Basketball vs Tennis Shoes: COMPLETE Guide

Coming second in my series of can you wear certain performance shoes for different sports, let’s talk about basketball vs tennis shoes this time.

I have a couple of pairs of tennis shoes myself (and a BUNCH of hoop shoes of course), so I’ll break down my own experiences, give you some rock-solid facts on wearing both types of sneakers, and whether you can mix and match them for these two sports.

I’ll also give you some sneaker options in case you’re not exactly looking to buy two pairs of different shoes and would like to shoot two birds with one stone.

SPOILER ALERT: unlike running shoes, this time it’s actually pretty viable.

Basketball vs Running ShoesPin

SHOW TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. BASKETBALL SHOES: KEY QUALITIES

Here are the defining components of performance basketball shoes that you need to know about

Basketball vs Tennis Shoes: Basketball ShoesPin

Before directly comparing both types of athletic sneakers, let’s first go over the key features and reoccurring qualities you’ll often see on many basketball shoes to get you familiar.

Now, this DOES NOT mean that each and every basketball shoe that ever graced the planet will share these exact features.

All performance footwear is different in the details but the core foundation can be seen and recognized on a lot of basketball sneakers, even across different brands. Let’s break down that foundation.

ALL-AROUND STRUCTURAL BUILD

Basketball vs Tennis Shoes: StructurePin

Basketball is a very dynamic sport that demands the players to perform many different movements at various angles, durations, and levels of intensity.

While we could theoretically pick a few types of movements that players most often perform, most basketball sneakers are built to provide structure and support in all kinds of movements you throw at them.

You’ll often see shoe uppers reinforced with extra material on key areas, plastic caging systems that cup your foot and further strengthen containment, or even infused synthetics into the build’s core material grain.

Now, in today’s era, things are getting lighter, faster, and more comfortable by the day. This trend can also be seen among basketball shoe models, unsurprisingly.

Basketball shoes aren’t as super-sturdy as they were a decade ago. Your classic leathers, suedes, and nubucks are becoming a rarity in the market but that doesn’t mean that hoop shoes suddenly got flimsy and unreliable.

The methods to provide structure and protection were being refined by manufacturers for years and now we get to enjoy playing in a shoe that’s light, feels quick and comfy, but doesn’t compromise on other areas too much.

Still, knowing this, keep in mind that you’ll rarely find a hoop shoe that’s completely structure-less. There are minimalistic models out there but most of them still provide some kind of foundation to keep things safe.

OFTEN CUSHION-HEAVY

Basketball vs Tennis Shoes: More CushionPin

Unlike other sports like running, tennis, or even baseball – playing basketball means you’ll spend some time in the air. Quite often. The art of finishing layups, leaping for defense, rebounding, or throwing down ferocious dunks will require the player to constantly take off and land.

In order to keep each movement comfortable and also to have some impact absorption for your joints, basketball shoes provide some of the most prominent cushion systems across all sports.

Of course, you’ll also find plenty of lower-profile shoes that are catered towards speed and court feel (thus they offer a firmer ride underfoot) but the average basketball shoe today will still have a good amount of uuumph upon each jump, cut, or stop.

The research on whether cushioning actually helps decrease the chances of impact-related injuries is still fairly inconclusive though.

Most studies aren’t finding any clear correlation between the amount of cushion a shoe has and the way the athlete is able to withstand the forces of impact.

Regardless, cushion-orientated basketball shoes are designed the way they are because of the athletes’ preferences.

A lot of us simply tend to feel comfortable and confident when there’s some form of perceived feedback upon each movement.

MODERATE-TO-HEAVIER WEIGHT

Basketball vs Tennis Shoes: HeavierPin

Basketball sneakers are among the heaviest performance shoes you can find.

Once again, the market is shifting towards lighter, softer, and more comfortable in pretty much every sports shoe, and that includes hoop shoes. You can find some really feathery stuff nowadays.

