Hands down, the most important thing to get right when purchasing a new pair of tennis shoes is the fit. Let me walk you through a few different topics you should keep in mind when evaluating shoes.
The size of your shoe is perhaps the most obvious when it comes to achieving the right fit. But how sure are you of your sizing?
Ideally, you’ll have roughly a half-inch or 13 millimetres between the tip of your big toe and the front of your shoe. A quick test that works reasonably well is to use the width of your thumb to check this space. Adequate room at the front of your shoe helps to avoid jamming your toes together and pre-vents blisters, while also allowing them to breathe and stay cool. Tennis shoes that are too large, on the other hand, can also lead to excessive move-ment of your foot, which can also lead to blisters and issues with your calf muscles and Achilles heel.
For a large portion of the world’s population, standard or regular width shoes do the trick, but if you fall outside of this range, then it’s crucial to find the correct width for the health of your feet.
The available space for your toes in a shoe will correlate with the width of a shoe. However, since most shoes are standard size, you’ll find that some have tighter or more roomy toe boxes.
Although this isn’t typically a problem for most, some may find that the bones at the outer edge of their ankles (fibula and tibia) come into con-tact with the upper edge of their shoe and cause discomfort. When you first try on a shoe, it’s worth watching out for any rubbing around your ankles. This can be amplified when playing tennis and can lead to discomfort.
Choose a tennis shoe based on your playing style:
A baseline player mainly plays along the back-line of the court. The type of shoes needed for a baseline player require lateral support. A highly durable sole is also necessary due to constant lateral motion.
A serve-and-volley player frequently charges the net. This type of player often slides their back foot along the court during the serve, so a shoe with a durable toecap (also referred to as a reinforced toe) and medial inside the arch is essential.