Can You Play Tennis In Running Shoes? [2024]

You want to play tennis and in your shoe cabinet you can only find a pair of running shoes.  The question is can you play tennis in running shoes or do you need a specific tennis shoe? There’s a short answer to this question: NO, and specific shoes should be used for different sports.

For light tennis activities, however, a pair of running shoes should suffice, especially if you play occasionally. Tennis shoes, however, are a must for all tennis players, whether they are beginners or professionals.

Tennis shoes are well-balanced and can be used for lateral motion or side-to-side movement without any problems. Wearing running shoes to play tennis can result in injury and reduce the shoe’s lifespan since they were designed for forward motion only.

This article explains Can You Play Tennis In Running Shoes and how running shoes differ from tennis shoes.

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Difference Between Tennis and Running Shoes

Can You Play Tennis In Running Shoes

The support and balance systems required by tennis and running are different from each other. There are a lot of differences between tennis shoes and running shoes, as they offer different levels of protection and comfort. Follow the section below to learn more about those differences:


  • Running shoes: These shoes are built for movement, and they have shock-absorbing technologies. You are pushed off after each stride by running shoes, which prevent you from overstriding.
  • Tennis shoes: Tennis shoes are designed to provide lateral stability, which allows players to move effortlessly side-to-side. Players can feel the court closer with these shoes because of their heel-to-toe offset and lower stack height.


  • Running shoes: Runners prefer running shoes because they have more cushioning than other types of shoes.
  • Tennis shoes: Tennis shoes emphasize lateral support, unlike running shoes. There is less cushioning needed for lateral support and traction support.


  • Running shoes: The lifespan of running shoes is 300 to 400 miles, which makes them less durable than tennis shoes. It is possible to damage running shoes faster if you use them for a variety of purposes.
  • Tennis shoes: Compared to running shoes, tennis shoes are more durable due to the fact that they are not worn in high-impact situations like running shoes. Until the soles of your tennis shoes are destroyed or there are holes in them, you can wear them.

The Upper:

  • Running shoes: Their uppers are made of lightweight materials that make running comfortably.
  • Tennis shoes: Tennis shoes should have durable uppers made from stiff materials. Tennis players benefit from the stiff upper because they are able to keep their feet stable inside the shoes.


  • Running shoes: Running shoes weigh between 212.62 and 283.49 grams, which is lighter than tennis shoes.
  • Tennis shoes: Tennis shoes provide a perfect balance and safety on all court surfaces since they are heavier than running shoes. Tennis shoes weigh between 269.32 grams and 453.59 grams on average.


  • Running shoes: Different gripping systems are used in running shoes. The grip offered by road shoes is smoother, while the grip offered by trail shoes is more grippy.
  • Tennis shoes: Tennis shoes have a better grip than running shoes. Tennis shoes need to provide enough support and balance because they are used on different tennis courts.


  • Running shoes: A pair of running shoe costs between $125 and $180 on average, which is a bit more expensive than tennis shoes.
  • Tennis shoes: You can find a good pair of tennis shoes for $120-$150, which is not as expensive as running shoes.

In general, tennis shoes differ from running shoes in the following ways. We hope you now understand why specific shoes are required on tennis courts.

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Can You Play Tennis In Running Shoes?

Can You Play Tennis In Running Shoes

It’s not necessary to worry about the type of footwear if you aren’t a regular tennis player. If you’re an experienced or beginner tennis player, you must consider the right shoes.

In order to prevent different injuries, tennis shoes must be specially designed to provide additional support. Here are the pros and cons of wearing running shoes for tennis if you still wish to wear them.

In this article, we discuss the pros and cons of wearing running shoes while playing tennis. Here’s what you need to know:

Pros Of Playing Tennis In Running Shoes

The use of running shoes can still be beneficial for tennis, even if they aren’t ideal. Tennis shoes that are designed for running have the following benefits:

The Cushion:

Using a running shoe for tennis will provide you with the most cushion support. Your body can cope better with the demands of tennis if you wear running shoes if you’re not playing rough tennis. The toes and ankle parts of running shoes are cushioned to reduce impact.