The biggest contributors to this are dense midsoles that offer lots of cushioning, any extra structure throughout the build (synthetic overlays, shank plates, etc.) but the biggest of them all is undoubtedly the rubber used on the outsoles.

The bottom portion of the shoe, which is the outsole, is actually the heaviest component. Take the Curry Flow 8 – it completely scrapped rubber and used foam throughout the sole instead.

It’s almost ridiculous how much lighter that shoe feels in comparison to most other basketball models.

SMALL HEEL TO TOE DROP-OFF

Basketball vs Tennis Shoes: Minimal Drop-OffPin

Contrary to running shoes, basketball models are usually built with either a completely flat platform or, more commonly, a minimal drop-off from heel to toe.

This commonly varies somewhere in the range of 4-9 mm (0.16-0.35 inches).

This is done to ensure maximum stability for the wearer and eliminate any possible foot shifting inside the shoe. Gait propulsion is awesome for running but we already have hoop shoes that are flexible, have springy cushion and move well with the foot, so there are usually no problems in this aspect anyway.

The foundation of stability is more important than propelling your movements forward in the sport of basketball.

VARIED ANKLE CUT HEIGHT

Basketball vs Tennis Shoes: Varied Ankle CutPin

Basketball sneakers come in various heights in terms of the ankle collar. The most common variant is still a mid-cut shoe but you won’t have issues finding a low-top if you prefer that extra mobility around your ankle.

High-top designs are becoming a rarity these days, so those will be much tougher to find. That does make sense though: sports footwear engineering and design principles are getting more advanced, and the theory of “the higher, the better” has been busted for a long time now.

Most of your support actually comes from the strategically implemented components in the shoe and not the ankle collar.

STREAMLINED RUBBER OUTSOLES

Basketball vs Tennis Shoes: Streamlined RubberPin

Apart from a few exceptions (like the Curry Flow 8 & 9 which use foam in place of rubber), most basketball shoes offer similar quality rubber compounds found on the outsoles, as well as a few streamlined traction patterns.

Herringbone is the most popular and the most beloved traction pattern that’s been providing unrivaled traction for players, no matter the court or condition.

There are generally no “outdoor” or “indoor” hoop shoes. Most of today’s models are primarily designed for indoor play on the hardwood but there are options that have slightly more aggressive compounds and threads that would last longer outdoors.

However, you won’t find any distinctive labeling from brands that a particular basketball model is designed for indoors or outdoors.

You’ll have to read up on reviews or be familiar with the most popular patterns if you want to determine the shoe’s capabilities in this regard.

WIDE FOUNDATION

Basketball vs Tennis Shoes: Wide Platform 1Pin

Lastly, you’ll notice that a lot of hoop shoes share a wide platform, mainly in the front portion of the shoe. The forefoot is usually clearly wider than the rest of the shoe, and that’s done to further improve stability.

Most of your basketball-specific movements come from the balls of your foot, so this is where lateral & medial stability is needed the most. The more ground the shoe covers along with the foot, the better.

It’s still possible to find shoes that aren’t as wide in the forefoot (like a KD 13) but that’s not the common scenario.

II. TENNIS SHOES: KEY QUALITIES

Here are the most important qualities you’ll find across tennis sneakers, and how they’re different from basketball models

Basketball vs Tennis Shoes: Tennis ShoesPin

We got familiar with hoop shoes, now it’s time to get acquainted with tennis shoes. They’re actually pretty similar in certain areas since both sports share a lot of similar movement patterns.

However, there are certain details that tennis shoes change up which makes the end experience different when stacked against a classic basketball shoe. Those details could matter a lot, so let’s break it all down.

LATERAL-FOCUSED STRUCTURE

Basketball vs Tennis Shoes: Lateral StructurePin

While basketball shoes tend to offer structure all throughout the build to accompany many types of movements and angles, tennis shoes offer most of the support for lateral and medial movements.

Tennis is a sport that heavily relies on side-to-side movements, and the shoes reflect that. More than a half of movements are in fact lateral during a match for an average tennis player.

