Best tennis shoes for men


ennis shoes have come a long way since the celebrated days of the classic Dunlop’s Green Flash plimsole.

While Britain’s very own Fred Perry wore these classics in the mid 30s and won Wimbledon three times whilst wearing them, footwear has become more technical over time.

How do you choose a tennis shoe?

Brand allegiance or awareness, player endorsement and dynamic technology play a key part in your purchase as well as budget, support, comfort and style. For the finer specifications, play close attention to durability, weight and how it plays on a particular surface.

British Tour player George Loffhagen explains, “In terms of shoes giving you a competitive advantage, I think it’s more important on clay and grass because those surfaces are much harder to move on, so the different soles that the shoes have really make a difference. They need to allow you to move alot better, in terms of change of direction, confidence in your movement and just having a strong base.”

We have reviewed offerings from the biggest brands on the market and put each tennis shoe through a finely tuned product testing process to help you balance up the best footwear for your A-game.

Each pair of tennis trainers has had a thorough run out (maximum of 24 hours) on its specific paired court type or a mix of different playing surfaces (hard court, as well clay and grass – including artificial versions). A breaking in period of two hours has also been incorporated into the mix – we like to play fair here.

You can be safe in the knowledge our expert tester has been chasing a fuzzy yellow ball since the age of five (playing both recreationally and competitively) plus has successfully obtained qualifications with the Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) – the largest tennis coaching organisation in the world.

But it doesn’t end there, we have also enlisted a top team of active players (from beginners to advanced) to help cover every aspect of court coverage.

Adidas Barricade

ES Composite

Preferred Fit: Medium/True to Size

Surface sole: Hard Court

Weight: 432g

Pro Player Endorsements: Stefanos Tsitsipas

Shoe Type: Speed-Durabilty Focused

I have history with the Barricade wearing versions 2 and 3 back in 2005 and 2006. Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic have also previously stepped on court with them with massive success. Currently, Stefanos Tsitsipas dances around the show courts with the new low profile incarnation.

At first, I was unsure of their look – in particular the rather large emblazoned logo spanning across the inside wall, but it grew on me fast and makes a great statement before you even hit the ball. To my surprise I found out it also serves as a protective barrier. This Barricade is also part made with recycled materials. Clever stuff Adidas!

Slipping on these pumps are a pure delight and feel as snug as a bug in rug with an intuative lacing system securing my feet in place with perfection. The two-piece hybrid herringbone grip is a top traction performer on hard court but plays out nicely on artificial grass and clay (especially whilst zig-zagging forward).

For support and performance, you have everything you need. The ‘Bounce’ cushioning provides a lovely comfort spring factor and there are excellent little hidden gems in the form of memory foam pads on the tongue and inside ankle zone. Stability is where it truly excels – which is down to the torsion system wrapping around the bottom of the sole and midsole exterior siding – which creates a rock solid bumper guard around your feet.

Break-in period proved quick with only the angular heel tab area needing a little more time to soften. I was expecting to experience a fair amount of heat build-up during testing, but they actually ended up being pleasantly cool.

If I was advising any players on which is the best all-round shoe to weigh-up, this would be my first recommendation.


Babolat Propulse Fury 3


Preferred Fit: Medium/True to Size

Surface sole: Hard Court

Weight: 420g

Pro Player Endorsements: Benoit Paire

Shoe Type: Speed-Durabilty Focused

Having never worn this brand, I was both excited and inquisitive. Unboxing them revealed lively ergonomic and clean lines running from heel to toe with a solid quality feel.

Lacing up provided a great foothold courtesy of their unique ‘power belt system’. We were also pleasantly surprised that uppers created an excellent balance of airflow and protection. Big hitters who like to drag around the court at break neck speed will find the raised side walling their safeguard against wear and tear.

The padded tongue was also highlighted (a few of our playtesters did wish for a little more stretch on it though). The Propulse Fury 3’s do tend to come up very snug indeed, so opting for a half size up is probably a good idea.