Arch Support

Running shoes provide extra arch support, even though most tennis shoes have adequate arch support. You can take advantage of extra arch support by wearing running shoes when practicing or playing tennis.


Tennis players often wear running shoes when playing tennis. For those of you who are comfortable wearing running shoes for tennis, you should wear them. The most important thing to consider is your comfort level.

Using running shoes instead of tennis shoes may seem very small, but your comfort should come first. However, if you plan to wear running shoes to the tennis court, you should think twice about the disadvantages.

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Cons of Playing Tennis In Running Shoes

Do you want to know what disadvantages you will experience if you use running shoes for tennis? Discover the disadvantages by following the section below:

Decrease the Lifespan

Running shoes are not the best choice for tennis because they decrease the lifespan of the shoes. It is also possible for running shoes to be damaged if they are used for different motions instead of forward motion.

Injuries can occur

In case your running shoes get damaged, you can get a new pair, but did you know you can get injuries if you wear them for tennis? Playing tennis requires lateral motion while running shoes are designed for forward motion.

As a result, playing tennis in running shoes will cause injury due to a lack of balance and support. Furthermore, running shoes will not provide stability to your ankles when you sprain them.

Makes You Uncomfortable

Running shoes can make you feel uncomfortable when you use them instead of tennis shoes. Tennis requires heavier shoes for stability and support, whereas running shoes are lightweight. 

Tennis will be super uncomfortable if you wear running shoes because running shoes have forward momentum.

Court damage

Last but not least, you will be injured and uncomfortable if you play tennis in your running shoes, as well as damage the tennis court. Additionally, different tennis courts require different shoes, so you can’t wear the same pair of tennis shoes everywhere. Courts can be divided into three types:

  • Clay court
  • Grass court
  • Hard court
  • Tennis requires different and specific shoes for each player.

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Can You Wear Running Shoes For Tennis?

Running shoes are technically acceptable for tennis, but they are not recommended. Tennis requires quick changes of direction and lateral movements, which running shoes may not be able to accommodate. A running shoe’s sole may also lose its grip quickly on a tennis court and wear out quickly, resulting in slipping or slipping on the court. In order to provide better support, durability, and traction on the court, tennis shoes designed specifically for the sport are best.

What are the main differences between tennis shoes and running shoes?

To facilitate the quick changes of direction and lateral movements required by tennis, tennis shoes provide stability, support, and traction. As well as having more durable soles, they are also more durable on a tennis court. In contrast, running shoes provide little support or stability for tennis because they are designed for forward motion. A tennis court can wear out its soles quickly since they are less durable.

Can I use my running shoes for other sports?

Depending on the sport. Runners don’t offer enough support or stability for sports that require lateral movements or quick changes of direction since running shoes are designed for forward motion. In sports like tennis, basketball, and soccer, they may not be suitable. If you’re playing a specific sport, it’s best to purchase shoes specifically designed for that activity.

How can I tell if my running shoes are suitable for tennis?

Shoes with good lateral support and a durable outsole are ideal. Ankle support is also provided by tennis shoes with a higher cut around the ankle. You should consult with a professional or try out a pair of running shoes on a tennis court if you’re unsure whether they will work for tennis.

Is it possible to convert running shoes to tennis shoes?

No, running shoes cannot be converted into tennis shoes. Adding a thicker sole or reinforcing the upper of running shoes may be possible, but it is not recommended. A tennis shoe’s design is specifically tailored to the sport, providing optimal support, stability, and traction.

Final Thoughts

Despite the fact that playing tennis in running shoes is technically possible, it is not recommended. The lateral movements and quick changes of direction required in tennis may not be supported or stabilized by running shoes designed for forward motion.

A tennis court may also wear out the soles of running shoes quickly. For better support, durability, and traction, it’s best to invest in tennis shoes specifically designed for the sport.

Additionally, you can also check top player’s shoes like Rafael Nadal Shoes, Djokovic’s Shoes, and Federer Shoes

David Harris

David is the founder and chief writer at Tennis Pursuits. A tennis fanatic, David has extensive experience of the game and has reviewed 100s of products to date. He is passionate about helping others on their tennis journey.

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