You don't need to be a competitive player to own a top-level pair of tennis shoes. After all, every athlete deserves stability and agility on the court — and your regular running shoes won't cut it when you're doing things like sidestepping and lunging for the ball.
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But with so many options out there, it can be hard to know which shoes to choose. That's why it's important to take into account factors such as your playing level, the surfaces you play on most, how much stability you prefer and the shape of your foot.
- Best Overall: Adidas Barricade Tennis Shoes ($98, Adidas.com)
- Best Budget: Nike Women's Court Lite 2 ($64.99, DicksSportingGoods.com)
- Best for Comfort: New Balance Women's FuelCell 996v4.5 ($144.99, Newbalance.com)
- Best for Wide Feet: K-Swiss Hypercourt Express 2 ($109.95, Tennis-Point.com)
- Best for Narrow Feet: New Balance Women's 1006v1 2A ($114.95, Tennis-warehouse.com)
- Best for Stability: Mizuno Women's Wave Exceed 4AC ($119.95, Tennis-Point.com)
- Best for Hard Courts: Asics GEL-Resolution 8 ($140, Asics.com)
- Best for Clay Courts: Diadora Speed Blushield Fly 3+W Clay ($135, Diadora.com)
- Best Hybrid: Babolat Propulse Fury All Court Women ($129, Babolat.com)
- Best for Beginners: Nike Women's NikeCourt Air Zoom Vapor Pro ($120, Nike.com)
How We Chose
To help you score, we chatted with a tennis-playing physical therapist to better understand what to look for in tennis shoes for women and how to find your ideal pair. We chose our top picks based on her recommendations and criteria, including:
Manufacturers typically market shoes according to gender. However, the main difference between most men's and women's shoes lies in the shoe's width and size. In some cases, women's shoes are built to support less weight. So anyone with smaller bodies or feet may prefer women's tennis sneakers.
1. Best Overall: Adidas Barricade Tennis Shoes
When you're on the court, you want to feel comfortable, stable and confident in your game. That's why these Adidas tennis shoes make the top of our list.
These women's tennis shoes give your feet a locked-in feel that's excellent for cutting through a court or jumping up for an overhead ball, according to physical therapist Melissa Garcia, DPT, a club tennis player who also worked in a tennis pro shop.
"Barricades were my first favorite pair of tennis shoes," she says. They're sure to be yours, too.
Buy it: Adidas.com; Price: $98
2. Best Budget: Nike Women's Court Lite 2
Nike's Court Lite tennis shoes for women are a longtime classic that won't break the bank, Garcia says. Their soft ankle padding helps prevent chafing and blisters as you shift your weight from side to side.
They've also got a thick outsole, which is ideal for hard courts, she says. Thicker soles are more resistant to wear from the court against your shoe. But if you're playing on clay or both hard and clay courts, she recommends opting for a clay-specific or hybrid shoe (see below).
3. Best for Comfort: New Balance Women's FuelCell 996v4.5
Available in both standard and wide sizes, these court shoes have a flexible knit upper that stretches and moves with your foot kind of like a sock, while still offering ample support.
Garcia especially likes the lightness of this pair. It's helpful for quick changes in direction across the back line of the court and short sprints to and from the net.
Another bonus? These come in a variety of colors. So, if you like simple black tennis shoes or more zippy shades, NB has a pair for you.
Buy it: Newbalance.com; Price: $144.99
4. Best for Wide Feet: K-Swiss Hypercourt Express 2
K-Swiss shoes tend to run a little roomy, making them ideal for wider feet. Although they may be a little wider than the average tennis shoe, these are still great for agility, Garcia says. The cushioning in K-Swiss shoes is responsive, too, helping you change directions as quickly as possible.
Another bonus: Because these are hybrid shoes you can wear them on hard or clay courts.
5. Best for Narrow Feet: New Balance Women's 1006v1 2A
Hunting down a pair of shoes in narrow sizes is no easy task. But these New Balance court shoes come in a 2A width, suitable for narrow feet. Finding a shoe that fits properly is really important (more on that below), according to Garcia.