The beefed up heal area on the midsole is engineered with Babolat’s KPRSX 2 EVA and gives the player ultimate shock absorption, together with a slightly stacked feeling off the ground. Nothing better than edging your opponent in height!

You can’t miss the duo direction all court Michelin tread which drives like a dream on the hard surface – equally on clay it does the business. Dry artificial grass and indoor carpet performance doesn’t disappoint either.

Playtester Rags M. informed us “these shoes just kept growing on me. From the off-set laces which enclosed my feet with a perfect fit to the beastly and durable tread … there is basically nothing stopping me going for broke on every point.”

Still not convinced, and want to turn heads even more? Then, may we point you in the direction of the Jet Mach III weighing in at a feather light 387g. They are seriously fast and furious – just don’t forget to buckle up properly.


Asics Gel Resolution 9

ES Composite

Preferred Fit: Medium-Wide/True to Size

Surface sole: All Court and Clay

Weight: 450g

Pro Player Endorsements: Gael Monfils

Shoe Type: Durabilty Focused

For players who like to be more robust in action and tend to patrol the baseline, Asics Gel Resolution 9 is a worthy yet dynamic option to explore. Crowd showman Gael Monfils is apparently a big fan.

These trainers pack a lot of clout and punch, but also employ a more than generous bed of comfort and speed – the clue is in the name. I’ll go as far to say, if you are on court for a long period of time, your feet will thank you afterwards.

But it doesn’t stop there, incredible stability is the key with multi-layers of engineering on the midsole. The heart of it is the Dynawall technology which is built into the exterior wall and acts as a responsive rebound element to push you back into play after chasing down a ball.

Initially, I felt the new Dynawall is higher and way more solid than the previous version. Most of our testers agreed they will take time to soften up. So, hang in there … they will gel with your foot.

The shoe construction is complimented by the stratigically-placed Dynawrap lacing system and raised heel support which locks you in perfectly. If you have a slightly wider foot, the Gel Res 9 accomodates in that department.

Still wanting to explore more and wish the best of both world in terms of speed and durabily? Then check out the Asics Court FF3 Novaks.


Lacoste AG-LT23 Ultra Lacoste x Daniil Medvedev

Evening Standard

Preferred Fit: Medium/True to Size

Surface sole: All court

Weight: 430g

Pro Player Endorsements: Danil Medvedev

Shoe Type: Speed-Durabilty Focused

Lacoste – with its well known crocodile logo – are gathering speed on court with their top tier tennis kicks. Out of the box, the AG-LT23 has a low profile and streamlined designed (compared to its LT-21 predecessor). Endorsed by Danil Medvedev no less … you would be foolish to brush these off.

So, how do the play out? Will they snap on court or slip up?

Taking a tour around the upper, we immediately noticed the excellent mix of breathable mesh and stratigically positioned durable protection giving us superb balance of strength and agility.

The midsole of the trainer provides a magical trade-off between shock absorption and ground connection with no lack of response. Our playtesting highlighted this and positively noted plus points on pushing off and boosting back and forth in all directions.

The two-piece herringbone pattern outsole is specifically designed to curb any freak skidding or spinning out, so you should find yourself well under control on different surfaces.

A couple of our playtesters did experience their toes were tucked into a tight duvet like quilt (due to the roof of the toe box being a bit flat across the top of the shoe). However, they decided that although this was a very minor point, it was worth a tiny mention. Yes, I know they are a critical bunch!

The general consensus on this iteration leaned very much towards an avalanche of favourable feedback. Personally, I think the LT-23 is totally sublime, the lush locked in comfort and padded pods on the split tongue are those extra nuggets I look for on top of a top tennis shoe … kinda like the cherry and icing on the cake.

With next to nothing break in, this is one premium show court piece with tremendous bite and available in a great selection hues.


NikeCourt Air Zoom Vapor Pro 2

Evening Standard

Preferred Fit: Medium/True to Size

Surface sole: Hard Court and Clay

Weight: 458g

Pro Player Endorsements: None

Shoe Type: Durability Focused

Kicking on from the now discontinued Vapor Pro (we don’t know why as it’s an electrifying shoe), this new offering is a bit of departure from a speed focused affair and one for ripping up the courts with ultimate comfort.