You’ll often see additional reinforcements inside the forefoot area laterally, beefed-up arch structure in case your foot rolls inward and even entire internal chassis systems that lock your foot down and help hold it in place during a quick change of direction.

Not to say that a tennis shoe is completely barebones in other areas but it’s definitely more minimal throughout the rest of the build when compared to a hoop shoe.

TENNIS-SPECIFIC REINFORCEMENTS

Basketball vs Tennis Shoes: Key ReinforcementsPin

There are a few key areas where tennis shoes are further reinforced, while basketball shoes are not, or at least not as heavily.

Arch support is very prominent on most tennis sneakers, and so is torsional rigidity. Also, you’ll almost always see the toecap area of the shoe greatly strengthened to withstand all the toe-drags and foot drags across the ground when tennis players decelerate.

You’ll often see solid torsional coverage, arch support, and toe reinforcements on some basketball shoes as well but those are much more minimal in comparison to those in tennis models.

MINIMAL-TO-MODERATE CUSHIONING

Basketball vs Tennis Shoes: Less CushionPin

You’ll notice that tennis models don’t offer as much cushion as hoop shoes do. Tennis is not as much of a vertical sport when compared to basketball.

It still requires some form of jumping for striking, serving, and defending but basketball is much more demanding when it comes to vertical leaping.

Tennis players still prefer to have some cushion underfoot but it’s usually much lighter, a little bit firmer, and also lower to the ground to preserve maximum speed and precision.

This is why you’ll often see tennis models offering cushion in the form of lightweight drop-in midsoles or brands’ cushion tech that usually resembles a more minimal experience.

For example, Nikey’s React or Lunarlon, or adidas’s Bounce.

TENNIS SHOES FEEL LIGHTER

Basketball vs Tennis Shoes: LightweightPin

Tennis shoes aren’t exactly considered among the lightest performance sneakers and the average model can be very similar in weight when stacked against an average basketball sneaker.

HOWEVER, tennis shoes usually feel lighter to play in, as per many reports of tennis reviewers & recreational players. Even if a particular tennis shoe is heavier on paper.

This is due to a few things. Less cushion means less foam used. The ride becomes faster and more nimble since your foot isn’t sinking into the cushion as much.

Then there’s the stability aspect. Tennis shoes are so laser-focused on giving you a super-stable experience in key areas, so playing in the shoe simply feels quick and efficient.

This is probably the biggest contributor to making tennis sneakers generally feel lighter than basketball shoes, even if the numbers say otherwise.

I wouldn’t say the weight differences between basketball and tennis shoes are drastic but you would definitely feel a noticeable impact on your feet & legs if you’d play a few tennis matches in a more traditional basketball shoe with more cushion and extra bulk around the build.

NO HEEL TO TOE DROP-OFF

Basketball vs Tennis Shoes: No Drop-OffPin

Pretty much all tennis models are flat in terms of the platform your foot sits on. There’s never a noticeable heel drop-off and this is purely for stability reasons.

Much like basketball shoes, you don’t need as much step propulsion as much as you require trustworthy stability while cutting, accelerating, and stopping.

This is one of the features that translate to a basketball court very well. I like playing in shoes that have a flat base but the rest of the build has to move well with my foot in order to avoid choppy heel-to-toe transitions. I hate those.

LOW-TOP DESIGN

Basketball vs Tennis Shoes: Low-TopPin

Just like runners, all tennis shoes come in a low-top design, with marginal differences in collar height across the shoes. Tennis players greatly value ankle mobility over any form of restriction.

This is completely understandable, as tennis is a very lateral-heavy sport, so any material getting in the way while you move can result in lost milliseconds.

Once again, foot support does not come from the ankle collar. The shoe’s build and design principles have to account for that instead.

OUTSOLE RUBBER VARIES

Basketball vs Tennis Shoes: Varied OutsolesPin

There are several types of performance tennis sneakers, with each type designed for different surfaces to play on.

