
While Boost technology is considered their best cushioning for ultimate comfort, tennis players feel mixed on how good it is on the court. Some think it is a little too soft, which is why the Ubersonic 3 sticks with a PU midsole. It does a good enough job providing cushioning, but also improved response when needed.
Many are surprised with how durable the outsole is on the shoe for one that does not have a six month durability guarantee. What shines from an all court perspective is the outsole. Not only does it have a herringbone pattern, but it’s denser near the front of the shoe. This helps with stopping, while a wider pattern towards the back part of the shoe helps improve sliding. It truly is an all court performer people can rely on.
- Lightweight feel on the court
- Very streamlined shoe from top to bottom
- One of the best all court outsoles available
- No six month durability guarantee
- Not as comfortable as some other additional shoes from Adidas
3. Asics Gel Resolution 8
The Asics Gel Resolution 8 has been fighting to be one of the top tennis shoes around since its release. With a few updates here and there, people who have loved the shoe before are signing back up for another pair. Although the update is pretty subtle all around, it is enough to make people interested all the same.
One of the first differences is a slightly modified upper. It provides a Flexion Fit by using PU mesh material in the forefoot area. Add in Dynawall protection near the toe, and players will get that perfect blend of lightweight comfort and durability.
Every company has cushioning they are well known for, and for Asics, that is their signature Gel cushioning system. This is some of the best cushioning you’ll find on a shoe from Asics right now, and some people can’t play without it. They have tweaked the layout of the midsole a little to provide as much support and responsiveness as possible.
Finally, a significant selling point is the outsole with a six-month durability guarantee. It is nearly impossible to actually wear out shoes only on clay courts in that amount of time, but it is possible on hard courts. The herringbone tread pattern on the shoe makes it a perfect solution for people who only want one pair to rely on each and every day. All in all, Asics continues to put out quality shoes for any type of tennis player.
- One of Asics most durable shoes
- Takes a while to break in
- New design will take time to get used to
4. Head Sprint SF
Out of the five shoes featured in this article, this might be one that is the most overlooked. Head doesn’t have an extensive list of tennis shoe options right now, but the Sprint Pro SF is definitely an option to consider for all court players.
This is a very premium shoe from top to bottom. On the upper, the SuperFabric material is not only very comfortable, but stylish as well. It works well with the overall booty construction on the upper, hugging the foot and keeping it secure at all times. The material is also extremely breathable, which comes in handy during warm days.
Their midsole cushioning doesn’t have the same type of fancy names as other companies, but Head doesn’t lag in that department. They can keep the shoe very plush and lightweight, protecting the foot from significant shock or other types of impact.
Outsole durability is very solid from Head, making this an excellent shoe for any surface. Not only is the tread pattern solid enough for clay court, but durability makes it last on hard. All in all, the shoe might cost a decent amount of money right now, but Head has a shoe that can compete with any other brand out there. If possible, try it on beforehand to see just how different it is.
- Very comfortable upper
- Secure fit all around
- Durable outsole
- Width is a bit narrow
- Hard to find in stores to try or buy at a discount
5. New Balance Fresh Foam Lav
The final shoe to make the list right now is the New Balance Lav Fresh Foam. Endorsed by Milos Raonic at the pro tennis level, this is the flagship option from New Balance. They have put a lot of technology into the shoe, making it an excellent choice for athletes who need a little bit of everything to take their game to the next level.
With the upper, the best way to describe it is extremely stable and flexible. The knit booty construction is designed to fit like a fully customizable glove. Players can make a number of adjustments to get the perfect feel they need to be secure during the entire match.
A Fresh Foam midsole is exactly what skilled players need to ensure that their body doesn’t take a considerable beating when they are moving around the court. So many people love this midsole, as it provides the right amount of comfort in the perfect areas.
Like a lot of the biggest shoe options out there, New Balance does offer a six-month durability guarantee if it wears out. They have a rubber outsole that provides excellent traction on any type of court surface.The sole lies flat, allowing for a very uniform slide on clay courts.
New Balance is definitely a company worth keeping an eye on as one of the best in the industry. People who really enjoy durable shoes they can use anywhere should try out this model. It’s been out long enough that a few colorways do exist for people who want to find some good deals possibly.
- Excellent cushioning
- Upper stitching is ideal for stability
- Very durable outsole
- A little on the heavier side at 15.4 ounces
- Width is just slightly wider than typical tennis shoes
Making The Final Decision
If you are looking for a great tennis shoe that will work on all surfaces, any of the listed above will do the job for you. It’s all up to your own personal preferences, so I would suggest you to play-test each shoe at least once before buying one (if possible).
However, if you don’t have the opportunity to play-test the shoes before buying a pair, I would recommend going with the Nike Air Zoom Vapor X. It’s currently the worlds most popular tennis shoe among pro players and it’s that for some good reasons. I’ve played with the Vapor X for many years now and it works exceptionally good on both clay and hard surfaces.
Here is the full list of the best all-court tennis shoes right now