There is still an extremely decent element of the zippyness, especially on the front foot courtesy of the clevely re-positioned zoom air box on the ball of your foot, encouraging you to burst forward and close down any short balls.

In our estimation, the Vapor Pro 2 sides more towards everlasting rallies – especially when using Nike’s ‘Claybreaker’ technology – they claim it ‘enhances traction and adds grip’. For all Hard Court aficionado’s out there, a snappy dog tooth pattern tread optimises your game on this particular surface.

So how did this sneaker stack up?

The main course here is Saturday night sofa-like comfort (with no break-in required). Cushioning under the heel area is absolutely phenomenal – a word of warning to some players who might find it disconnects them from the ground a bit too much.

I felt secure whilst sliding and experienced a fast low ride off the surface. The interesting lace system is placed centrally (rather than angular like its predecessor) and incorporates an under loop flap eyelet, which could be more for design than functionality … but the system does essentially hold you down.

Nike have managed to break the mould again managing to produce a trainer that stands out from the crowd and perform at the highest level point after point. Their Air Zoom Vapor 11 model is also worth looking at if you prefer a faster moving alternative.



Evening Standard

Preferred Fit: Medium-Wide/True to Size

Surface sole: Hard Court and All Court

Weight: 450g

Pro Player Endorsements: Roger Federer, Iga Swiatek and Ben Shelton

Shoe Type: Speed Focused

The one and only Roger Federer teamed up with On (you might know them for the brand’s running shoes) to design and produce thier ground-breaking first foray into the high performance tennis footwear arena.

Aptly named The ROGER Pro, Federer wore prototypes at Wimbledon in 2021 and in his run up to retirement, making them sought after by fans and players alike. Iga Swiatek and Ben Shelton recenly signed up with the brand and will wear and compete with them on the main stage.

The interior design of the shoe is packed with clever science which is reflected in the price tag. Aestectically, you have to admire the superb clean, simple and understated lines.

Strong foot support and dynamics is central and provides an awesome base. Our playtesters reported back how comforatble and cool they were even after wearing them for hours in swelterting conditions.

The midsole sole is pretty rigid, but allows excellent ground contact and acceleration where the cutting edge carbon fibre speedboard is responsible for supreme energy return.

If you mainly stick to hard courts, our playetesters back the ‘cross hatched’ sole version – as they perform better to that specific surface (and makes less noise – especially on Acrylic). You will find this version holds up perfectly fine on artficial clay, as well as, a dry artificial grass court.

For those of you who enjoy digging up on the red dirt, seek out their delicious bright orange herringbone clay shoe. Honestly, you will never look back, traction-wise it’s perfection, much like the Swiss master himself.

There is a interesting lace lock system for your digits to wrap around, this is more a funky design element rather than a sleek ‘tech’ function. Fit comes up small in our estimation and we would recommend trying a half/one size up.

At the end of the day, The ROGER Pro is guaranteed to become a sure fire hit and hot ticket collectors item.


New Balance FuelCell 996v5

Evening Standard

Preferred Fit: Medium-Wide/True to Size

Surface sole: Hard Court and All Court

Weight: 400g

Shoe Type: Speed Focused

New Balance has done an excellent job making these FuelCellv5s nimble on the run with ample stability. The lightweight upper mesh stretches, supports plus breathes exceptionally well and is all wrapped up in a simplistic classic design – there is also a funky blue option for the more adventurous.

Diving straight into the two pattern grip with is predominately wavy herringbone tread and part curved tread under the heal area – it hits clutch mode on hard court without a foot fault in sight. On other court surfaces it also manages to stay on track.

WhiLst also trying to retrieve some horrible wide balls, I felt well balanced across the court – perhaps a little slip here and there on artificial surfaces, but not enough to mark it down.

For comfort, NB have created a plush, low ground ride that is well connected and ready to roll for first serve with no break-in. Foam technology in the midsole which encourages you to hunt down drop shots with zest has been boosted returning a pocketful of energy.