You’ll find hard court shoes the most common option in the market. Those are built with concrete, asphalt, and other highly abrasive surfaces in mind. This means that the outsoles have the most durable rubber out of all the options. The threads of the traction pattern are the deepest and the rubber is the least pliable.

The second most popular choice is tennis shoes for clay courts. Those are a little bit less aggressive, so the outsoles on such models won’t be as durable, though they still grip concrete well. They just won’t last as long. Such models are also made with non-marking properties in mind to preserve tennis courts.

There are also shoes for grass surfaces. The outsoles for those models have the softest rubber and the least aggressive thread which usually comes in the form of circular dots. If you’re looking to play basketball in a tennis shoe – you can forget about these.

And finally, you’ll also find that multi-surface models are getting more common nowadays. Their outsoles are pretty durable and offer versatile traction patterns to grip all kinds of surfaces effectively.

So, when compared to hoop shoes, tennis models clearly offer different types based on the surface and that’s also distinguishably mentioned by the manufacturer. Something you won’t usually find on ball shoes.

WIDE FOUNDATION

Basketball vs Tennis Shoes: Wide Platform 2Pin

Something that’s also very similar to hoop shoes is the wide base up at the front.

Once again, tennis is a sport that’s relying heavily on side-to-side movements, so a wide foundation at the forefoot is very helpful to preserve stability and cover more ground.

Pair that with no heel drop-off, and a lower profile cushion system, and you’ve got yourself an extremely stable shoe. Something hoopers could benefit from. More on that later.

III. BASKETBALL SHOES FOR TENNIS?

You now know the differences between the two shoe types, let’s talk all about the viable (and not) options of playing TENNIS in BASKETBALL shoes

Basketball vs Tennis Shoes: Basketball Shoes for Tennis?Pin

It’s time to break down whether it’s even viable to play tennis in a basketball shoe.

It’s not a concept that most people would even think about doing, right? Well, after reading some stuff up online, it seems that there are quite a few of you who are looking to get just one pair of shoes.

If you’ll be getting a pair of basketball shoes but you’ll also be playing some tennis – keep reading.

COULD WORK BUT NOT IDEAL

Basketball vs Tennis Shoes: QuestionablePin

I generally wouldn’t recommend playing tennis in any shoe other than a tennis shoe, of course. However, in this case, the reasons for that would only be performance and practicality.

You’re not really in danger of getting injured here. Yes, hoop shoes don’t focus so heavily on lateral support but they’re still pretty damn supportive in that regard. The way that they’re built to achieve this differs though.

Why shouldn’t you play tennis in a basketball shoe? There are a few reasons that may or may not matter to you.

Lateral stability and support should be fine if you’ll be playing in a basketball shoe but more advanced athletes might find it insufficient, so this one will depend on your level.

But despite that, basketball shoes simply feel bulkier and heavier as they’re not made for the sport. Constant cuts, sprints, and fast jumps for a couple of hours mean that your feet will get fatigued quicker.

Then there’s the increased chance of having shin splints simply because of too much cushion paired with constant movement that has to be very quick. It doesn’t happen for EVERYONE but there’s still a chance it can happen.

But the biggest reason is undoubtedly durability. Tennis shoes are reinforced in key areas. Constant foot slides across the surface and changes of direction will mean that you’ll soon find your hoop shoes having tears and even holes in those areas.

Players also report that some basketball sneakers’ outsole rubber literally burned off in a matter of days. Not weeks or months. Days. Your average indoor basketball sneaker simply isn’t up to par with hard courts of tennis and this will hurt your wallet.

You’ll start losing traction and this means your foundation of performance will be gone.

You CAN play tennis in hoop shoes, I just don’t think it’s worth your money.

Some of you will still be looking to do this. Perhaps you simply can’t afford a pair of tennis shoes or for whatever other reason.

Let me go over some scenarios and things to remember WHEN and HOW you could potentially play tennis in a hoop shoe fairly effectively.