Tennis involves a ton of shifts left and right with quick bursts of movement and leaps in the air. Wearing shoes that are too wide for your feet can put you at higher risk of injury; you want your ankle and foot to be secure. This shoe also has a good amount of cushion, which helps minimize impact on your joints while you play, she says.
6. Best for Stability: Mizuno Women's Wave Exceed 4AC
The Wave Exceed is best for players who are concerned with safety and ankle stability. The cushion on these shoes is durable and firm, Garcia says, helping to prevent your feet from rolling over to the side onto your ankle as you slide on the court.
Mizuno also offers a six-month outsole guarantee, so if your sole wears out within the first six months of use, you can get a full refund.
7. Best for Hard Courts: Asics GEL-Resolution 8
Durable, rubber cushion is great for concrete or asphalt hard courts, Garcia says. Whenever you slide for the ball or pivot on your toes, the friction causes wear and tear.
The tough rubber on these Asics tennis shoes for women provides traction (protecting your ankles) and stays intact match after match.
Buy it: Asics.com; Price: $140
8. Best for Clay Courts: Diadora Speed Blushield Fly 3+W Clay
Diadora's Blushield shoes are best for matches on clay courts, Garcia says.
Clay courts are softer and often more slippery than hard courts. When you don't wear the right pair of shoes, the surface can feel unstable. Diadora's shoes have a rubber tread on the bottom that helps prevent excessive sliding or slipping.
Buy it: Diadora.com; Price: $135
9. Best Hybrid: Babolat Propulse Fury All Court Women
Like to dance between clay, hard and maybe even grass courts? Babolat's shoes are your best pick for versatility.
Plus, the high durability and stiff cushion on these shoes is great for advanced players who want to be explosive in their game, Garcia says. The solid sole helps you push powerfully off the ground for faster sprints and higher vertical jumps.
Buy it: Babolat.com; Price: $129
10. Best for Beginners: Nike Women's NikeCourt Air Zoom Vapor Pro
"I played in these for several years," Garcia says. "I always enjoyed these shoes for their light weight and balanced stability on the court."
Thanks to their design, these don't feel too different from a standard exercise sneaker, making them ideal for beginners in the sport. The mesh upper is breathable but also secure, Garcia says, helping keep you safe from injury as you develop agility in your training.
Buy it: Nike.com; Price: $120
Aim to replace your tennis shoes after about 45 to 60 hours of playing, according to the United States Tennis Association, which is when the midsole begins to wear out. That means if you play once a week for an hour, for example, replace your shoes once a year.
3 Factors to Consider When Buying Women's Tennis Shoes
1. The Fit on Your Foot
This is the top priority (and struggle) Garcia has when buying new tennis shoes. Sure, the size matters. But with tennis shoes, there's much more to consider.
The sport involves explosive, sudden movements left and right, forward and backward and up and down. In other words, it's a rolled ankle waiting to happen (if you're not wearing the right shoes, that is).
You want a pair that fits snug and secure around your foot, Garcia says. Your shoe shouldn't feel restrictive, but you definitely don't want extra space to slip a finger into the shoe around your ankle.
Finding the perfect fit all comes down to your foot shape and size, so pay attention to the width of the shoe you're purchasing. You can also check out purchaser reviews to gauge if the shoe runs small, large or true to size.
2. Your Playing Style
Find a shoe that fits your needs as a player, Garcia says. Take a few moments to think about your strategy on the court. Are you a more leisurely, recreational tennis player? If that's the case, you'd probably love a cushioned, flexible shoe that's breathable and lightweight.
More aggressive, advanced players may want a stiffer shoe with a secure rubber sole, according to Garcia. These shoes offer extra ankle protection and stability as you sprint and shift across the court.
"Personally, I tend to roll my ankles a lot because I change directions often and quickly," she says. "So I tend to gravitate to a thicker and more stable shoe."
3. Your Preferred Court
Think about the kind of court you play on most often. Players who prefer a clay court should buy a shoe that's built specifically for that surface. These have more tread on the bottom to prevent players from slipping or sliding over their ankle.
Hard court shoes have a more durable cushion that won't wear too quickly after repeated friction against the court surface.
But if you like to vary your tennis terrain, a hybrid shoe is probably best.