I’d like to add, the lateral support has improved as well from their previous 4.5 model. In fact, the shoe as a whole has jumped into who new league – despite a small increase in weight.

If you wish to experience extra dynamic explosion, we suggest trying an orthotic insole. You might just see an improved performance.


Adidas Adizero Cybersonic

Evening Standard

Preferred Fit: Narrow-Medium/True to Size

Surface sole: Hard Court and All Court

Weight: 390g

Shoe Type: Speed Focused

Looking for something extra special to zip around your local park courts or tennis club? Fans of Adidas will be craving “the future of fast” as they say with the new Cybersonic.

The Adizero Cybersonic incorporates ‘lightstrike’ mid sole technology which provides second to none cushioning and is totally explosive off the rebound. Impressive speed and acceleration is easily gathered courtesy of the low to ground ride that enables players to move quickly around the court.

We gave these a rigorous run out and found the more aggressive moves we made, they responded and reacted quicker and better. Kinda like a Scalextric car going full tilt and racing away without flying off the track.

Our playtesters admired its minimalistic yet futuristic styling that doesn’t detract from the high performance values and results.

Wrapped around the heel and rooted into the sole is the true heartbeat – an ‘energy rod’ (actually this splits in two), which elevates the response of the shoe and supports the stability of the midfoot, as well as, the heel.

The rod might look like a bumper guard but doesn’t act as one. It has real technical purpose and doesn’t stiffen up the sneaker at all.

One very minor niggle I dare to mention is a slight issue with multi directional sole. Don’t get me wrong it does the job on all surfaces, but would benefit better if it was replaced with the all court tread of the Barricade.

That would (probably) make it the best tennis shoe in the Adidas line and one of the best on the market.


Lotto Raptor Hyperpulse 100 spd

ES Composite

Preferred Fit: Medium/True to Size

Surface sole: Hard Court

Weight: 491g

Pro Player Endorsements: Roberto Carballes Baena

Shoe Type: Durability Focused

I was super excited testing out Lotto’s Raptor Hyperpulse 100 SPD, before I even got them on court as the comfort factor completly knocked it out the ball park.

Everything from the intergrated padded tongue, to the secure laces and ventilated layered upper with its aerodynamic protective diamonds throws this sneaker in the right direction and that’s even before we dive any deeper.

The meat and bones for me is all about the multi-layer midsole with a stack of stabiliity and support properties fused with Lotto’s innovative Hyperpulse technology that propels this high performance tennis shoe to a different level – in terms of shock absorbtion and energy propulsion.

I’d like to add, anyone suffering from foot pain (arch, balls of feet or heel) could benefit trying these out. We noted and applauded the super comfy removable Ortholite insole.

The sweet game play continues with Lotto’s outsole that boasts unrivalled traction and durability, courtesy of a collabration with Vibram – a label that specialises in minimalist running footwear. Technically, these shoes are designed for Hard Court and they are delightfully quiet – less squeaky results here (there’s a clay court version available too).

Lotto’s tech bundle ensures they won’t let you down and keep you pumped up on every twist and turn. These Raptors command that killer instinct you need when it comes down to the final breaker.


K-Swiss Hypercourt Supreme

ES Composite

Preferred Fit: Medium/True to Size

Surface sole: All Court and Clay

Weight: 412g

Pro Player Endorsements: Cameron Norrie

Shoe Type: Speed-Durabilty Focused

Top Brit player Cameron Norrie, who is making waves on the ATP circuit, is currently signed up with K-Swiss, wearing the Ultrashot 3 model.

We decided to opt for the acclaimed Hypercourt Supreme – a very popular choice for competitive players be it juniors or adults.

With no break-in needed, these are aggressive off a standing start thanks to their an excellent two peice herringbone wraparound tread that performs particularly well on wet clay.

Air flow breezed through nicely. However, during a blistering sunny day on a hard court, they just might turn up the temperature. The padded tongue did feel a little short and could be extended out, but this just a little quibble and doesn’t affect play.