EXCERCISE W. TENNIS ELEMENTS

If you’re planning on training in basketball shoes but perhaps looking to implement some tennis movements – this should definitely work.

You’re not playing an intensive, long match, so you shouldn’t start feeling any negative effects that might come from wearing hoop shoes.

OCCASIONAL PLAY COULD BE FINE

Even a full-blown tennis match can work as long as you keep it periodic and not frequent. You’d then be able to preserve your basketball sneakers for, well, basketball.

If you’re playing indoors and decide to turn your hoop shoe into a hard court tennis shoe – there’s a good chance the outsole rubber will burn off very quickly, resulting in poor traction on less abrasive surfaces like hardwood.

You have to keep durability in mind if you’ll be playing tennis. You can chew through a pair of hoop shoes in a matter of weeks and even days in some instances. Provided that you’re okay with the performance downsides of playing in a hoop shoe.

ONLY OUTDOOR-READY SHOES

That leads us to the last point. If you’ll be getting a basketball sneaker for some tennis, I’d highly encourage you to grab a pair that has durable outsoles as those will last a bit longer.

Believe it or not, Nikey’s cheapest basketball shoe lines actually offer some of the more durable outsoles. How ironic. Take a look at the Precision and Renew Elevate lines. Certain takedown signature models also could work, such as the LeBron Witness 3.

If you won’t be getting those, do your best to track down the more durable variant of a particular shoe you’re interested in. For Nike, those come with a label of EP. For Jordan, it’s PF.

For other brands, getting a pair from a Chinese retailer will usually mean they’re featuring more durable XDR rubber for the outsoles. Check out the seller Id4Shoes on eBay for this – a trusted source for getting your desired basketball models in their Chinese versions.

And of course, you can always check out my list of the best outdoor basketball shoes which all have very reliable outsoles to play on more abrasive surfaces.

IV. SHOES FOR THE JOB

In case you’re looking to get just one pair of hoop shoes but you’ll also be playing some tennis – here are your options among basketball models

NIKE LEBRON WITNESS 3 PRM

Basketball vs Tennis Shoes: LeBron Witness III PRMPin

2018’s third Witness model from LeBron is hardly the best basketball shoe out of the lineup (based on the people) but it happens to be pretty solid choice if you’re looking to play some tennis on the side.

It’s got most things you’d need to play comfortably and efficiently: a lightweight upper that’s very mobile but it’s laterally reinforced with a leather overlay, a very low-profile Air cushion setup that’ll keep you quick, a low-top design, and lastly, a pair of trusty herringbone outsoles that’ll hold for a while.

Just be aware of the sizing with these: I’m a wide footer and even despite going up half a size, they’re still a little too suffocating for me. Not the best choice for a thick foot.

Retail price: $90

My rating: 8 (click for the full review)

Weight: 13.09 oz / 371 g. (size 10.5 US)

Build: knit w. forefoot patented leather overlay

Cushion: full-length encapsulated Air Sole unit

Outsole: herringbone + outdoor-ready rubber

ADIDAS HARDEN VOL. 6
Basketball vs Tennis Shoes: adidas Harden Vol. 6Pin
image source: adidas.com

After an extremely weird Harden Vol. 5, the next shoe in the Beard’s lineup scrapped the whole Futurenatural concept and built a new shoe from the ground up. Though it’s very reminiscent of the very first Harden shoe but that’s a good thing here.

Several shoe experts actually recognized the shoe’s capabilities on the tennis court. The Harden Vol. 6 is one of those shoes where they’re very decent for crossing over multiple sports.

The Boost midsole works wonders for a balanced ride that’s not overly mushy due to the foam being strategically caged.

The shoe is also wide in the forefoot, shares a streamlined low-top form factor and while the textile upper isn’t the sturdiest for a higher-level tennis player, it will definitely hold your foot in for some recreational play.

Go true to size with these but expect a tad bit of space length-wise. If you’re feeling picky, it might be a good idea to order two sizes just to be sure.

