Tennis Shoes vs Running shoes (Quick Facts)

Tennis Shoes vs Running shoes (Quick Facts)

Imagine a last-minute invitation to play Tennis from one of your friends; you wore a pair of running shoes and joined them on the court. Little did you know that this will be a lifelong lesson for you, and you will most probably not dare again to wear inappropriate shoes for a particular game ever. 

So, what happens if you wear the wrong pair of shoes for the athletic endeavor? As an amateur, I didn’t know much about the importance of proper shoes on the tennis court. I did some research which I think will help my readers develop a reasonable understanding of this topic.

In this article, I will show you the differences between tennis shoes and running shoes and the possible consequences if you wear the wrong pair of shoes. 

I will also provide you with the information that you need to consider before buying a pair of running shoes or tennis shoes. So, let’s get started. 

Tennis shoes VS Running shoes

The main differences between tennis shoes and running shoes lie in their sole, weight, and traction. Running shoes provide you tons of cushioning and comfort when you run forward, while tennis shoes provide your lateral support and more traction on the ground. 

Tennis shoes are usually slightly heavier, stiff, and rigid. On the contrary, running shoes are very lightweight, soft, and well-cushioned. When you run, you only do one movement that is going forward. But when you play Tennis, lateral movement becomes the prime movement for you. You have to also run forward in Tennis, but that is very minimal. 

Cushioning is less critical for a tennis player because s/he needs to feel the ground for his lateral stability. If you don’t feel the ground, you may end up slipping on the court and injuring yourself. Tennis shoes prevent you from sliding on the ground and provide you stability. And the pattern on the sole varies as the different court needs different types of traction. 

Tennis Shoes vs Running shoes (Quick Facts)

Some important aspects that vary in Running and Tennis shoes are given below.


The main difference between running shoes and tennis shoes is in their cushioning. Running shoes come with tons of cushioning. It keeps your feet stable and comfy when you run on various terrains. 

When you run, you impact the ground more than your actual body weight. So, if you run in a shoe that isn’t well-cushioned and comfortable for you, you will have a sore feeling just even after running a short distance. Most of the running shoes have cushioning in the heel and toe area to run with more ease and comfort without injuring yourself. 

But cushioning is not much important in tennis shoes. Because when you play Tennis, it’s very important for you to feel the court. Too much-cushioning means less stability on the ground as it doesn’t allow you to feel the ground. 

In Tennis, you do lateral movement, not heel to forward toe movement. So, it’s important to have stability. Otherwise, you may slide on the ground and injure yourself. Running shoes don’t come with that much lateral support because you move only forward, not sideways, when you run. 

Tennis Shoes vs Running shoes (Quick Facts)

Weight Difference:

Running shoes are very lightweight. In contrast, tennis shoes are slightly heavy. If you want to take long mileage, it’s not possible wearing tennis shoes. After running a mile or two, you will tire yourself. While playing Tennis, you don’t need to run forward that much. Tennis involves lateral movement. 

So, running shoes focus on less weight, more flexibility, and extra cushioned design. On the other hand, tennis shoes provide you with lateral movement, durability, and stability on the court. So tennis shoes add some extra weight in comparison to their running counterparts. 


Running shoes are flexible. The flexibility allows your feet to run in the forward direction with comfort. A less flexible running shoe doesn’t allow you to move naturally. Less flexibility of running shoes may lead to injuries. 

Tennis shoes also need flexibility. However, when you play Tennis, you have to involve yourself in various movements. So tennis shoes also allow flexibility, but it is not as much as running shoes. If you are not flexible enough as a player, you need stiffer shoes that provide you more stability. 

However, if you believe in your flexibility, you can play with more flexible shoes. As a player, you have to understand what type of shoes you want to wear on the court. Some tennis shoes come with less weight and provide less stability.

