If you are looking for a good pair of tennis shoes, it is important that you have a solid understanding of the basic anatomy of a tennis shoe. Only when you know all of these essential components, will you be able to recognize what shoes are best suited to your needs, allowing you to obtain footwear that will meet the challenge of what your foot really needs, instead of only satisfactory sneakers.
You need to know the vital parts of a tennis shoe, because this specific type of athletic footwear is comprised of distinct elements that allow players to move around the court with flexibility and stability, and also provides the proper foot support and shock absorption. Here is a list of the important features of which you will want to be aware:
- Uppers – This part of the shoe is commonly made of mesh, synthetic, or leather, or a combination of materials. Mesh uppers help your feet to remain cool, which provides more breathability. On the other hand, leather and synthetic uppers tend to remain dryer and provide more support than mesh, but do not allow for as much air flow. A combination provides the wearer with an equal mix of breathability and support. In many cases, the combination is also the most durable of the three upper varieties.
- Collar – You will want to make certain that the collar of the shoe is a comfortable fit and that the uppermost area that encircles your foot and ankle isn’t so high that it will rub.
- Heel Counter – A heel counter increases foot support. It is a plastic insert that reinforces the shoe’s heel cup and is situated in the heel part of the upper. It helps to make the shoe more resilient during quick lateral movements and keeps the foot from lifting out of the shoe.
- Soles – The soles of the footwear should be wider than a running shoe and virtually flat. The traction of the sole varies, because different courts require different levels of traction. To determine the type of traction a shoe has, look at the pattern or lack thereof. Smooth soles are non-marking and are designed for indoor courts. Soles that feature a herringbone pattern with deep treads provide more grip and are meant for outdoor courts. Herringbone patterns are also ideal for clay courts, but the treads shouldn’t be deep, as this could damage the court surface.
- Cushioning – An excellent pair of tennis sneakers will be equipped with cushioning through the midsole. Adequate cushioning is important, because it not only makes shoes comfortable, but it protects the wearer by absorbing the shock from impact.
Finally, remember that attaining a high quality pair of tennis shoes is also a matter of knowing your foot type, the type of court surface on which you will most frequently play, and your playing style. Your shoes need to not only be comfortable, but need to be able to easily adapt to your sudden and fast movements when you’re in action.