Retail price: $140

Weight: 17.08 oz / 484 g. (size 10 US)

Build: recycled textile w. synthetic overlays

Cushion: full-length Boost

Outsole: herringbone + outdoor-ready rubber

CURRY FLOW 9
Basketball vs Tennis Shoes: Curry Flow 9Pin
image source: underarmour.com

I wouldn’t have recommended last year’s Curry Flow 8 for tennis since it barely had any structure throughout the upper. This time, the 9th shoe made some key tweaks that not only make it a better basketball sneaker but also can work for some tennis.

These are EXTREMELY light, to begin with. Under Armour completely scrapped any form of rubber and slapped on foam instead. This took down a lot of weight and it shows.

This also resulted in super aggressive traction for multi-directional movements and also a smoother heel-to-toe stride since the whole bottom portion of the shoe is a single-piece foam.

Since the Curry Flow 9 is still fairly minimal in their build, this is a better choice for serve-and-volley type players who aren’t as heavily dependent on lateral movements.

Retail price: $160

My rating: 8.6 (click for a full review)

Weight: 12.4 oz / 352 g. (size 10 US)

Build: UA Warp (multi-layered mesh & nylon) front + synthetic nubuck back

Cushion: full-length Flow

Outsole: UA Flow (computer-generated foam pattern)

V. TENNIS SHOES FOR BASKETBALL?

Let’s talk about what’s encouraged and what should be avoided when attempting to play BASKETBALL in a TENNIS shoe

Basketball vs Tennis Shoes: Tennis Shoes for Basketball?Pin

Let’s flip things over. We know now that playing tennis in basketball shoes isn’t the best idea in the world but it’s possible.

However, the opposite way around – things are much more compatible. You see, basketball shoes lack certain features for tennis.

Tennis shoes don’t lack much if you take them on the basketball court, they’re just slightly different shoes.

But the foundation pretty much goes in line with basketball as most movement patterns are very similar across both activities. Let’s break it all down since there are still a few things worth knowing.

IT’S DEFINITELY DOABLE

Basketball vs Tennis Shoes: DoablePin

I said it in my basketball vs. running shoe guide and I’ll say it here: not only you can make it work but a few people even have certain tennis models that they prefer playing basketball in. Yes, you heard that right.

If you’re okay with having slightly firmer and lower profile cushion, an upper that’s very structured at the forefoot (but still breaks in overtime), and a completely flat platform: you will be good to go.

A good well-rounded tennis sneaker will pretty much feel like a solid, more minimal basketball shoe if you’re planning on crossing over.

Before jumping in though, here are a few things to remember.

YOU’LL NEED TO GET USED TO IT

Playing in a brand new pair of tennis shoes will likely feel a little weird at first. The upper might be quite stiff and certain movements might feel uncomfortable due to your foot coming in contact with sturdy materials.

That was the case for me when I first stepped into a pair of NikeCourt Air Max Wildcard’s.

It took me quite a while to break those in (partly because I’m a wide footer) but after a few months, the experience is seamless. I actually really like it and often prefer putting those on when I’m in need of a faster, lower-profile shoe.

Just make sure to get the size right for you (not overly suffocating but not too much room either) and make sure not to panic if you’re feeling some discomfort at first. You’ll be alright!

CHOOSE THE TYPE WISELY

As I mentioned earlier, there are several types of tennis shoes available. Your choice will depend on where you hoop. Kind of.

I don’t generally recommend looking at anything other than hard court and multi-surface shoes. Those commonly use the herringbone traction pattern (and other patterns that cross over to basketball) and should provide sufficient grip while also lasting a while in case you’re an outdoor hooper.

AFTERMARKET INSOLES MIGHT BE NEEDED

In case you’re used to playing in a more traditional, cushion-heavy basketball sneaker and you find yourself not liking the more minimal tennis shoe experience – don’t worry.

If you can spend an extra 10-30 bucks, you can get yourself a quality pair of aftermarket insoles that can solve whatever issue you’ve got in terms of the ride.