Sole and Durability:

Tennis Shoes vs Running shoes (Quick Facts)

Running shoes often come with a very flexible outsole that allows you to run forward. Tennis shoes’ sole is more traction oriented. The outsole of tennis shoes will enable you to get a proper grip on different ground and boost your lateral movement. 

Running shoes tend to be less durable than tennis shoes. People change their pair of running shoes when the cushioning of the shoes becomes useless. If the cushioning of running shoes flattens, it is time to discard your shoes. 

Tennis shoes need grip and traction on the court. When the outsole of your shoes doesn’t provide you enough traction, it’s time to get you another pair of shoes. However, tennis shoes last longer than running shoes. So, changing doesn’t happen very often. 

Heel to Toe Drop:

Running shoes often come with a high heel-to-toe drop. Running shoes encourage heel to toe drop because elevated heel helps you run comfortably and with ease. Generally, the heel of running shoes is a bit higher than the toe. It affects the way your foot lands. 

If the heel drop is higher, it encourages you to impact the ground with your heel. However, medium or lower heel drop enables you to impact the ground with your midfoot. 

As Tennis involves lateral movement and a little bit of forward movement, heel drop is ordinarily low or zero in tennis shoes. You don’t need heel drop in your tennis shoes as Tennis doesn’t involve forward movement only. 

Can Tennis Shoes be Used for Variety Of Usage?

Are you wondering if tennis shoes comprise a variety of usage? Let’s move forward to know more. 

To wear on the deck, the sailors of the British fleet required shoes that did not slip or slide on wet surfaces. Wealthy aristocrats then wore the boots to play Tennis, the most prestigious sport at the time. This situation birthed the name of tennis shoes.

Tennis shoes are specifically made for tennis courts to provide the necessary support and comfort while playing Tennis. Canvas, rubber, and other materials are used to make this footwear. But other than just utilizing in just tennis court; it has got other applications too!

Can we use tennis shoes for walking?

Yes, you can wear tennis shoes for walking as long as they are comfortable. Wearing tennis shoes for walking is not bad, but tennis shoes are a bit bulky. Bulkier shoes may cause you trouble while walking. But if you feel comfortable, there is nothing wrong with wearing tennis shoes. However, there are always explicitly designed shoes for different purposes.

So for walking, you should choose a pair of shoes that are designed specifically for walking.

By choosing a pair of shoes designed specifically for walking, you will lessen the risk of injury. 

Tennis Shoes vs Running shoes (Quick Facts)

Can I Use Tennis Shoes To Play Golf?

Tennis shoes, running shoes, cross trainers, or any other form of shoe can be worn on the golf course as long as they do not injure the turf and are authorized on the course premises.

But does it make a difference?

Generally, it is not so divergent, but you may need golf shoes when playing on the golf course in a few cases.

Such cases include reasoning like-

Light Mass

A decent pair of golf shoes are light and comfortable. You may be on your feet for long periods. For which it is essential.

Cushioning & Convenience

Tennis shoes provide outstanding comfort. Golf shoe manufacturers understand how important it is for golfers to be able to play smoothly. 


Numerous golf shoes have grips on the bottom. Grips give stability, protecting you from sliding around and tumbling down.

Tennis Shoes vs Running shoes (Quick Facts)

Pros & Cons of Using Tennis Shoes as a Substitute for Golf


● It is an ever-present product, so it’s more likely to be found easily anywhere.

● It’s reliable and comfortable for regular uses such as for walks, jog, etc.


● Comprises of scanty and narrow shoe base that doesn’t provide accurate stability like golf shoes.

● It most likely causes damage and minor injuries since it’s not actually created for golf matches. It’s made for tennis games specifically.

Can I Use Tennis Shoes for Volleyball?

Although some people might assume that all shoes are relatively the same, that’s a wrong conception. There are plenty of differences found that portray all shoes not falling into the same category. Let’s begin to see if tennis shoes can be used for playing volleyball.

