I knew it was important to have specific shoes for Tennis, however, until my recent injury I didn't realize how important. I'm now trying to desperately recover from a foot injury that may possibly have something to do with my shoes.
Replacing your tennis shoes is VERY important. I'm sure that many of us are guilty to wearing our shoes through the sole, wearing regular fitness shoes, wearing the wrong size, etc. Here's a quick guide on some things to consider when choosing the right tennis shoe:
1. The FIT - When you are trying on your shoe, your foot should NOT be moving around inside. Also, contrary to what some believe, you also don't want to feel that you have to break in the shoe. Leather shoes will often be still when you first wear them; but if they aren't absolutely comfortable and you can't get on the court right when you try them on...Keep Looking!
*This is a mistake that I make a lot, thinking that they will break in and get more comfortable later. Why torture your poor foot?
2. Price - the more expensive shoe is not always the best, BUT more expensive shoes generally have more features that associate with the comfort of your foot. COMFORT is very important. A tennis shoe is no place to skimp, especially if you play on a regular basis. Protect your foot and get a good shoe, maybe you'll be lucky and get a cheaper shoe; but searching for sale shoes may be detrimental if they don't have the right features.
*I'm guilty of this as well. However, I did find that one of the best tennis shoes i've had, was also well-priced. Or maybe I just felt that it was worth it.
3. SUPPORT - make sure that your tennis shoe has good lateral support. This is the main reason why regular fitness or running shoes, just don't make the cut. To prevent ankle and lower foot injuries, lateral support on your tennis shoe is very important since you'll likely be doing a lot of short side-to-side movements on the court. The best shoes are where your foot feels low in the shoe, showing that there is sufficient ankle support
4. SURFACE - where do you play the most? Make sure that the sole of your shoe fits the needs of the court, your shoe will feel different for hard, grass and clay. (i.e.If you're on Clay, then make sure to select shoes that have a 'herring bone' sole, that will grip to the clay.)
5. A guarantee - any good shoe store or company will have a guarantee on a shoe. Take advantage of that. Try out the shoe and make sure that you like it.
6. If you play regularly (3-4 times/week), then be sure to replace your shoes at least every 6 months. If they are starting to wear and get loose then you know its time! If you play less frequently, just be sure to monitor when your anke or lace area begins loosening up, that is a key indicator that your shoe is about ready to retire.
My last piece of advice is. Don't wear your tennis shoes for other things. Tennis shoes are designed for wear and tear on the court. The more you conserve your shoe, the better results that you will get from it on the court. I keep a pair of sandals in my bag, so that once I'm done playing I can change shoes. I like to treat my tennies with a little special attention! Now that I'm injured I will be more steadfast in attending to my feet and shoes on the court.