You can get cushion-orientated insoles for extra feedback underfoot, supportive insoles if you’re lacking arch support or torsional rigidity, and even all-in-one midsoles that are a bit more expensive but come as a full solution for support, structure, and cushion.

I’ve got a list of the best insoles for basketball, so that would be a good place to start. I’ll be updating that whole article soon, so check back later to find even more options!

VI. SHOES FOR THE JOB

In case you’re looking to get just one pair of tennis sneakers but this time, you’ll be shooting some hoops on the side – here are your options among tennis models

NIKECOURT AIR ZOOM GP TURBO
Basketball vs Tennis Shoes: NikeCourt Air Zoom GP TurboPin
image source: nike.com

You may notice that this particular tennis model is embraced by quite a few hoopers, including a few shoe testers/reviewers as even the way this one’s built resembles a modern basketball shoe.

You could say the newer NikeCourt Zoom NXT is a direct upgrade over the Air Zoom GP Turbo but the latter is still my favorite tennis shoe to hoop in, no doubt. I might have to try the Zoom NXT sometime though, as it seems well-received among wearers.

But back to this shoe, you’ll get a traditional modern upper comprised of a lightweight textile material along with several synthetic overlays for some strength, like on the toe.

These are also very stable despite not being on the wider side in terms of the base. Proper support features are here along with my foot sitting inside the midsole for a very secure-feeling fit.

Traction is also fantastic, and the rubber resembles Nikey’s budget basketball models that usually have aggressive traction patterns along with strong rubber threads.

But arguably the biggest attraction of the Air Zoom GP Turbo is a whole chunk of Zoom Air stitched directly under the foot, and, man, this cushion definitely feels like a proper basketball shoe. Zoom Air in its full potential is FUN.

Great impact protection and a quick spring back feel but I still ride fairly low to the ground, all without losing any quickness.

Just be aware that these are pretty damn narrow, and despite going up half a size (I’m quite a preposterous wide footer though), the shoe still feels a bit too suffocating even after a couple of years of action.

Retail price: $140

Weight: 16.2 oz / 459 g. (size 10.5 US)

Build: textile w. synthetic overlays

Cushion: full-length Zoom Air

Outsole: custom pattern + hard court rubber

ADIDAS SOLECOURT
Basketball vs Tennis Shoes: adidas SoleCourtPin
image source: adidas.com

Probably the most attractive option from adidas when looking for a tennis shoe that’s also capable of some hoops.

These don’t resemble the build to that of a hoop shoe as much as the Air Zoom GP Turbo does but the adidas SoleCourt is still a sweet shoe with balanced properties.

These feature adidas’s flagship Boost foam compound from heel to toe and while not as springy as the Zoom Air on the Nikey shoe, it’s a very stable and responsive setup.

Boost is wildly unstable by itself, so the midsole is well-caged in TPU and a strong midfoot shank adds torsional rigidity. It’s definitely a supportive setup for basketball.

The upper is fantastic as well. It might feel a little stiff at first (as you’d come to expect from a tennis model) but once broken in, this textile is comfortable, moves well with the foot and it’s also durable thanks to the abrasion-resistant materials and overlays for added structure.

One thing to watch out for is something you’ll find quite often among adidas’s performance footwear offerings.

The forefoot portion of the shoe is particularly wide, so narrow/regular footers are put at risk of some movement inside the footbed. Those guys will want to try these on in-store, order a half size down, or entirely skip these.

Retail price: $160

Weight: 15.7 oz / 445 g. (size 10.5 US)

Build: abrasion & tear-resistant textile

Cushion: full-length Boost

Outsole: herringbone pattern + hard court Adiwear rubber

ADIDAS BARRICADE
Basketball vs Tennis Shoes: adidas BarricadePin
image source: adidas.com

Think of the adidas Barricade as an earlier iteration of the SoleCourt shoe, just with a few differences and a bit more budget-friendly.

The SoleCourt isn’t officially a follow-up model from the Barricade but both shoes are quite similar and both work well for basketball.

