On the hunt for your shoe sole mate? The right pair of shoes have the power to elevate your tennis game from good to great, so finding your perfect pair is paramount. Lucky for you, 2019’s shoe releases are packed with the best technology and innovation the game has seen. So how do you choose between the hundreds out there?
You don’t! We’ve done the hard work for you, rounding up what we consider to be the best women’s shoes of the year in 5 distinct categories: lightweight, durable, hybrid, value and, as a bonus, running/training. So let’s lace up and get to it!
Lightweight Tennis Shoes
Breathable and responsive, lightweight shoes are ideal for explosive movers who rely on their speed to chase down the ball. These shoes may not offer as much support or protection against wear and tear like durable shoes, but they’re generally very comfortable and breathable thanks to materials like knit and mesh. Oh, and did we mention they’re also (duh) lightweight? Huge bonus for players who don’t like shoes weighing them down.
Nike Vapor X Knit, $170
Pros: The immensely popular Vapor X is beloved for its breathability, stability and lightness. This year’s innovative new version of the high performance shoe features a redesigned upper that delivers greater support and response during your most explosive movements.
Bonus feature: XDR Rubber in the outsole is arranged in a pattern that’s ideal for hard-court surfaces.
Con: They run a bit narrow.
K-Swiss Aero Knit, $140
Pros: The lightest tennis shoes in the brand’s lengthy history, these premium shoes offer great support, midsole cushioning and energy return. Plus a high-density rubber outsole delivers terrific traction and durability.
Bonus feature: The unique aerodynamic upper keeps your laces tucked away.
Con: Hard to get on/off and tie.
New Balance 896v3, $110
Pros: If speed is your top priority, then these ultralight shoes are for you. Along with offering a secure, comfortable fit, the breathable fabric features a patented cooling technology to wick sweat away and keep your feet dry during play.
Bonus feature: The 8mm heel-to-toe drop provides a dynamic, low-to-the-court feel.
Con: Durability is relatively low.
Durability Tennis Shoes
Durability shoes offer excellent support, shock absorption and cushioning. They are ideal for players who tend to be rough on their shoes, practice a lot, and need a little extra support for their joints. These shoes tend to be on the bulky side, but the latest technologies have made these shoes lighter and more streamlined than ever before. For peace of mind, many durability shoes have a 6-month outsole warranty.
adidas SoleCourt Boost, $160
Pros: adidas’ most technical performance shoe available, it offers excellent stability, cushioning and energy return. Like its precursor, the SoleCourt Boost is very durable, stable and high performing.
Bonus feature: Strategically placed and abrasion resistant RPU dots increase the longevity of the toe and forefoot area.
Con: They can feel heavy and bulky to players who are used to a lighter shoe.
FILA Axilus 2 Energized, $110
Pros: This is a comfortable and durable shoe with tour-level performance. It improves upon the design of the original Axilus Energized, doing a fantastic job of delivering responsiveness, stability and comfort.
Bonus feature: The shoe’s vivid colors will make you shine on the court.
Con: This is a wider shoe which may not suit players with narrow feet.
Wilson Rush Pro 3.0, $130
Pro: This is arguably Wilson’s most technical shoe to date, with the Rush Pro 3.0 being a giant innovative leap from the popular Rush Pro 2.5. This new model offers improved comfort, stability, and control in a lighter, more dynamic package.
Bonus feature: Women-specific support in the arch translates to better stability and comfort through an elongated and asymmetrical medial TPU heel counter.
Con: These shoes can feel a bit heavy, despite being the brand’s third version of this shoe and also its lightest.
Hybrid Tennis Shoes
These are shoes that don’t fit neatly in the above categories. They’re light yet stable, and very responsive yet also durable and supportive. In other words, ideal for players whose needs fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum between lightweight and durability shoes.
ASICS Court FF 2, $170
Pros: This is a great all-rounder that has benefited from improvements on the upper, midsole and overall cushioning, which have enhanced the shoe’s speed, comfort, durability and support.
