Can You Use Basketball Shoes For Tennis? (Find Out Now)

Each sport has its own type of shoes, which can also be quite pricey. Therefore, it would be convenient to use certain shoes for multiple sports. For example, can you wear basketball shoes for tennis?

It is possible to wear certain basketball shoes for tennis. This is because certain movements in the sport are quite similar. Harder tennis surfaces, such as hardcourt and gravel, are best suited to wearing basketball shoes.

This article will discuss the similarities between tennis and basketball shoes. In addition, I will mention some basketball shoes that are most suitable for tennis. Be sure to read on if you are interested.

Can You Wear Basketball Shoes For Tennis?

When playing tennis, you want to wear shoes that help you play the best tennis you can. Tennis shoes are made specifically for tennis, but maybe you don't want to buy a new pair of tennis shoes.

If you already have basketball shoes, don't have the money for new shoes, or like the look of basketball shoes better than tennis shoes.

Then you might find yourself wondering if you can wear your basketball shoes for a game of tennis.

Just like tennis players, basketball players make a lot of sudden movements. They have to change directions quickly and start and stop quite often because of this.

Because of this similarity, it is possible to wear basketball shoes for a game of tennis. Especially if you are playing on hardcourt or clay, basketball shoes might be a good enough alternative for tennis shoes.

However, tennis and basketball remain different sports.

There may be some similarities in the movements that the players make. Still, a significant difference is that tennis players often make side-to-side movements, whereas basketball players do this way less.

Basketball players, however, make a lot of vertical movements as they jump for dunks and other shots.

This brings us to the difference between high-top shoes, which are common in basketball, and low-top shoes, which are common in tennis.

The differences in these models are due to ankle support and freedom to move.

Shoes made specifically for tennis will benefit your play since they are made for this specific sport. If you can choose, I would therefore recommend getting tennis shoes.

So, are basketball shoes good for tennis?

Basketball shoes can be an excellent temporary alternative for tennis shoes, though, and are a better fit than, for example, running shoes.

Are Basketball And Tennis Shoes The Same?

Basketball and tennis are different sports, so it should not be a surprise that the shoes made for these sports are different as well.

Even though the sports have some similarities in movements, they are two different sports entirely. This is why it would be impossible to make a perfect shoe for both sports.

Basketball shoes and tennis shoes are not the same, so what is the difference between basketball shoes and tennis shoes?

High-top versus low-top:

Basketball shoes often look very different from tennis shoes, and a huge part of this is the top of the shoe.

Basketball shoes focus on ankle support a lot and are usually high-top. On the other hand, tennis shoes need to allow the player to move side to side a lot too.

High-top shoes aren't ideal for this, and therefore tennis shoes are often low-top.

Comfort versus durability:

Another point of difference between basketball shoes and tennis shoes is that they focus on two different aspects that are hard to combine.

Basketball shoes are often more comfortable than tennis shoes, but tennis shoes are more durable.

This means that basketball shoes will feel better on your feet, but you might have to replace them more often than tennis shoes.

Light versus bulky:

Tennis players and basketball players move around a lot on the court. However, the kind of movements can differ. Tennis players move side to side, whereas basketball players have more vertical movements.

To facilitate these movements, tennis shoes are lighter than basketball shoes, while basketball shoes are bulkier.

Indoor versus outdoor soles:

Basketball is a sport that gets played indoors more often than outdoors. Besides that, basketball courts are usually made from the same material.

Tennis, on the other hand, gets played outdoors more often. There are different kinds of courts, such as hardcourt, clay, or even grass. This means tennis shoes often have different soles from basketball shoes.

What Basketball Shoes Are Good For Tennis?

If you do decide that you want to wear basketball shoes to a tennis match, there are some things to keep in mind when choosing a basketball shoe.

First of all, you need to find a basketball shoe which is on the lighter side, because of the quick movements made in tennis. You should also pay attention to the sole of the shoe.

A herringbone or hexagonal sole would be best, considering the type of courts tennis is played on.

Below you will find some basketball shoes that can be used for tennis.

Nike LeBron Witness III:

The Nike LeBron Witness III basketball shoe is a low-top shoe, which ensures more flexibility in moving around than a high-top shoe. Besides this, it is a relatively light shoe, ensuring you don't lose your speed.

The traction pattern on the shoe's outsole makes the shoe a good fit for courts like clay and smashcourt, but also on harder surfaces like hardcourt.

Adidas Marquee Boost Low:

The Adidas Marquee Boost Low is another low-top shoe, so this shoe ensures the ability to move around as well.

The shoe is built for quickness and agility on harder surfaces, so while this shoe may not be the best fit for all tennis courts, it could work just fine on hardcourt.

However, the herringbone pattern on the sole provides an excellent grip on clay surfaces and smashcourt as well.

Nike Air Zoom GT Cut:

The Nike Air Zoom GT Cut is a low-top shoe as well. Once again, this is a lightweight shoe that is made for quick movements.

The shoe does not have an ideal outsole. While it has a pattern that provides some grip, I wouldn't recommend it on surfaces where you can easily slip.

Under Armour Anatomix Spawn 3:

The Under Armour Anatomix Spawn 3 is a shoe made for running all over the field. Active players could benefit from the support and comfort this shoe gives.

The sole provides enough grip not to slip too quickly, and the low-top model provides enough space to move around.

Under Armour UA Jet:

The Under Armour UA Jet shoe is a relatively light shoe due to the smart use of materials. This means it won't take away from your speed on the field.

Besides that, it has a herringbone sole, allowing you to play comfortably on many different tennis courts.

Collaborations Between Tennis And Basketball Shoes

The similarities between movements in basketball and tennis have not gone unnoticed.

Over the years, several tennis players have collaborated with the basketball world and created shoes that are fit for both basketball courts and tennis courts.

Nick Kyrgios and Kyrie Irving:

Nick Kyrgios is a tennis player that has always loved the Boston Celtics. Therefore it comes as no surprise that he jumped at the opportunity to collaborate with Kyrie Irving, who used to play for the Celtics.

The two athletes created the Nike Air Zoom Vapor X Kyrie 5, a shoe that can be worn whilst playing tennis, as well as whilst playing basketball.

Roger Federer and Michael Jordan:

It's safe to say that this collaboration is between two legends, Roger Federer and Michael Jordan. Both athletes understand their sport very well.

They worked together to create the Nikecourt Zoom Vapor RF X AJ3. This shoe has both logos, making it a desirable item for tennis and basketball lovers. The shoe can be worn while playing both sports.

Michael Chang and Dominique Wilkins:

We need to go back a couple of years for this particular shoe. The Reebok Court Victory Pump shoe was originally worn by Atlanta Hawks player Dominique Wilkins.

However, the shoe got converted into a shoe fit for tennis and was made famous by Michael Chang back in 1991. The shoe was released again in 2014 and in 2016 in the original Chang colors.


Basketball and tennis are two different sports, which means they have different shoes as well. However, there are quite some similarities between basketball players' and tennis players' movements.

Both athletes need to change directions quickly and sprint from one side of the court to the other. The difference is that basketball players also move vertically while tennis players move from side to side more often.

This means the sports do require different shoes, but you can get away with using one pair of shoes for both sports if you're willing to compromise.

Brian Henderson

I am what you might call a true tennis fanatic. When I am not on the tennis court teaching or playing myself, I am probably writing an informative article about tennis. My goal is to get as many people as possible excited and informed about tennis.
December 3, 2021
Published: December 3, 2021