The adidas Barricade will offer you a slightly firmer but still a very well-balanced Bounce setup for cushion, adidas’s patented Adiwear outsole which is in fact very durable even for outdoor play and a synthetic build that’s once again in line with today’s standards.

It feels light to play in once you get used to the shoe, there’s plenty of lateral support with the inclusion of a pronounced midfoot plate, heel & ankle lockdown are great and the toe is reinforced with an overlay.

Just make sure to give these some time to break in. The heel-to-toe transitions can feel a little choppy at first. And Bounce foam needs a few hours to soften up in order to offer more pronounced feedback.

Retail price: $140

Weight: 14.2 oz / 403 g. (size 10.5 US)

Build: textile

Cushion: full-length Bounce

Outsole: herringbone pattern + hard court Adiwear rubber

VII. BASKETBALL VS TENNIS SHOES: CONCLUSIONS

Let’s sum up the main things to remember in the basketball vs tennis shoes debate

Basketball vs Tennis Shoes: ConclusionsPin

The battle of basketball vs tennis shoes is coming to an end, so let’s go over the most important stuff we’ve learned.

Tennis sneakers aren’t exactly identical to their basketball counterparts but they share quite a few traits because of many similar movement patterns across both sports.

Both scenarios (hooping in tennis shoes & playing tennis in hoop shoes) are definitely possible without severe consequences but the former is particularly not ideal.

Don’t play tennis in hoop shoes if you can. Seriously. You might be just fine but the experience is definitely not ideal. You’d soon realize that if you’d get a pair of quality tennis shoes and put them on after the hoop shoes.

Plus, there’s also the durability issue – a huge chunk of basketball sneakers simply wouldn’t last a long time on a harder tennis court. If you’re aiming to do it anyway – at least get yourself a pair of low-top outdoor-ready kicks.

Shooting some hoops and even playing ball in a good pair of tennis shoes is more than okay though. Some people even prefer it. If you can get used to a build of a tennis model and lower profile cushion, you’ll be good to go for sure.

I’ve got a detailed performance review on the LeBron Witness 3 which is among the best options for tennis.

I have the regular version but the PRM variant with patented leather performs the same, just with added strength in the forefoot.

TIME FOR YOUR TAKES!

Basketball vs Running Shoes: Your TakePin

That’s a wrap for the basketball vs tennis shoes guide! I truly hope you found some of this stuff helpful or interesting at the very least!

I know a few guys who actually enjoy hooping in tennis shoes, and I do own a pair just for hoops as well. What’s YOUR take on this though? Are you hooping in tennis shoes or vice versa? Or perhaps you’ve got a question I haven’t answered in the guide?

I usually reply within the same day on weekdays and within 1-2 days on weekends. Looking forward to your thoughts :))

Leave a comment and I’ll get back to you ASAP!

WHAT ABOUT BASKETBALL SHOES FOR OTHER SPORTS & VICE VERSA?

BASKETBALL VS. RUNNING SHOES

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2 thoughts on “Basketball vs Tennis Shoes: COMPLETE Guide

  1. Your idea of using one pair of sneakers to play basketball as well as tennis may have merit for the casual sportsperson. Serious tennis players I feel would want to pick the best shoe designers for tennis that fits their style of playing, The same with basketball. 

    Individuals who would like to use the same shoe would only be playing these sports casually. In my opinion, if a person wanted to excel at either of these sports, they would choose the show’s ideal for that sport. If they played tennis and basketball often, why wear out these shoes by using only one pair?

    Cheers.

    Edwin

    1. Of course Edwin – I’m fully with you on that one. However, not all of us are serious/professional athletes. There are thousands of casual hoopers who like to play ball but also bang out some tennis on the side. Or vice versa.

      And a lot of those people might not afford regularly purchasing multiple pairs of performance sneakers. There could be more reasons as to why but since people are interested in this topic – it can’t hurt to rack up some valuable information on it đŸ˜‰

      Cheers!

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