Can you wear badminton shoes to play tennis or… can you wear tennis shoes to play tennis ? We answer your questions here!
As an avid tennis and badminton enthusiast, i have seen many beginners playing tennis or badminton with either badminton shoes, tennis shoes or running shoes. But as you get better, it is a must to wear the proper shoes during your session. All sports have specialized footwear designed for the needs of the specific sport.
So is it possible to wear non sport specific shoes for tennis or badminton? The simple answer is yes, you can, but is it advisable? No. I will explain the reasons down below.
Why you cannot wear tennis shoes for badminton / Badminton shoes for tennis.
First of all, Tennis requires immense amounts of change in direction movements and agility especially while sprinting or running. In tennis, the ability to start and stop, start and stop repetitively. From lateral movements along the baseline, to sprinting for drop shots at the net, running back to retrieve a lob and many more.
So the shoes are designed for high impact absorption quick and stable change of direction with heavy padding, raised heels and a small protrusion on the outer side of the shoe to prevent ankle sprains.
Whereas for badminton, there is not a lot of running or high impact stop and turns because you do not have to sprint around the court with inertia, mostly intense jumps, sudden lunges and far stretches.
So the shoes are designed with a low heel and less padding to lower your center of gravity and to make sure you do not roll your ankle and get it sprained. And the soles are specific to wood or taraflex badminton courts.
Secondly, Tennis is played on a variety of court surfaces which include, grass, carpet, clay, hard, and more. Some tennis shoes are design for particular surfaces.
For example, the Adidas barricade generally can be used on all surfaces while others like the Nike zoom ultra should only be used on clay or grass because of the thin soles that wear quickly if used on a hard court.
Badminton is usually played on wood or taraflex unless you are outdoors. Thus the shoes are made of non marking rubber for grip.
Lastly The grip patterns on Tennis and Badminton shoes are very different. Badminton and all court tennis shoes have you moving in all directions the grip patterns are designed to be radial. They grip strongly in whichever direction friction is applied.
Tennis shoes have extra variety of grip patterns. Clay court shoes usually have a herringbone tread pattern, that stops clay getting lodged. It also allows for controlled sliding whilst still giving grip. Grass court shoes have a pimply pattern and are only suitable for grass courts. They provide a lot of grip on grass because grass is the most slippery court surface for Tennis because of the dew that forms on it.
How do you choose a badminton shoe
What makes a badminton shoe, a badminton shoe? A good pair of badminton shoes should have certain specific features and characteristics.
Traction and grip – Badminton courts are made with either hardwood, PU or cement. Shoes with gum rubber soles are the best for wood or PU courts. Shows with gum rubber soles provide great traction but attract dirt easily which may cause the shoe to get slippery after a while. A sole with deeper grooves will also provide better traction.
Light weight – As a sport that focuses on agility, light shoes are better so as to not slow down your movement.
Good Support – A good cushioning system can absorb impact and help you move around the court quickly in all directions. Making sure your feet are safe and stable to reduce damage to joints and prevent injury.
Ventilation – A good shoe will have good air flow to keep your feet cool and dry and also to prevent odour.
Flexibility – Shoes that allow flexible ankle movement are better suited as they ensure that the ankle is free to move around so the player can move better.
Thinner sole – The thinner sole helps to lower your center of gravity to reduce the risk of injuries with sudden movements.
Badminton Game Style
Are you a power hitter from the back court or like being near the net. Badminton sounds simple a 2 to 4 player game with a net and some shuttlecocks.
The rules are straightforward and the court’s pretty small. But as high level and experienced players know, it’s nothing as simple as that. Court positioning is extremely important, speed and agility are paramount as well as mental and tactical abilities.
Some players like jumping high using quick, acrobatic net shots to attack. Others like playing a longer, more tactical and mental game, using clever and cunning lifts and clears to force their opponents into an error. There are 2 styles of shoes to fit your game style.
If your game is all about keeping your shots in with amazing tactics and analysis, using well placed clears and lifts from somewhere near the baseline, you will be looking for a shoe that has:
- Stability and support for a secure feel as you turn on the spot and sprint short distances
- Impact protection to protect against the jarring of take-offs and landings
- A snug fit to keep you feeling comfortable throughout the match
AGILITY AT THE NET
If you love attacking, using your athletic skill and agility to get into point ending positions and fire off dangerous smashes at the net, this is what to look for in a shoe:
- A low profile and great responsiveness to aid speed and agility
- Optimal traction to grip the court and help with sudden shifts in direction
- A large pivot point on the sole to promote more efficient and aggressive turns
- A snug fit to ensure that all your power is put down on the court
How do you choose a tennis shoe
Choosing a tennis shoe is a little more complicated! One has a few things to think about, what kind of courts do you usually play tennis on. what is your playing style and your feet shape.
Hard Courts: Hard courts can be punishing on your shoes, and your shoes can be punishing on the court as well! Hard-court tennis shoes typically are non-marking to avoid scuffing the surface.
Their construction prioritizes shock absorption and cushioning to provide you with comfort and support on the harder surface. Many tennis shoes offer six month durability wear guarantees on the outsole in the US.
Clay Courts: Clay courts are much softer than hard courts and this means a different type of shoe. Clay-court tennis shoes are typically composed of synthetic uppers, a herringbone tread pattern that won’t clog with clay and offers grip that still allows for sliding, and a lighter weight that allows for speed and improved maneuverability.
Grass Courts: Like clay court shoes, grass-court tennis shoes are designed prevent damage to the court and have a nub patterned sole to give you improved traction on potentially slippery grass. Uppers are typically made from synthetic and mesh combinations.
All Courts: Today, most brands — like Nike, Adidas, Asics, and Babolat — offer all-court tennis shoes that are designed to handle the subtleties of all three court types. If you aren’t looking for one specific surface type, these multi-purpose shoes may be your best bet.
Are you a aggressive baseliner, pusher or are you more of an old-school serve-and-volleyer. Your style of play is an important factor in determining the best tennis shoes. Baseline players will want a durable sole, great cushioning, and strong lateral support for continuous side-to-side movements.
If you find yourself frequently charging the net after a serve, you’ll instead want a durable toecap and improved flexibility for the balls of your feet and maybe a light weight shoe for faster movement for your tennis game.
Take some time to learn about your feet. You will then be prepared to find shoes that compliment your feet to enable you to perform at your potential and avoid injury on the court. There are three foot types and several ways to determine which is yours:
Pronated: Players with pronated feet will notice excessive shoe wear on the inside area near the balls of the feet. One way to find out is to get your bare feet wet and walk with them and leave a mark on the ground, you’ll see that the footprint appears with little or no visible space.
If you are among the 60% of the population with pronated feet, you’ll want to find shoes with superior lateral support to prevent injury to your knees or ankles.
Supinated: This type of feet usually causes wearing of the outside of the heel and forefoot. Your wet feet test would reveal a large empty space in the center arch area of the foot mark. Players will want to invest in shoes that provide better flexibility and shock absorption, plus added space for the heel.
Ideal: Players with even shoe wear and a balanced/neutral foot mark in the wet test have an ideal foot type that is suitable for most tennis shoes.
All in all you have the freedom to choose what shoes you wear to the court but beware of the dangers presented to your feet while wearing unsuitable shoes!
If you are just trying out the game once or twice, you probably do not have to invest in proper shoes but, if you are going in for the long haul. Invest in a pair of proper Tennis or Badminton shoe.
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