Every serious tennis player needs a dedicated set of tennis shoes. Your clunky old runners will work for beginners, but you will realize that your shoe quality is impacting your game as you progress. Tennis is a game about quick reactions and precise movement, so tripping over your feet will get in the way.
Picking the right shoe can be a bit daunting. Whether you want to up your game or freshen up your kicks on the court, there are a lot of great options to choose between. Here is a review of the best minimalist tennis shoes.
Top 7 Barefoot Minimalist Tennis Shoes
The Vivobarefoot Geo Court
The Geo Court by Vivobarefoot is a great shoe to keep you looking good while staying fast on your toes. The flexible rubber sole and a low-profile ankle will help you maximize agility and speed.
The all-white color is stylish, without being in your face. While there is a lot like about this classy look, these are not the best shoes to wear for other activities. Stick to tennis if you want your white shoe to maintain its appearance.
New Balance Hard Court 996v3 Tennis Shoe
The Hard Court 996v3 Tennis Shoe is what people expect from a New Balance shoe. A sturdy build, excellent traction, with solid ankle support. These shoes also come in three styles, giving you some customizability when picking your look.
For those not experienced with using New Balance shoes, they tend to have a narrow fit. A snug fit is essential for optimal performance, as well as reducing blisters. Still, be aware of sizing when ordering to avoid a poor fit.
New Balance Fresh Foam Lav V1 Hard Court Tennis Shoe
The Fresh Foam Lav V1 Hard Court Tennis Shoe is the second shoe on the list from New Balance. Like the 996v3, this is a sturdy shoe with plenty of traction. One of the advantages of the Lav V1 is the mesh, which adds breathability to the shoe. The shoe also comes in several colors for the style-conscious, ranging from bold reds to muted greys.
The Fresh Foam Lav V1 uses an unusual construction, where the tongue is connected to the body of the shoe. While this helps it stopping the tongue from shifting, reviewers who use ankle braces have noted they can’t wear this shoe.
Similar to the 996v3, the Foam Lav also has a narrow fit. Consider your sizing carefully before making a purchase.
New Balance FuelCell 996 V4 Tennis Shoe
While the FuelCell 996 V4 Tennis Shoe is the third set of New Balance shoes listed, this is much different from the other two. The FuelCell uses a specialized foam midsole to make the shoe extra springy. The shoes are also light-weight, durable, and offer solid traction.
This shoe can be more expensive than some of the others on this list. While pricing varies, it can push around $200, so make sure to find a good deal. As with the other New Balance shoes, this has a narrow fit, so adjust sizing accordingly.
Merrell Vapor Glove 4
Merrell is not the brand everyone thinks of when considering tennis shoes, but the Vapor Glove 4 may help change that. The shoe is light-weight, breathable, and offers solid traction. It is also very affordable, making it a perfect choice for a tennis player still figuring out their style.
The Vapor Glove 4 features a low heel cup. This means maximum rotation of your ankle but little support. If you have any issues with rolling your ankle, this is probably not the shoe for you.
Prio Running and Fitness Shoe
The Prio Running and Fitness Shoe by Xero is an excellent general-purpose running shoe that fits nicely on the tennis court. It features a construction that is light-weight and agile. Xero Shoes are also backed by a 5,000-mile sole warranty. This making the Xero a great brand to try for anyone that is especially hard on their shoes
The Prio is designed as an all-around fitness shoe, which can double for many other outdoors or athletic activities. While this flexibility is helpful, the extra padding may feel slightly constraining compared to other shoes on this list.
Vivobarefoot Primus Lite II BIO
Want to take your environmental footprint literally? The Primus Lite II BIO from Vivobarefoot offers a vegan shoe made from light-weight plant-based materials. The shoes also feature mesh made from recycled PET plastic, which adds to the breathability of the shoes.
One of the downsides to these minimalist tennis shoes is finding a pair! Retailer websites seem to struggle to keep them in stock. While that is an excellent endorsement for the shoes, it does mean you might need to be patient to get your hands on them.
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