On the flip side, ground connection and responsiveness is extremely explosive and enjoyable via the Surge 7.0 midsole technology. Around the ankle, our playtesters pooled together and didn’t experience any heel movement, which seemed down to the sturdy double collar lock construction.

The bods from K-Swiss have produced a sweet all-round performer from heel to toe which balances between quickness and longevity. It’s curved, contour-lined PU upper encasing makes the whole shoe strong and flexible and deflects any unwanted debris like Captain America’s shield.


Asics Solution Speed FF2

ES Composite

Preferred Fit: Medium/True to Size

Surface sole: All Court and Clay

Weight: 385g

Pro Player Endorsements: Alex de Minaur and David Goffin

Shoe Type: Speed Focused

Asics is lauded for its tennis footwear by those in the know. This is the brand’s lightweight performance tennis shoe, which has been specifically engineered for players who like to rapidly rush the net.

Let’s begin with the upper which is fully protected with Polyurethane (for durability) and has a flexible web like alien skin finish. Results on airflow pointed towards improved ventilation from the previous version, which we found highly impressive.

As for fit, the Solution Speed FF2’s wrap around your foot securely with a comforting huggy feeling. I have a slight wide foot base and was surprised that it didn’t feel squeezed in or tight.

Performance-wise from a standing start, they are unbelievably quick off the front foot and encourage players to propel themselves forward – that’s no bad thing for serve and volley fanatics or double specialists.

So, where are we on traction? Well, the grip is game-changing. Our playtesters loved how the clay treads especially dug in on kicked up red dirt providing excellent manouverablity.

In terms of a complete tennis shoe, this is at the top level.


Yonex Power Cushion Eclipsion 4

ES Composite

Preferred Fit: Narrow-Medium/True to Size

Surface sole: All Court and Clay

Weight: 468g

Pro Player Endorsements: Casper Ruud, Hubert Hurkacz and Stan Wawrinka

Shoe Type: Speed-Durabilty Focused

First impressions of this shoe leaned towards something that resembled more of an imperial warship from the Star Wars universe with the fully protected toe box and part side walls.

They also seemed to be a real beast carrying some serious firepower, while remaining surprisingly light and quick. There’s also decent ventilation due to part mesh upper and air vents.

The main feature is without a doubt the Power Cushion that provides the player with out of this world comfort and shock absorbsion, which is especially noticeable on hard courts. Our playtesting squad also applauded the plush tongue finish and solid laces too.

Yonex Power Cushion Eclipsion 4s is a two piece monosock design together with a hybrid herringbone sole for a secure feel whilst in action. The heel also employs excellent supportive attributes bringing in brilliant stability.

I felt a little high off the surface, but at the same time really enjoyed hitting with these shoes and the fabulous mix of strength and speed. If you have a wider base foot, you might need to look elsewhere though.


NikeCourt Zoom Vapor Cage 4 Rafa

ES Composite

Preferred Fit: Medium/True to Size

Surface sole: Hard Court and All Court

Weight: 495g

Pro Player Endorsements: Rafa Nadal

Shoe Type: Durabilty Focused

Notching up 20+ Grand Slams like Nadal is not easy. So, let’s start from the ground up with NikeCourt’s Zoom Vapor Cage 4 Rafa. If you are a player seeking a bit more weight, aggression and durability to your game, you won’t go far wrong with this footwear.

Although, these are Nadal branded, they are not the shoes he plays in. Word is our man Rafa apparently plays in a custom built hybrid of the previous Cage version mixed with the Court Ballistic 4.3.

That said, this latest incarnation is extremely supportive with a ultra stable feel, plus they have a wrap around lacing system and sole, which is especially effective for those difficult to reach sliding shots.

Biomechanically, the raised rocker heel gives you a nice push off in play. We also appreciated the progressive herringbone tread which assists with grip and directional change in movement.

Packaged up with the star’s signature Bull logo on the tongue and ‘Rafa’ wording on back heels – it has the true stamp of success.

As these are more in the solid heavyweight category, players might require a bit more patience on break-in, but once that is done and dusted, you will ready to tear up all corners of court dimensions with gusto.


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