Volleyball shoes have some unique features. In a Volleyball game, the balls of the feet are stressed for the movements involved in the game, and the shoes’ midsole absorbs the majority of the shock. The midsole must be substantial while remaining flexible due to these stresses. Even though courts can be slippery, it includes features like “Excellent Grip” that resists you from falling or sliding over!

Using a pair of tennis shoes for playing volleyball is not possible under any circumstances. Your pace and motion are meant to decline because of the design that tennis shoes comprise. Tennis shoes generally have a sturdier build which can affect the surface of a volleyball court when you play in them for extended periods. Both sports have considerably various requirements that you must consider when selecting them.

Tennis Shoes vs Running shoes (Quick Facts)


How tennis shoes differ from volleyball shoes?

●     Midsoles

In particular, tennis shoe midsoles are made with a powerful sole. As a result, the player has a better grip on the tennis court and can move around freely.

On the other contrary, Volleyball shoes are made to provide you with excellent support, cushioning, and quick side-to-side movements on the court. This gives them the flexibility to begin and finish at any time during the match.

Volleyball shoes are also built to be very durable to produce adequate performance and prevent injuries.

●     Design

In contrast with tennis shoes, volleyball shoes can also seem to be somewhat extensive and unfashionable. Tennis shoes are usually exquisite and tiny in appearance.

●     Cost

Tennis shoes appear to be more expensive than volleyball shoes in my personal view. When determining the difference between tennis shoes and volleyball shoes, this is one aspect to look for. Tennis shoes range in price from $100 to $160, while volleyball shoes vary from $80-$150.

●     Soles

Volleyball shoes are mainly formed with gum rubber soles. This delivers them with significant downforce on the court and inhibits them from sliding.

Tennis shoes, as previously stated, have a robust sole that provides a firm grip and traction on the court. This prevents you from slipping and losing your balance.

●     Mass

Volleyball shoes are commonly lighter in weight, unlike tennis shoes. They can easily slide up and down as a result of this. It also improves their capacity to move around the court quickly.

On the other flip side, Tennis shoes are somewhat heavier because of the leather and materials utilized. This is for providing you with consistency and cushioning.

Can I Use Tennis Shoes For Basketball?

Basketball shoes are designed to act as shock absorbers and provide ankle controllability while allowing players to move side to side due to the constant jumping, starting, and stopping. Basketball shoes, as a matter of fact, are much bulkier than running shoes.

Basketball shoes are classified into three categories: high-tops, mid-tops, and low-tops. Every other type of shoe has its own set of benefits. High-tops are the heaviest type of basketball shoe, but they furnish the most exemplary ankle support.

Tennis shoes, with the exception of possibly being too low, should operate well for basketball. Tennis and Basketball shoes are both “court” footwear, which also allows your feet to sit pretty flat in comparison to running shoes, which are more clenched. Tennis shoes also have a low edge to keep them light and avoid rubbing against your ankle. 

Tennis Shoes vs Running shoes (Quick Facts)


Pros & Cons of Wearing Tennis Shoes for Basketball


● Tennis shoes focus on lateral support and stability

● Provides a low to the ground feel


● Tennis shoes are pretty expensive than basketball shoes.

● Basketball shoes are perfectly designed that don’t provide complications. Lack of convenience given by tennis shoes may lead to minor injuries.

● You may feel uncomfortable.


Final Words

There are some specific differences between Tennis and running shoes. Nowadays, manufacturers design shoes keeping sports and activities in mind. Most of the shoes are designed specifically for a particular sport or activity. 

For example, the first thing that the manufacturers of running shoes keep in mind is the heel-to-toe drop and lightweight design. High heel drop helps the runner striking the ground with their heel. Low or medium heel drop helps the runners to strike the ground with their mid-foot. However, for tennis shoes, there is no heel drop as Tennis is not only about forward movement; instead, it involves lateral and other movements as well.

So while buying a pair of shoes, you should consider the purpose of your purchase and which one you will be able to use interchangeably.

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