Originally called plimsolls, rubber-sole shoes date as far back as the 18th century. Back then they were rough shoes to wear, not at all comfortable and there was no distinction between the left and right shoe. Vulcanized rubber became an option in 1839 and various types of shoes gained popularity in the 1900s. Developed in 1916, Keds became the most popular tennis shoe; however, it wasn’t until the 1960s, when Grand Slam singles champion, Stan Smith, started backing Adidas that the entire tennis shoe industry was changed forever.
Whether on the court or off, tennis shoes have been providing comfort for our feet for many years. Tennis shoes have evolved over time into a regular part of our wardrobes. It’s the norm these days to wear them just about everywhere. While comfort is typically the most important consideration when purchasing tennis shoes, women also want a shoe that is attractive, stylish and affordable.
The chart below provides a Top 10 of women’s tennis shoes along with a pricing scale and editor rating. It’s important to do your own research since tennis shoes are considered a personal item, but this will give you a good place to start. Prices may vary.
New Balance has been around for quite some time so they are experts at making quality tennis shoes. These shoes are built for lateral support and grip on the court. The mesh helps keep you cool and the padded collar adds comfort. They have what New Balance calls S-Curve stability technology which make the shoes comfortable for hours on the court.
These come in both narrow and wide widths which not all tennis shoe brands offer. They are well cushioned in high-impact areas of the feet, lightweight, comfortable and have a roomy toe box.
Sizes can run small so consider that before purchasing. The shoes may feel a bit stiff to some wearers. The front of the shoe may seem disproportionate to the back – heel is unusually wide.
9. Adidas Performance Women’s Tennis Shoe
These are an attractive shoe featuring a rubber sole, exceptionally responsive cushioning and a ventilated toe box. They provide great support and perform well on the court.
They are true to size and fit as expected. They’re long-lasting, durable and affordable shoes.
Stiff upon initial wear and take some time to loosen up. The shoes can look and feel bulky. May feel a bit too heavy for some wearers, as well.
8. Prince Women’s Tennis Shoes
These shoes are an improvement over their predecessors, the T10. The ventilation has been improved, stability is enhanced by forefoot straps and there is a toe cap to stop abrasions. These shoes also have a wishbone shank for improved stability.
Great arch support. There is little break-in time needed. These shoes have a mesh upper that allow for plenty of ventilation.
Sizes tend to run small. Some wearers may find these shoes a bit too bulky and too heavy.
7. Nike Women’s Vapor Court
These tennis shoes are made for all court types. There are toe box perforations for breathability, flex grooves for a more natural foot flex and a feature Nike calls Omni traction for durability in high-wear areas.
Very comfortable and lightweight. Keep feet cool and offer great flexibility and movement. Sturdily built.
Sizes can run small. There is some concern with what might be considered poor condition of the shoe laces – may not be ideal for some. Toe area of the shoe may not be durable enough to last for a long time.
6. ASICS Women’s GEL-Dedicate 4 Tennis Shoe
Most of the ASICS tennis shoes are winners. This one is no exception with its enhanced traction and durability. This one is considered an “entry level” shoe but that doesn’t mean it skimps on quality. ACSICS offers what they call “Forefoot GEL Cushioning System” and midfoot “Trusstic System.” These are meant to provide better cushion and stability.
Comfortable and not at all bulky. Offer great ankle support. No adjustment/break-in time needed.
Toe box may be more narrow than desired. These lack in arch support. May be a bit too heavy for some wearers.
5. ASICS Women’s GEL-Resolution 6 Tennis Shoe
These shoes feature what ASCIS calls “FlexionFit.” What this means is more supportive and form-fitting comfort. These shoes are made for specifically for women’s feet. They have a gel-cushioning system and a padded tongue and collar for additional comfort. There is also a toe protector for added durability.
Don’t require much break-in time. They absorb impact well. On the court they provide great control.
Some wearers may experience less support during lateral moves. The fit may be a bit too narrow. The shoes can feel a bit stiff to some.
