Is Running Shoe Good For Tennis

So many different sports and so many types of shoes. They often make me wonder if they are actually required or not. One of the most popular sport today is tennis and the other one is running. So, if you are a runner with a finesse for tennis, you have to deal with this shoe problem often. And mind you, shoes are expensive, although there are a couple which is not that expensive. If you can use one shoe for multiple sports, it will be great. But can you actually do that? Today we have answered this question in-depth so that you can make a more informed decision.

Is Running Shoe Good For Tennis? 

Running shoes are not good for tennis as you need more lateral support, stability and ground feel from your tennis shoes. Running shoes are more focused on cushioning and less on lateral support. So, using running shoes for tennis, you may end up with problems in your feet, ankle, and knees. However, if you are playing tennis occasionally, you can get away with using a running shoe.

Whatever we have just told you is not the only difference. Below are all the differences between a running shoe and a tennis shoe. So, read on…

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What is the difference between tennis shoes and running shoes?

There is a lot of difference between a running shoe and a tennis shoe. Below is a comprehensive list of differences:

Running Shoes

  • Lighter than tennis shoes.
  • Designed for forward-movement.
  • Side padding to protect the ankles.
  • Mostly, high cut.
  • More sole support to absorb the impact of running.
  • Less flexible than a tennis shoe.
  • Thicker and softer heels than a tennis shoe.
  • Less lateral stability.
  • Less durable than tennis shoes.
  • More comfortable and cushy as the sport demands.

Tennis Shoes

  • Heavier than running shoes.
  • Designed for movement in all directions.
  • Lesser padding at the ankles to facilitate side to side movement.
  • Slimmer than running shoes to improve agility.
  • Mostly, low cut shoe as the high cut will restrict your side to side movement.
  • Very thin and slim sole with less padding.
  • More flexible and pliable than running shoes.
  • Thinner and harder heels to promote stability and to facilitate a wide range of motion.
  • More durable than running shoes.
  • More focused on agility than comfort.

Is Running Shoe Good For Tennis

What to look for in a running shoe for tennis?

If you want to use a running shoe for tennis, look for the following features in your running shoes:

  • A wider toe-box
  • Thinner outsole
  • Lower cut and lesser padding around the ankles
  • Good treads in the sole.
  • Flexible and pliable.

With all these features in mind, you can go for either Merrell Trail Glove 4 Runner or Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V2.

We would again tell you that, using running shoes for tennis is OK only for a hobbyist tennis player.

However, if you are a serious tennis player, you should invest in a good tennis shoe.

Otherwise, you will be increasing your chances of getting injured. 

What will happen if you use running shoes for tennis?

Tennis shoes are different from running shoes by design.

They are meant for a wide range of motion whereas running shoes are meant for only forward-motion.

So, if you wear running shoes in a tennis court, you are restricting your range of motion.

Hence, in side by side movements or for sliding, pausing and stopping, these running shoes will not support you the way you want them to.

As a result, you will enhance your chances of feet rolling and other injuries related to knees and ankles.

The most common injury that you will face is ankle twisting. 

If running shoes and tennis shoes have a difference in height, is it bad to use both?

Purpose of a running shoe and a tennis shoe are different.

Running is a more impact sport as you rhythmically pound on a surface.

This creates an incredible opposite force and if not absorbed by your shoe, will make you tired and exhausted very easily.

Also, if you run regularly without proper cushioning, you will be more prone to injury.

This is the reason, your running shoes are well cushioned. (except the minimalist and barefoot one).

Obviously, added cushioning is means more height.

Whereas, in tennis, you need to have a low ground feel and more stability. So, their sole is thin and the height is less.

This brings us to the above question…is this height difference bad for us, if we use both.

The simple answer is ‘No’.


Your body is an incredible machine. This height difference will not make much of a difference as it will get adjusted to it in a couple of minutes.

It is same as using different shoes on different days. You wear high heels, flats, flip flops, etc.

The problem will arise if you try to use one shoe for both the sport and toss out the other one. 

Also, probably, you will be more prone to one sport than the other.

So, occasional switching of the shoe will really not have any effect on your body whatsoever.

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Related Questions

Can you use tennis shoes for running?

You can use tennis shoes for running.

Most of the tennis shoes are zero-drop and with less cushioning.

This opens you up for a more natural running experience.

However, you should use tennis shoes for running only for shorter distances like 5K or 10K.

If you are running a marathon, you should use a properly cushioned running shoe.

Otherwise, the fatigue will be too much and you will not be able to run those extra miles.

However, there is one caveat.

Although tennis shoes can be used for short-distance running, they are heavier than running shoes.

This may have an impact on your speed and endurance.

If you don’t like that, then it is better to stick with lightweight running shoes

Are tennis shoes necessary?

No, tennis shoes are not necessary.

If you can find a spots shoe which has the above-mentioned qualities, you can use that instead of a tennis shoe.

However, in that case, you will have to devote a lot of time and energy in your shoe research.

It is easier to find all these qualities packaged in one shoe which is a tennis shoe.

So, it really depends on you, whether to use a tennis shoe or to do more extensive research.

How to buy a tennis shoe?

This is a huge topic in itself and deserves its separate post.

However, I’ll try to give you a 101 to set you off on the right track:

Playing Style

  • Baseline player – You would need more lateral support as your movement from side to side is more. Sole durability is also very important.
  • Serve-and-Volley player – You are more of a net charger. Sliding is more in your type of game. You would need a reinforced toecap and medial inside the arch.


  • Concrete – You need something with a durable, resilient outsole and supportive upper.
  • Soft or Clay – You need something with non-damaging traction.
  • Multi-Court – There are shoes which will work great on multiple types of surfaces. 

Foot Structure

  • Overpronation – Your feet rolls inside upon touching the ground. You need stability tennis shoe.
  • Neutral – Your feet remain at a perpendicular when it touches the ground. You need a neutral tennis shoe.
  • Underpronation or Supination – Your feet rolls outside when it touches the ground. You need a more flexible type of shoe to alleviate any shock related issue.

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