After joining a club and picking up a racket, choosing the right footwear is one of the most important decisions a tennis player in Hong Kong has to make.
The right shoes can help with comfort and injury prevention and can work wonders with on-court production too. The benefits of the right shoes can help out any tennis player, so we have provided some tips to help you find the right fit.
CHOOSE TENNIS SHOES…
They call ‘em tennis shoes for a reason.
It may seem obvious that it is always best to play tennis in a pair of tennis shoes, but you have no idea how often we see people doing otherwise.
The concept of a ‘tennis shoe’ is not a sneaky marketing trick from Adidas and Reebok…these shoes are extensively researched and made specifically for tennis – the stops and starts, the lateral movements and so on.
As tennis players, it only makes sense to take advantage of this.
(TEMPORARILY) FORGET ABOUT FASHION
We live in a fashionable city, and Hong Kong tennis players are a fashionable bunch. We get that and provide plenty of opportunities to show off your fashion style at our family events, competitions and fundraisers.
On the court, we would rather be wowed by the style of your game. More importantly, we don’t want anyone to wind up with blisters or foot discomfort.
It is never worth compromising your comfort for a stylish shoe. With that said, most companies make their shoes aesthetically pleasing, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding a shoe that looks and feels great.
GET THE RIGHT SHOES FOR YOUR GAME
Although most tennis shoes are similar, there are slight distinctions in the types based on playing surface and style.
When looking at shoes, it is important to note what type of surface you will be playing on. For hardcourts, try a traditional herringbone pattern. On grass, you will probably want soles with small rubber studs that prevent you from slipping. Clay courts have their own style of sole, which allows for more effective sliding.
Playing style can also impact sole selection. Players who use excessive toe drag when serving would benefit from shoes with extra protection in the toe area.
MAKE SURE THEY FIT (AND FEEL GREAT)
Comfort and fit are vital factors in tennis shoe selection. You will hopefully be spending a lot of time in these shoes, so they should fit you perfectly.
Cushioning is important, particularly when playing on hard courts. Shoes that provide little in the way of cushioning can cause unwanted muscle and joint fatigue because of the repeated impact of your feet hitting the ground.
When selecting a shoe, avoid the two extremes – shoes with thin or hard soles that don’t absorb enough impact, or shoes that give negative support by virtue of being too soft.
Adequate tongue padding is essential, as it protects your ankles from the laces. It is also wise to look out for good arch support, shoes that are neither too narrow nor too wide and uppers that have enough flex.
How one’s foot is arched can make a difference when it comes to comfort. For our flat-footed friends, we suggest a softer shoe, but those with arched feet will probably find themselves more comfortable in the opposite.
CHECK FOR LATERAL SUPPORT
Tennis requires constant, explosive changes in direction, making it essential to find a pair of shoes that provides adequate lateral support. Your shoes should keep your feet secure – if you feel unsupported when moving, you might need to look for a different size or a different brand.
Look for a pair of shoes that have lacing systems specifically designed to enhance lateral support. For our Hong Kong tennis players with larger body types, we recommend shoes with broad outsoles and sturdy uppers. For those with weak ankles, or a previous ankle injury, hi-tops (or an ankle brace) are a smart investment.
Hopefully with these tips buying your next tennis shoe will be less overwhelming and more exciting. See you on the court!
Do you have any tennis shoe tips to share with the community? Let us know in the comments below!
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