4. K-SWISS Women’s Bigshot Light Tennis Shoe
50 years have given K-Swiss expertise in tennis shoes. They describe this pair in three words: Faster, lighter, and more breathable. K-Swiss has created tennis shoes that are designed to put your foot closer to the ground which means improved lateral stability. These shoes also feature a durable outsole and great shock absorption.
Ample toe box room. They offer flexibility for better movement. Perform especially well on clay courts.
The laces that come with the shoe are a bit too short and can be awkward to tie properly. Sizes seem to run a bit large so be aware of that if purchasing. The tongue may be too short and uncomfortable for some wearers.
3. ASICS Women’s Gel Solution Speed 2 Clay Tennis Shoe
The ASICS philosophy is the way to a happy and healthy life is to promote total health and fitness. This is something they certainly do with their shoes. These shoes feature an upper mesh, Solyte midsole/ rearfoot/forefoot GEL cushioning systems for greater comfort and a memory foam lined heel and collar.
Exceptional arch support. No break-in time required. They are lightweight shoes with good ventilation.
Shoes may feel big and bulky to some. Sizes tend to run small. May not provide enough lateral support for some wearers.
2. ASICS Women’s GEL-Resolution 5 Tennis Shoe
These shoes are made for a woman’s feet. They have a padded collar, mesh uppers and a redesigned PGuard toe protected. They feature what ASICS calls the GELA® cushioning system for increased shock absorption and Hidden Trusstic System® reduces the weight of the sole.
No break-in time needed – comfortable right out of the box. Comfortable for all types of feet. They are lightweight shoes.
The toe box is rather oddly shaped and some wearers may find this awkward. May have less traction on the court than desired. There are some problems with the color – receiving the color you order may not be what you get; colors are a bit off.
1. ASICS Women’s Gel-Solution Slam 2 Tennis Shoe
ASICS has done it again and this one tops the list! These shoes feature central lacing for a more secure fit, Forefoot GEL® Cushioning System for better shock absorption and ASICS® High Abrasion Rubber placed in strategic areas of the shoes for increased durability. It’s rather difficult to find any cons about these shoes!
These shoes are lightweight and affordable. Offer good ankle support. Great ventilation and keep feet cool.
Sizes seem to run a bit large and the shoes may feel stiff to some.
Things to Consider When Purchasing Tennis Shoes
Aside from pricing, there are specific things to consider when buy tennis shoes. Taking into consideration you’re an actual tennis player, you’ll want to give thought to how you perform on the court and what your needs are.
For lateral support, you’ll want shoes that provides adequate support. Shoes lacking in that kind of support could cause injuries. You’ll also want to consider lacing and ensure the shoes lace properly.
The sole type is another feature you’ll want to investigate. Different playing surfaces require different soles so be sure to do your homework. If you have an excessive toe drag, you’ll want extra protection around the toe area of the shoes.
Comfort is a given. While it’s difficult to determine exact comfort when buying online, there are tons of reviews available to help you make a decision. It may also be important to break-in your shoes before wearing them on the court so try wearing them around the house first. Pay attention to arch support, cushioning and the stability of the tongue inside the shoe.
Give thought to your shoe size. Keep in mind that feet change shape over time and as we age so shoes that fit well last year may not fit well this year. You don’t want shoes so big they cause blisters and you’ll want to avoid shoes that are too tight as this could lead to damage in your feet.
Overall, ASICS seems to be the clear winner when it comes to quality. They are a great tennis shoe with custom features proven to enhance comfort, durability and performance.
Consider tennis shoes as an investment. Yes, some of them can be costly but paying more for quality shoes that fit properly, feel good and suit your specific needs will pay off in the long run. Weight all of your options, do the research and make an informed decision. Not only will great shoes improve your game but they’ll also help your feet stay healthy. Whether you’re buying shoes to play tennis or just for walking, you don’t want to sacrifice your foot health for the sake of saving money.