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What Is The Difference Between Tennis Shoes And Basketball Shoes

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Tennis and basketball is a sport that has a lot of similarities and differences. Although there are somethings that both tennis fans and basketball fans like to debate on for hours.

Arguing - What Is The Difference Between Tennis Shoes And Basketball Shoes

One big debate is what makes tennis shoes different and unique from basketball shoes.

A few years ago, I went to my tennis practice after sixth-form. When I got there I got changed into my tennis clothes and shoes. I then walked onto the court to practice.

When I started to practice, my hitting partner told me I am wearing a basketball shoe. I told him I wasn’t and it was a tennis shoe. We ended up arguing for about 20 minutes about what makes tennis shoes or basketball shoes. This resulted in us missing our warm-ups.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some basketball shoes that you can’t deny the fact that they are for basketball. When it comes to this debate, I am referring to the basketball shoes that are small or medium.

In this post, I want to address that issue so that when such debate arises again, you will know where to stand.

Can You Play Tennis With Basketball Shoes?

Let me answer the controversial question that comes up often when this debate arises. And that is can you play tennis with basketball shoes?

Here is the answer….. It is not advisable to use basketball shoes to play on tennis courts. Here are some of the reasons. Firstly, using basketball shoes on tennis courts such as clay, grass or even hard court would not give you good stability and comfort on the court.

This means you are likely to lose your balance on the court or slip and hurt yourself badly. Secondly, basketball shoes may not give you good traction on the tennis court especially if you are to play on grass and hard court.

What Shoe Has The Best Sole?

Thinking - What Is The Difference Between Tennis Shoes And Basketball Shoes

Normally tennis shoes have different sole depending on the court surface. For example, shoes made for indoor courts have a smooth sole to prevent the shoes from leaving marks on the court.

Whiles hard and clay-court shoes are normally designed in a herringbones pattern to give you good grip and stability on the court.

Basketball shoes, on the other hand, are normally made of thinner rubber. It is specifically designed in such a way to make it very fast on the basketball court due to the lightweight of the rubber.

The reality is none of the sports shoes have a better sole than the other. They all have their uses and functions in their chosen arena.

Low vs High Upper?

Another feature that basket and tennis shoes have in common is the upper. Basketball shoes come in high-top, mid-top, and low-top versions. This gives them comfort and stability when they jump high.

Tennis shoes on the other hand normally have a low top so they remain light and don’t rub against your ankle. This makes it super comfortable when you are playing rallies.

Again each shoe’s upper is good in its own way. So it wouldn’t be wise to use a tennis shoe on a basketball court and vice versa.

Let’s Talk About Design!

The last thing I want to talk about when it comes to tennis and basketball shoes is design. If you go to a shop to buy a tennis shoe, the design is one thing you can easily use to distinguish it from buying the wrong shoe.

In the post, the history of tennis shoes, I outline how tennis shoes have evolved and changed over the years. The same thing applies to basketball shoes over the decades.

Normally speaking tennis shoes look small in size. Whiles basketball shoes tend to look bulky and heavily built. Also, tennis shoes have an elegant and simple look. On the other hand, basketball shoes involve a lot of complex designs and sometimes have bright colours.


As the post comes to its conclusion about what is the difference between tennis shoes and basketball shoes, I hope you have now gotten a clear understanding of both sports shoes.

This would save you a lot of time from buying the wrong tennis shoes and know your facts when someone tries to argue with you.

If you enjoy this post, please feel free to comment below. And if you have any questions regarding tennis shoes feel free to contact me.

With that said have a good day.

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