Tennis Footwear & Clothing


Only ‘proper’ tennis shoes are allowed on the courts, not only because they will not damage the surface, but they will also improve your movement and help reduce injuries. Trainersrunning shoes or similar are not allowed as they have ‘aggressive’ soles and moreover are not designed for the sideways and multi directional movement of tennis.

Aggressive shoes have bars, studs or sharp serrations on the soles and can do permanent damage to hard courts in a very short time, as well as permanently wearing the painted surface.

It is also wise to avoid black soles on painted surfaces because these tend to leave unsightly black marks, which are difficult to remove.

What is a Proper Tennis Shoe?

Tennis shoes provide stability for side-to-side movement, are built of heavier and stiffer materials than other athletic shoes and have flat, durable soles designed to prevent stumbling or sliding and the toes are reinforced for stop and go action.

They tend to have a herringbone pattern (or majority herringbone) on the sole and are suitable for hard court, synthetic grass and clay use. 

Why You Should Not Wear Running Shoes

Many people want to wear their regular running shoes to play tennis, but there are many good reasons why you should not. Running shoes are specially designed for the forward motion that comes of running or walking for fitness.

They have thick, soft heels that increase the cushioning and lessen the impact that comes with running. However, runners do not turn quickly or make rapid lateral movements so the shoes are not built to support player’s feet during a tennis game or practice.

The wrong footwear can lead to all kinds of injuries including blisters, foot, ankle, knee, leg and back injuries.

Buying Tennis Shoes

Our coaching provider Vale Tennis Academy sell tennis shoes as well as other tennis equipment. They will happily give advice on what to buy and where to go for more specific requirements.


First of all, make sure you are actually wearing clothing – so no bare torsos, even on hot days. Common sense suggests that clothing should be fit for purpose and designed for the rigours of playing tennis.

Players should not wear casual wear, such as jeans, hot pants, leggings etc and should stick to items such as T-shirts, shorts, tennis dress–or tennis skirt and form-fitting athletic top—preferably made from lightweight, breathable performance-based fabrics, which keep players cool and enhance performance.