Bonus feature: An interior Mono Sock ensures a supportive and a personalized fit.
Con: The same Mono Sock makes the shoe a little tricky to get on and off, but a durable pull tab on the tongue helps.
Nike Air Zoom Zero, $130
Pros: Zoom Zeros offer competitive tennis players a great balance between adaptive performance, durability, and stability. Performance wise, they’re a middle ground between the Vapor X and Cage 3.
Bonus feature: The first full-length pressurized air unit, called the Zoom Air, in NikeCourt history. Its contours are designed to make explosive movements more efficient.
Con: These shoes can feel a bit bulky and aren’t the easiest to take on and off at first.
adidas SoleMatch Bounce, $120
Pros: This shoe draws from the stability of the SoleCourt Boost, but weighs much less. Perfect for players who care less about responsiveness and more about breathability as well as speed.
Bonus feature: BOUNCE™ cushioning technology provides shock absorption and energy return for improved performance.
Con: They’re less durable than their Boost counterparts.
Value Tennis Shoes
Trust us, lower priced shoes can still be high performing. These are our recommendations for shoes around the $100 mark. However, we recommend browsing our premium shoes that are currently on sale. You can find discounts across all of our brands and snatch up a great deal on high-end shoes that are a season or two old.
ASICS GEL-Court Speed, $100
Pros: This is the trusted brand’s mid-level speed shoe, offering great quality at a great price. Perfect for players looking for support, breathability and responsiveness.
Bonus Feature: GEL Cushioning Systems in the midsole significantly reduce shock on impact, translating to a much smoother ride.
Con: These shoes have a slightly narrow fit and provide less durability.
Diadora Speed Competition 5, $110
Pros: This is a comfortable and supportive shoe designed to reflect the ergonomics of the female foot. A notable improvement from the Speed Comp 4 comes in the form of a Light EVA External Stabilizer for additional support.
Bonus Feature: A shock-absorbing, removable insole made from anatomical fabric and EVA foam.
Con: These shoes take a while to break in and can sometimes be hard to get in and out of.
Babolat Women’s Propulse Blast, $105
Pros: A functional, cost-effective member of Babolat’s popular Propulse Family, the Blasts offer state-of-the-art cushioning, moisture management and excellent breathability, in a comfortable, affordable package.
Bonus feature: The Michelin Performance outsole utilizes special DIN 35 rubber studs for greater stability.
Con: These shoes run a bit narrow.
Running and Training Shoes
Not a lot of our customers realize that we specialize in more than just tennis; we offer a range of running and training shoes as well. The following are some of our faves.
Under Armour Threadborne Push, $110
Pros: A comfortable, lightweight and breathable training shoe designed to provide the restriction-free support necessary for any training needs, especially those that incorporate multi-directional movements.
Bonus feature: The embroidered ThreadBorne™ upper is breathable and delivers a compression-like fit for greater structure, support and directional strength.
Con: These can be a little too springy for some people.
ASICS GEL Nimbus 21, $150
Pros: Among the brand’s top running shoes thanks to the inclusion of premium materials, these shoes are supportive, stable and performance enhancing. The latest iteration has been re-engineered to improve fit, comfort and shock absorption.
Bonus feature: FlyteFoam Propel technology delivers exceptional energy return.
Con: They lack the same amount of artificial springback that other premium running shoes do.
adidas Solar Boost 19, $160
Pros: A high-performing running shoe from the brand with three stripes, these distance shoes were designed to be long-lasting, comfortable and supportive. The classic black color means they’ll transition easily from your workout to brunch afterwards.
Bonus feature: A flexible Stretchweb outsole adapts to your unique foot strike.
Con: These run a little big in size.
There you have it! Our 15 favorite women’s shoes from 2019 that are sure to lift your tennis game or training regime and keep your feet very, very happy.